During your regular checkup, your dentist may decide you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted. The procedure often can be done in our office. You may have the surgery in the hospital, especially if you are having all your wisdom teeth pulled at one time or if you are at high risk for complications. If you have any infections, surgery will usually be delayed until the infection has cleared up. We may have you take antibiotics to help heal the infection.
Before removing a wisdom tooth, we will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anaesthetic like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anaesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don't eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery, so you are prepared for the anaesthetic.
To remove the wisdom tooth, we will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.
An oral sedative is taken before you come to the appointment. It will relax you leading up to the appointment and during the appointment. Oral sedation can range from mild to moderate effectiveness depending on the dose we prescribe for you. You’ll probably be groggy during the procedure, although sometimes patients can fall asleep during the surgery. Because of the effects, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the appointment.
Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is another way to calm patients during surgery. A measured amount of the gas is combined with oxygen which you'll breathe through a mask over your nose. We’ll be able to control how much nitrous oxide you have so that you have a more comfortable surgery experience. Unlike oral sedation, you can drive yourself after using nitrous oxide.