Several methods of anesthesia are available. The method of anesthesia that is chosen for or by a patient depends upon the nature of the surgical procedure and the patient’s level of apprehension. 

Anesthesia Options

The following table illustrates the choices of anesthesia, a description of the anesthetic technique, and the usual indications for that technique.

  • Types of Anesthesia
  • Method Local Anesthetic
    Description of Technique The patient remains totally conscious throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic (e.g. lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed. Local anesthetic is used in conjunction with the other methods of anesthesia in all oral surgery procedures.
    Usual Indications Simple oral surgery procedures such as minor soft tissue procedures and simple tooth extractions.
  • Method Oral Sedation

    Dr. Herrera has a license in oral sedation.  She will discuss this option with you if you are nervous about your treatment whether it be your deep cleaning, maintenance or surgery.

    The most common medication we use is Lorazepam/Ativan. We will discuss the amount we will prescribe at your consultation. Most commonly you will take a pill one hour prior to your procedure and then if you are still nervous when you arrive we will give you one at that time. This will help you relax but you will be awake throughout your appointment. You will be less aware of the procedure and some patients do fall asleep during the appointment.

  • Method Office Based General Anesthesia with Local Anesthetic*

    Medications are administered through an intravenous line (I.V.) The patient falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Medications commonly used are Fentanyl(opiate), Ketamine & Diprivan. Supplemental oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus and the patient’s vital signs are closely monitored.

    General anesthesia is available for all types of oral surgery. A patient may choose general anesthesia for simple procedures depending on their level of anxiety. Most people having their wisdom teeth removed or having a dental implant placed will choose general anesthesia.

    General anesthesia may be necessary if local anesthesia fails to anesthetize the surgical site which often occurs in the presence of infection. Patients with severe dental phobias are great candidates for general anesthesia.

    Dr. Michael Lam provides our general anesthesia to our patients. He has 40 years of anesthesia experience in the hospital. Dr. Herrera has complete confidence in Dr. Lam and with him in charge of anesthesia she can focus completely on the surgery. 

    For more information on Dr. Lam please visit


Again, when it comes to anesthesia, our first priority is the patient’s comfort and safety. If you have any concerns regarding the type of anesthesia that will be administered during your oral surgery procedure, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with Dr. Herrera at the time of your consultation. If you elect oral sedation or general sedation you must have someone you know bring you to the office and take you home.  It is not acceptable for you take UBER, LYFT or other ride company.  Your safety is our first priority!