17-year-old Girl Dies After Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed
A 17-year-old girl in the US has died following complications after routine wisdom teeth surgery.
Sydney Galleger went to her dentist to have outpatient surgery on her wisdom teeth last week, but went into cardiac arrest during the operation.
The Minnesota teen was rushed to hospital, after a suspected underlying heart condition that was exacerbated by the general anesthetic.
She spent days suffering seizures and brain swelling, even a surgery to reduce the brain swelling, but she died yesterday survived by her parents and brother.
The news is tragic as well as terrifying.
An increasing number of young people are getting their wisdom teeth removed, and only 30% of those surgeries are warranted according to Jay Friedman, a retired dental surgeon who wrote a paper outlining the risks of wisdom tooth extraction.
"If there are legitimate reasons to have the teeth removed, they should be removed, preferably with a local anesthetic, which reduces risks," Dr. Friedman told Cosmopolitan.
"But people should not be subjected to any risk when there are not sound, evidence-based reasons to undergo that — or any — surgery."
He recommends talking through options with your dentist before deciding to go under general anesthetic.
"Most deaths occuring during or after wisdom tooth extraction occur in normal, healthy people, and are related to IV sedation or general anesthesia," Dr. Friedman said.
But, Dr. Friedman explains that wisdom teeth can be removed using local anesthetic instead of going under and all options should be considered before undergoing surgery, as one death from this operation is one too many.