Anesthesia is defined as the loss of sensation with or without the loss of consciousness.

One of the specific skills involved in the training of an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon is the administration of safe and effective anesthesia.  During an oral surgeon’s training, he or she spends on average about 800 hours of training devoted entirely to administering various anesthesia to patients ranging from local anesthesia to general anesthesia.  As Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons Drs. Haas, Stich, Kurtzman, Pearson, Sundick, Neuner, McMahon, Spanel, Omlie, Ziegler and Afwerke are specifically trained in administering anesthesia that follows the most up to date safe and effective techniques and monitoring equipment, ensuring that each patient will be as comfortable and as pain free as possible. 

Depending upon a patient’s medical history and the proposed surgical procedures various anesthesia techniques can be used.  The most common techniques used by the Drs at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants are:

Local anesthesia: 

This type of anesthesia involves administering anesthetic such as lidocaine to numb the area where an oral surgical procedure is going to be performed.  Local anesthesia is used is almost every single surgical procedure completed.  This type of anesthesia is typically used for simple extractions, biopsies, and other minor procedures.

Nitrous Oxide: (laughing gas)

This type anesthesia involves the patient inhaling a combined mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide through his or her nose to experience the effects.  Nitrous oxide has long been used in the field of dentistry and oral surgery due to its ability to provide both a sedative and a analgesic effect.  While a patient is receiving this medication, the patient remains conscious but remains in a more relaxed and calm stating during completion of a procedure.  This medication is delivered concurrently with local anesthesia.  Once the procedure is completed, the nitrous oxide is discontinued the effects of the gas are no longer present within 3-5 minutes. With this type of anesthetic, the patient is still able to eat and drinking normally prior to the procedure and have no driving restrictions post operatively.

Intravenous Sedation:

This type of anesthesia involves placing an IV into a patient’s vein typically on the back of the hand or in the middle portion of the arm where it bends.  The patient additionally has several monitors attached to him or herself in order keep the patient safe during the procedure. During the administration of the type of anesthesia, three providers including the surgeon, a dental assistant and a nurse are present. Various different medications can be administered, and a detailed description of the medications will be discussed and reviewed with each patient at the time of consultation and procedure. Depending on the patient’s medical history and procedure, this type of anesthesia will be used concurrently with local anesthesia, and it can be used for almost any surgical procedure. It is commonly used during the removal of impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth or procedures that are more complicated such as bone grafting or dental implant placement.

General Anesthesia:

This type of anesthesia is administered to a patient in a hospital or outpatient surgical center.  Depending on patient’s medical history or procedure needs, there are times when general anesthesia is necessary. This type of anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist and the patient is subsequently intubated with a breathing tube while the surgeon performs the procedure.  Patient requiring more complication procedures such as orthognathic surgery, jaw reconstruction, or management of trauma or infections are examples of procedures completed with this type of anesthesia.

Drs. Haas, Stich, Kurtzman, Pearson, Sundick, Neuner, McMahon, Spanel, Omlie, Ziegler and Afwerke primary goal when performing a procedure is the patient’s safety and well-being.  After a thorough review of a patient’s medical history and treatment needs, the Drs at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consults will ensure that each patient’s procedure is completed in the safest and most comfortable way.