Wisdom Teeth Extraction as an Adult

Wisdom teeth extraction as an adult

Your dentist may recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth. They may recommend you to an oral surgeon for the tooth extraction. Usually it takes a few days to heal and feel back to normal. Left untreated wisdom teeth can lead to a number of oral health problems, including infection, tooth decay and gum disease.

Why do you need to remove wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars and are the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth. These molars usually appear between 17 and 25 years of age. Some people will never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally and don’t ever cause problems.

Many people will develop impacted wisdom teeth because they don’t have enough room to develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.

Most people have them removed for one of these reasons:

  • Grow at an angle toward the next tooth
  • Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
  • Grow at a right angle to the other teeth
  • Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
  • You have cavities or gum disease

How you prepare for wisdom tooth extraction

Your dentist may perform the extraction in the office. Sometimes teeth are deeply impacted or if the extraction requires a more surgical approach, if this is the case, your dentist may recommend you get treated by an oral surgeon who specializes in tooth extractions.

When you meet with the dentist make sure to talk about the following:

  • Discuss all health issues you may have
  • List all medications you take on a regular basis
  • Ask questions about the surgery so you can be better prepared for the procedure
  • Discuss the type of anesthesia the dentist recommends

Anesthesia Options include:

  • Local anesthesia – You’re awake during the tooth extraction and will feel some pressure and movement and should not experience pain.
  • Sedation anesthesia – Your dentist will give you anesthesia through an intravenous (IV) to suppresses your consciousness during the procedure.
  • General anesthesia – In some instances, you may be offered general anesthesia through your nose or have an IV line in your arm, or both. No pain will be experienced during the procedure and you will have no memory of the procedure. Surgery should take 45 minutes or less.

During wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon:

  • Makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth
  • May remove any bone that blocks access to the tooth root
  • Divides the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove
  • Removes the tooth
  • Cleans the area of the removed tooth of debris
  • May stitch the wound closed to help with the healing
  • Places gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and to help form a blood clot

Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare

Everyone responds differently to anesthesia. Once the anesthesia wears off and you feel alert, you might be able to drive home to begin your recovery. If you had general anesthesia or still feel drowsy, you’ll need someone to drive you home. Most people experience little to no pain after surgery. You will more than likely have swelling and mild discomfort for a few days and within a few weeks you will heal completely.


  • Use an ice pack on your face to reduce swelling
  • Use moist heat for a sore jaw
  • Gently open and close your mouth to exercise your jaw
  • Eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Brush your teeth starting the second day
  • Take the medication your doctor prescribes to ease pain or swelling
  • Call your doctor if you have a fever, or if your pain or swelling doesn’t improve


  • Don’t drink through a straw because you may loosen blood your clots which help your mouth heal
  • Don’t rinse your mouth vigorously
  • Don’t eat hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that may irritate your wounds
  • Don’t smoke because it can slow your healing

Schedule a dental appointment with the Plano dentists and Melissa dentist

Fred Haight DDS is an emergency dentist located in Plano, TX and Melissa, TX. To request an appointment for emergency dental care, call 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online. While you wait to see our dentist, it’s important to protect your tooth so it stays intact. Contact Haight Family Dentistry in at our Plano or our Melissa, TX by calling 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online.