Is Oral Surgery Sedation Safe?

Oral surgery sedation can relieve your anxieties and help you have an easy, pain-free experience. But if you’re like many patients, you may be wondering if anesthesia is safe.

The good news that that, when administered by a board-certified oral surgeon with dedicated anesthesia training, sedation carries very little chance of complications.

However, to minimize any risks, the smallest possible dose is administered — just enough to be effective. In addition, by choosing the type of anesthesia that’s used, you’ll have some degree of control over the safety of your procedure.

oral surgery sedation safe

Oral Surgery Sedation Doesn’t Have to Make You Unconscious

A mild sedative that makes you drowsy — and not actually unconscious — is the safest form of anesthesia for most oral surgery patients.

You might think you need to be unconscious for your procedure, but mild sedation can keep you calm, comfortable and free of pain. Oral surgeons offer a range of options, including:

  • Oral sedation — a prescription pill that eases your nerves and makes you groggy enough to fall asleep
  • Nitrous oxide — an inhaled mixture, also known as laughing gas, that makes you completely relaxed and free of anxiety, fear and worry
  • Intravenous (IV) sedation — a sedative referred to as “twilight sleep” that enters the bloodstream and makes you feel as if you’ve lost consciousness

When General Anesthesia May Be Recommended

For some patients, mild sedation is not the most effective form of anesthesia. You may need general anesthesia to make you unconscious for several reasons, including:

  • Your oral surgery is complex, involving multiple procedures
  • Your procedure will take a long time
  • You have an exaggerated gag reflex that could create issues during the procedure
  • You suffer from serious dental anxiety

For safety purposes, opting for general anesthesia means having your procedure completed at a local hospital or surgical center rather than your oral surgeon’s office.

Share Your Medical History Before Oral Surgery

To help you select the safest, most effective form of sedation for your procedure, your oral surgeon needs to know your entire medical history.

Share all your health information — don’t hold anything back, as doing so could present a greater risk of complications with certain sedatives. Make sure to name all the prescription drugs, vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medicines you take so that your surgeon can avoid interactions and plan for a safe sedation session.

In the hands of a highly trained and experienced anesthesia team, oral surgery sedation is safe. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah will put all your fears at ease and ensure you have a comfortable, pain-free experience.

Our board-certified oral surgeons are extensively trained in the administration of anesthesia and have over 10 years of experience providing safe and effective sedation to patients throughout northern Utah.

To learn more about the safety of oral surgery sedation or to discuss your anesthesia options, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a consultation today.