In the US alone, millions of people undergo wisdom teeth removal. It’s among the most common dental procedures in the country, and the numbers show it. According to Vox, around 5 million people have these extra teeth removed. And most of them are young adults or teenagers.
For those who are about to experience this, you might be asking what you could expect. A lot of factors play into the situation before, during, and after the procedure. For instance, you need to know a few options for wisdom teeth sedation beforehand. This is especially important if you fear the dentist. But don’t fret, because there is always anesthesia involved.
Before everything else, here’s what you should know about anesthetic options:
Sedation Options For Wisdom Teeth Removal
It’s hard to imagine undergoing a tooth extraction without numbing the pain. But if there’s one thing to know about anesthetics, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Contrary to popular belief, they don’t always “put you to sleep.” There are different types of sedatives that dentists use to numb your mouth, each serving a different purpose.
IV means intravenous. It means the doctor injects the drug straight into your bloodstream. Dentists often use IV because of its excellent success rate. After injection, it puts the patient in a ‘twilight sleep’ state. In wisdom teeth removal, IV sedation is the typical option. This is what happens to a patient on IV:
- The patient is awake and aware of the surroundings. They are also responsive.
- The patient feels comfortable and relaxed throughout the whole procedure. So relaxed, in fact, that they might not be aware they’re undergoing one.
- It causes temporary amnesia and a state of ‘high’.
There’s a reason IV is a popular option in dental operations. It works, and it works like a dream (pun intended). But for it to be effective, the patient must fast before coming in. Coming in with a full stomach can render the drug ineffective.
Nitrous Oxide, AKA Laughing Gas
Contrary to popular belief, nitrous oxide or laughing gas doesn’t make you burst into a giggle fit. It is a light anesthetic unlike IV. It also doesn’t work as well, but it still gets the job done for a quicker and relatively painless experience.
This is what happens if you’re sedated using laughing gas:
- The patient experiences a euphoric sensation much like that with IV. But the effects are not as pronounced as the former.
- Laughing gas may cause a bit of amnesia, but the patient will still be remembering most of the procedure.
Those who might have concerns about laughing gas can rest easy. It’s mild in comparison to IV, so you won’t be laughing out of control like the Joker anytime soon.
Last but not least, you get oral Premedication pills. When it comes to effectiveness, these pills are second only to IV sedatives. They keep the patient conscious much like the first two, and they are often less expensive. Patients must take it about half an hour before the procedure. They also must fast before coming into the clinic.
Oral sedation pills work way better than laughing gas, which means that anyone taking them will need an escort home. But while the effects are good enough, they aren’t guaranteed to work well on everyone. For instance, the ‘high’ might take a while to wear off, or even affect anyone at all.
Before, During, and After
Now that you know about wisdom teeth removal sedation options, you can rest easy. Now, it’s time to learn about what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure. Here are some things you can look forward to:
- Before the procedure, it would be wise to ask someone to be with you. Different sedation options offer varying levels of effects. Say, if you know you’re going for IV, ask somebody to accompany you. IV is potent enough to render you unable to go home on your own.
- During the procedure, you can’t expect much. You will be responsive and aware, but will barely remember anything.
- After the procedure, you’ll be drooling for a bit and that your mouth is full of gauze to control the bleeding. You will also have to take painkillers every now and then, more so after the anesthesia wears off. And also, beware of videos of yourself talking nonsense while ‘high.’
Anyone can have a fear of the dentist. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it, more so if you are in dire need of a dental health checkup. Always remember that sedatives are there to help make the visit more bearable. Fun, even.
Here at PV Smiles, we can assure that painless wisdom teeth removal is possible through the help of Phoenix and Scottsdale sedation dentist Dr. Reem Kidess. With our highly trained and friendly team waiting to assist you, you can guarantee that every dental visit will be a breeze.