Dental sedation comes in various forms. For some people, a mild solution like nitrous oxide is enough to help them get through their treatment without anxiety or discomfort. For other individuals, a more powerful option, such as oral conscious sedation, is preferrable. In rare cases, general anesthesia — the most potent form of sedation — is necessary. Are you a candidate for it? This blog post discusses what it is and who may qualify for it.
What Is General Anesthesia?
Contrary to popular belief, most forms of dental sedation do not put patients to sleep. Rather, they induce feelings of relaxation and calm. They may also cause slight memory loss. General anesthesia is different. It does put people to sleep.
It typically uses a combination of gases and intravenously administered medications to induce a state of deep sleep or unconsciousness. It completely blocks a patient’s ability to feel pain or discomfort during dental procedures, and it prevents them from moving. It is similar to the anesthesia used in hospitals for major surgeries, but the general anesthesia used in a dental setting is not quite as powerful.
General anesthesia is not offered in most dental offices because the law has very strict standards for how and by whom it is administered. These rigid guidelines protect patient safety.
Who Is a Candidate for General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia is sometimes recommended in the following circumstance:
- A lengthy procedure, or multiple procedures, must be completed as efficiently as possible.
- A patient is uncooperative or suffers from severe dentophobia. This may be the case with individuals who suffer from certain mental health or behavioral disorders.
- A patient who is too young to cooperate with treatment must undergo a major procedure.
- Other methods of sedation have proven to be inadequate.
Who Should Not Be Put Under General Anesthesia?
Countless millions of people are able to be put under general anesthesia without any significant risks to their well-being. However, certain health conditions increase the risk of complications associated with this form of sedation. Your dental team will thoroughly screen you for such issues before approving you to move forward with general anesthesia.
A few examples of factors that can increase the risk of adverse side effects from general anesthesia include seizures, a history of heavy alcohol use, uncontrolled diabetes, and hypertension. It is also not generally recommended for pregnant individuals.
Is General Anesthesia Right for You?
If you believe general aesthesia could benefit you during your next dental treatment, book a consultation with a practice that offers it. After they carefully consider all relevant factors, they will determine how best to help you stay calm and relaxed throughout your procedure. They want to make your experience as easy as possible!
Meet the Practice
Drs. Steve Koo and William Shepard are the oral surgeons at Piney Point OMS of Katy/Cypress. They offer a range of procedures and multiple types of sedation, including general anesthesia. To learn more about how our team can help you enjoy an easy and comfortable treatment experience, contact us at 832-353-1100.