My daughter is getting all of her wisdom teeth removed after her next semester. What are some things we should consider in choosing local or general anesthesia for the surgery? Thank you – Darlene C.

Darlene – If your daughter prefers to be awake during the surgery, she should consider local anesthesia. Numbness from the injection will prevent her from feeling anything during the surgery. The anesthetic lasts three to four hours, and there are no unpleasant side effects.

Some patients who experience anxiety prefer not to be awake during the procedure. With general anesthesia, which is administered intravenously, your daughter will not recall anything about the surgery. There are precautions that should be considered when general anesthesia is administered, and your oral surgeon will discuss those with you.

If the wisdom teeth are impacted, if the surgeon anticipates difficulty extracting the teeth, and if the patient is anxious about any difficulty during the surgery—all can influence the decision on the type of anesthesia to use. Medical history must also be considered before a decision is made.

Oral surgeons are experienced in controlling and monitoring pain and anxiety. Discuss your daughter’s medical history and your concerns with the oral surgeon. He or she will help you make an informed decision about which form of anesthesia will be used for the wisdom teeth extraction.

This post is sponsored by Carmel dentist Dr. Julia Shalit.