What Type of Sedation Will I Get for Impacted Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgery that removes one or more of your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are located in the back of your mouth on the top and bottom rows of your teeth. Impaction is caused when there isn’t enough room for your wisdom tooth to come through. It may cause pain, infection, or other problems and need to be removed.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a fairly common procedure. Because adult humans don’t get their wisdom teeth until their late teens or early twenties, there is often not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to sit. Therefore, your teeth can grow at an angle or push up against other teeth.
Problems with impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth need to be removed because they cause problems for your oral health. This can include:
- Trapping food behind or in between other teeth
- Infections and gum disease
- Damage to other teeth or the surrounding bone
- Cysts around the wisdom tooth
- General pain and discomfort
- Pushing other teeth out of alignment
How should I prepare for a wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom tooth extraction for an impacted tooth is most likely performed as an outpatient procedure and is sometimes done at a specialist surgery office or hospital. After your surgery, you will be able to go home the same day. However, you won’t be able to drive or operate heavy machinery and you will likely need a week off work and usual manual tasks so that you can recover.
It is a good idea to discuss any concerns you have about the surgery with your dentist. If you are on medication or have concerns about what type of anesthesia your dentist will use, you can discuss this at your consultation. Commonly, you will be asked to:
- Avoid eating anything for eight hours before your surgery
- Arrive slightly early for your appointment so that everything runs on time.
- Provide the contact details for someone to pick you up after surgery. Your dentist will call them once you are ready to go home.
What anesthesia will my dentist use during wisdom tooth extraction?
Your dentist or oral surgeon should be able to tell you what type of anesthesia they will use during wisdom tooth surgery. Depending on how complex your surgery is, they will usually use one of the following options.
Local anesthesia is delivered via injection in the mouth, near the site of each wisdom tooth that needs an extraction. Before your dentist gives you an injection, they will likely use a numbing agent on your mouth so you shouldn’t feel the injection going in. During local anesthesia, you will be awake during the wisdom tooth extraction procedure. While you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure you may feel some pressure and movement within your mouth.
Nitrous (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous, also known as laughing gas for the giddy effect it has on patients, is commonly prescribed during wisdom tooth extraction surgery. It is administered through a nose masked and requires the patient to breathe in normally. The effects of nitrous wear off once the mask is removed. This means you’ll wear the mask during the whole of the wisdom tooth surgery. This type of sedation leaves the patient awake but not asleep.
Sedation anesthesia is delivered via an IV drip into a vein in your arm. Sedation anesthesia makes the patient more relaxed, drowsy and sometimes makes you fall asleep. More often than not, patients are awake and still responsive but will have little memory of the procedure.
Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend general anesthesia. This is performed by an anesthesiologist and usually includes gas inhalation or intravenous forms of sedation. Laughing gas is one form of general anesthesia. During general anesthesia, patients lose consciousness during the procedure and are unable to respond. Your vital signs will be monitored during the extraction surgery to ensure that the anesthetic has been administered safely.
How long does dental sedation last?
Local anesthesia lasts between four to six hours, although you may experience numbness for up to 24-hours after your procedure. IV sedation and general anesthesia last about six hours. Once an IV sedation is removed you will wake up in about twenty minutes. Your dentist will likely take you to a recovery room once you are awake to ensure you have time to properly wake up.
It’s important that you have a friend or family member to pick you up after your wisdom teeth extraction surgery. Don’t rely on an uber or taxi. You will likely need someone to help get you from the vehicle into your house and make sure you are okay for the rest of the day.
How to book a wisdom teeth extraction
If you think you need your wisdom teeth removed, book an appointment with our friendly dentists at Gentle Dental. During your regular dental examination, we’ll assess your teeth including an intra-oral exam and a full jaw x-ray.
We have a wealth of experience removing both un-restorable teeth and impacted wisdom teeth, as painlessly as possible.