Extensive Training and Experience in the Control of Pain and Anxiety
The ability to provide patients with safe, effective outpatient anesthesia distinguishes the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. As the surgical specialists of the dental profession, our surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. Following dental school, our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons complete at least four years of training in a hospital-based surgical residency program alongside medical residents in general surgery, anesthesia and other specialties. During this time, OMS residents must complete a rotation on the medical anesthesiology service, during which they become competent in evaluating patients for anesthesia, delivering the anesthetic and monitoring post-anesthetic patients.
As a result of this extensive training, our Surgeons are well-prepared to identify, diagnose and assess the source of pain and anxiety and to appropriately administer local anesthesia, all forms of sedation and general anesthesia. Further, our surgeons are experienced in airway management, endotracheal intubation, establishing and maintaining intravenous lines, and managing complications and emergencies that may arise during the administration of anesthesia.
Putting Your Mind at Ease
The best way to reduce anxiety is to make certain you know what to expect during and after surgery. As with most anxiety-producing situations, the more you know, the less you have to be anxious about. Prior to surgery, our surgeons will review with you the type of anesthetic to be used, as well as the way you’re likely to feel during and after the operation. This is the time to discuss any concerns you may have about any facet of the operation.
During surgery, one or more of the following may be used to control your pain and anxiety:
Local anesthesia – Local anesthesia is used to block pain in a specific part our body, allowing you to remain fully alert. For local anesthesia, an anesthetic is injected at or near the site of the procedure. The injection numbs the area to pain and any other sensation. Local anesthetics are generally of short duration. Only rarely do they cause an allergic reaction.
Intravenous sedation – Intravenous (I.V.) sedation often called Twilight Sleep’ is used to relax you and make you feel sleepy. It generally includes intravenous administration of pain medication and a mild sedative to minimize any discomfort. These medications also cause temporary forgetfulness, so you may not remember what happens during the procedure.
General anesthesia – General anesthesia is used for more extensive procedures. The medications used in general anesthesia are given intravenously (by I.V.) or by inhalation. The drugs circulate in your bloodstream to all areas of your body, including your brain.
Because general anesthetics affect all areas of your body, such as the heart and lungs, side effects from the medications are more common. However, most are temporary and can be managed by our experienced medical team.
No matter what anesthesia is utilized, patients commonly describe their feelings during surgery as comfortable and surprisingly pleasant.
After surgery, you may be prescribed a medication to make you as comfortable as possible when you get home.