Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common dental surgeries performed today by an oral surgeon. When performed by a well-trained and experienced oral surgeon, you can expect to have this surgery performed while under general anesthesia and wake up and be surprised that all four wisdom teeth have already been extracted. Take a closer look at what you should expect.
How Long Will Wisdom Teeth Removal Take?
Most wisdom tooth removal surgeries last about 40-90 minutes. Even if you’re having all four of your wisdom teeth removed at once, the procedure typically takes an hour. If your wisdom teeth are in a difficult position or there are unexpected difficulties, the surgery may take a bit longer.
How Soon After Wisdom Teeth Removal Can You Go Home?
Don’t expect to get up and walk out of the surgeon’s office right after surgery. Once the surgery is complete, your dental team will gradually bring you out of anesthesia. Every person is different when it comes to reactions to anesthesia, so some will wake back up a bit faster than others.
Once you’re fully alert, your surgical team will monitor you until they’re certain you can return home safely. They will provide full instructions to your escort for recovery, pain control, and wound care before releasing you.
The amount of time you may spend in the office after the surgery varies, but in most cases, including recovery from anesthesia, it should be 1 ½ -2 hours. Make sure you have someone waiting to bring you home. You cannot drive until the anesthesia has fully worn off. You’re also not likely to feel well enough to drive safely for at least a day or two.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Your oral surgeon will discuss all anesthesia options before your surgery is scheduled. They will talk to you about the risks and benefits involved with each option. Financials are presented on the day of consultation, so you have a complete understanding before you leave the office.
There are three main options when it comes to wisdom teeth removal anesthesia:
- General Anesthesia
- Oral Sedation with Nitrous Oxide(Laughing gas)
- IV Sedation
Most insurances will cover the cost of anesthesia as they are aware that it is rather uncomfortable to go through the procedure while being awake, especially if your teeth are impacted(stuck inside the bone).
Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Removal
There are two phases of wisdom tooth removal recovery. The first phase lasts for about 24 hours following the surgery. You will likely sleep much of this time as your body reawakens from the anesthesia and copes with the short-term trauma caused by surgical tooth removal. Your oral surgeon will tell you how to control pain so that you can rest comfortably.
The second phase can last for up to three or four days. Most patients are more alert during this time but don’t feel up to resuming their daily routines. You should follow all guidelines set by your oral surgeon to make sure your surgical wound is cared for properly. The most urgent concerns are preventing infection and bringing the bleeding to a complete stop.
You can ask your surgical team if you’re unsure about the proper timing to resume daily activity. Every person heals differently, so you may take more or less than a few days to fully recover.