Should I Go Under for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Did you know that a certain percentage of people don’t have wisdom teeth? Or not all four at least.  Wisdom teeth are your third molars that appear by the time you are in your late teens or early twenties for some – there are normally four wisdom teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower. They often come out or “erupt” at an angle or remain impacted in the gum, causing them to become infected and inflamed over time.

Some common signs of wisdom teeth infection include:

  • Pain and redness at the affected site
  • Swelling of the gums or jaw
  • Fever
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes

What Can Happen If You Don’t Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

Leaving impacted wisdom teeth in the lower jaw untreated and unchecked can lead to a profoundly serious condition called “Ludwig’s Angina.” This is a life-threatening connective tissue infection which attacks the floor of the mouth, typically occurring in adults. If the condition is left untreated, it can obstruct a person’s airways and require them to undergo a tracheotomy procedure.

Wisdom teeth that serve no purpose or appear decayed beyond repair can be removed through surgical extraction. In some cases, if the tooth cannot be easily extracted without causing trauma to the patient or damage to the nerves, the dentist will refer the patient to an oral surgeon.

Keeping You Comfortable During Wisdom Teeth Surgery

If you’re afraid of wisdom tooth extractions, you ought to know that there are new pain control techniques such as local anaesthesia, oral sedation, IV sedation and general anaesthesia that can help you.

Unless you opt for general anaesthesia, you won’t have to be entirely unconscious during wisdom tooth surgery. On the day of the procedure, you will simply be given a local anaesthetic to numb the surgery site, and you will be completely awake during the operation with no sensation in your mouth area.

Types of Wisdom Teeth Anaesthesia

Generally speaking, all four wisdom teeth are usually removed during the procedure, which is why your dentist will recommend for you go under some form of sedation. Prior to deciding on the best option of anaesthesia for your wisdom teeth removal, you need to go through what choice makes you feel the most comfortable, and also consider the surgery’s complexity.

Here are the main types of anaesthesia used during wisdom teeth removal surgery:

Local Anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia is the numbing medication injected into the section of the mouth to be treated. This anaesthesia form blocks the sensation of pain in a specific area during the surgery and doesn’t cause the loss of consciousness. Generally, you should be able to go home straight after the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Oral or “conscious” sedation is normally achieved by taking an oral medication in a tablet or liquid form, combined with an anti-anxiety pill, shortly before the procedure.

The purpose of this sedation method is to reduce the patient’s anxiety levels relating to the experience. Oral sedation makes you feel extremely drowsy and, if given in higher doses, can often lead you to fall asleep during the procedure.

IV Sedation

IV sedation or “twilight sedation” involves a small injection of anaesthesia into an arm vein, making you suddenly feel drowsy and relaxed. This type of sedation is a good option if you don’t want to be entirely unconscious.

More than likely you will be able to respond to your dentist’s visual signs, but you won’t remember much about the procedure. As IV sedation does not deliver pain relief, it is often combined with local anaesthesia.

Did you know that your doctor can change the dose of sedative that’s being administered at any time during the surgery? Instead of being fully unconscious, you will feel calm and drowsy during the procedure. You may not be interested in what’s happening around you, but it will help you come back to your normal self not long after the anaesthesia wears off.

General Anaesthesia

If have severely impacted wisdom teeth or you suffer from dental phobia, you could go with the option of general anaesthesia. This type of anaesthesia ensures you are completely asleep during the surgery, so you won’t feel any sensation or pain, and almost certainly you won’t have any memory of the whole ordeal.

With general anaesthesia, you will have to wait for the effects to wear off and you might experience some side effects during post-surgery.

Risks Associated with Using Anaesthesia

Anaesthesia and surgery are safer today than ever before, but there is always some risk involved with using anaesthesia during wisdom teeth removal.

Here is a list of conditions that can make the use of anaesthesia riskier for a patient:

  • History of bad reactions to anaesthesia or anaesthesia allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Kidney or lung conditions
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Seizures or other neurological disorders
  • Smoking or drinking habits

And here are some common side effects from anaesthesia:

  • Dizziness
  • Temporary memory loss or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shivering or feeling cold
  • Bruising or soreness from IV drip

Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether or not you choose to go under for wisdom teeth surgery. It can depend on your anxiety levels, pain tolerance and the overall complexity of the surgery, which may vary from person to person.

Think You Might Need Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

You don’t need to be afraid of wisdom teeth removal when you come to Blue Tooth Dental. With years of experience in the dentistry field, our team of professionals can help you throughout your wisdom teeth journey to prevent any potential future teeth problems.

The professionals at Blue Tooth Dental will look after you as they offer the best dental care in the Newtown area. To find out more about our services, feel free to contact us or call us on 02 9519 2691.

Must read: Wisdom Teeth – Do They Really Need to Come Out?

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