What To Expect with Wisdom Tooth Extraction

What To Expect with Wisdom Tooth Extraction

In our last blog post we discussed the reasons you may need to have your wisdom teeth taken out.  If we’ve convinced you to have them removed but you’re still feeling nervous, in this post we will walk you through what you can expect during the procedure.  Understandably, any procedure that causes discomfort will probably make you nervous.  But wisdom teeth extraction is an extremely common and routine procedure that can usually be done by a dentist.  Assuming there are no complicated circumstances around your wisdom teeth extraction, here’s what you can expect if you come see us at Cornerstone Family Dentistry for your procedure.

X-Rays & Examination

Like we said, if it looks like it will be a simple procedure, we are happy to do it in the office.  In order for us to determine if we can do them, our first step will be to take a panoramic x-ray.  This is a 2-D x-ray that captures the teeth and upper and lower jaws in one picture.  After we look at the x-ray and do an examination of your mouth, we will determine if we can remove your wisdom teeth in our office.  For more complicated extractions, we will refer you to an oral surgeon.


On the day of the procedure, the first thing we will do is apply a local anesthesia by injecting it in the area around the teeth that will be removed.  This will cause the entire area to go numb so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure.  With a local anesthesia you will be awake throughout the entire procedure, so if this makes you nervous, we can also give you nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), which is a mild sedative that helps with pain and anxiety.  If the idea of staying awake during this procedure makes you too uneasy, we will refer you to an oral surgeon who will be able to sedate you.

After the local anesthesia has taken effect and your mouth is completely numb, your dentist will make a small incision in the gumline, extract the teeth, and then carefully clean around the gumline.  Finally, she will stitch up the wound.

After Care

After the extractions there will be some bleeding.  For this we will give you gauze to bite on or to hold on the extraction sites.  We recommend changing the gauze every 30 minutes until the bleeding stops, which should happen within 3-4 hours.  For the first 3-4 days, we suggest sticking to soft, cold/cool, and bland foods.  Unless you are told otherwise by your dentist, your stitches should dissolve on their own within 2-7 days.  In order to avoid dry sockets, your dentist will highly recommend avoiding smoking, spitting, or using a straw.  You can expect a sore mouth for a couple of weeks, with the highest pain occurring in the first 2-5 days.  We recommend taking two days to do nothing but rest, and then after that you can resume normal activities as you feel up to it.  Finally, it is best after the extraction to wait 24 hours before you brush your teeth, and after that you can resume your normal oral hygiene routine.

At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we would love to talk you through this procedure and answer any questions you may have about wisdom tooth extraction.  Please make an appointment with us today!