Move over grumpy cat videos. YouTube anesthesia videos have brought a new wave of enjoyment to millions of people everywhere. Watching loopy and confused patients waking up from dental surgery and uttering completely illogical things captures our attention like moths to a flame and leaves us rolling with laughter.
You’ve probably seen the adorable and hilarious YouTube video, David after Dentist. In this classic from 2008,7-year-old David is coming off anesthesia after having an extra tooth removed. On the car ride home, he poses the question to his dad, “Is this real life?” and makes profound declarations, such as, “I have two fingers…I have four fingers!” And now 8 years later, the viral video has more than 130,000,000 views and the stars are still riding the viral wave.David’s father created a Shopify site selling Clinton/Trump t-shirts captioned with his son’s signature question, “Is this real life?”
And who could forget the Zombie Attack Prank? In this epic viral video, a girl’s brothers convince her that the CDC issued an alert stating a zombie apocalypse is underway and they must flee to Mexico for safety. Loopy from having her wisdom teeth removed, she believes them.The brothers begin packing the car with zombie-fighting essentials (garden tools) and inform her they only have room to take one pet and forced to choose between the dog and cat. Her panicked response, “The cat you idiot! The dog’s the worst! He’s already dying, leave him. Get the cat!”
Who would have thought that anesthesia videos would be the next viral craze? And what is it about general anesthesia that makes people act so, well, weird?
What is anesthesia?
Anesthesia comes from the Greek word anaisthēsia, which means “without sensation”. There are three main categories of anesthesia — local, regional and general— but they all aim to do the same thing — numb or sedate a patient prior to surgery or procedure.
Local anesthesia is used to numb a small area for a minor outpatient procedure and comes in a spray, ointment or shot form.Cocaine was the first local anesthetic used in dentistry. It was introduced in the late 1800’s and proved successful at numbing toothaches and relieving oral pain.
However, due to cocaine’s highly addictive nature,adverse cardiovascular effects and the fact that people died from it, cocaine was replaced by another local anesthetic, Procaine, in 1905. Procaine was later commercially marketed as Novocain. Although dentists stopped using Novocain decades ago due to various problems including causing allergic reactions, it’s still perhaps the most classic example of a local anesthetic. Nowadays, dentists typically use lidocaine and other “-canines” for numbing the mouth such as when filling a cavity or performing a root canal.
Regional anesthesia is when local anesthetics are used to numb a larger area of the body via injection near a nerve cluster. An epidural is an example of a regional anesthesia.
Unlike the previous two types of anesthesia, you’re unconscious or “asleep” with general anesthesia.General anesthesia is not considered sedation. During this drug-induced loss of consciousness, the patient is unresponsive, even to painful stimulation. The patient may not be able to breathe on his or her own, and basic body functions such as heart rate must be monitored constantly.When you wake up from it, you’ll have little or no recollection of the procedure.
Typically, a dentist will use minimal to moderate sedation for helping patients manage anxiety or get through long treatment processes.General anesthesia may occasionally be used for major oral surgery and can be administered via an IV, nitrous oxide/oxygen delivered through a mask. or a combination of the two.
Medicalnewstoday.com reports that general anesthesia induces the following:
- Inability to feel pain
- Memory loss
- Removal of motor reflexes
- Skeletal muscle relaxation
Knowing how intense general anesthesia is, it makes sense why some patients wake up feeling so dazed (and funny).
Oral surgery and anesthesia
As mentioned above, general anesthesia may be used in dentistry for oral surgeries, such as having your wisdom teeth removed. If you or your child needs to have your wisdom teeth removed, or any oral surgery for that matter, you’ll want to make sure you have dental insurance or a dental savings plan to help offset the expenses.
If you aren’t familiar with a dental discount plan, it’s an alternative to dental insurance that works like a club membership. You pay an annual membership fee and get to enjoy discounts between 10% and 60% on most dental procedures. All you have to do is visit a dentist who participates in the dental savings plan, which is easy to do considering there are more than 100,000 dentists nationwide who do.
Here’s a look at a few of the additional perks dental savings plan offer:
- Eligible for discounted dental work even if you have a preexisting condition
- No waiting period to take advantage of discounts
- No annual maximum;you’ll get discounts every time you go
- No deductible
Dental anesthesia videos are funny, that’s for sure. However, you won’t be laughing if you need dental work done, especially something as costly as oral surgery, and you don’t have dental insurance or a dental savings plan to help offset the expenses. Make sure you and your family have the right dental coverage, and then let the tape roll.