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4 Impacted Wisdom Teeth + IV Sedation - You Can Do This!



Junior member
Feb 22, 2013
Hi all. I'm a 33 year old woman who's been lurking these forums for weeks, anxiously (though certainly not excitedly) awaiting my wisdom tooth extraction yesterday morning. At first, I spent weeks looking everywhere online and found an overwhelming amount of scary facts which I used to drive myself nuts. Then, I found this forum and the posts here were so honest, reassuring, and helpful, I decided I'd only read what everyone here posted until my surgery.

I've always had late-blooming teeth (I had a baby tooth extracted at 16!), so wisdom tooth removal was in the far reaches of my mind. It wasn't until my bottom left wisdom tooth broke through the surface halfway and I started having a lot of pain associated with things getting trapped under the gums that I realized it was time to get them removed. An x-ray confirmed that the others, though all bony impactions, were growing it at bad angles and would likely cause a lot of problems for me sooner or later. The oral surgeon my dentist suggested booked me for an early-morning extraction a few weeks after my appointment. I asked a lot of questions and was reassured by his honesty (possibility of nerve damage due to my age) and his caring demeanor. The other people I met in his office were just as nice and I think that made a huge difference for me. As others have said, if you're not comfortable with the doctor you first see, try another one! I knew he'd do his best.

I barely slept the night before my surgery. I had a lot of fears about being put under. Would I wake up at all? Would I wake up in the middle of the surgery? Would they be able to find a vein? I was already crying a little before we'd even pulled into the doctor's garage. Even though many people here said they thought the IV sedation would be scary and then it wasn't, I was still crying before I was called back into the OR! First, I had to rinse for about 30 seconds in a small room with an antibacterial mouthwash. Then, I was brought back to the surgical area. On my way there, I saw a woman in another surgical chair smiling and coming out of her procedure, so that helped somehow!

I was laid back in a surprisingly comfortable chair, and was luckily (?) so stressed out that I didn't see any instruments anywhere in the room. I was attached to a blood pressure cuff and a finger/heart rate monitor, had some other monitors stuck to my chest and lower abdomen, and was given an oxygen nose cover that didn't totally relax me but gave me something to focus on and was not claustrophobic. The doctor came in and greeted me warmly. I asked if he thought it would be hard to get my teeth out, and he reassured me they were small teeth and would be no big deal. I told him I was worried he'd have a hard time finding a vein since mine are very small and when I get blood draws they usually have to use baby needles! He looked for some time, having me flex and poking around gently until he found one. When he inserted the needle I barely felt it and a moment later he told me I could unclench my fist and move my arm since there was no more needle. At that point, I could feel my heart beating rapidly and my breath was out of control. I even mentioned it to the nurses. They put a bib on me and the doctor touched my IV a few times. Suddenly, I could feel my heart rate slowing down to a comfortable level - like at the end of yoga class! - and I felt very relaxed. As many others have confirmed, the next thing I knew I was being woken up and lifted out of the chair to walk to a recovery area.

I was a little loopy but not out of control and I didn't say anything too weird, just repeated a lot of questions to my boyfriend at first (I probably asked him what he did while I was out at least three times...). I wanted to sleep in the chair but the nurses kept urging me to stay awake. I was biting down on gauze for awhile but was still able to talk. It seemed like I was in recovery for awhile but it wasn't more than 30 minutes before my boyfriend went to get the car and I was wheeled out to the sidewalk! They changed my gauze before we left and gave a bunch of after-care instructions to us, including extra gauze which I didn't end up needing. We were home soon enough and I changed into pajamas and sunk into my couch nest for TV and cuddling with my three terrific nurse cats.

My numbness hung on until late last night, which worried me a little until I read that it can hang around for days in some people. I took a lot of arnica - five tablets every two hours - and kept ice on it as much as possible while I was awake, both of which I think really helped with bruising and swelling (no bruises so far and very little swelling). One of my teeth was slightly infected so I'm taking an antibiotic and so far have managed to stick to Advil, avoiding the Percocets which I'm keeping only as a last resort. Yesterday, I ate well - pudding, mashed potatoes, juices, smoothies, a Carnation Instant Breakfast in coconut milk for vitamins, lots of Gatorade (they make it with protein in it now, which I'm convinced helped me with energy!) and coconut water to stay hydrated. I took a few naps and slept very well last night with just two Advil.

Today I'm on my own and just made an epic smoothie of kefir, frozen cherries and peaches, a banana, and a little mango juice with ice. I'll have my first salt rinse after that and then it's back to the punishing schedule of TV shows on Netflix, naps, and long hot showers!

I hope this post is helpful to anyone facing this procedure, especially folks around my age. If you find a doctor you trust who seems to care and you can just get yourself to the appointment, I'm positive you'll be fine.


Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Jan 5, 2012
:welcome: to the forum.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your procedure and feelings. I think you were very brave and happy healing :jump::jump::jump::yayy::perfect::whirl::whirl::claps::claps::claps: