An oral surgeon is trained to perform very specific procedures that can affect the entire oral cavity and lower portion of the face. For example, a person might see an oral surgeon for something relatively simple like a tooth extraction or something far more complex like full mouth reconstruction, which can include jaw surgery, tooth extractions and implant dentistry. Since an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) performs an array of treatments with varying invasiveness, sedation and anesthetic options for patients is necessary for promoting comfortable care.
Local Anesthesia & Nitrous Oxide
Advancements in local anesthetics have made it possible for dental professionals to take conservative approaches to using strong medications in many instances. Some tooth extractions can be performed with local anesthetic and nitrous oxide effective at maintaining patient comfort. On the other hand, many wisdom tooth extractions require IV sedation. That is because this oral surgery is more complex than other tooth extractions. Minimally invasive treatments typically do not require heavy anesthetics or sedatives.
Local anesthetic is a numbing agent that can be both injected and topically applied. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is administered through a nasal mask. This gas has been used in medicine and dentistry for over a century because it produces calming and pain-relieving effects.
IV Conscious Sedation
Sometimes an OMS may prescribe IV conscious sedation when a patient is receiving lengthy, invasive, or complex treatment. Some procedures performed with this kind of sedation include implant dentistry and tooth extractions. While medication is administered intravenously like general anesthesia is, this type of IV sedation will not produce medical unconsciousness. Instead, most patients will fall asleep during treatment but they are able to respond to questions and instructions. The medication delivered with IV conscious sedation is powerful. Those who receive this type of sedation should arrange for transportation to and from their oral surgery appointments.
General anesthesia is normally reserved for more invasive procedures. For instance, patients who have endured severe facial trauma may require general anesthesia for reconstructive treatments.
If you have been referred to Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery, give us a call to learn more about our caring and dedicated team.