Patient Information


Choice of anaesthesia

The type of anaesthetic chosen depends on the nature and extent of the procedure, medical factors and individual preference. In many cases the choice is related to the level of anxiety. The three most common methods of anaesthesia for oral surgery procedures are:

Local anaesthesia

The patient is totally awake and the area of surgery made completely numb.


Sedation may be used in addition to local anaesthesia to relax the patient. It's given before the local anaesthesia usually with drugs administered intravenously (ie by injection into a vein) into the arm or hand. This causes relaxation, sleepiness and loss of memory. Tablets may occasionally be used in addition to or instead of intravenous drugs.

General anaesthesia

With a general anaesthetic the patient is totally asleep and will not have any awareness of anything. Procedures under local anaesthesia plus or minus sedation can normally be carried out at the surgeon’s practice while procedures carried out under general anaesthetic need to be carried out in hospital.

Anaesthesia Instructions

Intravenous Sedation

A sedative will be given through a small cannula placed in the hand or arm, which will make you feel calm and pleasantly relaxed. A local anaesthetic will be given around the area in the mouth to numb the operation site so you will not feel any pain.

1. Food

Avoid having food for at least three hours before the procedure, and clear fluids for two hours before.

2. Transport

You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can drive or escort you home. Supervision is required for at least two hours.

3. Plan your day

  • Arrange to take the rest of the day off work, as you may feel drowsy for a few hours afterwards
  • Avoid going out unaccompanied
  • You must not drive or operate machinery, or make any major decisions for the rest of that day

4. Avoid alcohol

We advise you not to drink any alcohol for 24 hours after your operation.

5. Nail varnish

Please don't wear any kind of nail polish.

6. Smoking

We advise you not to smoke for 24 hours before your appointment.

General Anaesthesia

Follow the information provided for IV sedation, EXCEPT ensure that you avoid food and drink for at least six hours before the procedure. As a general rule, avoid food or drink from midnight the night before a general anaesthetic. Clear fluids can be taken in small quantities up to two hours before the procedure.

If you are being seen as a day case at a private hospital arrange for someone to be available to collect you approximately five hours following your presentation time.