Local anesthesia refers to a topical and/or injected anesthetic that will affect only the targeted area for a brief period of time to minimize or eliminate sensation or pain in that specific “localized” area during a dental procedure.
Local anesthetics are used for simple procedures, and are often also used in combination with other sedation techniques for oral surgery.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe analgesic agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over the nose to help patients relax but remain conscious. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows patients to breathe normally through their nose, and feel the effects within minutes.
Patients may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some patients comment that their legs and arms feel heavy. Ultimately, it should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the small mask is removed. Patients should to their doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option.
Nitrous oxide is helpful for simple to more involved oral surgery procedures such as wisdom teeth removal and dental implant placement.
IV sedation/general anesthesia delivers medications through an IV line that allow our patients to enter a sleep-like state during surgical procedures. Supplemental oxygen is supplied through a breathing mask and vital signs are continuously monitored by the doctor and highly trained surgical assistants.
Surgical patients or patients with high levels of anxiety or special needs may benefit from IV sedation/general anesthesia. Patients will be provided with information that can help them determine if it is the best choice for them.
In some instances, an anesthesiologist will administer IV sedation in a hospital setting. More complicated cases or multiple procedures, such as jaw reconstruction or TMJ surgery may be referred to a hospital or surgical center.
For some patients, including those with heart disease or lung conditions, it is best that general anesthesia be administered in a hospital setting.