Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What To Expect Before, During, And After

Updated on July 14, 2021

While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed once they start to develop, the procedure might be required if they’re affecting the alignment of your teeth or damaging your gums and the inside of your cheeks. If you’re one of those who are experiencing problems due to wisdom teeth growth, you might need to visit your dentist right away for extraction.

Wisdom tooth removal can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re worried about issues you might encounter, such as wisdom tooth pain. However, with the right preparation, you should be able to go through your surgery and recovery period without a hitch.

Before Tooth Extraction 

After getting an X-ray scan of your mouth to determine the odd growth of your wisdom teeth, you’ll need to bring your test results to an oral surgeon who’ll discuss with you the process of wisdom tooth extraction.

Your oral surgeon might ask you questions about your medical history so they’ll know which types of medication and anesthesia are safe for you. This process will minimize any medical complications that can affect your overall health. If you’re breastfeeding or pregnant, you should also inform your oral surgeon right away as some substances may be off-limits for you.

As you finalize your wisdom tooth extraction schedule, you should plan for your sick or vacation leaves at work. You also have to make the proper arrangements for your pets and children on the day of your surgery. Ideally, you should leave them with a responsible and trusted adult.

During Tooth Extraction 

When you arrive at the dental clinic, you’ll be seated in the dental chair where your dentist or oral surgeon and their team will do the necessary work on your teeth. While seeing several people in the room with you can be intimidating, they’re there to make sure that your surgery will be a success.

You won’t feel any physical pain during the wisdom tooth removal itself as you’ll be under anesthesia. The surgery can last for up to 45 minutes, depending on the position and condition of your wisdom tooth. During this period, you can just close your eyes and let the professionals do their work. The entire procedure will be over before you know it.

After Tooth Extraction

Once the wisdom tooth extraction is done, you may not feel any physical pain immediately, especially if the anesthesia is still in effect. However, after a few minutes, it may wear off, allowing you to feel pain. Your oral surgeon may suggest pain relievers to ease the pain for the first few days.

The recovery time can be anywhere from three days to a week. You’ll likely feel intense pain in the wisdom tooth area for around two days. You may be prescribed antibiotics to ensure that you won’t develop an infection, especially since you’ll be eating different kinds of food soon.

Here are some tips on dealing with the post-wisdom tooth extraction period:

  1. Ask Someone To Drive You 

While you may be capable of going to the dental clinic on your own, you might not have the energy to drive yourself back home. While calling a cab is fine, you wouldn’t need to wait if you had a car with you.

Ideally, you should ask a family member or a close friend to drive you to the dental clinic and wait for you to finish so they can bring you back home. This will ensure your safety because you won’t be driving while still under the effects of anesthesia, which can make you groggy.

  1. Pack Soft Foods 

After your surgery, you might end up getting hungry. However, you can’t just eat anything you want or crave—you can only consume soft foods to avoid infection, pain, and damage to your stitches.

While they might not be to your liking, it’s advisable to go for the following:

  • Soup
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pudding
  • Smoothies

You can gradually add chewable foods week after week after your oral surgeon gives you the green light to do so. In this way, you can avoid pressure and stress in your mouth that might lead to a bigger problem.

  1. Have An Ice Pack Ready 

After completing your surgery, you can expect your face to get swollen. Don’t worry as this is completely normal, and it should subside in no time. To reduce swelling, have an ice pack ready at home.

You should purchase the ice pack before your surgery, fill it with water, and place it in the freezer. When you get home, you can use it right away to get some relief.


Undergoing wisdom tooth surgery isn’t easy for everyone. While you may fear the process, focus on the comfort you’ll experience once your wisdom teeth have been completely removed. Without them, you won’t have to worry about feeling pain that can strike anytime. Moreover, you can avoid other complications that may arise if you don’t address rotten or impacted wisdom teeth.

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