Several methods of anesthesia are available. The method of anesthesia that is chosen for or by a patient depends upon the nature of the surgical procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension. The following table illustrates the choices of anesthesia, a description of the anesthetic technique, and the usual indications for that technique.

  • Types of Anesthesia
  • Method Local Anesthetic
    Description of Technique The patient remains totally conscious throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (e.g. lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anesthetic is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery procedures.
    Usual Indications Simple oral surgery procedures such as minor soft tissue procedures and simple tooth extractions.
  • Method Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic
    Description of Technique A mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen is administered through a nasal breathing apparatus. The patient remains conscious in a relaxed condition. Nitrous oxide has a sedative and analgesic (pain- controlling) effect.
    Usual Indications Simple oral surgery procedures to more involved procedures such as removal of wisdom teeth and placement of dental implants.
  • Method Office Based General Anesthesia with Local Anesthetic*
    Description of Technique Medications are administered through an intravenous line (I.V.). The patient falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Medications most commonly used are Fentanyl (opiate), Versed (benzodiazepine), Ketamine, and Diprivan. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored.
    Usual Indications General anesthesia is available for all types of oral surgery. A patient may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implant placed will choose general anesthesia. General anesthesia may be necessary if local anesthesia fails to anesthetize the surgical site which often occurs in the presence of infection.
  • Method Hospital or Surgery Center Based General Anesthesia
    Description of Technique A patient is admitted to a hospital or surgery center where anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist.
    Usual Indications Indicated for patients undergoing extensive procedures such as face and jaw reconstruction and TMJ surgery. Also indicated for patients with medical conditions such as heart disease or lung disease who require general anesthesia.

To administer general anesthesia in the office, an oral surgeon must have completed at least three months of hospital based anesthesia training. Qualified applicants will then undergo an in- office evaluation by a state dental board appointed examiner. The examiner observes an actual surgical procedure during which general anesthesia is administered to the patient. The examiner also inspects all monitoring devices and emergency equipment and tests the doctor and the surgical staff on anesthesia related emergencies. If the examiner reports successful completion of the evaluation process, the state dental board will issue the doctor a license to perform general anesthesia. The license is renewable every two years if the doctor maintains the required amount of continuing education units related to anesthesia.

Again, when it comes to anesthesia, our first priority is the patient’s comfort and safety. If you have any concerns regarding the type of anesthesia that will be administered during your oral surgery procedure, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your doctor at the time of your consultation.

Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)

Our office offers our patients the option of Intravenous Sedation or Dental Intravenous Anesthesia or to some it is referred to as “Twilight Sedation” for their dental treatment. Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures. Your treatment can be completed under intravenous sedation. Intravenous sedation or “IV sedation” (twilight sedation) is designed to better enable you to undergo your dental procedures while you are very relaxed; it will enable you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may be very uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep – a “twilight sleep”.

If you choose the option of intravenous sedation your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by the doctor therefore eliminating the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same day surgical facility.

How is the IV Sedation Administered?

A thin needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. At times a patient’s vein may not be maintainable, in these situations the medications will be administered and the needle retrieved – both scenarios will achieve the same desired level of conscious sedation. Once again some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all.

The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed. It is very safe, much safer than oral sedation. With IV sedation a constant “drip” is maintained via the intravenous tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary. Along with IV sedation there are also other different “levels” of sedation available to you in our office. There is nitrous oxide analgesia.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet smelling, non irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

There are very few reasons to NOT use nitrous oxide.  If you are pregnant or have had recent eye retina surgery, you may not be a candidate for nitrous oxide. You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.

Oakley Oral Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 12 Anesthesia reviews

Patient Review By Jannie C

The entire experience, from the time I scheduled my initial consultation to the extraction appointment, Dr. Oakley and the staff have been wonderful. Very engaging and comforting through everything. Although dental procedures are not high on my list of pleasant experiences, Oakley Oral Surgery has made it almost painless. I fully anticipate having the same level of care as I proceed through the healing towards implant placement. I would highly recommend this practice!

- Jannie C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Christopher N

I was completely satisfied with the professionalism and friendly way in which my daughter and I were treated by the staff. I'll definitely recommend the office to friends and family.

- Christopher N

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Kurt J

Dr. Oakley, the front office, and his team did an amazing job of making me feel comfortable throughout my entire implant process, while keeping me well informed. I would recommend Dr. Oakley to anyone I know needing the expertise of an oral surgeon, especially if they have a need for a dental implant.

- Kurt J

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Megan W

Everyone was kind, explained the procedure in terms I could understand, and I especially loved the Sheridan's ice cream that was given after the procedure!!

- Megan W

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Sarah B

Fabulous office! I highly recommend them!

- Sarah B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Dette S

My son had his wisdom teeth taken out by Dr. Oakley and his staff. Amazing job and his recovery time was minimal. They did a great job of making sure they explained everything. Great job by everyone!

- Dette S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Dylan K

The entire process was excellent. From the consultation to the surgery, Dr. Oakley, the front office and surgical team provided the best care and service.

- Dylan K

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Katie J

We are not only patients of Dr Oakley but, I had the pleasure of being a part of his staff. I would not see anyone else. I have seen first hand the excellence that Dr Oakley asks of himself and his staff. He was also one of the best bosses I have ever had!!

- Katie J

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Cecilia S

The front office and surgical team were both very professional and helpful.

- Cecilia S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Annabelle R

We could not be more pleased with our experience at this office. Dr. Oakley is talented and down-to-earth. The staff was friendly and put us at ease. We highly recommend this practice!

- Annabelle R

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Biff B

Dr Oakley had a difficult situation with me he had to take out 4 failed implants that were done by another dr. Dr Oakley and his staff did a beautiful and fantastic job. I knew going in the issues potential nerve damage and doc you did great thank you!

- Biff B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Ron B

Wow, fantastic experience. Staff was amazing. Dr. Oakley is a talented doctor. Thank you! I love my new dental implant. I can eat anything again!!!

- Ron B

5 out of 5 stars on