Anaesthesia for Dental Surgery

Most patients undergoing anaesthesia for dental surgery are adolescents or young adults and the surgery is to remove impacted wisdom teeth or related to orthodontic treatment.

At the pre-operative visit the anaesthetist will be interested in your medical history. As most of this surgery is performed as a day only admission basis, pre-operative sedation is usually avoided. However if you (or your child) are particularly nervous discuss this with your anaesthetist and some form of .sedation may be appropriate.

Commonly anaesthesia is induced via a small needle inserted at the back of the hand. If you have a 'needle phobia' please request the application of a local anaesthetic cream (EMLA) pre-operatively. Let your anaesthetist know your anxiety. In some cases a mask anaesthetic may be appropriate. Try to be guided by the anaesthetist.

As the surgeons use local anaesthesia in the mouth during the operation, pain is not commonly a feature upon awakening. Anxiety and restlessness are common in the recovery room but most patients soon settle. Most patients have left the hospital within four hours of the conclusion of surgery.

Your anaesthetist will prescribe pain-killers for your use at home. The most commonly prescribed is Panadiene Forte. This is a combination of paracetemol with a large dose of codeine. If pain relief is inadequate or there are troublesome side-effects (constipation), other options are available. Some people find Nurofen or a combination of Nurofen & Panadiene ( paracetamol & lower dose codeine) more effective and less troublesome. Paracetamol and codeine are pain relievers whereas Nurofen also reduces inflammation. So the combination acts in a synergistic fashion.

Some patients will also experience a mild sore throat. This will generally settle within a day. If you have any other problems discuss them with the surgeon or the anaesthetist. You can contact the anaesthetist via Anaesthesia Associates or the hospital switchboard. It is extremely important to keep the mouth clean in the post-operative period. Poor hygiene will increase the risk of infection & infection causes pain. The surgeon or anaesthetist will prescribe antibiotic capsules or tablets to prevent infection post operatively. It is important to finish the entire course of these antibiotics. Drink a lot of fluids in the days after surgery. Good hydration improves circulation resulting in quicker wound healing & recovery.

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