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  • Writer's pictureDr Samintharaj Kumar

Choosing Between IV Sedation and General Anaesthesia: Timing Considerations for Surgery

In dental surgery, selecting between IV sedation and general anaesthesia is crucial for patient comfort and safety. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on the patient's needs, the surgery's complexity, and the dentist's ability in administering anaesthesia. I recognise the significance of choosing the right sedation method for dental surgeries. When weighing the options of IV sedation versus general anaesthesia, understanding the timing considerations is paramount for ensuring patient comfort and safety.

IV sedation, commonly referred to as twilight sedation, is often preferred for less invasive procedures like tooth extractions or dental implant placements. Administered intravenously, IV sedation induces deep relaxation while allowing patients to remain conscious and responsive. It is particularly beneficial for nervous patients or those undergoing same-day implants due to its rapid onset and shorter recovery times, minimising post-operative discomfort and the need for prolonged monitoring.

In contrast, general anaesthesia is reserved for more complex surgeries or patients with significant anxiety or medical conditions. Administered via inhalation or injection, general anaesthesia renders patients unconscious throughout the procedure, ensuring they experience no pain or discomfort. While it offers a deeper level of sedation, general anaesthesia requires careful monitoring and entails longer recovery periods, making it more suitable for extensive procedures such as full mouth reconstructions or zygomatic implants.

When making the decision between IV sedation and general anaesthesia, several factors must be taken into account, including the nature of the surgery, patient preferences, and medical history. For minor procedures or anxious patients, IV sedation provides a safe and effective option, offering a comfortable experience with minimal downtime. Conversely, for more complex surgeries or patients requiring extensive dental work, general anaesthesia may be necessary to ensure optimal outcomes and patient comfort.

Orchard Day Surgery is my preferred location at Wheelock Place where I do procedures under both IV sedation and General Anaesthesia for things as simple as tongue tie release, wisdom teeth or even full jaw implant surgery.

In summary, the choice between IV sedation and general anaesthesia hinges on various factors, and understanding the timing considerations is essential for making informed decisions. By carefully assessing the specific needs of each patient and the complexity of the procedure, I will select the most appropriate method to achieve successful outcomes while taking into account the complexity of the surgery and the apprehension level of my patients. The great news is that sometimes your insurance may actually cover IV sedation or General Anaesthesia and you should check this out before coming in to see me.



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