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Different Sedation Options Available For Wisdom Teeth Extraction

IV sedation wisdom teeth extraction

Does your teenager need his or her wisdom teeth removed? Depending on the size, orientation, and location of the wisdom teeth, extraction can be an involved process.

Dentists commonly recommend a wisdom tooth extraction before or just after eruption, around age 15 to 19. If the teeth haven’t erupted, they might be crooked or even oriented sideways, which can be very painful. If your teen has been noticing tooth sensitivity, neck pain, or headaches, his or her wisdom teeth may be the problem.

Many parents often schedule wisdom teeth extractions during the summer when their teens are out of school. Some teenagers feel nervous about their wisdom teeth removal because they’re not sure what to expect. The more they understand how the procedure will go ahead of time, perhaps the less worried they will be!

To help make the procedure more comfortable for them, most surgeons offer various forms of sedation. Dansville Dental Professionals is unique in that we have an onsite medical anesthetist who is certified (and highly qualified) to administer sedation to our patients.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various sedation options that are available to patients and the pros and cons of each.

Different Types of Anesthesia

Sedation is a form of anesthesia; sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. Some providers offer numerous sedation options, including relaxation techniques, and aromatherapy. Here, we focus on the options that are used most frequently by dental professionals: local anesthesia, laughing gas, oral sedation, and IV sedation.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is one of the most commonly-used sedatives. Lidocaine is injected into the target area to temporarily prevent nerves from transmitting the feeling of pain. Lidocaine can eliminate pain on its own, but it is also frequently used in conjunction with any one of the following three conscious sedation techniques to further reduce cognizance of the procedure.  

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is the weakest option of anesthesia but is easily regulated. It is typically administered via a mask, which the dentist places over the patient’s nose. The dentists can adjust the dosage of the laughing gas according to the patient’s needs. The effects wear off quickly, so patients don’t need an escort to drive them home. Laughing gas is very affordable; however, many patients report it only “takes the edge off” of the pain, so it’s effectiveness is limited.

Oral Sedation Premedication

Some patients prefer to take oral sedation pills before their dental procedure. Oral premedication (Valium, Halcion, Ativan, etc.) is typically swallowed about 30 minutes to an hour before the appointment. How long the medication lasts varies, so patients need to have a driver to take them to and from the dental office. Oral premedication is more effective than laughing gas, but because we can’t predict the effectiveness nor when it will wear off, we at Dansville Dental Professionals recommend IV sedation over oral sedation.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is the most effective option of “conscious sedation.” Sometimes referred to as “twilight sedation,” IV sedation effectively reduces the patient’s level of awareness and anxiety. Although patients are technically awake, most report that they “slept through their appointment” and are completely relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. IV sedation is administered through an IV line and is very predictable and controllable. Patients do need an escort home and they should fast prior to treatment. For significant dental procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, we at Dansville Dental Professionals recommend IV sedation.

Why Choose IV Sedation?

IV sedation is extremely reliable and safe and has been used in dentist offices for decades. Some other important advantages include:

  • Amount of sedative can be adjusted and controlled to each patient’s tolerance level
  • Sedation reversal through IV line if required
  • Administering staff members are licensed and certified

Contact Us Today for an Appointment

If you have any questions or concerns about IV sedation for your teen’s wisdom teeth removal, we’d be happy to discuss in more detail with you. Give us a call us at 585-335-2201 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn how our IV sedation offers a completely comfortable and relaxed experience for dental procedures.