One of the most common oral surgeries Portway Dental Centre has handled is wisdom teeth extractions. Often this procedure is performed in our office, but you may also have the surgery at the local hospital, especially if all your wisdom teeth need to be extracted all at once and you are at high risk for complications. For patients who have an infection, surgery will usually be delayed until the infection clears. We may have you take antibiotics to help.
A local anaesthetic is used to numb the surgery area. Nitrous oxide is the most common anaesthetic used when several or all your wisdom teeth need to be removed at the same time. For optimal comfort to patients, a general anaesthetic prevents pain and causes you to sleep through the extraction. We often recommend that you do not eat or drink after midnight on the night before your surgery.
The extraction procedure includes opening the gum tissue to remove the wisdom tooth and any bone that is covering the tooth. The tooth is first separated from the connecting tissue and bone before removal. Sometimes the tooth is cut into smaller pieces in order to make extraction easier.
After the tooth’s removal, stitches may be needed. Some stitches dissolve over time while others must be removed after a few days. We will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. To help stop the bleeding, a folded cotton gauze pad is placed over the surgery area.
For some appointments, an oral sedative is taken to help you relax. An oral sedation can range from mild to moderate effectiveness depending on the dose prescribed. You’ll probably be groggy during the procedure; some patients even fall asleep. Be sure to have someone else drive you to and from the appointment because of the effects of the sedative.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Another common calming method used during surgery is laughing gas or nitrous oxide. Measured amounts of laughing gas and oxygen are combined and breathed through a mask over your nose. You are able to control the amount of nitrous oxide you have so that you are as comfortable as possible through the surgery. Unlike oral sedation, you can drive yourself after using the nitrous oxide.