Sedation offers individuals with general anxiety about going to the oral surgeon, or fears about a specific oral surgery procedure, the opportunity to have a stress free and more comfortable experience. Utilizing safe and controlled sedation techniques prior to the procedure, the patient is eased into a state of complete relaxation. This eliminates any discomfort, pain, and preoperative anxiety that may be associated with a particular visit. With sedation, patients typically feel more at ease post-operatively as they have little or no memory of the actual moment-to-moment oral surgery procedure.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the experts in outpatient sedation. There are many anesthetic options to make you as comfortable as possible during your surgical visit. Local anesthetic is always provided during any procedure.
The choice of which type of sedation is most appropriate for an oral surgery procedure depends on the specific needs of the individual. In choosing the most appropriate method of sedation, the oral surgeon considers the patient’s medical history and their level of anxiety. Types of sedation for oral surgery patients include nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.
Commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is used as a mild sedative to reduce anxiety and allow a level of relaxation during a procedure. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask over the nose. It is administered for the duration of the procedure and is turned off as the procedure is coming to an end. The effects of this method of sedation wear off very quickly.
Oral Sedation means that you will be given a prescription for an oral medication prior to your appointment. Taken at the recommended time before your appointment, this medication allows you to fully relax by the time your procedure begins. When receiving oral sedation, a patient must have an escort on the day of the procedure to drive them to and from the oral surgeon’s office.
IV Sedation involves a sedative that is administered intravenously, or directly into a vein. It is indicated when deeper sedation is required. This type of sedation can be quickly modified to your state of consciousness and can be continued as long as necessary for the procedure.
IV Sedation requires an empty stomach. Patients receiving this type of sedation will be instructed as to how many hours prior to their surgical procedure they should stop eating or drinking. In addition to this, patients receiving IV sedation will need to have an escort present for the appointment and to be able to drive them home when the appointment is completed.