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Wisdom Teeth Removal - Sedation Type

  1. Jul 7, 2014 #1
    Hey guys, I'm getting my wisdom teeth removed soon. My dentist has recommended general anesthesia (put to sleep). I have some reservations about using general anesthesia, as I have heard about another type of sedation - a type they call "twilight sleep". I believe the agent used in twilight sleep is laughing gas.

    With laughing gas, you are supposedly still awake and are just relaxed. And then there's the option of local anesthesia. I'm getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed.

    So I'm wondering what you guys' opinions are on what sedation type you think I should choose and what you guys would choose for yourself and recommend for me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2014 #2
    I would definitely voice your comments to your doctor first of all.

    I had twilight sleep when I got my wisdom teeth pulled. I think it just messes with your memory. I felt most of the time completely out but a few times I drifted back and could feel pressure but no pain and then I was back out. I remember after the procedure feeling like a million bucks. Not sure what drug did that for me, but now I can see how people get addicted.

    I believe my wife had just local anesthesia and she hated it.

    Anyway, just talk to your doc :)
  4. Jul 7, 2014 #3
    Okay, thank you. I did talk to my doctor and they did not offer laughing gas. Only general anesthesia or local sedation. I'm just wondering about what you guy's opinions are. :)
  5. Jul 7, 2014 #4
    I chose local sedation and I don't regret it. I would still choose it if I had to.
  6. Jul 7, 2014 #5
    A question - Did you remove all 4 of your wisdom teeth? My doctor stressed how the other 2 doctors (here associates, you can choose between 3 doctors) will not perform wisdom teeth removal unless under general anesthesia. My doctor stressed "choking on water and blood", so I'm just wondering how your experience was?
  7. Jul 7, 2014 #6

    jim hardy

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    I'm 68 and still have my wisdom teeth.
    I've never had anything but local for dental work...including removal of 4 bicuspids when about eleven.

    for heart caths they gave me a twilight which the nurse said was just Benadryl. If anything did hurt i didn't notice and wouldn't have cared anyway ... it's fascinating stuff.

    For bypasses they put me completely under. That's potent stuff, lights completely out.
    Myself i'd save that drastic experience for when you really need it. Ask your doctor about a phenomenon called "Bypass Brain", or google the term. That's why i would choose twilight or local.

    my two cents - and probably overpriced at that.
  8. Jul 8, 2014 #7


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    I've had three removed in one go (two upper, one compacted lower) under local anesthesia, it was fine.

    However, there is a problem when using local anesthesia when pulling the lower two molars. Injections on both sides of the lower jaw would cause the tongue to be completely numb, which indeed can give problems with swallowing.
  9. Jul 8, 2014 #8


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    I also chose local anesthesia and it was fine. The dentist just removed 2 of them in right side. So I didn't have any swallowing problem.
  10. Jul 8, 2014 #9


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    I had four wisdoms out at once and had general anaesthetic. I didn't have any problems with it. Recovery took about a week from the op though (my wisdom teeth were growing sideways into the roots of the next teeth and required a big of work to get out).
  11. Jul 8, 2014 #10


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    I've had teeth removed and had to have general anesthesia, I first tried local, but the tooth wasn't coming out and the dentist had to stop, if he'd been able to read the x-rays, he would have known I needed surgery. Both of my daughters had their wisdom teeth out under general anesthesia, it's really a light anesthesia, wearing off within ~20 minutes of being taken to the recovery room.

    The reason your doctor may want you to have general anesthesia is if he sees complications. My daughter's were impacted, they had to cut into her jaw and dig the teeth out. Mine had the roots wrapped around other teeth and required oral surgery. These are things you need to discuss with your doctor. Is it a simple extraction or surgery? Also, having 4 done at once, you'll probably be glad you were out even if they don't require cutting into your jaw.

