Anesthesia & Wisdom Tooth Extraction

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Anesthesia & Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The more you know about the process of getting your wisdom teeth removed, the less you will have to be worried about! One of the areas we get the most questions about is how anesthesia is used during the wisdom tooth removal procedure. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about anesthesia and wisdom tooth extractions.

How Does Anesthesia Work?

The word “anesthesia” comes from the Greek words for “loss of sensation.” Anesthesia is used during many dental and medical procedures to alleviate pain, to reduce anxiety, to paralyze muscles, and to render a patient unconscious. Different types of anesthesia produce different effects. Local anesthesia affects a small specific area of the body, while general anesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious with no memory of the procedure.

What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Involved?

There are several types of anesthesia that might be used during a wisdom tooth extraction.

•Nitrous oxide (more commonly known as “laughing gas”) is often used at the beginning of the procedure to help a patient relax and reduce anxiety.
•Local anesthesia is applied directly to the gum area around your wisdom tooth. You will remain awake during the procedure but should feel no pain.
•Sedation anesthesia suppresses your consciousness, and you will likely have limited if any memory of the procedure.
•General anesthesia renders you unconscious so you will have no awareness during the procedure or memory of it afterward.

How is the Anesthesia Administered?

Each type of anesthesia is applied differently.

•Nitrous oxide is administered by inhalation with a breathing mask.
•Local anesthesia is injected near the site of the extraction after a numbing substance has been applied to the gum.
•Sedation anesthesia is administered through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm.
•General anesthesia may be administered by inhalation, an intravenous line, or both.

Will I experience pain during the extraction?

The anesthesia process is designed to prevent you from feeling any pain during your wisdom tooth extraction. If local anesthetic is used, you may feel some movement or pressure but should not feel any pain. With either sedation or general anesthesia, you should feel no pain and only have limited, if any, awareness and memory of the procedure.

How Will the Anesthesia Affect My Recovery Process?

Some forms of sedation and general anesthesia can produce a temporary state of confusion that quickly subsides. Most patients will feel drowsy and relaxed; some may say or do things they would not normally do. The effects of anesthesia can take up to 24 hours to wear off completely, making you sleepy in the meantime. Plan some time away from work or school to relax and recover from your wisdom teeth surgery and be sure to follow all of your post-operative instructions.

At GPOMS, our in-office anesthesia for oral and maxillofacial treatment exceeds the strenuous standards of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. And, we always have an Emergency Medical Technician on hand to aid in urgent situations.

Do you have other questions about anesthesia? We would love to help answer them! Contact us today or schedule an appointment.

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