It can be a bit daunting to go to the dentist, something you've done countless times before, only to be fully sedated. When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, the procedure can often be carried out under local anaesthetic, sometimes with partial sedation. But what about when your dentist tells you that your own wisdom teeth removal needs to take place under general anaesthetic?
Your dentist will decide on a case-by-case basis whether general anaesthetic is appropriate for wisdom teeth removal. Those whose particular circumstances warrant it might be fully sedated during the procedure. This is often the case when your wisdom teeth are impacted (have not emerged from your gums), as this is somewhat more intrusive than the removal of non-impacted wisdom teeth. Those who have existing conditions that can complicate the removal of their wisdom teeth might also be a candidate for general anaesthetic, and this can include those who are affected by extreme fear of dental procedures. You will be asked about your medical history before a final decision is made about the best means of anaesthetic in your case.
General anaesthetic can be delivered in a number of different ways, but it's likely to be via an IV (intravenous) injection. Basically, you will receive the injection while in the dentist's chair and will quickly be rendered unconscious. You will wake up again shortly afterwards, after the anaesthesiologist has reversed the medication you were initially given, precisely in order to wake you up. You might still be in the dentist's chair or might have been taken to an adjacent recovery room. You will feel groggy and somewhat confused, especially if you awaken in a recovery room with no memory of being taken there. You might experience a sense of nausea, sometimes with subsequent vomiting.
Family and Friends
It's important that you have someone collect you after your wisdom teeth have been removed under general anaesthetic. In fact, some dental offices will insist on it. There's some logic to this, as it can be extremely unsafe to drive yourself home after full sedation. Having a family member or friend to collect you and see you safely home is in your best interests. There's also the fact that you might begin to feel pain from the procedure as the effects of the anaesthetic dissipate. Your dentist will have given you a full list of instructions to aid your recovery (including the recommended pain relief), but having a family member or friend collect you allows them to ask for clarification about any part of the process if they will be looking after you at home during the initial stages of your recovery.
Don't be alarmed if your dentist suggests general anaesthetic for your wisdom teeth removal, but it's important to know what to expect. Talk to your dentist today for more information about wisdom teeth removal.