Did you know that about 60,000 people across the country have surgery under general anesthesia every day? It’s become an incredibly common procedure for those receiving surgery, oral or otherwise. Of course, it’s understandable if you have some reservations about your first time. Some of the most common questions reference what the experience will be like and what you should do after the treatment is over.
Today, an oral surgeon in Dallas is prepared to discuss the process in more detail, so you can properly establish your expectations prior to treatment.
What Does General Anesthesia Feel Like?
General anesthesia affects the entire body, unlike local anesthetic which is typically only for localized areas. Local anesthetic includes Novocain, which is designed to numb the area that’s being operated on. General anesthesia is more appropriate for longer procedures or for individuals who have significant anxiety with dental treatments.
Overall, general anesthesia involves three stages. This includes induction (falling asleep) maintenance (staying asleep) and recovery (for waking up.) Unlike other methods of sedation which keep you partially awake, general anesthesia makes you completely unconscious. That means you won’t feel any discomfort whatsoever and have a separate doctor monitoring your vital signs to ensure your safety and health. When administered by a professional, it is considered a completely safe procedure.
The drugs that trigger sedation are typically provided intravenously. During this process, the doctor will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing.
How Do I Wake Up?
Once your treatment is complete, the drugs will slowly be reduced so that you can be taken out of sleep. Unlike typical sleep, no amount of poking or prodding will wake you up accidentally. This ensures that you not only experience no pain or discomfort, but carry no memory of the procedure itself. This is a side effect many patients prefer, especially if they have dental anxiety or fear.
What Side Effects Should I Be Aware Of?
Upon awakening, you may feel some soreness, which is common after any surgery. Your recovery rate will largely vary depending on a few different factors, such as your age and genetics. Approximately 40 percent of adults and one third of children who undergo general anesthesia experience lingering confusion and thinking problems after surgery, in some cases for a few days.
For these reasons, it’s required that you have a friend or family member prepared to drive you to and from the practice on your surgery date. They must remain in the practice so they are prepared to take you home when necessary. After any surgery, you should rest and give the anesthesia time to properly wear off before resuming daily activities like work.
Don’t be afraid of general anesthesia. You have a professional taking care of you. If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to schedule an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Brown earned his dental degree from the University of Maryland. Thanks to his achievements in oral surgery, he received the Edgar J. Jacques Memorial Award. His clinical interests include dental implants and outpatient anesthesia. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.