Did your last visit to the dentist include the phrase “wisdom tooth extraction?” Many people shudder at the idea of having their wisdom teeth removed. Unfortunately, if you have decay present or the wisdom teeth did not come through properly, removal is often recommended by your dentist. On the bright side, opting for anesthesia, (an area of sedation dentistry,) can help make the process of removing your wisdom teeth comfortable and painless.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt.They often appear during the late teen years or early twenties. Molars on each side of the jaw, both upper and lower, will either come through okay or, for some,will require wisdom tooth extraction.
Signs You Need to Have Wisdom Teeth Extracted
The need for removal often becomes evident only when the wisdom teeth become bothersome. Partially emerged wisdom teeth can lead to an array of issues, including disease and crowding. Often, wisdom tooth extraction will help alleviate the painful and uncomfortable sensations typical of overcrowding. Because teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots, people who have this procedure done earlier will often experience fewer complications during the wisdom tooth extraction procedure. According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended to have wisdom teeth evaluated between the ages of 16 and 19 to see if removal is necessary.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Before having your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will discuss your options for anesthesia. Sedation dentistry uses medication to relax patients who struggle with dental fear and anxiety. It is common for people to become uncomfortable or anxious when discussing surgical procedures, however, choosing sedation dentistry can help manage anxiety.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
If you require a wisdom tooth extraction,the dentist will discuss your options. Removal depends on placement of the wisdom teeth. For fully visible wisdom teeth, the extraction process is often much less invasive, requiring a simple removal procedure. A numbing medication is used to help with discomfort. However, because wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth, it often results in little room for the teeth to come through properly. This is referred to as “impacted” teeth. This condition requires removal to relieve discomfort and alleviate health issues. The extraction process often requires your dentist to also remove some of the bone and gum tissue, making the procedure more involved. Because many people will have all four teeth removed, sedation is often recommended to help alleviate pain, discomfort and anxiety.
Sedation Dentistry Options
Discussing your personal situation with your dentist will help determine the best route for sedation options. Depending on your individual needs, anxiety level and the complexity of the procedure, your dentist may recommended one or more of the following sedation dentistry options:
- Local Anesthesia:A numbing medication injected into the gums in the area of the mouth requiring treatment. Local anesthesia blocks the sensation of pain.
- Conscious Sedation: An oral medication is prescribed by your dentist. Itis taken before the procedure. Often, an anti-anxiety medication is also prescribed to help alleviate dental fear.
- Nitrous Oxide: Commonly called “laughing gas,” this type of sedation dentistry is a controlled mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen that is administered through a mask placed over your nose.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation: Medication that is administered intravenously through the blood stream.
If you have been delaying the inevitable, sedation can help alleviate the anxiety and stress that often accompanies wisdom tooth extraction. Call the friendly team at Village Park Family Dental today to find out how sedation dentistry can help.