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General anesthesia is determined on a case-by-case basis and may be recommended for patients that:
- Experience high anxiety due to fear or low tolerance to pain - it can help to prevent or address dental phobias (fear of the dentist);
- Have an allergy to local aesthetic or for whom local anesthetic is not effective in pain control;
- Require complex or invasive dental procedures, or dental procedures that would otherwise require multiple visits if performed without sedation;
- Experience a choking sensation (an exaggerated gag reflex), or have difficulty opening their mouth for a sustained period of time;
- Are unable to remain still during the dental treatment (due to a mental or physical disability);
- Are medically compromised or have special health care requirements.
If you're planning to "go under," keep in mind that the effects of general anesthesia may take several hours to wear off. Plan ahead: Dentists typically require a patient to arrange for a ride home and a few hours of aftercare following procedures in which general anesthesia is used. If you aren't able to make appropriate ride accommodations or don't have a companion to stay with you at your home for a few hours following your surgical procedure, your dentist may recommend a longer stay at the office to ensure complete recuperation from the anesthetics used.
At Highland Family Dentistry, your comfort during dental procedures is important to us. Call us at 618-882-6405 for more information about sedation dentistry.