    Why are they extracting all 4? Are none of them fully erupted?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  12. Jul 8, 2014 #11
    I had my four wisdom teeth removed, along with three other teeth to make room for my braces; so that's seven in total all at once.
    They gave me laughing gas and sat me in the chair where I was breathing laughing gas for about 10 minutes while the nurses sat at the other end of the room conversing. I think the laughing gas is to just calm you, because it didn't numb me at all. I could feel all the pain when he stuck the needle in my arm for the real anesthesia.
    The anesthesia the doctor used put me to sleep. I wouldn't have wanted to be awake through that mess anyway. He had to dig out one of those wisdom teeth because it was parallel with my jawline. That left my face very swollen.
    The recovery from having those teeth pulled out was the most miserable thing I've ever been through, I think. Good luck.
  13. Jul 8, 2014 #12


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    I was sedated when I had my four wisdom teeth out. I'm very glad for it, my face was a mess afterwards - so swollen you could not tell where my neck began!

    (The surgeon neglected to tell me it's normal for your jaw to lock up afterwards. Be sure to ask your doctor about that. I thought I'd contracted tetanus :bugeye:!)
  14. Jul 8, 2014 #13


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    I had my wisdom teeth pulled in boot camp; one numbing shot, a Vicodin and 15 minutes later all my wisdom teeth were out. The dentists there had to be pros, it was basically ran like an assembly line. There was zero pain, but a lot of pressure and bone crunching sounds.

    If your dentist is recommending general anesthesia then obviously you should follow their recommendation.
  15. Jul 9, 2014 #14


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    There is more risk involved with general anesthesia than local. It is the same as having any surgery, but for some reason people feel that since it it for teeth it is not the same as an operation in a hospital.

    There can be reasons for going under. You should feel comfortable with your decision and not made to feel pressured by the doctor. As the patient, they should be willing to answer any and all of your concerns, from discomfort to time spent at the facility, so you are sure and have no lingering doubts as to what is best.
    I still have wisdom teeth, so I have no comments on the experience of the procedure.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  16. Jul 9, 2014 #15


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    Is your procedure going to be done in the hospital? Some dentists are allowed to perform general anesthesia in their office, but you should make sure that qualified personnel is available to monitor the proces.
  17. Jul 9, 2014 #16


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    When I was a kid in the UK, laughing gas was the standard anesthetic for all extractions. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody (and it never gave me any highs afterwards).

    On the other hand having some major dental surgery with general anesthetic was about as side-effect-free as it could have been. The procedure I had was to put a tourniquet on one arm, inject into a vein (completely painless), sort out everything else including getting into a comfortable position, and finally the instruction "when you are ready, start counting up to ten and I'll remove the tourniquet". I said "one", thought "hey, this stuff works fast," and that was all I remember.
  18. Jul 10, 2014 #17
    I had my wisdom teeth removed years ago, gee I really hope that diddn't make me loose real wisdom, lol
  19. Jul 10, 2014 #18


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    I've had 3 of my 4 wisdom teeth removed, all at once. Local anesthesia was used.

    It goes almost without saying that anesthetics are a great boon to modern surgery, for which we should all be very grateful.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
  20. Jul 14, 2014 #19
    Thanks guys, your comments definitely reassured me.

    I just got my wisdom teeth removed about an hour ago and the process was painless and a bit fun I must say!
  21. Jul 14, 2014 #20


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    An hour ago? Yeeeeeaaaaah, sorry, but it's gonna get significantly less fun when the drugs wear off.
  22. Jul 14, 2014 #21


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    Follow the after extraction instructions! You do NOT want DRY SOCKET.

    Did you go for anesthesia?
  23. Jul 14, 2014 #22
    Most miserable experience of my life. I had two impacted lower wisdom teeth done 1 week apart. About an hour after the surgery, when the local wore off and my pharmacy screwed up by NOT filling out my pain meds, I experienced the worst pain ever. I actually sobbed. Then a week of pain, swollen face etc.

    Second one developed dry socket, the worst head/face/neck ache I've ever felt. It took me several days to realize what it could be and then rinsing with warm salt water cleared it up in a couple of days (I refused to go back to my dentist).
  24. Jul 14, 2014 #23
    Evo, I did have general anesthesia for removing all 4 of my wisdom teeth.

    You're right, now I'm bleeding a lot and have some discomfort! :(
  25. Jul 14, 2014 #24
    You are right :(
  26. Sep 8, 2014 #25
    I had suffered with gum disease for decades and was tired of it, so I had 24 teeth removed at one time. all under local anesthetic. several shots of Novocain and out they came. I avoid any anesthesia whenever possible. general anesthesia is among the highest risks during any surgery. any time you are put to sleep, there is a risk you will not wake up.
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