Practice Logo

What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Apr 09, 2024

What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Getting ready for your wisdom tooth extraction? It’s a common procedure, but you may still have questions about it. Continue reading to learn what you can expect before, during, and after your wisdom tooth extraction.

Are you preparing for an upcoming wisdom tooth extraction? It’s normal to feel a little jittery before a procedure like wisdom tooth removal. Understanding what to expect throughout the process can help alleviate some pre-procedure jitters. 

Below, our team of providers walks you through the stages of wisdom tooth extraction so you can feel prepared for your upcoming extraction here at Smile Structure Dentistry & Braces in San Antonio, Helotes, and Shavano Park, Texas.

What to expect before your wisdom tooth extraction

Before you arrive for your extraction, you can expect:

A one-on-one consultation

Before your procedure, you'll have a consultation with your Smile Structure Dentistry & Braces provider to discuss your medical history, any existing dental issues, and the specifics of the extraction. This is the time to ask questions and address any concerns you may have.


You can also expect to take some dental X-rays. X-rays can help assess the position of your wisdom teeth and determine the complexity of your extraction. Our team also conducts a thorough examination.

Review of your anesthesia options

Depending on the complexity of the extraction and your comfort level, our team suggests the right type of anesthesia for you. Your options may include local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia.

You will also receive guidance on how to prepare the day of your extraction. This may include taking oral sedatives, avoiding food or drink before your procedure, and asking a friend or family member to drive you home.

What to expect during your wisdom tooth extraction

During your procedure, the first step is to administer anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs the specific area, while sedation or general anesthesia ensures you are relaxed and pain-free throughout.

Once you’re comfortably numb, the next step is the actual extraction.  In some cases, the tooth may need to be divided into smaller pieces for easier removal. The procedure itself is relatively quick, typically lasting about 45 minutes.

After the tooth is removed, stitches may be needed to close the surgical site. Our team also places gauze to control bleeding, and you'll receive post-operative care instructions.

What to expect after your wisdom tooth extraction

You'll spend some time in the recovery area to ensure the effects of anesthesia wear off. You may feel groggy, but anesthesia side effects should dissipate after your procedure. It's important to have a friend or family member present to drive you home if you've received sedation or general anesthesia.

You can expect some discomfort and swelling after wisdom tooth extraction. Follow the post-operative care instructions to help manage these side effects. This may include guidelines for managing swelling, pain, and any prescribed medications. Applying ice to the affected area and keeping your head elevated can help minimize swelling. 

Stick to a soft food diet in the initial days after the extraction. Avoid hot, spicy, or hard foods that may irritate the surgical site. Gradually reintroduce regular foods as your recovery progresses.

Oral care after your wisdom tooth extraction

After wisdom tooth extraction, your body forms a protective blood clot over the extraction site. Try not to disturb this clot. If you dislodge the clot, it can lead to a painful condition called dry socket. You can reduce your risk of dry socket by:

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene
  • Avoiding using straws or making a sucking motion after surgery
  • Avoiding eating sharp or hard food

Maintain good oral hygiene by gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water as advised by your Smile Structure Dentistry & Braces surgeon. Avoid vigorous brushing near the extraction site to prevent disruption of the healing process.

Questions? We’re here for you

Getting ready for any type of procedure can make you feel a little nervous, and that’s okay. Sometimes, just learning more about the process and what to expect can help soothe away anxieties. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re more than happy to answer your questions. 

You can reach the veteran-owned location of your choice by calling 210-572-2394. You can also schedule an appointment in our San Antonio, Texas, offices, our Helotes, Texas, office, or our Shavano Park, Texas, office by clicking here.