Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are unique among general dentists and the other dental specialties in that they have received extensive formal training in anesthesia. This training is part of their residency and it is within the department of anesthesiology of the hospital system in which they trained. The training includes everything from starting an IV to advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). These procedures are repeated many times during the four to five year hospital residency. Certification in ACLS is required to maintain a standard of care in the office setting.
The choice of anesthesia is between the patient and the doctor. It is best made after an informative consultation. Your initial consultation is very important to your overall treatment plan. Dr. Overbeck will discuss the specifics of your exam and the surgical procedure that may need to be performed. She will also review your medical history and evaluate your anesthetic needs and risks. The anesthetic may vary from a local anesthetic to what is considered a general anesthetic in the office. After the course of anesthesia is decided, you will be given specific instructions either by Dr. Overbeck or the trained office staff.
Undergoing intravenous anesthesia and surgery at our office is similar to having surgery and anesthesia at the hospital day surgery facility. However, there are differences in the anesthesia techniques; specifically, you will not be intubated, (a tube placed into the lungs to breathe) and it is usually less complicated and has a much shorter recovery time at our office than at the day surgery facility. You will be monitored with similar equipment as in day surgery. Once you are taken to the surgical suite, one of our trained surgical assistants will place a number of monitors, these include an automatic blood pressure monitor, a electrocardiogram, and a pulse oximeter.
Dr. Overbeck will start the intravenous line herself. This is for the administration of fluids and medications. You will receive oxygen via a nasal cannula that fits comfortably underneath your nose. Most patients receive a combination of medications which may include Versed (a tranquilizer) and Fentanyl (a narcotic), among other medications. Also, medications may be used to decrease swelling, prevent nausea, and/or to help dry salivary flow. Once you are sleepy a local anesthetic will be administered.
After surgery, you will be allowed to recover (wake-up) for a period of time. While you are recovering your vital signs will be monitored. Once you are stable and awake you will be discharged to the care of your ride home.