Most patients who have a surgical procedure like a wisdom tooth extraction or dental implant placement will want some sort of sedation during the procedure. Your oral surgeon will review your sedation options with you and advise you of what to expect in the recovery process. Some methods require some recovery time after the appointment, while others do not.
The mildest form of sedative is nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), which the patient inhales in gaseous form through a mask. It produces a calming sensation throughout the patient’s body, and its effects are reversed quickly after the patient returns to inhaling normal air. There is minimal recovery time needed for patients who receive nitrous oxide as sedation for their procedure.
Alternatively, your oral surgeon may recommend IV sedation or general anesthesia for your procedure, and these methods do have lingering effects even after the surgery is complete. With IV sedation, in which patients enter a “twilight sleep,” they remain conscious and able to respond to the surgeon’s requests, although they remain deeply relaxed throughout the procedure.
With general anesthesia, the patient enters a deep sleep and is unaware of his or her surroundings. The patient will be unable to respond to commands from others.
Patients are closely monitored while under IV sedation or general anesthesia in the same way they would be in a hospital setting. Both IV sedation and general anesthesia take some time to wear off, so patients cannot safely drive home immediately after the appointment. You should plan to have a responsible adult escort you home. Additionally, patients should expect to recover at home for at least 24 hours after either IV sedation or anesthesia. You may want to make arrangements for a responsible adult to assist you during this time as well.
In addition to the sedation, the oral surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to all patients prior to surgery. This is intended to numb the area immediately surrounding the surgical site. The area will remain numb for some time after surgery, and it can affect a patient’s speech for a few hours but is generally minimally disruptive to the patient’s routine.
For additional information, contact our skilled team at Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery.