Painless Wisdom Tooth Removal

Painless Wisdom Tooth Removal

What is wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom tooth removal — or wisdom tooth extraction — is a common oral surgery procedure. Dentists may recommend this treatment to preserve your oral health and protect your other teeth from possible issues in the future.

Your wisdom teeth — also called third molars — are in the very back of your mouth. Typically, they erupt (grow in) sometime between the ages of 17 and 25.

Some people have all four wisdom teeth (one in each quadrant — the upper left, lower left, upper right and lower right). Others may have one, two, three or none at all. No matter how many wisdom teeth you do (or don’t) have, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. It’s just a variation of normal and a sign of the ever-changing evolutionary process.

Why is this done?

You might need wisdom teeth removed if you:

  • Have one or more impacted wisdom teeth (“Impacted” means partially or fully trapped in your gums or jawbone.)
  • Have wisdom teeth that grew in crooked or sideways.
  • Develop pain near the back of your mouth.
  • Trap food and debris around your wisdom teeth.
  • Develop gum disease, particularly around your molars.
  • Have tooth decay (cavities) in a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
  • Develop a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around one or more wisdom teeth.
  • Have damage to nearby teeth or surrounding bone.

In many cases, dentists recommend wisdom teeth extraction as a preventive measure. As a result, your dentist may suggest removing your wisdom teeth even if you don’t have any symptoms. This can help reduce your risk for future problems, including infection and tooth decay.

What happens during wisdom tooth extraction?

The day of your procedure, your surgeon will:

  • Give you anesthesia to numb your teeth and gums and keep you comfortable. (If you choose sedation, they’ll give you sedative medications, as well.)
  • Make incisions (cuts) in your gums, if necessary, to expose teeth trapped in your gums or jawbone.
  • Carefully loosen your wisdom tooth and lift it from its socket. (They may need to divide your tooth into sections for easier removal.)
  • Clean the area to make sure there’s no infection.
  • Place stitches to close the surgical site, if necessary.
  • Place gauze over the sockets to slow bleeding.

How long does this procedure take?

Wisdom tooth extraction usually takes an hour or less. Complex cases may take longer.

What happens after wisdom teeth removal?

After wisdom teeth removal, you can expect mild discomfort, slight bleeding and swelling. Your oral surgeon will give you instructions for wisdom teeth management to ease these side effects. Once your sedation wears off enough, a trusted friend or family member will drive you home.

Dos and don’ts after wisdom tooth extraction


  • Leave gauze in place for about 30 minutes after your surgery.
  • Rest as much as you can.
  • Use an ice pack to help reduce swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a clean towel and place it on your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and then take it off for 20 minutes. Repeat several times a day.
  • Keep extraction sites clean. Gently soak the surgical areas with alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash. Don’t swish. Swishing can dislodge blood clots and cause dry sockets, a painful condition that exposes the bone at your extraction site. Instead, lean your head to each side and let the mouthwash soak the areas.
  • Brush and floss the rest of your teeth every day.
  • Take all medications as prescribed. Your surgeon will give you medications to keep you comfortable and reduce your risk of infection. Don’t stop taking these medications until your surgeon says it’s OK.


  • Drink through a straw. This dislodges blood clots and causes dry sockets.
  • Exercise until your surgeon says it’s OK. Getting your heart rate up increases your risk for pain, bleeding and swelling. Most people can resume their fitness routines in about 48 to 72 hours.
  • Lift heavy things. Heavy lifting also increases your risk for postoperative complications like pain, bleeding and swelling.
  • Eat hard, crunchy or chewy foods. These can damage your healing gums and cause pain.
  • Drink carbonated beverages or beverages containing alcohol. These beverages can dislodge blood clots and cause dry sockets. Skip these drinks for at least five days.


What are the benefits of removing wisdom teeth?

Wisdom tooth removal can reduce your risk for future oral health problems, like:

  • Gum disease.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Damage to neighboring teeth.
  • Bone loss.
  • Jaw damage.

If you’ve already developed pain because of your wisdom teeth, then extraction can often ease discomfort almost immediately and get you back on track to better oral health.

What are the risks or complications of extraction?

Wisdom teeth removal usually doesn’t result in long-term complications. In rare instances, people may develop:

  • Infection (pus coming out of your socket or incisions).
  • Dry sockets (loss of blood clot resulting in exposed bone).
  • Damage to other oral structures, including your jawbone, nerves, sinuses or nearby teeth.

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