Since a wisdom tooth can cause dental problems and be a massive pain for someone if it does not grow properly, many people need to have a wisdom tooth extraction at some point in their lives (generally between ages 17 to 25). Wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common surgical procedures, but it is also reputed to be extremely painful and scary.
Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth appearing in your mouth (two in the lower jawbone and two in the upper jawbone). They are towards the very back of your mouth and typically erupt, as previously mentioned, between the ages of 17 and 25. Although some people never develop wisdom teeth, between one-third and one-half of all persons have a painful experience when they wisdom teeth do erupt. This pain is usually because wisdom teeth tend to be large, and there is sometimes insufficient space to grow around them. So, they cause pain as they displace other teeth, for example.
Wisdom teeth are usually removed when there is no room for them to grow, which causes your gums to hurt and can variously lead to dangerous infections or other kinds of dental issues. In addition, as a consequence of an impacted wisdom tooth, you could experience tooth decay, damage to the bone near the tooth, or even a fluid-filled sac commonly known as a cyst. If you are currently suffering from this, your dentist will likely suggest having your wisdom teeth pulled.
Because wisdom tooth extractions can be painful, it is standard practice for your dentist or oral surgeon to use anesthesia to make the surgical removal a bit easier for you. The doctor might recommend three types of anesthesia levels based on the complexity of your wisdom tooth extraction (and your level of anguish or tolerance to pain).
Your dentist might administer one or multiple injections near the impacted wisdom tooth that needs to be extracted. However, the dentist will apply a formula before injecting you with the anesthesia to ensure the gums are numbed. You are awake during the procedure with local anesthesia and might feel some heaviness and movement but no pain.
Your dental surgeon might give you sedation anesthesia, administered through an IV, an intravenous line in your arm. This is intended for you to relax deeply and maybe even lightly fall asleep during the surgery, so you will be out of pain and might not remember most of the procedure. The dentist might also administer local anesthesia to numb your gums at the beginning of the procedure.
If you have a complicated case, your dentist might administer general anesthesia. This includes inhaling medication through your nose or having an IV link in your arm – sometimes both. With general anesthesia, you will lose consciousness, and the surgical team frequently checks your vitals.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation is the administration of an anti-anxiety drug through the blood during dental treatment. This type of sedation is sometimes also known as "twilight" or "sleep" dentistry. With IV sedation, you will feel relaxed and be comfortable rather than being asleep. You will be able to converse with the dentist but have a very vague memory of the surgery once the sedative wears off.
Your dentist will suggest IV sedation as an option if you are scared of needles, the dentist, or dental procedures and surgeries in general. However, your dentist might also suggest this sedation if your wisdom tooth extraction is complicated and needs particular time and care. Furthermore, your dentist will recommend IV sedation if you have dental anxiety or need to be put under for multiple dental treatments.
There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. One of the most significant advantages of IV sedation is that it makes you relaxed and ensures you have a pleasant and unpainful treatment. It is highly beneficial for patients who are nervous and worried about discomfort and pain. When a patient is anxious, it becomes harder for the dentist to operate on them. Therefore, IV sedation helps them calm down as they become unconscious, and the doctor can also be at ease.
However, there are some disadvantages too. One of the main issues people have when it comes to IV sedation is affordability. It is not always covered by insurance, so some patients might have to pay out of pocket. Furthermore, the patient is left impaired for an hour or so after the sedation. Therefore, if you plan on driving back home, you must keep this in mind. Fortunately, there are no medical disadvantages or dangerous side effects in the vast majority of patients.
IV Sedation is typically relatively quick, and patients fall asleep in around 15 to 30 minutes once administered. However, when the IV sedation is removed, patients can expect to wake up after 20 minutes, and it takes around six hours to recover from the sedation fully.
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