Anesthesia is used in the medical and dental fields to control pain during a surgery or procedure. It is performed by qualified anesthetist using medicine called anesthetics. This can help control a patient’s blood pressure, breathing, blood flow, and heart rate and rhythm. Sedation dentistry in dental clinics is commonly administered for a lot of major dental procedures.
Ambulatory anesthesia is another term for outpatient anesthesia which refers to the anesthesia administered to patients using short-acting anesthetic agents. It is proven to be safe, convenient and can be performed in different facilities such as a hospital, a freestanding surgical clinic or a private dental surgeon’s office. Anesthetists use specialized anesthetic techniques as well as maintenance care focused to the needs of the ambulatory patient.
Generally, patients who are in reasonably good health qualify for ambulatory anesthesia. However, as each person is unique, there will be no standard qualification to be complied with. The anesthetist will have to carefully evaluate the patient and his health conditions.
To do that, the anesthetist will have to gather the information he needs for the evaluation. The patient will be asked to answer a questionnaire focused on details or information about previous anesthetic history or experience. The patient will also be asked to disclose information about previous and present medical conditions, medications and allergies, if any.
Other than the questionnaire, an interview with the patient will be in order where several concerns, issues, questions may be exchanged between the patient and the anesthetist. From such interview, the following information are gathered to serve as a guideline for patients having anesthesia:
- Patient should not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours before anesthesia is administered.
- Smoking patients will be asked to refrain from smoking prior to the procedure.
- Arrangements need to be made for a responsible adult to accompany the patient to and from the dental clinic or hospital.
- A responsible adult should also accompany the patient at home for at least 24 hours.
- Taking of existing medications should be discussed with the anesthetist.
- The anesthetist will review the patient’s medical and anesthesia history and records. He will also answer any concerns of the patient prior to administering the anesthetics.
- Blood pressure cuff, EKG, pulse oximeter and other monitoring devices will be attached to the patient for proper safety monitoring.
- Patient should wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes during the surgery.
The anesthetist is generally responsible for the patient’s comfort and well-being in terms of before and after the dental procedure. During the procedure, the anesthetist will manage the patient’s important body functions. Proper monitoring during and after the procedure is included in the anesthetist’s responsibility. Based on his assessment, the patient may be discharged at least after an hour of monitoring, if the anesthetist deems it safe for the patient to leave the dental clinic or office.
Postoperative rest is done at home where the patient may still feel some effects of the anesthetics such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, muscle aches, a sore throat and occasional headaches. Vomiting may occur but it’s less common. All of these side effects are self-limiting and expected to disappear with rest and time.
Be more informed about the use of general anesthesia in dentistry by talking to your Mississauga dentist.