Dentist in CA demystifies general anesthesia and sedation dentistry
Sedation has been part of dentistry since the mid-1800s. Yet there are many misperceptions about general anesthesia and sedation dentistry. Dr. Carlos Garcia shares this insight to help patients in CA area make informed care decisions.
Myth #1 – Sedation blocks pain
Sedation induces a sense of peaceful relaxation or sleep. It calms anxiety centers in the brain, but it does not block or stop pain. Local numbing is used in conjunction with sedation.
- Dr. Garcia offers three types of sedation:
Nitrous oxide – Inhaled gas produces a carefree emotional state quickly. It is a good choice for pediatric patients and anyone with anxiety about needles. The effect wears off immediately.
- Oral conscious sedation – A pill before your appointment provides hours of calming. This level of sedation helps to relax your body, too, so it is good for tense patients or long procedures.
- IV sedation – Administered into a vein, it produces a deeper level of relaxation, although you are not unconscious. Dosage can be adjusted during treatment, to ensure continued comfort.
Myth #2 – General anesthesia is just a bigger dose of sedation
General anesthesia is a different concept than sedation. Usually a combination of potent intravenous medication and inhaled gas, it anesthetizes the brain. Vital signs must be carefully monitored while under general anesthesia, since it depresses respiratory and cardiovascular function. General anesthesia is used for complex oral surgeries, such as impacted wisdom teeth.
Myth #3 – All dentists can use sedation
Technically, any dentist licensed to practice in California may administer nitrous oxide or prescribe most types of oral conscious sedation, so long as he or she has obtained proper permits. However, additional training and experience in sedation dentistry with patients of all ages is helpful.
General anesthesia may only be administered by a dentist who has completed an accredited advanced education program.
There is no mystery that you are in good hands with Dr. Garcia. Call (818) 290-8788 to schedule an appointment.