Dental Education Lecture: Eat before Extraction?
Most extraction including wisdom teeth can be done under local anesthesia. You can eat normally before surgery.
The most difficult extraction may need to put you to sleep. The medicine that can induce sleep can cause nausea and vomiting. When you are sleeping, the food may enter your lungs, which is very dangerous. Therefore, if you are expecting extraction with general anesthesia (putting you to sleep), you should not eat or drink for 6-8 hours. There is an exception. If you need to take pill before the surgery, you can have small amount of water.
Anyway, extraction is a safe procedure whether you go to sleep or not. Two days ago, we took out an infected wisdom tooth (* in Fig.1) from a 70 year-old lady. Everything went on smoothly. X-ray shown in Fig.1 is called panoramic film. It shows all of our teeth. It is routine taken before extraction of wisdom tooth/teeth. Fig.2 shows infected bone around the wisdom tooth (black arrowheads) and swollen gums overlying the wisdom tooth (white arrowheads).
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 05/19/2010, last revision 06/04/2010