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The choice of anesthesia for an oral surgery procedure is based on several factors, including the type of procedure being performed, the health of the patient and patient comfort. During your consultation in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry (OMFS), the doctor will take a comprehensive health history in order to determine the optimal approach to managing your pain and comfort.

Intravenous (IV) sedation, sometimes known as "twilight sleep" or "conscious" sedation, is a form of anesthesia in which medicines are introduced through a small tube inserted into the patient's hand or arm. Because oral and maxillofacial surgeons train as surgical specialists, they administer their own IV sedation without the requiring an additional professional such as an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. In most cases the oral surgery procedure and anesthesia are performed safely and comfortably in the OMFS Outpatient Care Center, including wisdom tooth removal, implant placement, tooth extraction and biopsies.

If your doctor recommends IV sedation, it is important to follow all pre-operative instructions precisely or the procedure must be cancelled. This is a standard of practice designed for the safety of the patient.

  1. It is important not to eat or drink anything, including clear liquids, for 8-10 hours prior to the scheduled procedure time. If you take daily prescription medications you should inform your oral surgeon during the consultation visit so that he or she may instruct you on which, if any, should be taken on the day of your procedure
  2. You must bring someone with you to your procedure who is able of driving you home, as it is not safe to drive for the remainder of the day after IV sedation
  3. You should wear comfortable, loose clothing to the doctor's office on the day of the procedure as you will be wearing them both during and after the procedure
  4. Bring the contact information for your local pharmacy with you to your procedure so the doctor may order any necessary post-operative medications

You should follow any additional instructions given to you by your oral surgeon, even if they are not listed here.

Following these instructions will ensure your comfort and safety and a timely return to your daily activities.