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Anesthesia

Local Anesthesia vs Sedative for Tooth Extraction

03/13/2003

Question:

I am going to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. I want to know if it`s better to take all four of them out at the same time or take them two at a time? I also want to know which is better local anesthesia or mild sedative?

Answer:

Your question about how many teeth it is best to have pulled out is outside my area of expertise. I suggest you check on this with your dentist. Removal of teeth is usually done in a dentist`s office, using local anesthesia. Your dentist may first apply a "topical" anesthetic medication to the tissues in the mouth. This numbs up an area in the mouth where the dentist will then inject a local anesthetic to block a nerve and prevent pain in the specific area of the mouth where the wisdom teeth are located. Some dentists will give you sedative medication to make the experience of tooth extraction more tolerable. Anti-anxiety medications can be used along with the local anesthetic methods described above. These sedatives can be given by mouth, inhalation, or intravenous injection. More complex dental treatments may require deeper levels of sedation, or even a full general anesthetic (unconsciousness). Please check with your dentist to decide which anesthetic technique is best for you. This will depend, among other factors, on the expected difficulty of the procedure, your degree of anxiety, and other medical conditions you may have.

Related Resources:

American Dental Association

For more information:

Go to the Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University