Comfort and Anesthesia

preparing for the oral surgery procedure

Why choose us in addition to Dr. Loetscher’s experience and expertise?

We offer the only facility designed, set-up, and staffed to provide you with real general anesthesia for all procedures.

What is General Anesthesia and Why?

General anesthesia means you are completely asleep. So you are comfortable, and the surgical team can perform in an optimal environment. This allows surgical quality and proficiency, providing you with the very best chance for an ideal outcome.

What is the difference between a Real General Anesthesia and Deep Anesthesia?

A true or real general anesthesia has you asleep with a breathing tube, your airway is protected, and provides the safest environment. Most other practitioners provide a “deep anesthesia” where you are heavily sedated, your airway is held open by chin support, and you are usually moving during the procedure. You are given drugs, such as versed to provide strong anesthesia so you feel like you are put to sleep.

For simpler procedures — we offer a version of this — we call it IV sedation. You are sedated, not fully asleep (“twilight sleep”), but typically very comfortable for the procedure.

Why can Dr. Loetscher provide the full or “real” general Anesthesia?

  • Our facility has been designed, equipped, and staffed like a hospital operating room. Full general anesthesia requires anesthesia machines, full monitoring capabilities, and an experienced nursing team — all of which we have.
  • Dr. Loetscher has been trained to provide this full anesthesia. He is board certified by the American Board of Dental Anesthesiologists.
  • We utilize an additional anesthesiologist — a board certified MD anesthesiologist at least once a week for our complex procedures, elderly patients, and those with challenging health issues.

Dr. Loetscher is Board-Certified to Administer General Anesthesia

One of the great benefits of being cared for at Atlanta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery by Dr. Loetscher is the quality of anesthesia provided. Dr. Loetscher is one of the only oral & maxillofacial surgeons in Georgia that is trained and set-up to safely administer true general anesthesia. Our surgery facility is set-up as an out-patient surgery center with hospital grade anesthesia equipment, all safety drugs, back-up power generators, and a team of registered nurses (RNs).

Dr. Loetscher received his training in anesthesia at Ohio State University. Their program is world renowned for its advanced training in anesthesia for oral & maxillofacial surgeons. Dr. Loetscher also received his board certification in anesthesia by the American Board of Dental Anesthesiologists.

For you the patient, the type of anesthesia you receive is a big deal. In addition to the patients safety, the proper anesthesia allows your surgeon to perform high quality and technically proficient surgery. This improves overall results and recovery.

What type of anesthesia is performed at Atlanta Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

The 4 types of anesthesia we offer are as follows:

  1. Local Anesthesia: Such as lidocaine. It simply numbs the area while you are awake.
    When it’s used: Simple procedures such as tooth removal and soft tissue procedures such as bumps on your lips and gums.
  2. Local Anesthesia with Nitrous Oxide: We add nitrous oxide through a nasal mask that helps relax you while providing light sedation and comfort. You can drive home after receiving this type of anesthesia.
    When it’s used: This is also used in simple procedures, but also for those who are somewhat anxious and need assistance relaxing. 
  3. IV Sedation: For this, an intravenous line is used to administer sedative drugs that relax you, make you sit still, and typically provide a high level of amnesia, so you have minimal recollection of the procedure and feel like you’ve been put to sleep. You may move around during the procedure, but may not recall it. You are not put too deeply asleep because you need to maintain your airway for safety.
    When it’s used: IV sedation is very useful for more straightforward, less technical procedures such as simple extractions, straightforward dental implant procedures, and some biopsies. We often use this on elders as well.
  4. General Anesthesia: For this an IV line is also initiated. You are put completely to sleep with a combination of IV drugs and an inhalation agent. A breathing tube is placed via your nose into your windpipe after you are asleep. The inhalation drugs are administered through this tube. This is an ultra-safe technique because your airway is intact. Most general anesthetics at the hospital are administered this way as well. With general anesthesia you are fully asleep so you have no memory of the procedure. You are sitting still so the surgeon can be very proficient. Also, the drugs used to keep you asleep are ultra-short acting so you wake up quicker and much more alert. We often use no sedatives or narcotics for this.

When it’s used: General Anesthesia is ideal for procedures such as third molar removal, most dental implant procedures, and procedures on children. For nervous children and young adults (and occasionally very anxious adults) we often put them asleep with the inhalation agents (gasses) and once asleep start the IV line. This way the patient does not “see a needle”, which for many is their greatest concern.

For types 3 and 4 (IV sedation) the patient needs to arrive with an empty stomach (4 hours for IV sedation & 8 hours for general anesthesia) and you will need someone to drive you home.

Anesthesiologist: We utilize an additional board certified MD anesthesiologist for all orthognathic surgery procedures, longer & more complex reconstructive and dental implant procedures, and many elders.

Anesthesia Safety

Is your doctor board certified in anesthesia? Does he actually do general anesthesia, or a sedation termed general anesthesia? The state’s requirements are minimal, but we take the quality and safety of anesthesia to the highest possible level.

Questions to ask your doctor when undergoing outpatient anesthesia:

  • Is there a registered nurse (RN) present?
  • Is it a true general anesthesia where the airway is protected, or a deep sedation called general anesthesia?
  • Is back-up power available such as with a generator?

All of the above are part of your care with Dr. Loetscher, plus many other safety and quality features for the best anesthesia experience and environment possible.