For many people, the prospect of undergoing maxillofacial surgery brings about feelings of anxiety, nervousness or even fear.
Fortunately, a comfortable and pain-free experience is possible through the use of sedation. Based on the specific procedure you require, a number of safe and effective sedation options are available.
Mild Sedation Options for Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
Local anesthetic is administered for many types of oral and maxillofacial surgery to numb a specific area of the mouth, and this is often used in conjunction with other methods of sedation. For simpler procedures, these mild sedatives can provide pain relief as well as comfort and relaxation.
Oral sedation, administered in pill form, may be used prior to surgery to help patients feel drowsy and calm. These medications target the part of the brain that produces anxiety, making them a good choice for fearful patients.
Inhaled sedation, also known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas, is also widely used in oral surgery. This method is both safe and highly effective, as it alters the perception of pain while providing a sense of well-being and mild euphoria.
Sedation for Unconsciousness During Maxillofacial Surgery
Some patients prefer to be asleep and unaware during oral surgery. In addition, some complex or extensive surgical procedures — especially those that take longer to complete — may require stronger anesthetic methods.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a common choice for these circumstances. IV sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream and allows the patient to remain unaware and pain-free throughout surgery.
The highest level of sedation — general anesthesia — renders patients completely unconscious. General anesthesia is typically reserved for the most complex types of oral surgery.
Although other procedures are performed in the surgeon’s office, these surgeries are usually done in a hospital or a surgery center.
Which Sedation Is Right for You?
Your oral surgeon will work with you before your procedure to determine which types of sedation may be appropriate.
Safety is always our primary concern, and some treatment methods are not suitable for all patients, especially those with certain health or immune system conditions. For example, IV sedation and general anesthesia are not usually recommended for patients with heart conditions or uncontrolled diabetes.
Potential drug interactions also must be considered for patients who take prescription medications.
After safety, patient comfort is what’s most important.
For that reason, our oral surgeons will, in most cases, allow you to choose the method of sedation you prefer for your oral or maxillofacial surgery. You may opt for a milder method if you just have a bit of nervousness. Or, if your anxiety is more severe, you may prefer IV sedation.
It is important to note that the different forms of sedation have varying costs, which may or may not be covered by some insurance plans.
The experienced oral surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are highly trained and certified to administer anesthesia in conjunction with your procedure. Serving patients throughout northern Utah, we are committed to the highest level of patient care and comfort.
Contact us today to learn more about anesthesia options for oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures.