Frequently asked questions
Is Anesthesia Safe?
Anesthesia and sedation performed for typical dental procedures are very safe, especially for healthy patients. This is why all patients have a pre-anesthesia evaluation. Although the risk is not zero, as some level of risk is associated with every activity, we make anesthesia safe by implementing rigorous standards, training, and incorporating a team of qualified personnel.
This team includes you the patient, or you as the parent. Therefore, to make this procedure as safe as possible, it is imperative that you follow the preoperative and postoperative instructions..
What distinguishes our practice from others is all of our dentists have completed multi-year Anaesthesia residencies in that focused on Dental Anesthesia at the University of Toronto and are some of the few dentists in Ontario licenced to provide all levels of sedation including deep sedation and general anaesthesia. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Blackmore both have the distinction of being considered certified specialists in Dental Anaesthesia.
Different levels of anesthesia?
For most patients 'general anesthesia' means being 'asleep'. It differs from a 'sedation' in that patients are completely unconscious. In this state surgery can be performed without any awareness on the part of the patient. From the patient's perspective the entire procedure is over in the blink of an eye. This is an ideal technique for procedures such as wisdom tooth removal.
In our office Unconscious Sedation (also known as Deep Sedation) and General Anesthesia is induced through the intravenous administration of a series of medications. Only practitioners with formal multiyear residency training and education in anesthesia are permitted to practice this type of anesthesia. General dentists are NOT allowed to administer this type of sedation!
We do not routinely need to place a breathing tube down the airway or connect patients to ventilators. This makes recovery very fast. It is a similar unconscious sedation as having a colonoscopy. During the procedure we monitor your heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing continuously. Our nursing staff is well trained and certified in advanced resuscitation techniques. Our facility and equipment are routinely inspected by our regulatory body. To reduce risks to our patients we review your general health at the consultation. Individuals with ongoing breathing problems (such as asthma), heart conditions, uncontrolled diabetes or kidney failure may not be suitable for an office anesthetic. Although nausea and vomiting are rare with the medications we now use, we still require all patients who recieve intravenous medications to come on an empty stomach.
Intravenous Conscious Sedation makes use of some of the same medications used in general anesthesia. The combination and dose of medication induces a state of light sleep. Patients can be roused easily. This technique in combination with local freezing allows patients to have their surgery in a very comfortable state while still feeling that they are 'in control'.
Nitrous Oxide or 'Laughing Gas' makes most people somewhat giddy and feeling at ease. It is not suitable for individuals who are very nervous about their surgery.
What's to expect after an anesthetic?
Most patients regain alertness soon after stopping anesthesia but remain sleepy or groggy for the next few hours. When deemed safe, you may be escorted by a responsible adult directly home via private car or taxi. Rest in the company of your escort, drink lots of fluids, and avoid exercise or activities requiring balance. Do not make any financial, business, retail, or decisions involving money. Do not operate heavy machinery or vehicle for the next 24hrs