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Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

Patient Instruction Following Oral Surgery

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SURGEON

Wisdom teeth or Third Molars are the last teeth to develop in your mouth.

They usually begin to erupt between 16-20 yrs of age. We do not need our wisdom teeth to chew. Approximately 1-5% of the population are missing 1 or more wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Teeth may cause problems when they start to erupt into the mouth and they are difficult to clean. If they fail to erupt into the mouth they may develop problems in later life.

Taking out wisdom teeth in your teenage years has been shown to result in fewer complications than having them out later in life.

This is dependent on the procedure being performed and you as a person.

Local Anaesthetic – This technique involves the use of local anaesthetic injections similar to those used by your dentist for dental treatment.

The local anaesthetic usually lasts for about two hours following injection. During surgery you will not feel any pain but pressure sensations are unavoidable. It is important to realise that you will not be asleep or unconscious during this procedure.

The after effects of local anaesthesia are no different to having fillings done by your dentist but unavoidably there will be discomfort and pain after the surgery when the local anaesthetic has worn off, for which analgesics (pain killers) will be prescribed.

General Anaesthetic – This technique is commonly used and requires a day stay or over night stay in hospital. During your surgery you will be attended to by a specialist anaesthetist who will assess your medical status and administer the appropriate anaesthetic medications.

A small needle will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand after you come into the operating theatre and the medication will be given through this needle directly into your bloodstream. During your operation you will be fully asleep and there will be absolutely no sensation of any pain.

Your first recollection is usually about half to one hour after the operation is over. For most operations around the mouth and jaws a local anaesthetic is given to you at the time of operation while you are asleep and this will mean that your lips and tongue may be very numb when you awake from the operation.

This is quite normal and will return to normal in due course. The anaesthetist, along with a trained recovery sister, will supervise your awakening after the operation is finished.

Oral Sedation – This technique involves the use of oral medications and local anaesthetic injections similar to those used by your dentist for dental treatment. The oral medications are usually taken the night before surgery and 1 hour prior to your procedure.

These will be prescribed at the consultation appointment. You will need another adult to accompany you to the procedure and to take you home afterwards. The local anaesthetic which is injected around the surgery site usually lasts for about two hours following injection. During surgery you will not feel any pain but pressure sensations are unavoidable.

It is important to realise that you will not be asleep or unconscious during this procedure. However you will feel more relaxed during the procedure. The after effects of local anaesthesia are no different to having fillings done by your dentist but unavoidably there will be discomfort and pain after the surgery when the local anaesthetic has worn off, for which analgesics (pain killers) will be prescribed.

There are also after effects from the oral medications which you will be advised about. You are not allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Intravenous Sedation – This technique is commonly used and generally requires a day stay in our rooms or hospital. During your surgery you will be attended to by a specialist anaesthetist who will assess your medical status and administer the appropriate anaesthetic medications.

A small needle will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand after you come into the operating theatre and the medication will be given through this needle directly into your bloodstream. During your operation you will be sedated but able to follow our directions.

You maybe able to remember small parts of the operation but mostly these are pleasant memories. Usually your first recollection is about half an hour after the operation is over. For most operations around the mouth and jaws a local anaesthetic is given to you at the time of operation while you are sedated and this will mean that your lips and tongue may be very numb when you become fully aware after the operation.

The anaesthetist, along with a trained recovery sister, will supervise your awakening after the operation is finished. You are not allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Our Specialist surgeons will assess each case individually.

There are many reasons for removing wisdom teeth, including pain, pathology, decay, damage to adjacent teeth.

It is common to remove all wisdom teeth at a single time to prevent the need for multiple operations and multiple recovery periods.

Private health insurance is extremely variable these days.

You will be given a quotation at the consultation appointment. This will include the item numbers/codes so you can check you level of coverage and work out the out of pocket costs pre-operatively.

Yes, Treatment is available with or without private health insurance.

You may be able to claim some of the treatment costs through Medicare. Private health insurance is extremely variable with may options, you will need to clarify your hospital and surgery entitlements with your health fund.

Swelling and bruising are normal after any surgery and will vary depending on a number of factors including the type of surgery, your age, your medications and what you do after your procedure.

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