How a Wisdom Tooth Extraction Is Performed

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Baltimore, MD

If a dental patient has a wisdom tooth extraction coming up, there may be nerves and uncertainty. Wisdom teeth usually emerge around the age of 20, but there is often not enough room in the mouth for these third molars, which can result in the disruption of surrounding teeth or extreme pain. Their removal is frequently recommended to prevent future dental issues. Although it is a common procedure, it helps to know what to expect for the most effective results.

The extraction process

Once a patient is recommended for an extraction, X-rays and other imaging may be taken to determine the placement of the wisdom teeth and come up with an extraction plan. Depending on whether the teeth are impacted or if there is infection, all the teeth may be removed in one appointment, or it may require more than one.

During the procedure, an incision made into the gum tissue. If there is any bone that is blocking the access to the root of the tooth, it is removed. The tooth is then extracted, either in one piece or in sections.

Once the tooth is out, the surgical site is cleaned of any debris. Usually stitches are used to close the wound, which is meant to promote healing. Gauze is then placed over the site to control bleeding. A wisdom tooth extraction is not a long procedure, and most are completed in around 45 minutes.

Preparations and recovery

Although the removal of a tooth may seem like a simple procedure, it does involve surgery, so it is important to follow directions to prepare for the extraction and recover from it.

Prepare for the surgery

Recovery can take a little while, so before the procedure, patients should plan on taking at least a couple of days off from work. If there are children or pets, it is a good idea to plan for alternative care for them. The patient should also arrange for a ride to and from the procedure, as driving afterwards may be unsafe.


After the surgery, patients may feel disoriented and even nauseous. It is important to go home, lay down, and rest for the next 24 hours. Strenuous activities should also be avoided for at least three days after the surgery.

The dental professional should explain what post-care instructions patients should follow to promote healing. These directions typically include:

  • Apply and reapply gauze pads as needed to control bleeding at the surgical site
  • Take prescribed pain medication as needed
  • Rinse mouth with salt water to soothe pain and enhance healing
  • Avoid eating chewy and hard foods for a week
  • Avoid smoking or drinking with a straw


When facing a wisdom tooth extraction, many people may be stressed or intimidated. However, it is a common procedure that many patients experience, and it is performed by an experienced and capable dental professional. Knowing what to expect can ease patients’ concerns and help them prepare appropriately.

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