Should You Be Sedated For During Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Your wisdom tooth or teeth may need to be removed for many reasons: presence of a infection, presence of a cavity, cracked, orthodontic reasons, pathologic reasons, gum disease, crowding of your teeth, compromise of the adjacent teeth or preventative reasons. Your dentist probably explained why you needed to have your wisdom teeth removed for some of these reasons. One of your main concerns is “Will the procedure hurt?” You have the option of sedation (asleep) or local anesthesia (numbing dental shots). Which one do you choose? What will your dentist or oral surgeon recommend?
Your dentist or oral surgeon will offer both options but will provided recommendations. However, how would you decide if to be asleep for the procedure or to be fully awake? Sedation anesthesia will put you into an induced state of a deep sleep where you will be comfortable and often unable to recall the events that transpired during the procedure. The local anesthesia (dental shots) option, you will be fully awake and aware of everything that occurs during the procedure. Of course, dental offices will make the experience as pleasant as possible.
Here are some factors that your doctor may consider to decide if sedation may be the better option.
- If the wisdom teeth are infected. Often with an infection present around the wisdom teeth, the dental shots alone may not provide the complete local anesthesia (numbing) to complete the procedure. Sedation probably will be recommended.
- Level of anxiety. Often patients are very apprehensive about having any type of procedures, especially surgical procedures in their own mouths. For comfort and better compliance during the procedure sedation may be a great option.
- The position of the teeth. Wisdom teeth can be located deep in the jaw bones (where drilling is required to facilitate removal) or may be in close proximity to vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels. The dentist or oral surgeon may recommend sedation if this is the case.
Your doctor must be specifically trained in sedation and must have special anesthesia equipment present in the office. The recovery from sedation usually takes less than a day. Sedation is a separate cost from the teeth removal procedure and often dental insurances often cover sedation.
A local anesthetic injection (dental shot) will only cause you to lose sensation in that one specific area where the tooth is located. This is usually recommended when only one or two wisdom teeth require removal and are fully exposed in the mouth on a compliant patient. This option is less expensive and has a shorter recovery time. You will remember the procedure but should not experience any during the procedure.