Anesthesia Dental Question
Can I be asleep for my surgery?
Yes, as long as there is no medical condition that would make it unsafe. If you are anxious or apprehensive about the surgery, we have the capability to make sure you are asleep, comfortable and don’t recall any part of the surgery. You will likely not remember the “Novocaine” shot, sounds of the instruments or pressure from the procedure. If you have had a previous bad experience or would prefer to not remember any of the surgery, you will find this option very appealing. Dr. Gill takes great pride in making sure his patients are very comfortable.
Is it safe to be asleep? Am I going to wake up?
Our anesthesia technique does not include any intubation or paralysis, which is routine for hospital surgeries. Therefore the risk of major complications is very low (~1 in 70,000) and Dr. Gill’s track record of major complications from anesthesia is flawless. Furthermore, the numbing medicine is given after you are asleep. That means that we control the dosage of IV medication and the chance of overdosing is dramatically reduced. The IV Sedation is administered by Dr. Gill up to 10 times per day, five days per week. Our equipment is new and up-to-date and we are completely prepared for any and all emergencies. Dr. Gill has extensive training to handle any emergency situation, should it arise.
Will I remember any part of the surgery?
If you are young, healthy and have no history of medical problems, there is a greater than 95% chance that you will remember nothing from the surgery. Many people do not remember going home. However, there is a small percentage of people who have a very high tolerance to medication, either due to genetic predisposition or previous history of substance abuse, or who have difficult airway management issues (for example, severe sleep apnea). If you are in this group of patients, there is a small chance that you will remember some talking or conversation towards the end of surgery. This will not be a traumatic or painful memory, since you will be numb and will not be feeling any discomfort. Although our priority is your comfort, our ultimate goal is your safety.
Will I need an IV to be asleep?
Yes. The IV is the method we use to give the medication to help you fall asleep. If you have anxiety about the IV, you will be given an oral premedication such as Valium prior to the surgery to help get relaxed. To minimize any discomfort, we apply a freezing topical anesthetic. The IV is a small, child-size catheter; so it is much less traumatic than a conventional emergency room IV. For most of our patients, the IV is not stressful.
What are the side effects of the anesthesia?
With our method of anesthesia, the chance of undesirable side effects is greatly reduced. There is always a risk of nausea and vomiting from any anesthesia. Since the total amount of medication is less than for a conventional hospital anesthesia, the probability of this side effect is significantly lessened. Also, there is a small percentage of people who become emotional or combative when waking up from the anesthesia. They are not crying because they are hurting; rather, it is a side effect of the medication. Most of the time these patients do not remember their reactions, but it can be difficult for loved ones to witness. It is only temporary for a few hours after the surgery and there are no long-term effects.
Are there any contraindications to the I.V. Sedation in the office?
Our age limit is approximately 6 years of age. Patients younger than 6 will be evaluated on a case by case basis as some of these cases are done best in an out patient surgical facility/ hospital setting.
Is there an anesthesiologist present at the surgery?
Dr. Gill is a diplomate of the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology and a Fellow of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiologists. He also completed a 4 year residency that consisted being part of the medical anesthesiology department at Loma Linda University with extensive training in outpatient anesthesia. Dr. Gill is also certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. He is an extremely well qualified expert in the field, and has performed thousands of cases.