How will I know if I will need sedation during my dental procedure?

sedation for tooth extractionWhen planning to have your wisdom teeth removed or some other type of oral surgery, you have a number of considerations as a patient. One that often gets top priority is comfort during the procedure.

To provide the best experience for the patient, most oral surgeons will recommend some form of sedation for tooth extraction. General anesthesia, otherwise known as deep sedation, is the most common choice of patients having oral surgery.

Sedation/anesthesia are available in varying degrees. Depending on the specific procedure being performed, some patients may need only moderate intravenous sedation while others may require deeper sedation or general anesthesia. The complexity of the procedure, along with the patient’s own preferences, can determine which method will be most appropriate, and the oral surgeon will advise you of your options during the treatment planning process.

Moderate sedation for tooth extraction or some other oral surgery procedure can be achieved by delivering medications intravenously for a nearly instantaneous effect. The sedative medications help patients achieve a state of deep relaxation that feels similar to sleep, although patients do remain somewhat conscious and able to respond to the surgeon’s commands throughout the procedure.

The medications involved in general anesthesia are also usually administered intravenously in this outpatient setting. With general anesthesia, the patient does lose consciousness, and the airway must be maintained artificially. However, general anesthesia is mandatory for complex procedures that are expected to take a significant amount of time.

Moderate IV sedatives and general anesthesia require the patient to fast for 6-8 hours before the scheduled procedure. Be sure to discuss any preparations you must make with your oral surgeon before the appointment.

Safety is a main concern for patients receiving sedation or anesthesia. While patients are under sedation, the oral surgeon and the rest of the surgical team will closely monitor the patient’s vital signs for any signs of distress. Your oral surgeon will also discuss any risks of sedation and anesthesia with you before the procedure.

Most oral surgery patients take advantage of moderate sedation or general anesthesia for a more comfortable experience. If you have questions about whether sedation or anesthesia will be needed for your procedure, discuss this issue with our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeons at your consultation. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your visit.