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Anesthesia and Sedation

Here at the Pennsylvania Center for Periodontology, we realize that sometimes patients may delay treatment because they are worried about pain during the procedure and offer several ways to keep you comfortable and relaxed during your treatment time with us. The idea of periodontal surgery can be intimidating, which is why our team is dedicated to making sure that we provide you with the latest techniques when it comes to administering anesthesia and offering pain and anxiety management during periodontal surgery.  

During your consultation, you can discuss anesthesia and sedation options such as the following:

LOCAL ANESTHESIA (NUMBING)

This common technique is used to numb the area of treatment and is administered by either our periodontist or our dental hygienists. Often referred to as ‘novocaine’ in the past, we now use the latest local anesthetics so we can safely and effectively keep you comfortable during the procedure by temporarily blocking pain in the localized area. This numb feeling typically lasts a few hours after the surgery. With local anesthesia, you can drive yourself home after your procedure.

NITROUS OXIDE

Many people know nitrous oxide as ‘laughing gas’, which can be used to relax you or make you less nervous about your periodontal treatment. Nitrous oxide is used in combination with local anesthesia to make your experience calm and comfortable. Because the effects of nitrous oxide wear off relatively quickly, you may be able to drive yourself home but should discuss that with your periodontist prior to the visit.

MINIMAL SEDATION (ANXIOLYSIS/ORAL SEDATION)

Despite modern anesthetic techniques, patients are often nervous about the procedure, which is why there are options to help reduce your fears. This sedation technique uses a pill or liquid taken orally prior to the procedure and is quite effective for managing fear and anxiety before and during periodontal therapy. This option is used in combination with local anesthesia and other pain medications.  

During your consultation, you may choose to receive a prescription for oral medication to take prior to the procedure to help relax you while you are awake for the visit. For this type of sedation, you will need to have someone drive you to and from the visit.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA

General anesthesia is the method that doctors use to put patients in a sleep-like state using a combination of medications that prevent the patient from feeling pain and experiencing the surgery by basically blocking the brain from receiving pain signals while you are in surgery.

While this method of anesthesia is not as common in periodontal surgery, the option of general anesthesia is available because we are partnered with Alfano Oral Surgery in our facility. The oral surgery team is specially trained to administer general anesthesia for procedures when necessary. 

While you are under anesthesia, the doctor will monitor your vital functions and breathing to ensure that you are safe through the procedure. When receiving general anesthesia, you will need a ride home after your appointment.

If you need periodontal surgery but have been putting it off because of fear of pain or the idea of the procedure makes you nervous, discuss ways that we can help reduce those fears through sedation options.  We can talk to you about the methods that are available for your procedure and how they can be administered safely and effectively for a comfortable experience.