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Going Under and Waking Up
It’s important to remember that general anesthesia is not the name of the drug that’s being administered. Instead, general anesthesia differentiates itself from local anesthesia in that it numbs the body and puts the mind to sleep. Most commonly given by means of an injection or as an inhalant, general anesthesia describes a mixture of potent drugs that are used to induce a sleep-like state in those to whom it’s given.
If you’re planning to “go under,” keep in mind that the effects of general anesthesia may take several hours to wear off. Plan ahead: Dentists typically require a patient to arrange for a ride home and a few hours of aftercare following procedures in which general anesthesia is used. If you aren’t able to make appropriate ride-accommodations or don’t have a companion to stay with you at your home for a few hours following your surgical procedure, your dentist may recommend a longer stay at the office to ensure complete recuperation from the anesthetics used.