In this day and age, most people need to have some or all of their wisdom teeth extracted. In most cases, people undergo general anesthesia and remain unconscious for the duration of the procedure. However, if you have an illness like sleep apnea, general anesthesia can be dangerous for your health. Read on to learn what your options are for wisdom tooth extraction and how you can make it safer for yourself.
Discuss Health Issues With Dentist
Your absolute first step if you have sleep apnea and want your wisdom teeth extracted is to discuss your health history with your dentist. Your dentist will need to know what your doctor has diagnosed you with, its severity, and how you typically treat it when you sleep at home.
More likely than not, you will not qualify for a dental procedure with general anesthesia. While standard surgical procedures can be performed on patients with sleep apnea, this is because intubation remains an option. Since dental work has to be done in the mouth, an intubation tube to provide air to your lungs would be in the way of the dental work and isn't a good choice.
Opt For Local Anesthesia
If general anesthesia isn't an option, you can always opt for local anesthesia.
Most dentists choose general anesthesia for wisdom tooth extraction because it can be a fairly lengthy procedure and requires a good amount of work on the bones and roots of the teeth. However, that doesn't mean that it can't be done with local anesthesia.
Local anesthesia will thoroughly numb the area where your teeth are going to be extracted. You won't be in any pain while the surgery is being performed. Since you'll be awake, your dentist will allow you regular breaks to relax, stretch out your jaw, and drink water if you need it. Other than the surgery taking longer to perform, there are no significant drawbacks to wisdom tooth extraction with local anesthesia.
Lose Weight Before Procedure
Lastly, if you're carrying some extra pounds, consider trying to lose weight before the procedure. Sleep apnea and excess weight often go hand-in-hand, and losing a few pounds can help to reduce your symptoms. Although it may not be enough to qualify for general anesthesia, it can help you to breathe better while you're having the procedure performed with local anesthesia.
Sleep apnea can be a nuisance if you need dental work that's typically performed with general anesthesia, but excellent dental care is still possible. Talk to a pediatric dental clinic about local anesthesia and your health difficulties to create a solution for your dental needs today.