Wisdom teeth are usually extracted between ages 16 to 19. At about age 16, we will take what is called a panoramic x-ray. This allows us to see the exact location of the wisdom teeth in relation to the rest of the oral anatomy. If the panoramic shows that the wisdom teeth are beginning to crowd the other teeth, or that their eruption is somehow hindered, then we will schedule an appointment to have them extracted. But some people have slower development than others, so it may be that waiting a few years to extract wisdom teeth is best.
Except in rare situations, we sedate patients for wisdom teeth extraction using oral sedation medication. The oral medication will make most people extremely tired, but does not always put people to sleep. The patient will not remember the procedure at all, but the medication is light enough that we can still communicate with the patient if needed.
In our office we use nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, in conjunction with the oral sedation. This helps the patient to stay relaxed while in their state of semi-consciousness.
Anyone being sedated for any procedure must have a designated driver. Patients who have been sedated can not operate a vehicle or other heavy machinery and should not be left alone. Sedation patients should have someone to assist them when walking and should avoid stairs.
For more information on our sedation methods click here.