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What happens during a wisdom teeth removal?

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Your surgery should take no more than 45 minutes. You’ll get one of these types of anesthesia so you don’t feel pain during the removal:

Your doctor may have to cut your gums or bone to get the teeth out. If so, he'll stitch the wounds shut so they heal quickly. These stitches usually dissolve after a few days. He may also stuff gauze pads in your mouth to soak up some of the blood.

  • Local anesthesia: Your doctor will numb your mouth with a shot of Novocaine in your gums.You may also breathe nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax or even doze during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterward.
  • IV sedation: The surgeon will numb your mouth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep during the whole procedure.
  • General: You’ll either get drugs through a vein or breathe gas in through a mask. You’ll be asleep the whole time and might not wake up for an hour or so after the surgery.

SOURCES:

Richard E. Bauer III, DMD, MD, assistant professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Louis K. Rafetto, DMD, PA, vice president, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Wilmington, DE.

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: “Wisdom Teeth Management”

Pennsylvania Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: “Anesthesia”

Donald G. Rebhun, DMD: "Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 10, 2019

SOURCES:

Richard E. Bauer III, DMD, MD, assistant professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Louis K. Rafetto, DMD, PA, vice president, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Wilmington, DE.

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: “Wisdom Teeth Management”

Pennsylvania Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: “Anesthesia”

Donald G. Rebhun, DMD: "Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 10, 2019

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What is it like after a wisdom teeth removal?

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