When you are considering having dental implant surgery, you might be wondering what type of anesthesia will be used. For many who have fears about surgery, or just going to the dentist in general, the idea there might be pain involved, can cause much anxiety. The good news here, anesthesia will be used when you go in to have your dental implants placed. While you won’t feel the procedure at all, it can be unsettling to watch the surgeon perform. Certain dental offices may be able to offer different forms of anesthesia that can put you out during the entire procedure. Being completely unconscious, however, isn’t the usual protocol for dental implants. Let’s look at the varieties of implants a patient could receive and familiarize ourselves with what the surgery involves, then look at some of the types of anesthesia used.
“Since implant surgery is an oral surgery procedure, you will require some kind of anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the process. The type of anesthesia used depends upon how many implants you are having placed, the preference of your oral surgeon, and your personal comfort levels.”
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide a safe method of replacing a missing or damaged tooth root. Typically, dental implants are made from titanium which is biocompatible and works for just about everyone. Implant come in various heights and sizes to ensure the best placement. They can be inserted directly into the jawbone, or sit just below the gum. The traditional and most commonly used method is called endosteal. This technique of implanting will involve placing an implant device directly into the jawbone. It requires a healing period so the implant can fuse with the bone for the most secure results. The second option for tooth implants is subperiosteal. And this method allows a tightly fitted implant under the gum but not into the bone for a crown to be placed upon. This type of dental implant isn’t used as frequently. Instances, where an oral surgeon might choose this option, include a shallow jawbone, and the patient request not to build the bone up or it isn’t reasonably possible to do.
The type of tooth implant your oral surgeon will use is based on the condition of your mouth and what will yield the best results. Sometimes, the jaw has bone loss, in which case your surgeon may require a bone graft for added support. If a patient needs to have a bone graft done, the surgery is a little more extensive and involves harvesting bone from another part of the body. Whichever option is chosen, anesthesia will be used to ensure a pain-free experience during the procedure.
What Type of Anesthesia is Available?
Anesthesia is designed for patients not to feel pain when having procedures performed. It varies from just having a spot numbed completely, to a patient being entirely unconscious. For dental implants your oral surgeon can use one of three options. It will depend on one how complicated the procedure is, and what you are comfortable with doing. The process itself doesn’t change, no matter the type of anesthesia used, but what a patient experiences will. Most oral surgeons will make accommodations to help put their patients at ease. Discussing your options or concerns before surgery is essential.
Local- Local Anesthetic is used when a patient is having one or two implants placed. Because the procedure time is much less than that of multiple implants, many surgeons prefer to use a local. Local anesthesia will numb the area that is being worked on, and you will be awake during the procedure. For most patients, this type is sufficient to make them comfortable during a dental implant procedure.
General– The use of a general anesthetic most commonly appears when bone grafting takes place. If your surgeon needs to harvest bone from one part of your body to supplement the jaw bone, he or she will use this type. Under general anesthesia, you will be completely asleep and not feel or remember any part of the surgery. For only a few dental implants, a general is not the best option. If full sedation can be avoided, it is best too. There can be complications from general anesthesia, and if you have never been under before you and your surgeon won’t know how you will react to it.
Conscious Sedation- Some oral surgeons offer a form of anesthesia called conscious sedation. Conscious sedation can be either nitrous oxide or medication that will produce a dream-like state. While under this form of sedation you will be completely aware and responsive but extremely relaxed. If this option is used, a local will be administered to the site in which the oral surgeon is working. For those with extreme dental anxiety, the use of medication or nitrous oxide can be beneficial.
In most cases, it is preferred that a patient use a local or a local in combination with conscious sedation. Unless there is a need for general, it is typically unnecessary. In any case, dental implant surgery does require the use of some form of anesthesia. If you are concerned about the procedure and want to know what options are available, you should discuss with your specialist any questions before the day of surgery.
Related article: What is the Recovery Time for Dental Implants?