Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common oral procedures for adults. While this procedure is routine and can be completed quickly, many patients still feel anxious about the removal process. When you visit Steven C. Hewett, DDS, in Champions Gate, FL, you will discuss your sedation dentistry options so you can be calm and comfortable during your procedure.
Are Patients Sedated for Wisdom Tooth Removal?
In general, most patients are sedated to some degree during wisdom tooth removal. The range of sedation can vary between light sedation with antianxiety medications and heavier sedation like IV sedation. Using sedation for this procedure is beneficial to the patient because it minimizes pain and anxiety. Along with sedation, it’s also common for local anesthesia to be used during this procedure.
Types of Sedation
Sedation dentistry can use several types of sedation, including gas sedation, oral sedation, and IV sedation. The type of sedation used for your procedure will depend on your health, the complexity of your procedure, and the expected duration of the procedure. The sedation recommended for your procedure may also depend on the medications you are currently taking.
IV sedation is the deepest form of sedation used for dental procedures. For this type of sedation, an IV delivers the sedation to the patient via the bloodstream. IV sedation is monitored throughout the procedure. For a wisdom tooth procedure, IV sedation is only considered if other sedation methods are not adequate.
Oral sedatives use certain medications to moderately sedate the patient during treatment. This form of sedation dentistry is ideal for procedures that will last only a couple of hours. Oral sedation is particularly appropriate for patients who only require minimal sedation or for procedures that will require the patient to respond to the dentist.
Laughing gas is also commonly used for sedation during procedures like wisdom tooth extraction. Nitrous oxide has the benefit of acting quickly and wearing off quickly, usually with minimal grogginess. This sedation is delivered via an oxygen mask.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation during dental procedures can be immensely beneficial to the patient. The main benefit of sedation is anxiety relief, especially for patients who experience severe anxiety during dental visits. Sedation also helps with completing more dental work during each visit, which can reduce the overall number of visits a patient needs to address dental concerns. Patients who have a sensitive gag reflex can benefit from sedation as well.
What Should You Expect After Sedation?
Overall, sedation is very safe. You can expect the effects of sedation to last for a few hours, although some patients may not feel totally normal until after 24 hours. The most common things to expect after sedation include drowsiness, heaviness, slower reflexes, and a relaxed feeling. Your expectations after sedation will depend on the type of sedation used for your procedure.
After sedation, it’s important that you avoid eating or drinking anything for at least two hours. Water should be the first thing you ingest at least two hours after your procedure. From there, you can follow the recommended soft food diet your dentist gives you after your procedure.
How Long Does This Procedure Take?
Removing a wisdom tooth can take one to two hours. It’s common for multiple wisdom teeth to be removed during the same procedure so you won’t need to have multiple appointments. However, if your wisdom teeth are impacted or in a position that makes them difficult to remove, your procedure may take longer to complete.
What Is Your Recovery After Wisdom Tooth Removal Like?
You can usually return home after your removal procedure is complete. As soon as the sedation has worn off and you are aware of your surroundings, you will receive care instructions. Most people will need someone to drive them home after the procedure and you may require some home care for the first day to make your recovery easier. Your total recovery time may take two to three weeks.
On the first day after your procedure, you will have the most activity restrictions. You should not run, jump, or bend over. You should follow all of your wound care instructions, including leaving the extraction sites packed with gauze. To reduce swelling, you can use cold compresses on the sides of your face for 20 minutes at a time.
You may need to take pain medication to minimize discomfort. You will need to avoid caffeine, very hot drinks, alcohol, and tobacco products. You should not swish water or spit during the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may brush and floss your teeth, use a warm salt water rinse, or lightly rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. Tilting your head side to side and letting the water fall out of your mouth is the best rinse method.
During the first week after your procedure, you will still need to take it easy and rest as much as possible. Sleeping with your head elevated at this time can reduce swelling and discomfort. You will likely be on a soft food diet, but you should refrain from eating anything very cold or very hot. Warm soups, soft cheese, pudding, yogurt, jello, soft fruits, mashed potatoes, and other foods are ideal. You should not use a straw during this time.
After five to 14 days, you can usually return to most of your normal activities. Most of your bruising and swelling after this procedure should be resolved, and you should have an easier time moving your jaw. You can return to work, follow a light exercise routine, and gradually introduce firm foods into your diet.
Consider Sedation for Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
When your wisdom teeth are impacted or causing you pain, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. Removing your wisdom teeth can be beneficial for your overall oral health. However, for this procedure, you may require sedation to stay comfortable. To learn more about your sedation options, contact Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL today.