When you need to have a wisdom tooth extracted, your dentist might opt for local anesthetic/light sedation or moderate/deep IV sedation. There are pros and cons to both methods. An appointment with a local anesthetic or light sedation, like laughing gas, may cost less than IV sedation; however, moderate, or deep sedation can be incredibly beneficial for those with dental phobia since you will have a limited or no memory of the procedure. Another aspect to consider is how complicated your extraction appointment will be. Complicated extractions tend to require deeper sedation methods since the procedure may take longer and be more invasive. Here are three cases where you may need IV sedation.
You Have an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted tooth is one that hasn't erupted above the gumline or has only partially erupted because there isn't enough room in the jaw ridge. If a tooth has already erupted, then a dentist can place a local anesthetic and use a dental luxator and forceps to pull the tooth cleanly. With an impacted tooth, your dentist may have to take a few more steps. He or she may need to make an incision in your gums and jawbone to even access the impacted tooth, so IV sedation may be preferable.
You Have a Tooth with Horizontal Angulation
Both impacted teeth and erupted teeth may come in the wrong direction due to crowding, so you may actually have a tooth with a tilt or horizontal angulation. These types of teeth can be tricky to move because the wisdom tooth may be tilted towards the surrounding nerves in the jawbone. A possible post-operative complication for these teeth is paresthesia, where surrounding nerves have altered sensations due to surgical trauma. IV sedation is helpful for these types of cases since the patient will be really relaxed, and the dentist can really take his or her time and remove the tooth without disrupting nearby nerves. Instead of using a luxator to loosen the tooth, a dentist might use a drill to cut the tooth into smaller sections and remove these pieces instead of trying to remove the entire tooth in one go.
You Have Developed an Operculum
An operculum is a flap of gum tissue that grows above the wisdom tooth; operculums sometimes develop over-impacted teeth and angulated teeth. Operculums can cause swelling and discomfort when biting down, and some may become infected since they can be hard to properly clean. If you have an operculum around a wisdom tooth, then your dentist might want to do the extraction with IV sedation so that he or she can clean out any infection and excise any excess gum tissue before extracting the tooth.
Reach out to a dentist today to learn more about IV sedation and what sedated wisdom teeth extraction options are available.