Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Updated on July 15, 2014
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
16 answers

Mamas & Papas-

An annual checkup revealed a cavity beneath the gumline on a wisdom tooth. The dentist suggested I could have it extracted now, or wait until it starts bothering me.

Have you had a wisdom tooth extracted? What can I expect in terms of prep, proceedure, recovery? Any merit to waiting?

F. B.

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answers from Washington DC on

i had all 4 removed at once. there was pain afterwards, and about 2 days of needing to eat soft food but taking the time off, having friends drive me, and good pain meds made it perfectly do-able.
can't see any reason to wait, especially if there's already decay setting in.
ETA i was under, zonked all the way out. absolutely. yes.

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answers from Kansas City on

I had all four removed at once. They put me under and it was easy peasy. I have vague recollections of them telling me to open my mouth wider. They were sore for a while, but never hurt enough for me to take their prescription pain pills, I just took ibuprophen.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I would do it now. Why wait for pain? (Do it on a Friday so you have the weekend to recover. Especially if your husband has weekends off, so he can take care of Little Man while you are at the initial stage of recovery.)

Prep really isnt anything.... My husband went in with a toothache, came out with two wisdom teeth pulled.

Im not sure about he procedure itself...

Recovery is fairly short, but it does suck a little bit. I would advise taking the day off if you work outside the home. (My husband had to go back to work, and luckily his co-workers were sympathetic and let him be useless on the couch. Lol) You will have to keep gauze in the gap where the tooth was until the bleeding stops, and rinse with salt water after meals until it is healed. You won't be able to use a straw or anything that requires sucking until it is healed (so that the blood clots and stays in place to avoid a dry socket.) you will also want to get some soft foods, because you won't be able to chew for a while. My husband was given a prescription for pain meds, but only used it for he first day. (And he's kind of a baby about pain. Lol.)

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answers from Phoenix on

Get it yanked! I had all 4 of mine extracted on a Thursday and went to a musical festival that Saturday. I remember sitting in the procedure chair (oral surgeon) looking at a magazine after they gave me anesthesia and then waking up lying down with my mouth full of gauze and loopy as hell. There was a lot of blood and gauze but hardly any pain thanks to painkillers. Dry sockets are your worst enemy so follow dr.'s instructions to avoid those. As for pain, I feel like since I've given birth (10yrs ago) I'm Wonder Woman and I can handle just about anything ;o)

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Mine were impacted and infected when I had them out. I would say go ahead and do it now before it gets worse, and do all of them at the same time, even if the others aren't causing a problem right now.
It isn't like having any other tooth pulled. Wisdom tooth extraction isn't dentistry; it's oral surgery. They often have to actually cut into your jawbone to remove them. You don't want to have to go through that more than once.
You will need someone to go with you. They give you a short-acting general anesthetic, so you won't be able to drive yourself home. And no, you don't want it done with just local anesthetic.
They will send you home with a compression bandage around your jaws to keep swelling down, and tell you to use an ice pack. Do it.
They will also give you a scrip for painkillers. Fill it. You're going to need them.
Soft foods for about a week, no sucking through straws, and if you smoke, limit it as much as you can. The pressure from anything that requires you to suck (straws, cigarettes) can cause your jaw to fracture. Smoking can also cause a dry socket, which hurts like a mofo.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I had mine out all at once when I was 16.
They knocked me out, I was woozie for a day (and had a bruise from the surgeons thumb on my jaw - 3 out of 4 shattered) and I was eating pizza 3 days later.
My husband had all his out in his mid 20's.
They knocked him out and it took him about a week to get back to normal.
Wisdom teeth just tend to rot - they are hard to keep clean - they impact other teeth - they don't always fully emerge - that's why it's a good idea to have them out before any serious rot sets in.
I don't see any benefit to waiting.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I had all four extracted at once. It may be different with only one tooth that has already grown in, but I was very glad that I went to an oral surgeon to have it done, and that I was totally under while he did this (not just local anesthetic). For me, the recovery wasn't bad, but I think most of that was because the surgeon I went to was top-notch. So... I'd just ask for a referral to a surgeon to have this done. Whether you go with local or full anesthesia is up to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Do not wait! REPEAT: DO NOT WAIT!!

I received the EXACT same advice and I waited. Years later, I have now lost all four of my back molars because of my wisdom teeth. I could go on and on and on about the damage that has been done in my mouth because I waited.

The expense has been in the THOUSANDS of dollars. If I could only go back all of those years and re-think that decision!

Have I made my point? :)

Don't wait!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Had four done at same time on a Friday morning. Next day sore but functioning normally.

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answers from Washington DC on

I would look into getting any and all teeth pulled at once. I had 1 not impacted, but I had all 4 removed anyway. No need to go back for that one later. I did the anesthesia route. Talk to the surgeon about your options, prep, etc. If there's a cavity already, I wouldn't wait too long. Abscesses are not fun. I was out on a Friday and could have gone to work Monday, but took advantage of PTO and a sympathetic boss.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm having a molar pulled out today! Darn root canal has gone bad.

I'd say it's much better to pull it out while it's not hurting then to wait until it starts to hurt and possibly get infected and abscessed. Remember, it's disease. Not sure why they would say to wait. It really just festering waiting to cause you unnecessary amounts of pain.

And an extraction isn't so bad. Some Novocaine and it will be out in a few minutes.

Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I had several pulled in college and the dentist was a total quack. I was awake with just a local, so I felt it all. He didn't give me strong enough painkillers afterward and it was excruciating (worse than childbirth by a long shot). I'm not a delicate flower when it comes to pain, but I was crying for hours, until my parents figured out the dosage prescribed was half of normal.

My big tip is to be sure you're given strong painkillers afterward and take them. Once I got on the right prescription dosage, it was fine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I just had one our last week. Had it done on Thursday. My jaw is sore. But it's healing nicely. I am eating regular food. Just not chewing on that side. I would get it done sooner than later.

I think you should ask your oral surgeon/dentist how involved it is. I did not take any pain killers except for advil. no rx drugs at all. I was awake the entire time. yes there was some weird crackle noises as they were pulling it out. but not the excruciating pain another poster described. It sounds like she needed a better dentist. The only concern with mine was that it was grown up in the sinus area. That can be tricky and its why my dentist sent me to an oral surgeon. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had mine done when I was 19. I smoked and ended up with a terrible infection. Just keep your mouth clean, and your recover time should be a day.



answers from Chicago on

I had a wisdom tooth pulled, cost $80. Of course this was about 10 yrs ago. But, a friend had a cavity and waited, it got worse and she was in a lot of pain, cost her over $400 to get it taken care of and the tooth pulled. When I got mine pulled, I had no problem with it. Actually, the worst part was the canker sores from the shots to numb my mouth. I used a special mouthwash after and never had a problem with dry sockets or anything.

But everyone is different and some people can have really deep roots making it a bit to a lot more painful.



answers from Los Angeles on

I got mine extracted when I was in my early 20s. I was told to get them extracted asap because they could end up shifting my teeth around. I was referred to an oral surgeon who did an awesome job. I was completely knocked out for the procedure so I had my mom drive me there and drive me back. It took about two weeks for the swelling to completely go down. The doctor gave me hydrogen peroxide and a syringe to clean the extraction site twice a day for 7-10 days. The first several days after the procedure, I was only able to eat liquified foods -- lots of fruit juice smoothies and soup.

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