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Anesthesia and Sedation for Dentistry

Dentist Anesthesiologists are trained in all aspects of pain and anxiety control, which is important, as not all patients require the same anesthetic technique. The determination of the proper anesthetic plan is determined by the following considerations:

  • Fear and anxiety level
  • Gag reflex
  • Procedural complexity
  • Medical history
  • Age
  • Mental development
  • Local anesthetic effectiveness

After reviewing the patient’s medical history and surgical plan, Dentist Anesthesiologists are able to formulate an anesthetic plan. This plan may include one or more of the following techniques:

  • Oral sedation (mainly for preoperative anxiolysis)
  • Intravenous moderate sedation (depressed level of consciousness, easily arousable)
  • Deep sedation (depressed level of consciousness, not easily arousable)
  • General anesthesia (unconscious, not arousable)

Airway management for the generally anesthetized (unconscious) patient depends on a number of variables and would include one of the following techniques:

  • Open airway- indicated for procedures with minimal water usage and bleeding
  • Laryngeal mask airway- an elliptical mask which is seated over the larynx and maintains good airway patency
  • Oral/nasal endotracheal intubation- indicated for procedures with significant water usage and bleeding and compromised airway patency

Dentist anesthesiologists are trained to the level of proficiency (efficient and competent) in all these techniques. In addition, Dentist Anesthesiologists understand the pharmacology of oral and parenteral drugs and can titrate the combination of different routes of drug delivery (oral/intramuscular/intravenous) resulting in a safe and effective anesthetic.

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