Who is it for?: Patients with severe anxiety or patients who don’t respond to oral sedation
General anesthesia is for those with severe anxiety, don’t respond to oral sedation, can’t sit still, undergoing an invasive procedure, or have developmental disabilities. While you are under general anesthesia, nerve signals in your brain and body are interrupted so you can’t process pain or remember anything that has happened. After being administered general anesthesia, you’ll fall asleep in minutes and the procedure will be over before you know it. While you’re sleeping, your breathing, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, and fluid levels will all be monitored to ensure your safety. The level of sedation is easily changed in response to how quickly your body can metabolize the anesthetic. Very few dental offices have a license to use general anesthesia for dental procedures so if you have severe anxiety during dental visits, it’s important to find a dentist who can ease your anxiety with general anesthesia. Since this is administered at the dental office, general anesthesia won’t help with any pre-appointment anxiety but you will still need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. There are some risks and side effects (confusion, nausea, dizziness) associated with this type of sedation, so be sure to talk to Dr. Polley about your medical history before beginning.
Takeaways: General anesthesia will relieve severe dental anxiety. You’ll be unconscious during the procedure and will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.