Should I have my wisdom teeth extracted?
Wisdom tooth extraction is an important procedure that has become a rite of passage for many teens and young adults due to a variety of reasons. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are typically the last teeth to come in and there is often not enough room for them to grow properly. When there is not enough space for the wisdom teeth to develop, they may cause other oral health problems, become impacted (unable to break through the jawbone or gum tissue), or may grow at an incorrect angle. Common dental problems associated with wisdom teeth include but are not limited to:
- Disturbing the natural tooth alignment
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Tooth decay
- Infection and inflammation of gums
- Formation of cysts
- Damage to the jaw bone
Dentists may recommend wisdom teeth extraction to avoid these complications and to keep your smile healthy. We will carefully evaluate your smile including the position of your teeth to determine whether you would benefit from tooth extraction.
When do I need to have my wisdom teeth extracted?
Though we commonly recommend wisdom teeth extraction early on to teens and young adults when their wisdom teeth begin to erupt, we can also treat older patients who may develop problems with their wisdom teeth later on in life. If you experience any pain concerning your wisdom teeth, do not ignore it and call us immediately.
Will I be sedated during the procedure?
While we will apply a local anesthetic to keep your procedure as painless as possible, you may want to consider sedation to help keep you relaxed during treatment. A few types of sedation that are commonly used include oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.
What is oral conscious sedation?
With oral conscious sedation, you will experience a decrease in anxiety and feel at ease during your dental treatment. This type of sedation allows you to stay conscious throughout the procedure while we provide medication that relaxes your body and mind. Once the procedure is over, you will become alert and return to your ‘normal’ state afterward. Though you will be conscious and the effects of sedation do not linger, we ask that you arrange for someone to drive you on the day of your treatment for your safety and the safety of others.
What is nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous Oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, removes any anxiety or nerves you may have during a procedure. Once the nitrous oxide is inhaled, the effects will occur within a few seconds. It is very safe because if patients get too deeply sedated, we can quickly change the setting and they will start to wake up pretty quickly. The same is true if the patient is sedated too lightly and needs more anesthetic. We can easily change the setting, allowing patients to become more or less sedated for a procedure. After treatment, many patients are capable of driving themselves homemaking nitrous oxide sedation a convenient option.
What is IV sedation?
IV sedation is another great option for those who struggle with dental anxiety as it allows effects to be felt sooner since it is administered through the bloodstream. It is also preferable for patients who struggle with gag reflex. Your dentist will continually monitor your pulse and oxygen levels throughout your treatment and will take blood pressure readings before and after sedation.
Those who elect IV sedation should have a friend or family member drive them home afterward as patients may feel a little groggy as the sedative wears off. It is also recommended to take the rest of the day off to rest before returning to work the next day after having IV sedation.
Here at Smile Connection, we strive to keep our patients as comfortable as possible during treatment. If you have questions about dental anxiety, wisdom teeth extraction, or sedation dentistry options, please contact Smile Connection today.