Several methods of anesthesia are available. The method of anesthesia that is chosen for or by a patient depends upon the nature of the surgical procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension. 

Local Anesthetic

The patient remains totally conscious and aware throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (such as lidocaine) is administered (as in injection) in the area where the surgery is to be performed. This area or region becomes completely “numb” or anesthetized. This is the same as having an injection by your dentist for a filling, crown, or root canal.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is administered through a nasal breathing apparatus. The patient remains conscious and in a relaxed condition. Nitrous oxide has a sedative, calming, and analgesic (pain-controlling) effect. Local anesthesia (injection) is given after the nitrous oxide has become effective.

Office Based IV Anesthesia

Medications are administered through an intravenous line (IV). The patient is maintained in a moderate to deep level of sedation throughout the entire procedure. The medications used have an amnestic effect and most patients will not remember undergoing the procedure afterwards. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus. The patient’s vital signs and oxygen levels are closely monitored. Local anesthesia (injection) is also administered once the patient is sedated. The sites receiving the oral surgery will remain numb for a period of time after the sedation is complete.

Hospital or Surgery Center Based General Anesthesia

A patient is scheduled for surgery in a hospital or surgery center for their procedure. General anesthesia is administered by a separate anesthesia provider who will ensure the patient is completely asleep for the procedure. General anesthesia is indicated for patients undergoing extensive procedures or for patients with complicated medical conditions such as heart disease or lung disease who require IV anesthesia.