I am 44 years old and have three impacted wisdom teeth. One tooth is under the bone. I am wondering if general anesthesia is necessary or if sedation is enough. I’ve never had general anesthesia, and I prefer not to get it. Thanks. Wade from AR
Thank you for your inquiry. Although we do not have your case details, most wisdom tooth extractions do not require general anesthesia. Other levels of sedation work well with extractions without making you unconscious, like general anesthesia.
Moderate Sedation for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Intravenous, moderate sedation is known as twilight sedation. Your state will be between awake and asleep. And you will drift in and out of consciousness. Most patients do not remember anything about the procedure except feeling sleepy and relaxed. Moderate sedation offers deeper relaxation than sedation with nitrous oxide, which gives you a sense of well-being while you are fully awake.
Deep Sedation for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Deep sedation is drug-induced, depresses consciousness, and prevents you from awakening easily.
General Anesthesia for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
General anesthesia makes you completely unconscious. Risks increase with general anesthesia, too.
What Makes Some Wisdom Teeth Extractions More Difficult?
As we age, several factors can make wisdom teeth extractions more difficult. And your dentist will recommend sedation based on your sensitivity and condition of your teeth.
- Bone – The older the bone is, the less pliable it becomes.
- Cementum – Calcified bone-like tissue at the tooth roots accumulates. Although cementum and can make extractions more challenging, an oral surgeon or a dentist with experience in wisdom teeth extractions will be successful.
- Position – Impacted wisdom teeth may grow sideways or lean against other teeth. A skilled dentist or oral surgeon can remove them without harming nearby teeth.
Sedation Second Opinion
If you need a tooth extraction, but your dentist or oral surgeon recommends general anesthesia, ask why. Underlying factors might be influencing the recommendation. If not, you can get a second opinion from another sedation dentist or oral surgeon to discuss your options.
Dr. Steven Brooksher of Baton Rouge, LA, sponsors this post.