One of the main reasons why oral surgeries and other complex dental treatments have become so simple and fast these days is modern anesthesia. That is, the administration of new-developed, efficient sedatives to help the patient relax. New types of anesthesia allow complex oral procedures to be performed easily without pain and with minimal side effects. In some cases, the patient is put to sleep throughout the process, allowing doctors to work quickly without interruptions.

Different types of oral surgery call for different types of anesthesia. The kind of anesthesia administered depends on the complexity of the surgery, the patient’s overall health, and the patient’s preference. Here are the three main anesthesia options for oral surgery.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is injected straight into the surgical site, usually the gum around the problematic area. You see this type of anesthesia in minor oral procedures that don’t require a lot of time to complete. Cavity filling is a typical example. The patient is awake throughout the procedure but doesn’t feel pain. The only discomfort that you may feel is that of the apparatus. One of the problems with this type of anesthesia is the numbness in the cheeks, gums, and lips afterward. This feeling might last for a few hours after the surgery.

IV/Monitored Sedation

IV sedation, also referred to as twilight sedation or monitored anesthesia, is a type of profound anesthesia that uses a venous tube to regulate the flow of sedatives to attain short-term but effective sedation. In most cases, patients remember conversations with their surgeon at the start and after the procedure, but can’t remember anything about the actual operation. IV sedation is suitable for simple procedures that require something more robust than local anesthesia. The effects of this anesthesia may last for several hours after the operation. Therefore, it is not safe to drive right after the surgery.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia uses the same sedatives used in IV sedation but delivers a more profound sedation experience. This type of anesthesia puts the patient to sleep completely throughout the procedure. Therefore, patients do not have the slightest memory of their time under sedation. General anesthesia is for complex or intensive oral procedures. For example, removing an impacted wisdom tooth, placement of dental implants, or any other elaborate oral surgery would call for general anesthesia. The after-effects can last for multiple hours after the surgery. Therefore, you must have a designated driver to drive you home after surgery. Always talk to your doctor about the best type of anesthesia for you.