Most people are familiar with the classic drugged-out state patients are often in following surgical removal of their wisdom teeth, whether from the various viral online videos or from their own experience. I, myself, made some accusations toward my dentist, which to this day is not something I’m proud of. I do have some good news for all of you suffering with post-op shame: It’s not your fault!
The removal of wisdom teeth is actually quite a large operation. It involves cutting the gums, breaking and removing the tooth and any jaw bone in the way, and then stitching the incision over. It’s no surprise, then, that most doctors will use an anesthetic on those who undergo the procedure. The most common anesthetic used in the removal of wisdom teeth is a procedural anesthetic. It is able to reduce the discomfort, apprehension, and potential bad memories that may be associated with the procedure.
Scientists have compared being under anesthesia to being in a slight coma, and the actions of those after coming out of the effect as similar to those of one waking from a dream. Although the process may look like fun in the YouTube videos, anesthesia is a serious form of medication and should only be left to the professionals.
Possible side effects of anesthesia medication include: respiratory depression, loss of protective airway reflexes, blood-pressure instability, and nausea and vomiting. “Anesthetics are very powerful medications with a very narrow safety margin, as evidenced by the unfortunate events surrounding Michael Jackson’s death,” explained Andreas Loepke, a doctor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to Psych Central.
Here's an example of the wild effects anesthesia can have on patients: