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General Anesthesia


Sedation gloved hand holding breathing mask to sleeping patient face.Oral and facial surgery procedures are often complex in nature. They can take time to complete and can be invasive. For many patients, this can be enough to induce fear and anxiety over getting necessary procedures done. You may become nervous, tense, and unable to sit still. While local anesthetics are administered to prevent you from feeling any pain, they do nothing to ease your nerves. Moderate conscious sedation, such as oral and IV sedation, may be an option, but this, too, is often not enough. At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, many of our surgical procedures are done under general anesthesia.

What is General Anesthesia?


General anesthesia is the strongest form of sedation. It uses a combination of inhaled gasses along with intravenous, or IV, medication to render you completely unconscious. Under general anesthesia, you are unable to respond, and you do not feel any pain while we perform your necessary procedures.

The medication goes to work quickly, and you are asleep within seconds after the medications are administered. You are monitored the entire time during your procedure. We keep track of all of your vitals, including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, your temperature, and your fluid levels. We can adjust fluids if necessary and ensure that you stay asleep while we work. When your procedure is complete, medication is administered that will gently bring you out of sleep.

Why Get General Anesthesia?


There are several different types of sedation, so why get general anesthesia? There are a few different reasons why we may recommend this particular sedative, including:
•  You have a high tolerance for moderate sedatives. In this case, general anesthesia may be required when another patient may only need oral or IV sedation.
•  You are so anxious that you are unable to cooperate even under a moderate sedative.
•  You are undergoing a more traumatic surgical procedure, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth that are blocked by bone.
•  Your procedure is rather complex, or will take several hours to complete.

Preparing for Your Appointment


There is some preparation that will need to be done prior to undergoing treatment with general anesthesia. First, it is important that you avoid eating and drinking anything at least six to eight hours before your scheduled appointment. In many cases this restriction also includes water. If you take any regular medications, be sure to take them as directed, unless otherwise instructed. In this instance, a small sip of water is permitted. Be sure to come to your appointment dressed in comfortable clothing. We will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your procedure prior to your appointment.

Is General Anesthesia Safe?


General anesthesia is considered safe, but it is only used when necessary. We take every measure to ensure your safety, and you are monitored closely throughout the duration of your procedure. When you wake up, you will feel groggy, and it can take several hours for the effects to wear off. The effects will diminish as time goes on, but they can linger for up to 24 hours after the completion of your procedure. It is important that you have a responsible driver to take you home and that you take it easy while you recover.

With general anesthesia, you sleep throughout your entire procedure, remaining completely relaxed while we work. When you wake up, you will have no recollection of the procedure at all. For more information, call Dallas Oral Surgery Associates at 972-733-0414 today.
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