The removal of Wisdom teeth is a topic that can make some people very uneasy. However, dentists today have a range of anesthesia options to choose from so don’t be afraid to get your wisdom teeth removed!
The dentist may carry the surgical removal of Wisdom Teeth out under local or general anesthesia. The dentist will normally select the form of anesthesia to be used, after considering the condition of the tooth.
This is often referred to as “Being put to sleep”. This is where the dentist will induce a state of unconsciousness that takes away the patient’s ability to respond to physical stimulation. The dentist is unlikely to select General Anesthesia if these conditions are present:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Middle ear infection
General anesthesia is a more complex procedure than local anesthesia. It carries more danger to the patient, requires more facilities, special equipment is required, and it is a more expensive procedure.
What can go wrong with General Anesthesia?
- Too much anesthesia given – resulting in lack of oxygen and consequent brain damage
- Too little anesthesia given – resulting in the patient waking during the procedure.
- Using the wrong type of anesthesia – It is possible that even the most minor mistake during the application of anesthesia can have lifelong consequences.
Dentists may well prefer to work with local anesthesia. Dentists perceive local anesthesia to have various benefits like shortened recovery period, enhanced safety for the patient and lower cost.
Many patients are nervous of dental procedures and the thought of being “put to sleep” may have some appeal, however, with the availability of various methods of relaxation and local pain control that are available today, together with the cost benefits, there is a move away from general anesthesia in most regulated western countries.