What to Expect After Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Dos and Don’ts

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Having a wisdom tooth extraction is a very common dental procedure, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It’s common for many patients to feel scared or nervous about getting their wisdom teeth removed. However, it’s important to remember that the procedure is usually very quick and straightforward. Here are a few things you should know about what to expect after wisdom tooth extraction. 

What Is A Wisdom Tooth?

Your wisdom tooth is the last tooth during your late teenage years or early adulthood. For most people, this happens between the ages of 17 and 25. Usually, you have four wisdom teeth total – one in each corner of your mouth.

While some people never have any problems with their wisdom teeth and come in just fine, this isn’t always the case. In fact, for many people, wisdom teeth can become impacted, meaning they get stuck under the gum line and never fully erupt. Sometimes, wisdom teeth may only partially erupt and become trapped beneath the gum line. This can cause several problems, including pain, swelling, infection, and damage to nearby teeth.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed. However, if they are impacted or only partially erupted, they may need to be extracted to avoid problems down the road. Additionally, even if your wisdom teeth are healthy and not causing any problems, your dentist may still recommend removing them. They can be challenging to clean properly and are more susceptible to decay and infection.

How Do Dentists Extract A Wisdom Tooth?

Dentist doing a wisdom tooth extraction on a patient

A wisdom tooth extraction isn’t like any other tooth extraction. Your wisdom tooth is much larger than your other teeth, and it’s also located at the very back of your mouth. This can make removing wisdom teeth a little more complicated. Even some cases require more complex surgeries because of impacted growth.

An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that doesn’t have enough room to grow. This can cause the tooth to grow at an angle or become trapped beneath the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth are more difficult to remove, and they sometimes require special procedures.

However, removing wisdom teeth is a pretty simple process in most cases. Your dentist will numb your gums with a local anesthetic and then carefully remove the tooth. You might feel some pressure during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.

Once you are completely numb, the dentist will follow this standard process:

  • Use a small mirror to locate the wisdom tooth
  • Gently rock the tooth back and forth until it loosens enough to be removed
  • Remove the tooth by gently pulling on it
  • Clean the area where the tooth was removed
  • Place gauze over the empty socket and have you bite down to apply pressure

What Should I Expect After My Wisdom Tooth Is Removed?

After your wisdom tooth extraction, you can expect some bleeding and swelling. This is perfectly normal and usually nothing to worry about. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on caring for the extraction site. They may also prescribe pain medication if necessary.

In most cases, you will only need two weeks to recover completely. However, it’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and adequately take care of the extraction site to avoid complications.

Here are a few things you should do after having your wisdom tooth removed:

  • Apply ice to your face for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling
  • Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day to clean the extraction site
  • Eat soft foods for a few days while you recover
  • Avoid smoking or using straws for at least 24 hours after the procedure

What Are The Complications Of Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

It is uncommon for dentists to encounter wisdom tooth extraction complications. However, there is always a slight risk of complications occurring, as with any surgery.

The most common complication is infection. This can usually be avoided by taking care of the extraction site and following your dentist’s instructions. In rare cases, though, an infection may occur despite taking proper precautions. If this happens, you will need to see your dentist for treatment.

Other rare complications of wisdom tooth extraction include nerve damage, sinus problems, and cysts.


Overall, wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively safe and straightforward procedure. Complications are rare and usually only occur when the teeth are impacted, or there are other underlying health conditions present. It is always best to have a dependable dentist when it comes to addressing your wisdom tooth concerns.

West Gate Dental Centre offers general practice dentistry that can help you with your wisdom tooth problems. We provide professional and pleasant dental care to families and people of all ages. Book a call or visit our clinic today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth is generally more complex and requires more time to perform than a regular tooth extraction. Therefore, it is usually more painful as well. However, dentists always use anesthesia to numb the area, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure.
The most common side effects of wisdom tooth extraction are bleeding and swelling. These are usually nothing to worry about and will disappear within a few days.
Most people only need a few days to recover from wisdom tooth extraction. However, it’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and adequately take care of the extraction site to avoid complications.

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