How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Are you planning on being put to sleep?
- Can you take up to a week off if needed?
- Are you in your teens or twenties?
- You DON’T suffer from any serious breathing problems, very high blood pressure, or any other bleeding or heart related conditions?
- Do you have dental insurance and enough benefits to cover removal of all your wisdom teeth?
- Can you afford the copays for removing all four wisdom teeth? Whether cash or if need be through financing.
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you are probably better off removing all the wisdom at once. If you are planning on being put to sleep then you should only consider removing them all as it makes no sense to go under anesthesia twice. But even if you are planning on using anti-anxiety pills or nitrous gas it is still worth considering removing them all and getting it over with.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you might want to pace yourself and consider removing the wisdom teeth one or two at a time.
If you have high blood pressure, a serious heart condition or some type of blood clotting issue you should avoid getting all of your wisdom teeth out in one setting.
Severe asthmatics or those who have serious breathing problems may feel their breathing becoming hindered when their entire jaw is numbed up and should consider removing the wisdom teeth over two or more sessions.
Patients with severe anxiety and certain nerve conditions may also be better off avoiding having their whole jaw numbed up. In these cases it is best to do the left side and the right side separately to allow you to function on the opposite side during recovery periods.
We prefer to have all our wisdom teeth removed at once since delaying the inevitable will only complicate matters. This will mean you only need one time off, one recovery period, one surgery and one round of medications. Has it been 6 hours since your last dose of Penicillin yet?
Typically only one of your four wisdom teeth should be hard to remove and will be responsible for most of the swelling and pain afterwards. But when you have two or more wisdom teeth which are going to be very difficult to remove then chances are you will swell up and be in lots of pain all over your face. If this is the case then you may not be able to eat or breathe properly for days or weeks after your surgery. Some even end up being admitted to the emergency room due to the pain, breathing problems or other complications. If your extractions are expected to be very complicated then it might not be a bad idea to work on one side at a time, left or right, to allow you to chew and function on the one side while the opposing side is recovering.
Helpful hint – If you have dental insurance then start planning your surgery well in advance to be able to set aside one year of your dental benefits exclusively for the wisdom teeth and get it over and done with. It is best that you pay for the cleaning if you have to and reserve all of your insurance benefits for the wisdom removal surgery.