The choice of anesthesia is always a personal decision and should be made only after an informative consultation. During your initial consultation with Dr. Rayher, you will discuss the specifics of your treatment plan, your medical history, and your level of anxiety to determine which anesthesia option is ideal for you. Some procedures, due to their nature, require the use of general anesthesia or IV sedation, whereas others are best accomplished under local anesthesia.

What is local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia involves administration of a Novocaine shot that numbs or freezes a small area so surgery can be performed without altering consciousness. Using only a local anesthetic, the patient is completely alert and fully aware of his or her surroundings. Local anesthesia does not decrease the patient’s level of anxiety towards the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery procedures.

What is nitrous oxide sedation?

Nitrous oxide sedation can be a useful sedative and analgesic aid for oral surgery procedures. Nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that you can breathe through a nasal breathing apparatus. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients remain conscious in a relaxed condition and can breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

What is office intravenous anesthesia?

Intravenous sedation (or twilight sleep) helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures. Intravenous sedation is designed to enable you to tolerate, as well as not remember, those procedures that may be uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep, but you will be comfortable, calm, and relaxed.

Are oral and maxillofacial surgeons qualified to administer anesthesia?

The ability to provide patients with safe and effective outpatient anesthesia is a unique ability acquired by oral and maxillofacial surgeons during their medical training. As the surgical specialists of the dental profession, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. Following dental school, Dr. Rayher completed a four-year hospital-based surgical residency program alongside medical residents in general surgery, anesthesia, and other specialties, where he was taught the skills to administer anesthesia to patients safely. This includes IV sedation, general anesthesia, airway management and intubation techniques, as well as complete training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). At Union Square Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in San Francisco, CA, it is our chief goal to make your surgical experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible while maintaining the highest level of safety.