Tooth Extraction: How long will it take to recover from anesthesia?

Most patients opt for some type of sedation or anesthesia for tooth extraction, either due to anxiety about the procedure or just to have a more comfortable experience. Let’s face it, have a tooth extracted is a very unpleasant experience otherwise.  Sedation or anesthesia can put you at ease, which will make the surgery go more smoothly.

While a local anesthetic may suffice for a simple extraction, a complex tooth extraction must be completed only by an oral surgeon. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, should be removed exclusively by an oral surgeon because they are often impacted and general dentists or periodontists do not have adequate training.

Either sedation or anesthesia are usually used for a surgical extraction. Sedation has a milder effect, putting a patient into a deep state of relaxation without rendering the patient fully unconscious. Most sedatives are anti-anxiety medications that help to suppress the patient’s reservations about the procedure. Patients lose consciousness under general anesthesia.

Sedation is generally considered to be safer than anesthesia because the airway is not completely compromised in sedation and the patient remains semi-conscious. General anesthesia requires airway maintenance, and patients are not able to respond to the oral surgeon’s commands.  The margin of safety for both is phenomenal though at the hands of a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Patients want to be prepared for what to expect after their tooth extraction, so questions about recovery from anesthesia are common. After the procedure, patients will begin to come out of the anesthesia or sedation immediately. However, you will not be fully alert immediately.

Keep in mind that a milder sedative will generally wear off faster than full general anesthesia because patients require additional medications to induce general anesthesia. Nonetheless, if you choose sedation or anesthesia for your tooth extraction, you will need to plan for someone to take you home after your appointment. When it’s time for you to leave, you will not be able to drive yourself.

Recovery from anesthesia is simple and smooth in the outpatient office setting for a surgical tooth extraction. Talk to the wisdom tooth experts at ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio in advance of the procedure so that you can be prepared for the effects of anesthesia. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your consultation.