Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do doctors put patients to sleep for all oral surgeries?"
I am scared to death of anesthesia, but I need oral surgery soon. Is there another option, can the doctor just numb the area?
This is an important question to discuss with your surgeon. Any sort of surgery can be a nerve racking experience for almost all people, but it can be especially concerning when the surgery involves your mouth and face, which seems extra personal. Depending on your unique situation, including the kind of surgery that you need to have done, your personal tolerance of discomfort, the specific nuances of the procedure, etc, your oral surgeon may be able to adjust the kind of anesthesia that can be used. In general, local anesthesia (meaning injections while you are fully awake) are used for simple procedures such as one would undergo with a dentist. For more involved procedures, there are some agents that can be used to relax patients and make them less involved and aware of the surgery while it is ongoing. For surgeries that are more delicate and require a completely still and cooperative patient, at times the best option is general anesthesia where you are asleep. Again, this will depend on a host of factors, but it is important to talk to your surgeon to know why he or she is recommending a certain option. Depending on your preference, he or she may be able to adjust this. Please speak to your surgeon.
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