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Options for Anesthesia

One of the things Dr. Pitts has been taught in terms of reducing patient anxiety is the importance of making the patient aware of what to expect during surgery. It’s usually true; the more you know the less you have to be anxious about. During your initial consultation with Dr. Pitts, you will review the options available for anesthesia and he will explain every facet of the surgery.

Our office is one of the few oral surgery offices in the area which provides inhalational anesthesia for children and special needs patients (Sevoflurane Inhalational Anesthesia). It is an excellent and safe alternative for this group of patients. It can also be used as a convenient induction agent for anxious adults.  

You will always be given local anesthesia for your surgery, but you may choose any of the following options as a supplement. Each choice requires different preparation on your part.

ORAL PRE-MEDICATION 

 If you are feeling anxious about a minor procedure, this option could be a good choice to help you relax during your surgery.

  • Take the dosage prescribed of the medication at the time directed before your surgery.
  • Follow instructions for any additional anesthesia chosen.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office and drive them home. Your driver must remain in the office for the duration of the surgery.

NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous Oxide is also commonly referred to as “Laughing Gas.” It is an anesthetic gas that you breath through your nose during surgery to help you reduce anxiety and discomfort during surgery. This option is typically used for minor procedures, in conjunction with local anesthesia.

  • You may have a light meal four (4) hours prior to surgery.
  • You may drive after having an appointment where nitrous oxide has been used following a short recovery period.

SEVOFLURANE INHALATIONAL ANESTHESIA

Sevoflurane is an anesthetic gas that is inhaled through a mask. It is mostly used for pediatric and special needs patients as a sedative for minor procedures. It may also be used as an induction agent prior to General Anesthesia. It is an excellent choice for children or anxious adults. When used alone for minor procedures, the recovery time for Sevoflurane Anesthesia is minimal. Patients typically leave the office after a brief recovery period. 

  • Children must have nothing to eat or drink for at least 4-6 hours prior to surgery (this is determined by age and weight)
  • Adults must follow same instructions for IV Sedation or General Anesthesia
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office and drive them home. Your driver must remain in the office for the duration of the surgery

IV SEDATION OR GENERAL ANESTHESIA

Intravenous anesthesia is also referred to as “twilight sleep.” It is commonly used for minor dental procedures, where the patient is anxious and requires deeper sedation. The patient will be heavily sedated but responsive, however, the medications will provide a significant level of amnesia, which means that little will be remembered about the surgery. This type of anesthesia is commonly used in an outpatient setting for many minor surgical and diagnostic procedures.

General Anesthesia is a deep level of anesthesia in which the patient is completely asleep through the entire surgery. The medications are usually given through an IV. The recovery time is usually short, and side effects such as nausea are unusual. This type of anesthesia is usually used for longer or more difficult surgical procedures.   

  • You should have nothing to eat or drink (including water) after midnight the day prior to your surgery. Most of our surgeries are scheduled in the morning. If for some reason you are scheduled in the afternoon, you should have nothing to eat or drink for at least six (6) hours prior to surgery.
  • It is important that you discuss all medications that you are taking with Dr. Pitts prior to surgery. Dr. Pitts will advise you as to which of your regular medications can be taken prior to your surgery. Any medications taken prior to your surgery should be taken with a small sip of water at least one hour before your arrival.
  • You must have a responsible person drive you home following your surgery. Your driver must remain in the office for the duration of the surgery.

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