For patients who require extensive dental procedures or those with extreme dental anxiety, general anesthesia can be a viable option. General anesthesia involves the use of medications that put the patient into a deep sleep, ensuring they are completely unaware of the procedure being performed. This level of sedation is deeper than what other sedation methods provide.
While under general anesthesia, a patient’s vital signs are closely monitored by trained professionals to ensure their safety. Following the procedure, the patient will need some time to recover from the effects of the anesthesia and will require someone to drive them home from the appointment. It’s crucial to discuss the benefits and potential risks of general anesthesia with Dr. Ahrabi, ensuring you make an informed decision about your dental care. Our primary aim is always to provide the most comfortable and safe experience for all our patients.
How General Anesthesia Works
General anesthesia is a combination of medications that induce a state of deep sleep and unconsciousness in a patient. This is achieved through a careful balance of intravenous drugs and inhaled gases. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Pre-Anesthesia evaluation: Prior to the administration of anesthesia, an anesthesiologist evaluates the patient’s medical history and explains the process.
- Induction: The patient receives medications through an IV or inhalation, leading to loss of consciousness. This phase is quick, usually taking only a few minutes.
- Maintenance: The anesthesia is maintained with a continuous supply of anesthetic agents. During this phase, the patient is completely unaware of their surroundings and does not feel discomfort.
- Monitoring: Throughout the procedure, the patient’s vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and oxygen levels, are closely monitored to ensure safety.
- Recovery: After the procedure, the anesthetic agents are withdrawn, and the patient gradually regains consciousness in a recovery area. This phase may vary in duration depending on the individual and the specifics of the anesthesia used.
The Benefits Of General Anesthesia
- Eliminates awareness and discomfort: The primary advantage is that the patient remains unaware of the procedure and does not experience any pain.
- Allows for extensive procedures: It enables dentists to perform complex or lengthy dental surgeries without causing discomfort or stress to the patient.
- Suitable for patients with dental anxiety: Patients who have severe dental phobia can undergo necessary treatments without the anxiety and fear associated with dental procedures.
- Efficiency: Procedures can often be performed more quickly and efficiently, as the patient is completely still and unresponsive.
General Anesthesia FAQs
Is General Anesthesia Safe?
While general anesthesia carries some risks, it is generally safe when administered by experienced professionals. Pre-procedure evaluations help to minimize risks.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Recovery times vary, but most patients feel back to normal within a few hours. However, it’s advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours.
Can Anyone Have General Anesthesia?
Not everyone is a candidate for general anesthesia. The decision is based on the patient’s health, the nature of the dental procedure, and other factors.
Are There Side Effects?
Side effects can include nausea, drowsiness, and a dry mouth, but these are generally temporary and manageable.
How Do I Prepare For General Anesthesia?
Patients are usually advised to fast for several hours before the procedure. Detailed instructions are provided by the dental team.
NuCalm Sedation Dentistry
Patients who have dental anxiety often avoid visiting the dentist for their regular dental checkups. Skipping dental health exams can lead to the development of more complex oral health concerns. Our dental care team at Oakton Dental Center invites patients with dental anxiety in Oakton, VA, to experience the difference compassionate, and high-quality dentistry can make. Our team of dental professionals offers comprehensive and personalized dental treatments tailored to the unique needs and goals of the individual. We provide patients with educational information so that they can make informed decisions about their dental health.
How NuCalm Works
First, Dr. Ahrabi will apply a topical cream, or supply you with a dietary supplement to be chewed. This step is to help your body counteract the adrenaline that makes you feel anxious. This will create a natural feeling of relaxation.
Then small, noninvasive microcurrent stimulation patches are placed behind each ear. This help to facilitate the body’s most relaxed state. Noise-dampening headphones are worn and provide gentle and soothing sounds taking your brain to a pre-sleep state. A light-blocking eye mask is worn to help keep you in a relaxed state.
These four simple elements allow patients to rest in a blissful state of relaxation. Without the use of narcotics, you can remain aware of your surroundings while feeling totally and entirely relaxed.