General anesthesia - Anesthesia
By the term anesthesia is meant a state of numbness. It is an "artificial numbness", so caused by a practitioner.
The anesthesia used in dentistry can be both general anesthesia and local anesthesia. By general anesthesia we mean the anesthetic in which the patient is completely anesthetized. We also call this narcosis. Local anesthesia is that form of anesthesia in which only a part of the body, the operating area, is anesthetized. To indicate the difference in effect between general and local anesthesia, general anesthesia is first discussed.
In dentistry, it is mainly the larger operations, such as large jaw operations, that are performed under general anesthesia. However, sometimes patients are so anxious that total dental extraction is performed under general anesthesia. In the Netherlands, anesthesia is used in hospitals, but also increasingly in clinics. An anesthesiologist provides the anesthetic while the surgeon is operating. The anesthesiologist acts as the patient's guardian. He monitors blood circulation and breathing. Moreover, he remains aware of the symptoms of general anesthesia.
During the anesthesia, the patient is given means to eliminate consciousness, but also muscle relaxants and pain killers. These agents are usually administered intravenously into the bloodstream. The patient can no longer breathe independently. A pipe or tube is introduced through the mouth into the windpipe for ventilation. With operations in the mouth this is not possible and the tube is placed through the nose (see image below).
Tube for ventilation during the anesthesia.
The process of general anesthesia consists of three parts: falling asleep (the introduction), the period in which the operation takes place (maintaining the anesthesia) and waking up (introduction). When the operation is finished, the anesthetist ensure that the patient regains consciousness. Then there is post-nursing until the anesthesia is fully worked out.