Anesthesia and Sedation Options
Administration of local anesthesia by injection numbs the surgical site and the adjacent area. You will be fully aware of the procedure, including the vibrations, sounds, and pressure sensations associated with the surgery which may be somewhat annoying, but it will not hurt. This is the way most procedures are done in your dentist’s office.
Oral Pre-Medication and Local Anesthesia
Oral medications (Valium) and local anesthesia will used for your oral surgery. You will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment and remain in the office during your surgery. Someone should stay with you after your surgery. The meal prior to your appointment should be liquids only.
Medication is administered in intravenously to make you sleepy and sedated. You will be able to respond to verbal instructions and may know what is going on during your appointment. You must come in on a completely empty stomach and someone must drive you to and from your appointment and remain in the office during your surgery. Someone must remain with you all day following your surgery.
Intravenous Deep Sedation
This is NOT a surgical plane of anesthesia, which you would experience in a hospital for a major operation. You are NOT paralyzed or intubated. Medication is administered intravenously to sedate you to the point that you will probably keep your eyes closed during the procedure and may not respond to verbal instructions. You will not really know what is going on and in all likelihood you will not remember your surgery, although some awareness and memory is possible. You must come in on a completely empty stomach and someone must drive you to and from your appointment and remain in the office during your surgery. Someone must remain with you all day following your surgery.
If you have any questions regarding the above information, please don’t hesitate to ask. As a general recommendation for your anesthetic choice, choose the option with which you are the most comfortable.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does local anesthesia last?
The effect of a dental local anesthetic can last anywhere between two and five hours. Of course, the duration varies depending on how much of it was used during your procedure. The effect wears off gradually, with sensations returning slowly after a few hours.
Can you drive after local anesthesia from the dentist?
It is usually considered safe to drive after receiving local anesthesia, but responses may vary from person to person. It is, after all, a mild sedative and can have side effects.
The truth is, local anesthesia may not directly impact your reflexes or cognitive abilities but may cause certain distractions, such as excessive drooling or lack of sensation in the mouth, among others. Hence, it’s better to avoid driving altogether than take a risk of any kind.
How does local anesthesia work?
Local anesthesia works by stopping the nerves in a specific part of your body from sending signals to your brain. This means you won’t experience any sensation in that part of your body after a local anesthetic is administered.
However, you may still feel a bit of pressure or pulling. It usually takes a couple of minutes until the numbness kicks in. This effect should wear off after a few hours of taking the anesthetic.
Should I eat before local anesthesia?
The simple answer is, to follow your dentist’s advice. Your dental expert may recommend that you eat something (or not) based on the type of anesthesia you’ll be receiving and the time of your appointment.
Generally, if you’re going to receive only local anesthesia, you may have a light meal a few hours before your surgery as you’ll have to wait for a while after the procedure.
How long for local anesthesia to wear off?
Most local anesthetics will numb the site for around two-to-three hours after the injection is administered. Your lips and tongue may remain numb for slightly longer.