Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Oral Surgeons in Garden Grove Agree: Do What’s Comfortable for You

“Should I Opt for local or general anesthesia when it comes to my wisdom teeth?”

When it comes to getting wisdom teeth removed, patients are often provided with the option of having either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. While these two might sound similar, they’re actually quite different. Our team of oral surgeons in Garden Grove walks every patient through their anesthetic options (and the associated pros and cons) it’s understandable that many patients either still have questions or have simply forgotten what their oral surgeons briefed them on. This is understandable! Any surgery can be stressful, and sometimes the small details (like the difference between local and general anesthetic) fall by the wayside.
There are a number of available options when it comes to anesthesia during surgery — particularly during wisdom tooth surgery.  But when it comes to the solutions available, while some of the medications available are intended to control pain, sometimes simple relaxation or even complete sleep are necessary to create a comfortable experience for the patient during treatment.
When it comes to choosing the right anesthesia for you, your choice will ultimately rely on the actual procedure at hand, your allergy history, your health, and even the degree of your anxiety when it comes to the actual procedure.
Local Anesthesia vs General Anesthesia
When it comes to general anesthesia, most patients simply refer to it as “going under”. But it doesn’t have to sound so daunting. General anesthesia typically uses a combination of drugs (administered by an anesthesiologist) to produce a sleep-state where you are unconscious and feel no pain. Typically, general anesthesia comes in the form of either an intravenous drug, or one that you  breath — typically known as “sleeping gas”. Regardless of the type of general anesthetic that’s used,  the anesthesiologist (and usually a nurse) will monitor your vital signs, control your breathing, and ensure a safe procedure at all times.  The opposite of general anesthesia is local anesthesia, which is used (as the name suggests) to prevent and suppress pain in a very specific area of your mouth. This is done by blocking the nerves that transmit pain, and is applied by your dentist to prevent pain for the duration of the procedure. However, sometimes it can last a little longer, which encourages some patients to remain away from work for the day of their surgery.
Patients choose general anesthesia for a number of reasons. For some, it’s a fear of needles (used to apply anesthetic) and the anxiety of having “work” done in your mouth. From blood and saliva to the sound of the drill and everything that comes with it, general anesthesia makes all of the typical discomforts of surgery melt away. Other times, when the procedure is relatively minor and your dentist is confident the procedure will be comfortable enough, local anesthesia is often all that’s needed — leaving only a gentle tingling or tugging feeling instead of pain.
Do you have questions about anesthesia for your next dental procedure? Our team of oral surgeons are here in Garden Grove and Fountain Valley to help. Contact us to learn more. 

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