Oral Surgery: What are my sedation options?


relaxing-300x201Choosing an appropriate, effective method of sedation is an important component of your oral surgery plan. Patients have a number of different options for sedation at our practice. Here is an overview of the three types we offer:

  • Nitrous oxide: This gas is inhaled when the patient arrives at the office, and it has nearly instantaneous effects. Nitrous oxide’s effects reverse relatively quickly, as well. This method primarily decreases anxiety and increases comfort and may be appropriate for brief oral surgery interventions.
  • Oral sedation: The patient takes an anti-anxiety medication in pill form prior to the appointment so that it has adequate time to take effect. Patients must be escorted to the appointment, as they will not be alert enough to drive safely while under the influence of the medication. Oral sedation can be a good choice for patients who are fearful of needles but want some sort of sedation for wisdom teeth extraction or other surgical procedures.
  • IV moderate sedation: Also known in some circles as “twilight” sedation, the patient receives sedatives intravenously and attains a state of sleep-like deep relaxation throughout the appointment. Patients often choose this form of sedation to have dental implants placed, for example.
  • IV deep sedation: The administration of this method is similar to the moderate sedation described above, but it puts patients into a deeper sleep. It can be useful for extensive procedures such as bone grafting or jaw surgery to address a TMJ disorder.

Additionally, your oral surgeon will administer a local anesthetic at the surgical site for maximum comfort.

After you and your oral surgeon have decided on a particular sedation method, there may be other considerations to prepare for your appointment. For example, with any form of IV sedation, patients must fast for at least eight hours prior to the procedure. Additionally, when a patient is under sedation that will not wear off before it’s time to leave the office, the patient must arrange to have a responsible adult escort him or her home.

It’s important to know that your sedation will be both safe and effective. Our surgeons are all certified to provide IV sedation, and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored throughout the appointment.

If you are in the process of planning for a surgical procedure, call our office to learn more about your sedation options.