I've heard that anesthetics is not as safe as we have been spoiled to believe.
I say spoiled because I think the fact that science even discovered something that will put you to sleep and basically let a doctor cut you all to pieces and you won't feel anything at all quite a wonderful thing.
It really is sad that this should happen on something many of us think should be "routine" and of course her parents will feel this way, but yeah, it's not as safe as we may hope.
I developed a panic for dentists because when I was 16, the dentist injected me anesthetics five different times and the are was just not falling asleep. She eventually used a "slow drill" because she couldn't make it work.
But well, without them most surgeries wouldn't be possible at all. I guess we'd collapse from the pain.
Not really enough information to point fingers. That said, it was most likely a reaction to the anesthesia. The anesthesiologist, not the oral surgeon, is trained to deal with resuscitating a patient. A young healthy girl dying during a minor surgery should raise a lot of suspicion.
I had all 4 wisdom teeth out last summer. I slept most the first day and was back at school and in the gym the next day with no issues, not really a big deal at all. Mine needed to come out though, all 4 were impacted and my gums kept getting inflamed/infected.
Every dentist that I have seen as an adult have all commented on the fact that I have a lot of room in my mouth for my wisdom teeth (lucky for me). They all tell me I have a big mouth (and always with 'har har').
I had mine out in HS the same week I had hand surgery and school pictures (they did not turn out good). Anyway, the could not get me all that numb nor into 'twilight' as they intended. The seriously HOT dental assistant offered to hold my hand so I could squeeze it if the pain was too bad. The upside beyond getting to hold hands for a couple of hours was that when she would assist her breasts kept brushing or pushing into me.
No pain was too great that day, and she looked pretty hot even in the safety classes splattered with my blood. Dentist said that he had to shatter all my wisdom teeth to get them out, said it was like removing 16 teeth instead of 4.
The assistant/hygenist was latter fired for being inappropriate with a patient. Which was a real shame since I really liked seeing her when I had dental appointments but more so because I wanted to have been that patient.
I will say that pain during that was less than being awake through two hand surgeries.
Actually the leading cause of surgical and post-surgical mortality is from deep-vein thrombosis or embolus resulting in some form of fatal pulmonary or cerebral blockage.
That said, choosing local anesthesia combined with general sedation has far fewer risks than general anesthesia. Unfortunately, because of the speed and ease of modern general anesthesia, proper local anesthesia techniques are diminishing in modern medicine.
A few years back I knew a guy who could even perform many forms of thoracic surgery using local anesthesia. Amusing side note, said doctor was once married to Ingrid Bergman before she became a Hollywood actress. Anyhow, I don't know of anyone who would even attempt this now, as it's far too skill-specific and not time or cost efficient, even though it is often safer.
My own experience with wisdom tooth removal was becoming conscious during surgery, despite a fentanyl/versed combo sedation with nitrous chaser. I wasn't hurting, there was still local in the mouth, and I wasn't bothered because I was in that opiate "Heeeey how's it going?" sort of mood..but it startled the doc.
Did it say what type of anaesthesia was used? Local, general, intravenous valium? Like everyone else said, there is always a risk with anaesthetic. When I was 12 I had a routine appendectomy and arrested, nearly died. My mother's a nurse and I asked her about it and she said that sometimes things like that happens without negligence. You should always know there is a risk.
Me too - mine definitely needed to come out as my jaw was getting sore all the time. I'm glad mine are out - haven't had a problem since whereas during the year they were coming in I had consistent pain and soreness. If you need the surgery, get it.
I don't know why elective surgeries offer anesthesia anyway as it is so risky. I had nitrous oxide with a local and was fine. I woke up a few times during the major drilling and they just put the mask back on till I fell back asleep.
Fuck that. I've been listening to dentists (especially my most recent new dentist) blather on about my wisdom teeth for the past 30 years, and STILL my teeth are not a problem. The only time they feel weird or give me slight inflammation in the gums is when I'm sick... which is EXTREMELY RARE!
Do your wisdom teeth give you any problems? If not, forget about 'em.
They can take out your wisdom teeth solely with a local. This I know since years ago my mother had a phobia about being put all the way under during surgery.
It does feel a bit brutal as to put a bald face on it they cut until they can get the tooth then they put a vise grip on it and snap it off. All dental work is a bit brutal though.
Much better in my opinion. There are drugs that largely act like rohypnol that surgeons love to give you to give you a wee bit of sedation in addition to the local. Also it has the added kick of the short term memory loss so you won't remember the molestation during the court proceedings.
With regards to getting them removed or not, it really depends on the person. Some people (like that lucky bastard Steely) never have any issues with their wisdom teeth. However, when wisdom teeth do become a problem they become a huge problem fast. If you're on the fence, just go ahead and get it done. The recovery doesn't take very long, and painkillers are wonderful things.
The anesthesia can be a big deal. Everyone reacts differently to the drugs, so predicting the right dose can be very difficult. That's part of the reason anesthesiologists get the big bucks. However, docs are trained for containing emergencies like a bad reaction. This story is likely an isolated case. If you are worried, you can get them extracted without being knocked out completely (like groo said it does feel extremely weird when you're awake though).
I didn't have a choice; my wisdom teeth had to come out. I had two sets (that's 8 fully formed wisdom teeth) when I was in high school. I had to have surgery in the hospital; they were digging so far into my jaw there was a danger of poking through to my sinuses. I was completely knocked out for several hours. After I woke up, they informed me I had more teeth forming behind others. Apparently I've got a shark somewhere in my ancestry.
This is the way I feel about them .. plus what Steely said, the dentists have always said I have enough room for them and as long as they aren't causing any pain/bone or root degradation in the neighboring molars, then they aren't a problem
that being said, it's sad that the girl died from such a routine surgery.
Right on, ID. For some reason if you are over 30, oral surgeons see you as part of the geriatric population. I needed an eval because mine are still in and have "sunk" to the point where extracting them would require dismantling most of my face. I lost track of how many he said "well, at your age...". Long story short, they never caused me problems and we decided to leave them alone. So, I got on my rascal scooter and left.