What Anesthetic Options Are Available For Dental Implant Procedures?

A dental implant procedure is a popular method for replacing missing teeth, nowadays, typically offering a permanent solution compared to fitting dentures or bridges. To ensure patient comfort during the initial procedure that involves inserting implants into the patient's jawbone various anesthetic options are available. Learn more about the main anesthetic options available today when undergoing dental implant surgery.

Local Anesthesia

For a dental implant treatment today, the most common method is likely to make use of local anesthesia. It is administered via direct injection into the treatment area. The primary advantage of local anesthesia for a dental implant procedure is its targeted numbing effect, ensuring that the patient doesn't feel any pain when they are being treated. Local anesthetics, such as lidocaine, block nerve signal but allow the patient to remain fully conscious during their procedure.

Sedation Dentistry

This method relies on a combination of techniques to both relax the patient and alleviate pain. There are several types of dental sedation that may be deployed. For example, minimal sedation usually involves the patient being administered nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas. This will keep you relaxed, although you will remain awake. More moderate forms of sedation dentistry may involve taking a sedative pill. This type of sedation is used to induce drowsiness and might even allow the patient to sleep through the procedure. Meanwhile, intravenous (IV) sedation is another option where sedatives are delivered directly into the bloodstream, allowing for a deeper state of relaxation.

General Anesthesia

Another option for a dental implant procedure, particularly suited to patients who require extensive surgical work, is general anesthesia. This option can be offered if you express a preference for being entirely unconscious during the procedure. Administered through inhalation or via an IV line, general anesthesia isn't localized but affects the whole body instead. This way, you will be put into a deep sleep. Patients should not wake up until the anesthesia has worn off or another substance has been administered to reverse it. This method requires additional monitoring of the patient's vital signs, however, and the presence of a specialized anesthesiologist is usually recommended.

Numbing Agents

Lastly, there's the option of using numbing agents which don't require an initial injection. Topical anesthetics will first be applied directly to the gum tissue of the patient. This will numb the area superficially which means that a regular anesthetic injection can be given without the patient noticing the needle going in. This is beneficial for patients who have a fear of needles as it will lessen the sensation of receiving the dental anesthetic before the dental implant procedure begins.