Your dentist may perform the procedure in the office. However, if your tooth is deeply impacted or if the extraction requires an in-depth surgical approach, your dentist may suggest you see an oral surgeon. In addition to making the area numb with local anesthetic, your surgeon may suggest sedation to allow you to be more comfortable during the procedure.
Questions to ask
Questions you may want to ask your dentist or oral surgeon include:
- How many wisdom teeth need to be removed?
- What type of anesthesia will I receive?
- How complicated do you expect the procedure to be?
- How long is the procedure likely to last?
- Have the impacted wisdom teeth caused damage to other teeth?
- Is there a risk that I might have nerve damage?
- What other dental treatments might I need at a later date?
- How long does it take to completely heal and return to normal activity?
Preparing for surgery
A wisdom tooth extraction is almost always performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that you go home the same day.
You'll receive instructions from the hospital or dental clinic staff on what to do before the surgery and the day of your scheduled surgery. Ask these questions:
March 31, 2015
- Will I need to make arrangements for someone to drive me home after the procedure?
- When do I need to arrive at the dental clinic or hospital?
- Do I need to avoid eating food or drinking fluids or both (fast)? If so, when do I begin?
- Can I take my prescription medications before the surgery? If so, how soon before the surgery can I take a dose?
- Should I avoid any nonprescription drugs before the surgery?
- Wisdom teeth. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. http://myoms.org/procedures/wisdom-teeth-management. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Mettes TG, et al. Surgical removal versus retention for the management of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003879.pub3/abstract. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Wisdom teeth. MouthHealthy.org. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Coulthard P, et al. Surgical techniques for the removal of mandibular wisdom teeth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004345.pub2/abstract. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Postextraction problems. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/dental_emergencies/postextraction_problems.html. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- What to do following an extraction. British Dental Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/routine-treatment/what-to-do-following-an-extraction. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Bouloux GF, et al. What is the risk of future extraction of asymptomatic third molars? A systematic review. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In press. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Wisdom tooth removal. NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Wisdom-tooth-removal/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2015.