General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia in Dentistry

Dentists have been using anesthesia for over 175 years. Dental anesthesia has changed and advanced much over that time, allowing people to get essential dental care with little or no discomfort. Dental care providers rely on anesthetics to keep patients pain-free, relaxed, and comfortable while performing necessary procedures.

Some types of anesthesia interfere with nerve receptors to reduce or numb pain, while others simply help patients relax or put them in a deep sleep during procedures. The anesthesia your dentist recommends depends on several factors, such as type of treatment, patient allergies, or experience with anesthesia.

If you are looking for a dentist that will put you to sleep, be sure to discuss your options with your dentist to determine the most appropriate sleep dentistry for your situation. Be sure the office is certified to provide General Anesthesia and drugs are being administered by a licensed Anesthesiologist.

What Is General Anesthesia?

Anesthesia plays an essential role in various dental procedures. General anesthesia dentistry (GA) is just one type that dentists use. GA puts the patient to sleep, which means they’re entirely unaware of what’s happening. Dentists only recommend GA for longer and more invasive procedures, like dental implants and wisdom tooth extraction. It is also commonly used in patients with a high level of anxiety or dental fear.

In contrast, patients getting local anesthesia are awake during treatment. Dentists apply it to one area of the mouth to numb it, such as applying topical ointment on the gums or injecting an anesthetic before filling a cavity. Finally, they use sedation via IV or gas mask not to deaden any pain but to relax the patient.

Help for Patients with Dental Anxiety

Up to 30% of people have severe apprehension about going to the dentist. This excessive fear drives many individuals to put off preventive check-ups and necessary procedures, which usually lead to aggravated gum disease, tooth decay, pain, and other health problems in the long run.

Sarasota Dentistry offers general anesthesia solutions for people with dental phobia or are undergoing certain dental procedures including surgery, dental implants, and more. Sarasota Dentistry uses a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Nurse Anesthetist team to provide General Anesthesia Dentistry. Contact us today at (941) 929-7645 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our general anesthesia options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is general anesthesia safe for dental work?
General anesthesia is very safe under proper monitoring by a trained anesthesiologist. Prospective patients need to undergo bloodwork, an ECG, and x-rays to ensure that GA doesn’t pose too great a risk to their circulatory or respiratory system. The dental surgeon also has a plan for unlikely emergencies that might occur during the procedure.
When is general anesthesia used in dentistry?
Providers typically use GA when the procedure is too uncomfortable or invasive for the patient to experience while awake, such as extracting impacted wisdom teeth. Dentists might also offer GA if the patient has a high level of anxiety that conscious sedation cannot manage.
What do dentists use for general anesthesia?
During surgery, you receive an injection of medication through an IV into your arm or hand (Propofol or Diprovan) .If you’re scared of needles, you might ask for the nitrous oxide before needle insertion. When the anesthesia takes effect, the dentist will administer local anesthesia and perform the planned dental work. During GA, you are asleep and aren’t aware of what’s going on. Your body undergoes temporary paralysis, and it doesn’t feel anything. When you wake, you feel great - like you just took a good nap.
How long does dental general anesthesia last?
Since Propofol (Diprovan) is the sole component of GA dentistry, most people wake up 10 minutes after their surgery, but they may remain groggy for a few more hours. Generally, patients recover fully from the effects in about 24 hours. The
What’s the difference between general anesthesia and IV conscious sedation?
During GA, patients are asleep and are not aware of what’s going on. Patients under IV conscious sedation are awake but feel deeply relaxed. As with GA, IV conscious sedation requires monitoring the patient’s vital signs, which allows for adjustment of the anesthesia as needed. The big difference between GA and IV conscious sedation is the type of drug administered and the side effects - they are both administered via IV. General Anesthesia uses propofol which has almost no ill effects associated with it whereas, IV conscious sedation with Versed and Fentanyl may produce a hangover or nausea.

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