What Is IV Sedation for Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom tooth removal is a process that many people must face at least once in their life. Although the procedure is often associated with pain, thanks to several sedation methods, the procedure itself is usually painless for the patient. One common method is IV sedation. But what exactly is IV sedation for wisdom teeth, and what can you expect from the procedure?

Hopefully, this article gives you the confidence to undergo IV sedation for wisdom teeth by giving you all the information you need.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: The Basics

Many adults get their wisdom teeth removed, but it’s still an intimidating procedure for some. You may need your wisdom teeth removed if:

  • You have an impacted wisdom tooth/impacted wisdom teeth (trapped in your jawbone)
  • They come in at an angle
  • They take up too much room in your mouth
  • They affect your oral health

If it’s time to remove your wisdom teeth, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon who will first talk you through the procedure to let you know what to expect.

During this time, they will also bring up the idea of sedation and anesthesia and the type they’ll use. This meeting is where the doctor would first tell you about IV sedation for wisdom teeth. Depending on the type of sedation you get for your dental visit, you may be awake or sleep throughout the procedure (more on this later).

Your oral surgeon will give you instructions on what else to expect on the day and what to do to prepare. If you follow all instructions, the day of your surgery should go smoothly.

It typically takes a few days to recover from your wisdom tooth removal. Most people feel little to no pain, but you may be prescribed medication to help you deal with any discomfort that may occur in the following days.

Now that you know what to expect from your wisdom teeth procedure, let’s talk specifically about IV sedation.

teeth close up illustration

What Is IV Sedation for Wisdom Teeth?

IV (intravenous) sedation is adding medication into your bloodstream using a small needle inserted into a vein. The vein is usually in your arm, but sometimes the doctor uses one in your hand.

The IV method is used for several different procedures, from being a quick and efficient way of providing additional nutrients to sedation.

The benefit of IV sedation for wisdom teeth is that it allows for a deeper level of sedation than other methods. In addition to IV sedation, you also receive local anesthesia to numb your gums.

During conscious IV sedation for wisdom teeth, you’re awake throughout the procedure, although you won’t feel any pain. This is in contrast to general anesthesia, where you are entirely unconscious. That said, the IV sedation might make you so tired that you end up sleeping throughout the procedure anyway.

Medications typically found in an IV sedation for wisdom teeth include:

  • Sedatives
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatories

IV sedation dentistry is for more than wisdom teeth extraction. This process is used for many major dental procedures, including tooth extractions, root canals, and other major oral surgeries.

What to Expect from IV Sedation for Wisdom Teeth

The best way to have an excellent IV sedation experience is to prepare beforehand, including knowing what IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal involves.

Here’s what to expect from IV sedation for wisdom teeth to give you a glimpse into the process.

Before Your Procedure

Before your IV sedation for wisdom teeth, there are a few things that you should do to ensure that the procedure goes smoothly.

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing: This ensures that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure and that there’s as little as possible restricting your body. What’s more is that you should avoid artificial nails, jewelry, and hair accessories.
  • Stop eating and drinking before the procedure: Depending on what your dental professional recommends, you may be required to not eat six to 12 hours before your IV sedation for wisdom teeth.
  • Tell your dentist about any medication you’re taking: You may be able to continue to take your regular medication before your IV sedation, but be sure to listen to your doctor’s instructions.

You should also plan on taking the remainder of the day off from work or school, as you’ll need time to rest after your procedure. Doing this ensures that your procedure goes smoothly and that you make a quick recovery.

During Your Procedure

On the day of your wisdom teeth extraction, a friend or family member you trust who can escort you home must accompany you. The dental sedation often takes hours to wear off, making it inadvisable to drive or navigate your way back home alone.

At the beginning of your wisdom tooth procedure, the doctor or nurse will insert an IV in your arm, and your medications will enter your bloodstream.

After Your Procedure

Once the procedure is over, you’ll most likely feel drowsy for a while — typically for a few hours. You should prioritize rest and avoid strenuous activity, alcohol, or operating any heavy machinery for the rest of the day,

In terms of complications, the chances are extremely rare. At most, some patients experience irritation at the site of the IV insertion. That said, this side effect typically subsides on its own.

close up of young women smiling face

The Takeaway: IV Sedation for Wisdom Teeth Is a Normal Procedure

IV sedation for wisdom teeth is a common and safe method of dental sedation. Although you may feel a little anxious before the treatment and drowsy afterwards, it’s still an excellent choice to make wisdom tooth removal as comfortable as possible.

If you think that you need your wisdom teeth removed and want to explore the possibility of IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal, book your appointment now.

Our patients will always be our first priority. We are devoted to creating an exceptional experience with every patient that walks into our office.

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