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OT- Wisdom Teeth Removal

I am going to have my wisdom teeth removed in a few weeks. My options are to have it done under a local anesthesia or an IV sedative.

It seems that most patients have it done under the sedative, and that is what my surgeon reccomends. I am, however, very reluctant to be sedated. I'm not worried about complications, I just do not want to be unconscious and not remember any of the procedure.


Has anyone had their wisdom teeh removed under local or IV sedation? Please share your experience.

Wed. Oct 3, 1:12pm

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Mine was performed under IV sedation and I was also reluctant. I don't react well to most medicines, have veins that are difficult to find (and poke a needle into) and I was just a bit uneasy at being unaware.

My surgeon is a plastic surgeon as well as a dentist (and still found time for a family after all that school ;-)) and he recommended sedation because it is less traumatic (ie: the patient isn't exerting opposing forces to his actions) and downtime was a major consideration for me. So I went with it.

The sedation itself was a piece of cake. He had a very knowledgable nurse who took my small veins in stride and I was out before you could count to 10. It felt like drifting off to sleep. I woke up feeling pleasantly rested, but was a little uncoordinated for ~20 minutes or so. My husband drove me home and I napped like a baby the rest of the afternoon and woke up a couple times to change gauze. That turned out to be a formality - I had very little bleeding, ZERO swelling and I felt like I could eat anything I wanted after I woke up. I was careful and followed all recommendations for eating/drinking/rinsing, but really I felt like I'd had nothing done. I've felt worse after burning my mouth or biting my lip. None of my friends who had their teeth pulled (all under local) had a recovery that can even compare. It was a total non-event. I would have thought maybe it was just me, but my husband then had to have his pulled (and they were impacted) and had the same experience. One of the best things was that I didn't need any pain meds which usually make me very sick.

Best wishes with your extraction!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 1:31 PM

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I had it done many years ago, completely under with an IV). I didn't feel like there were any drawbacks. It turned out that one of the four was impacted (this was not expected) and it may have been a good thing to be completely under, since that certainly means more work, probably less pleasant work.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 1:54 PM

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I had both kinds and can attest to the recovery from having 3 removed under general anesthetic was *much* easier. I needed no Rx painkillers and no time off from work. The one done under local 10 years later required a couple of days on percocet and vicodin along with a reduced workload.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 1:55 PM

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I went under and don't regret it for a second. A bonus of the surgery - I lost weight only eating yogurt, chicken broth and other liquidy foods. :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 2:10 PM

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First of all, make sure you go to an oral surgeon (board certified). A general dentist can pull teeth and they may do an occasional 3rd molar extraction but it isn't bread and butter work for them like it is for the oral surgeon.

Make sure they take a panoramic xray so there are no surprises lurking just a mm away from the extraction site that wouldn't be caught on a typical dental xray.

Listen to the oral surgeon. If he or she recommends IV sedation, consider the advice very seriously. One person's extraction is not necessarily like another person's. Some 3rd molars are impacted under soft tissue or bone, some are sideways. sometimes there are more than 4 teeth (extra wisdom teeth are not all that unsual). So the surgery may be involved and require bone drills. You will be a lot happier if you are "under sedation".

Ask about your teeth, whether or not they are impacted, and how involved the extractions and recovery will be. Ask about healing time.

If you have a good Oral surgeon, trust that all will be well because most people just don't have room for their wisdom teeth and they are much better getting them out which means a lot of people are getting them extracted and things go well. In other words, if you are getting treatment from a board certified OS who is seasoned (experienced) and you know others who have gone to this person with no trouble, most likely you will be fine.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 4:19 PM

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I had mine removed under IV sedation, and it was great! Literally, I remember them putting in the IV, and a couple seconds later, waking up and my mom was there and it was all over.

My doctor told me I could do it either way, but if I did local, I'd know all of what was going on, how much I was bleeding, etc., and even though I wouldn't be able to feel pain, I'd still be able to feel pressure and hear the "popping" of the roots being pulled and broken. That sounded terrible to me, and I knew I wouldn't want to remember all that! So I chose to be sedated.

Afterwards, my mom took me home, and bought me a frosty, which I managed to drool all over myself b/c of the local anesthetic, which I guess they used in addition. They gave me percocet to take if I had pain, but I ended up not taking it because I needed to study for an exam. It hurt, but it wasn't a huge deal.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 4:47 PM

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Wow I'm jealous of all those "easy" experiences and recoveries out there!

I had mine removed in highschool over 10 years ago and all 4 were sideways and impacted. It was the worst experience of my life!! I was put completely under but the swelling in my face and jaw was crazy. I looked like a garbage pail kid, honestly. I missed school and was on pain meds for several days.
I do have a tiny mouth though and have actually had permanent teeth removed for this reason.
So my advice is listen very carefully to your surgeon, what he recommends is probably best for your situation.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 4:48 PM

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I had 4 "boney impactions" removed under general. The oral surgeon didn't give me a choice because they were going to be so difficult to remove. Besides being so hudely swollen that I couldn't fit a toothbrush in my mouth for nearly a week, and so bruised that my husband got evil stares from strangers when we were out in public together, it was a great recovery. I only needed extra strength Tylenol for pain the first 2 days. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:15 PM

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Local here, only one removed (I'm 41 and still have the other three--can you say bigmouth? LOL). Had quite a few bone/gum capsules removed also. Cracked the jawbone (not seriously). No painkillers after, and the worst part was the memory of how that cracked jawbone sounded.

No swelling visible in my face. I was very lucky. I know.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:32 PM

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I had an unpleasant experience with a local anesthetic - I would listen to the surgeon and go with the general. We had a friend who just had his wisdom teeth removed under a general anesthetic and he said it felt (to him) like he was only out for 20 minutes and it was really well over an hour. He didn't have much pain and had no swelling or bruising.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 10:32 PM

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