What is anesthesia?
The word ‘anesthesia’ means ‘loss of sensation’. Today, safe and effective methods of anesthesia allow surgery to be performed on millions of patients each year. You should know a few important things about anesthesia:
- most importantly, it stops you from feeling pain and other sensations during your treatment
- it can be given in various ways
- not all anesthesia makes you unconscious
- it can be directed to different parts of the body
Drugs that cause anesthesia work by blocking the signals that pass along your nerves to your brain. When the drugs wear off, you start to feel normal sensations again, including pain. Some of these medications work on your whole body, while some of the medications work directly on the nerves going to parts of your body.
What are the most common types of sedation dentistry or anesthesia offered today?
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): Light sedation which will last for the entire procedure. You will be able to drive yourself home after the treatment completion. You are conscious and aware during mild sedation, but stress is reduced.
Oral Sedation: To relax you, medication is taken 1 hour before your appointment. Make sure there is someone to accompany you and to drive you home. You are conscious and aware during mild sedation, but stress is reduced.
Nitrous Oxide & Oral Medication (Combined Sedation): Produces a feeling of complete relaxation. Produces a twilight-like sleep where you are responsive to verbal direction while you “daydream.” You might be aware of your procedure but you won’t feel or recall any pain. Make sure there is someone to accompany you and to drive you home.
Intravenous Sedation: For those who require a deep, sleep-like dental visit. Patients are sedated but awake and remember very little about the procedure or comments made. Make sure there is someone to accompany you and to drive you home. This is an excellent, safe, and predictable form of sedation for many patients.
General Anesthesia: An anaesthetic that allows for the deepest level of sedation. This is performed at Awake or Asleep by a medical anaesthetist. Patients will be asleep for the duration of the treatment(s) and supervised throughout by an anesthesiologist (medical doctor) and registered nurse (RN).
General anesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness during which you feel nothing and may be described as ‘anesthetized’. For some operations, general anesthesia may be the only option for safe care during surgery. In other operations, general anesthesia may be an alternative to regional anesthesia. During general anesthesia, anesthetic medications are injected into a vein, or anesthetic gases may be breathed into the lungs. When these medications are carried to the brain by the blood, they effectively “numb” the brain, and produce unconsciousness. Other medications are given to prevent pain and relax the muscles of the body. During general anesthesia, you may need assistance to support adequate breathing. In this case, you may have a breathing tube placed after you have fallen asleep. General anesthesia produces a period of controlled unconsciousness, which is quite different from sleep, and is also different from unconsciousness due to disease or injury. At the end of surgery, as the anesthetic drugs wear off, your consciousness starts to return
Bowmanville Dental Offers Sedation Dentistry
At Bowmanville Dental, we offer laughing gas, oral sedation and general anesthesia. You can learn more by calling us at 905-697-9799 or by sending us an email.