You have excruciating pain and your dentist says you have to take out the wisdom tooth. You may be referred to an oral surgeon, who will perform the procedure in their office and it should only take a few days for you to heal and feel better.

Why Take Out A Wisdom Tooth?

The wisdom tooth is part of the third set of molars in the back of your mouth usually sprouting between 17 and 25 years of age, and spotted on X-rays.

Your wisdom tooth may need to be removed for one of these reasons:

  • They’re impacted. Wisdom teeth would usually sprout abnormally far back in the mouth and so can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, causing so much pain.
  • Your mouth may not be big enough, so your jaw has not enough room for an extra set of molars.
  • You have cavities/gum disease. Especially because reaching your wisdom tooth with toothbrush or dental floss is difficult.
  • They sprout at wrong angles; so they press against your other teeth.

Before Surgery

An appointment is scheduled for you with the oral surgeon to discuss the procedures; this discussion should include:

  • Any health issues you may have.
  • Any medications you take on a regular basis.
  • Ask any questions you have about the surgery.
  • What type of anesthesia you’ll be getting (you can either be numb or asleep during your surgery). You’ll get one of these types of anesthesia so you don’t feel pain during the removal:
  • Local: Your surgeon will numb your mouth with a shot of local anesthetic. You should feel alert again shortly afterward. 
  • IV sedation: The surgeon will numb your mouth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep during the whole procedure.
  • General: You’ll either get drugs through a vein or breathe gas in through a mask. You’ll be asleep the whole time and might not wake up for an hour or so after the surgery.

During The Procedure

  • Your procedure should take 45 minutes or less.
  • Your doctor may have to cut your gums or bone to reveal and get the teeth out. If that is needed, they’ll stitch the wounds shut so they heal quickly (these stiches usually dissolve after a few days).
  • They may also stuff gauze pads in your mouth to soak up some of the blood.

Check out our next article on what to expect after taking out your wisdom tooth.