Injection or intravenous (into a vein) methods require more experience to be administered and monitored properly. Injections and intravenous medications should be used only by dentists with extensive training in these techniques.
General anesthesia puts a patient into a deep sleep. He or she is unable to feel pain or to move around. General anesthesia may be recommended if the patient:
- Can't relax or calm down enough for treatment to be performed safely, even with conscious sedation and other behavior management techniques
- Needs oral surgery or other dental treatment that would be difficult for the patient to tolerate while awake
- Needs a lot of dental work that can best be done in one long appointment rather than many shorter visits
- Has a medical, physical or emotional disability that limits his or her ability to understand directions and be treated safely as an outpatient
Some general dentists have received training and a certification in general anesthesia, while others contract with an anesthesiologist. These professionals are trained to deliver the medications and monitor patients during the procedure and handle any complications that may occur.
We will carefully monitor the amount of medication you receive so that it will begin wearing off shortly after your procedure is complete. Once your procedure is finished, you may still feel slightly groggy, so you must have a friend or loved one drive you home following treatment. Patients are advised to avoid any strenuous or hazardous activities for the rest of the day, and they should not drive. You can gradually begin eating after treatment, but you should start with lighter foods in order to prevent nausea. Alcohol should be avoided for the rest of the day. If you are taking any medications, we recommend telling your doctor you plan to undergo IV sedation so that he or she can provide any special instructions necessary to maintain your safety.