General anesthesia, sometimes referred to as IV sedation is treatment with certain medicines that put you into a deep sleep so you don’t feel pain during surgery. After you receive these medicines, you will not be aware of what is happening around you. You will not move, feel any pain or have any memory of the surgical procedure.
General anesthesia is a safe way to stay asleep and pain-free during dental procedures that would be too painful, take a long time, affect your ability to breathe, make you uncomfortable, or cause too much anxiety.
Most people recover completely and do not have any complications after undergoing IV sedation. The medicine is given intravenously, through a vein located in your arm. Your doctor can adjust how deeply asleep you are during surgery. You will be watched very closely by the surgical team while you are asleep. Your blood pressure pulse and breathing will be continuously monitored.
An anesthetic ampule is injected into the mouth to relieve dental pain and soothe an anxious patient. The most common type of anesthesia is local anesthesia, which is injected into the teeth to prevent pain in all or part of the mouth during the procedure but does not cause the patient to fall asleep or anesthetize.
General anesthesia is usually safe for healthy people. However, there is a risk of problems with general anesthesia if:
1. you abuse alcohol or medicines,
2. you have allergies or a family history of being allergic to medicines
3. you have heart, lung, or kidney problems
4. you have smoking problems
5. you are obese
ask your doctor about potential complications like harm to your vocal cords, heart attack, temporary mental confusion, stroke, trauma to your teeth or tongue, and allergies to the drugs. Before going to a dental surgical procedure, your doctor may meet with you for an evaluation. They will take a complete medical history to determine the type and amount of anesthesia you need.
This includes asking about any allergies, health conditions, medicines and history of anesthesia. During the evaluation, make sure you inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have. Like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma or if you are pregnant, tell your doctor what prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements you are taking and any recreational drugs you may use. Several days to a week before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking blood-thinning drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin and warfarin like coumadin.
What Should We Do before General Anesthesia?
1. Ask which medications you can take on the day of your procedure. Your doctor may recommend that you stop smoking and avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages for 24 hours before surgery.
2. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep. On the day of the surgery, you will likely be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight, the night before the surgery. Take only the medicine that your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
3. Notify your doctor’s office if you’re feeling ill the day of the procedure. Fever, sore throat, upset stomach, nasal or chest congestion may increase your risk of complications, and the Procedure may need to be postponed.
4. Brush your teeth. Cleaning your mouth before surgery helps to avoid infection.
5. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing; short sleeve tops or sleeves that can be easily rolled up above the elbows are best. Wear flat-sold shoes with ankle support, like sneakers. Do not wear any jewelry and leave all valuables at home. Do not wear colored nail polish, perfume, cologne, or eye makeup.
6. Remove any contact lenses and false eyelashes. You will not be able to drive for 24 hours following surgery. Your doctor may require a licensed driver, accompany you to your appointment and be prepared to wait for you during surgery. Also, your doctor may require that an adult looking after you for 24 hours following the procedure.
Get Ready for Anesthesia?
Finally, it’s best to arrive early to your appointment to allow time to sign consent forms and other required paperwork. Following surgery, expect to wake up tired and groggy. You may also experience temporary side effects like upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, facial bruising, stiffness in the jaws and chafing around the corners of your mouth, but these will wear off in a few hours.
Expect minor pain and discomfort for several days following any procedure. So be sure to follow your doctor’s pain management recommendations and after-care instructions carefully and keep all follow-up appointments.
Again, your doctor may require an adult companion to drive you home after the procedure and that an adult watch you closely at home for 24 hours after surgery, the following restrictions usually apply. Do not drive or operate machinery. Do not take sedatives or stimulants. Do not carry small children or sleep next to young children. Do not rinse or brush near the surgical site. Do not smoke.
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