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A Dental Patient’s Guide to Outpatient Anesthesia

Outpatient anesthesia is simply any form of anesthesia that does not require overnight hospitalization. For the purposes of oral and maxillofacial surgeries, outpatient anesthesia typically refers to local, general anesthesia, or light IV sedation, also known as “twilight.”

Which procedures can be performed with outpatient anesthesia?

Any dental procedure that has the potential to cause pain can benefit from the use of outpatient anesthesia. In other words, you wouldn’t need an anesthetic if you’re simply receiving a cleaning and checkup. But if you’re planning to undergo a smile restoration, some form of outpatient anesthesia is a must.

At Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery, dentists use local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia, to perform these procedures:

  1. Wisdom teeth extraction
  2. Individual dental implants
  3. All-on-4 implants
  4. Bone graft
  5. Surgical orthodontics
  6. Trauma repair surgery
  7. Facial reconstruction

In some cases, a local anesthetic may be all that’s needed. Other procedures may be best performed under general anesthesia. Talk to your oral surgeon about the ideal approach for your particular needs.

Formal training in the administration of outpatient anesthesia

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons have received extensive training to provide safe, comfortable outpatient anesthesia in an office setting. Depending on the procedure, this may include local anesthesia, IV sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. Outpatient anesthesia care is a crucial component of a surgeon’s education and ongoing training. During residency, each surgeon develops critical skills and knowledge in all areas of anesthesia administration and emergency care. This advanced training and clinical expertise is bolstered by regular evaluations and ongoing certification for outpatient anesthesia.

Years of hospital training and clinical experience in evaluating patients for outpatient anesthesia, anesthetic administration, and the post-operative monitoring of patients, allow our doctors to provide the best possible care.

Local anesthesia for dental procedures

Local anesthesia is the most common type used in dental procedures. It’s done by injecting a medication into the inner cheek or gum in order to numb a small area. Previously, Novocain was the local anesthetic of choice, but dentists don’t use it any longer. There are safer local anesthetics available these days. Local anesthetic is ideal for outpatient anesthesia because its effects wear off after several hours. This type of anesthesia won’t affect your state of consciousness.

General anesthesia for dental procedures

Another type of outpatient anesthesia dentists can use is general anesthesia. Patients under anesthesia are often referred to as being asleep. But this isn’t entirely accurate. It’s actually a state of complete unconsciousness that prohibits the brain from responding to pain signals. While any dentist can administer a local anesthetic, intravenous anesthesia must be administered by a dentist with extensive training.

General anesthesia is safe and is typically well-tolerated. However, it’s important to disclose all pre-existing medical conditions, including any prior reactions to general anesthesia. After receiving general anesthesia, dental patients will remain groggy for hours. They must have a responsible adult take them home and stay with them for the rest of the day. Patients must not work or operate any machinery for 24 hours.

Restore your smile with help from outpatient anesthesia

Innovative Implants and Oral Surgery has helped countless dental patients enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. We’re known for combining a commitment to courteous service with our state-of-the-art surgical technology and techniques. We firmly believe that dental procedures should always be comfortable and pain-free for our patients, and we’re proud to offer safe outpatient anesthesia. Call our dental office in Feasterville, PA at 215.322.7810 to request an appointment.

Additional anesthesia resources for dental surgery patients:

  1. American Society of Anesthesiologists, Outpatient Surgery and Anesthesia,
  2. Mayo Clinic, General Anesthesia,