As a highly-trained and qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Arroyo has extensive training and experience in all aspects of anesthesia administration, ensuring the highest level of comfort and safety for the patients she serves. A number of anesthesia options are made available to patients, with the best options in any particular case dependent upon a factors that include the procedure or treatment to be performed and the medical history, pain tolerance and anxiety level of the patient.

Anesthesia Options

Options that may be offered to patients to ensure their comfort include:
  • Local Anesthesia – This option generally consists of the use of numbing agents, such as novacaine, which are injected into soft tissues to temporarily deaden nerves in a given treatment area. Used on its own, local anesthesia will eliminate pain, but patients may still feel some pressure during treatment. Local anesthesia is used in the majority of oral surgery procedures, often in combination with other anesthesia options, such as nitrous oxide or mild sedation.
  • Nitrous Oxide – Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is an inhaled anesthesia option, delivered, mixed with oxygen, via a nasal mask. Since it is very mild, it is rarely used on its own, but in combination with local anesthesia. This option offers effective relief of pain and discomfort and is cleared from the system very quickly.
  • Oral Sedation – Patients who choose this option are prescribed oral medications to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before their scheduled procedures. Combined with local anesthesia, this option can offer a greater level of comfort to patients than nitrous oxide, especially those who tend to feel some anxiety during dental procedures.
  • Conscious IV Sedation – This anesthesia method uses an IV port to deliver sedative medications directly into the bloodstream. Patients are generally conscious during their procedures, but are sufficiently sedated as to be unaware of any pain or discomfort. In fact, many have no recollection of the procedure at all once the anesthesia has cleared from their systems. Local anesthesia is generally also administered with this option.
  • Deep IV Sedation – This option also uses sedative medications administered via IV, but offers more potent sedation that ensures that patients are unconscious through most or all of their treatment.

It is important to note that while patients who choose local anesthesia or nitrous oxide will be perfectly capable of driving themselves home after treatment, all other options will require alternate transportation arrangements. Patients who use oral sedation will need someone to drive them in for treatment, since medications are taken well before surgery. Both oral and IV sedation do involve a hang-over effect, taking 8 to 12 hours to clear from the system completely, so for patients that choose these options, having someone available to drive them home after treatment is essential.

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