The procedure for placing dental implants is a fairly major surgery. In order to ensure that you are comfortable throughout, your implant surgeon will use a form of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used will be decided between you and the surgeon. The procedure does not necessarily require general anesthesia.
Types of Anesthesia Used for Implant Surgery
In many cases, only a local anesthesia is used during placement of dental implants. This is similar to the anesthetic used when you have a filling or crown placed or a tooth pulled. It numbs the area where the surgery is being performed so that you will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.
If you are concerned about anxiety or discomfort even with a local anesthetic, you can talk to your periodontist about using sedation. You can take an oral sedative or receive nitrous oxide during your surgery. This will ensure that you are anxiety-free. You will still remain completely conscious, but time will seem to pass more quickly, and you will not experience any stress or discomfort.
In some cases, a general anesthetic might be recommended. In this case, you will be completely unconscious and unaware of anything that is occurring around you. General anesthetic is usually only appropriate for procedures that are complex and will take quite a long time to perform. An implant procedure to replace an entire arc of teeth might be best performed under general anesthetic.
Deciding On Anesthesia
You will discuss the type of anesthesia to be used during your implant procedure with your periodontist during your initial implant consultation. He will be sure you are comfortable with the final decision regarding how to handle your surgery. If you have any questions about anesthesia or other aspects of the procedure, be sure to ask them during your consultation or before the surgery takes place. Knowing exactly what is going to happen and how will go a long way toward ensuring that you are comfortable, confident, and anxiety-free.