Anesthesia for Oral Surgery

Our surgeons can use various levels of sedation and forms of anesthesia for oral surgery. Patients are often confused about what type of sedation is needed for oral surgery. It can certainly be confusing, particularly when many dentists now offer sedation dentistry for some procedures. Anesthesia runs the gamut from local anesthetics such as lidocaine to general anesthesia, which causes a complete loss of consciousness.

Training and Expertise of Oral Surgeons vs. Dentists for Sedation Dentistry and Oral Surgery

While dentists can offer several forms of light sedation dentistry for minor procedures such as tooth extraction, they are not fully trained and certified to administer deep sedation/general anesthesia. They do not have the extensive training oral surgeons undergo to become proficient in using all forms of anesthesia safely and effectively.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained extensively in the administration of all levels of anesthesia and have passed stringent testing. Although some dentists offer local anesthesia or nitrous oxide when IV or general anesthesia is advisable or required for complex procedures, an oral surgeon is the only appropriate choice for proper level of anesthesia.

For more information about Anesthesia or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lenox or Dr. Peterson, call our offices located in Bend & Redmond, OR at West Bend Office Phone Number 541-617-3993.

Anesthesia Options

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is administered via a nasal hood that fully covers the nose and is often referred to as “laughing gas.” This gives the patient a sensation of mild relaxation during surgery. The degree of analgesia can be adjusted to the ideal level for each patient. The effects fully resolve within 10 minutes after the procedure and allow the patient to drive home safely.

Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation is administered in a pill or liquid form. It provides a mild level of relaxation for the patient and is often combined with Nitrous Oxide. Oral sedation requires an escort to drive the patient home after the procedure, as it can take several hours for the effects to wear off.

IV Sedation

When using IV Sedation the medications are administered intravenously, usually through the arm or hand. Medicines are given to provide relaxation and pain control throughout the surgery. This is an excellent way to resolve any anxiety a patient might have about their surgery. IV sedation requires the patient to arrive not having eaten for the past 8 hours and an escort to drive them home after surgery. It is important to know that while some dentists do offer IV sedation, they are limited by law to provide only a Mild Sedation, meaning you will likely be awake/aware throughout procedure.

General Anesthesia or IV Deep Sedation

When using General Anesthesia or IV Deep Sedation the medications are administered via an intravenous route. Medications are given to have the patient fully asleep throughout the surgery. This level of anesthesia provides the optimum state for the patient to be fully unaware that their surgery has been accomplished. This requires the patient to arrive not having eaten for the past 8 hours and an escort to drive them home after surgery. Only oral surgeons and/or anesthesiologist have the extensive training and knowledge to provide this level of anesthesia.

Inhalational General Anesthesia

This is an excellent choice for our pediatric patients and patients with extreme anxiety. The patient is kept fully asleep throughout the surgery and slowly awakes, ready to begin their recovery. The patient drifts off to sleep while gently breathing in the anesthesia. This requires the patient to arrive not having eaten for the past 8 hours and an escort to drive them home after surgery.

What is the Difference Between Sedation and General Anesthesia?

Patients who are sedated, whether intravenously or orally, are in a sleep-like state. They may drift in and out of a state of rest and are unaware of their surroundings, but they can respond to external stimuli.

Deep Sedation/general anesthesia renders the patient unconscious. They feel no pain and do not remember anything about their procedure. Patients may or may not be able to breathe on their own under this level of anesthesia. Oxygen is administered through a mask, and the patient is monitored at all times. Deep sedation/general anesthesia is unavailable at a dentist’s office.

Inhalational general anesthesia is unavailable at a dentist’s office. It requires extensive education and training most dentists do not have. Patients must also be monitored at all times to ensure their health and safety. Dental offices are not equipped to do this, and their staff are generally not trained in monitoring or administering this form of deep sedation.

Exceptional Sedation Dentistry and General Anesthesia in Bend & Redmond, OR

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Office Anesthesia Evaluation Program ensures that practicing members of the AAOMS maintain properly equipped offices and are prepared to use the latest accepted techniques to manage emergencies and complications of anesthesia used in the treatment of patients.

AAOMS fellows/members must have their offices successfully evaluated and re-evaluated by their component society every five years or in accordance with state law. Dr. Lenox and Dr. Peterson have successfully completed the AAOMS Office Anesthesia Evaluation Program since establishing the practice in Bend in 2000. This helps ensure the utmost patient safety for all surgical procedures.

We explore all appropriate anesthesia and sedation options with our patients at their initial consultation. If you need oral surgery and want to learn more about your anesthesia options, please contact our offices at West Bend Office Phone Number 541-617-3993 to schedule an appointment.