General Anesthesia Ensures Comfort during Major Dental Work
For patients in need of extensive dental work, Dr. Danny O’Keefe offers general anesthesia, also known as sleep dentistry, for optimal comfort and efficiency. This type of sedation can be highly advantageous to our patients, because it allows us to combine multiple treatments into a single procedure. This process can minimize your time spent in the dentist's chair and reduce the overall cost of your treatment. As safety is our top priority at our Flowood, MS, dental practice, Dr. O’Keefe works with experienced anesthesiologists to ensure your health at every stage of the procedure.
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia is a unique form of sedation that induces unconsciousness during a dental procedure. Unlike oral sedatives and intravenous (IV) sedation, in which patients remain conscious and can respond to questions and directions, sleep dentistry results in a near-sleep state and a complete unawareness of one's surroundings. Patients under general anesthesia cannot be easily roused until the effects of the medication wear off.
General anesthesia is similar to IV sedation in that it is administered intravenously. However, under general anesthesia, your body’s normal functions are suppressed. During a procedure requiring general anesthesia, an experienced anesthesiologist will be present to monitor your vitals and ensure your safety. Before your procedure, Dr. O'Keefe can answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding sleep dentistry to put you at ease.
When Is it Used?
Dr. O'Keefe typically only uses general anesthesia to ensure your comfort during extensive dental procedures. He may recommend using general anesthesia when performing oral surgery. In addition, sleep dentistry is a good option for patients undergoing multiple procedures in a single visit. Combining treatments is common during full mouth reconstruction and smile makeovers.
Benefits and Risks of General Anesthesia
The biggest benefit of sleep dentistry is that it allows Dr. O’Keefe to complete more advanced procedures in a single appointment, minimizing your recovery time and helping to reduce your overall expense. In addition, combining procedures helps to reduce your risk of repeat treatments, which could be necessary if the structure of your smile shifts over an extended procedure timeline. General anesthesia has an amnesic effect, ensuring that patients have no memory of their procedure. This aspect can assure your complete comfort during even the most involved surgeries or treatment.
If you are undergoing an extensive procedure like full mouth reconstruction or oral surgery, sleep dentistry may be right for you.
Though it can be highly beneficial for the right patients, sleep dentistry is not risk-free. While serious side effects are rare, risks may include:
- Heart attack
- Rise or drop in blood pressure
- Complications with the placement of a breathing tube
- Allergic reaction to medications
For patients who are in good overall health, the potential for these serious risks is incredibly low. After being roused from general anesthesia, patients may experience minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting. These are common and subside relatively quickly.
Find Out if Sleep Dentistry is Right For You
If you have dental fears or anxiety, Dr. O'Keefe may recommend a form of sedation for minor procedures. However, if you are undergoing an extensive procedure like full mouth reconstruction or oral surgery, sleep dentistry may be right for you. To learn more, contact our office by calling (601) 936-2526 or filling out our online form.