The good news about having your wisdom teeth taken out is that you usually won’t feel anything during the surgery. How alert or aware you are of what’s going on around you depends on the type of anesthesia you receive. The type of anesthesia that’s most appropriate for you is based in part on your personal preferences and on the complexity of the surgery. Your oral surgeon will discuss your options with you before the procedure and will help you pick the best option.
If you receive local anesthesia during your wisdom teeth removal surgery, you’ll be awake and conscious for the duration of the procedure. The surgeon will use a needle to inject the anesthetic into your jaws or gums, so that the area is fully numb and you won’t feel any pain during the surgery.
Local anesthesia might be a good choice for you if you have no qualms about someone working in your mouth or about feeling a bit of pressure in the area during surgery. There are some benefits to getting local anesthesia, mainly that you won’t have to wait for it to wear off before you’re with it again and won’t have to deal with feelings of grogginess or confusion. A local anesthetic might be an ideal option for people who only need to have one or two wisdom teeth taken out, as well.
Not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of knowing what the surgeon is doing during their surgery. If that’s you, but you don’t want to be fully under during your procedure, sedation anesthesia, might be a better option. You’ll be somewhat out of it during the surgery, and won’t remember what happened. Sedation anesthesia is typically given along with a local anesthetic, so not only will you not be aware of what’s going on, you also won’t feel any pain. After the procedure, you’ll need to wait for the sedative to wear off before you can head home. You won’t be able to drive home, so you’ll need someone to take care of you afterwards.
Patients who receive general anesthesia during wisdom tooth removal are fully out and completely unconscious. There are several reasons why you might want to go the general anesthesia route. If your surgeon thinks your procedure will be particularly complicated, general anesthesia might be the most comfortable option. You won’t remember anything about the procedure afterwards.
Since general anesthesia is the most involved option, it typically has a more rigorous set of pre- and post-treatment instructions. For example, your oral surgeon will likely to tell you not to eat or drink anything starting at least eight hours before your surgery. You won’t be able to drive yourself home or operate any sort of vehicle for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
You might have a few side effects as you come out of the anesthesia, too. For example, you might feel a bit queasy or a bit groggy as it wears off.
There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to anesthesia, which is why speaking with your oral surgeon and understanding the pros and cons of each option is so important. Dr. Jamali, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon in New York City, is available to discuss the differences in anesthetics with you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jamali, call (212) 480-2777 today.