Before having your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll be given an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area.

If the tooth hasn’t come through the gum, a small cut (incision) will be made in the gum to access it. A small piece of the bone covering the tooth may also need to be removed. The tooth may be cut into smaller parts to make it easier to remove through the opening.
There’s less need to make an incision if the tooth has broken through the gum.

You’ll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, as your dentist or oral surgeon needs to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth before taking it out.

You shouldn’t feel any pain as your wisdom teeth are removed because the area will be numb.

However, if you do feel pain during the procedure, tell your dentist or oral surgeon so they can give you more anesthetic.

How long it takes to remove the tooth will vary. Simple procedures can take a few minutes, but it can take longer than 20 minutes if it’s more complicated.

Wisdom teeth removal can actually prove to bring with it a number of benefits for those who’ve been struggling with repeated infections and decay in these molars.

You will find that our experienced dentists are focused on the preservation of the natural tooth. Surgical tooth extraction is typically the last resort.

If a root canal treatment can help to preserve the structure of a natural tooth, then that will often be the first treatment offered to a patient.

Teeth that have extensive decay and that cannot be salvaged with a filling or root canal therapy, are better off being completely removed from the mouth.

After surgery

If an incision has been made, dissolving stitches are used to seal the gum. Your dentist will tell you how long the stitches take to dissolve (usually 7 to 10 days).

We may place gauze over the site of the extraction and ask you to keep pressure on it by biting your jaws together for up to an hour. This is to allow a blood clot to form in the empty tooth socket. Blood clots are part of the healing process, so try not to dislodge them.

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed if you have an ongoing infection.

To reduce pain and help yourself to recover, it can be helpful to:

  • use painkillers recommended by your dentist (always follow the dosage instructions)
  • avoid heavy levels of activity and exercise for a few days
  • use an extra pillow to support your head at night
  • avoid rinsing, spitting or hot drinks for 24 hours
  • avoid anything that may dislodge the blood clots that form in the extraction site
  • avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
  • eat soft or liquid food for a few days and chew with your other teeth
  • gently rinse the extraction site with antiseptic mouthwash recommended by your dentist. Do this after 24 hours and repeat regularly over the next few days
  • use warm water with a teaspoon of salt as a mouthwash to reduce gum soreness and inflammation

Working and driving

It’s usually recommended that you take a day or 2 off work after having a wisdom tooth removed.

You can drive immediately after a local anesthetic.

Do not drive for 24 hours if a sedative was used. Do not drive for 48 hours if the extraction was done under general anaesthetic.

Returning to normal

After any swelling and bruising have disappeared, your mouth should return to normal.

You’ll usually be able to brush your teeth normally after a few days. Make sure you finish any course of antibiotics you’re taking.

You may have to go to a check-up appointment around a week or so after the extraction. At this point, your dentist will remove any remaining stitches.


As with any procedure, removing your wisdom teeth carries some risks. But, these risks are usually small.

Risks can include:

– dry socket – where a blood clot does not develop in the tooth socket, or if the blood clot becomes dislodged

– nerve injury which can cause pain and numbness

– infection – yellow or white discharge coming from the extraction site with a high temperature, pain and swelling

– bleeding

Dry socket

This can happen 3 to 5 days after surgery. The empty socket causes an ache or throbbing pain in your gum or jaw, which can be intense. There may also be an unpleasant smell or taste from the empty tooth socket. If you look into the socket, you might be able to see exposed bone rather than a blood clot.

You’re more at risk of developing dry socket if:

– you do not follow your dentist’s instructions after the extraction
– you smoke
– you’ve had the condition before
– you’re over 25 years old
– you had a complicated extraction

Please contact us at the Beacon Dental Clinic, if you suspect you have a dry socket. They can flush any debris out of the socket or cover it with a medicated dressing.

Most people have little to no pain after surgery. You’ll likely have swelling and mild discomfort for 3 or so days. Your mouth may need a few weeks to completely heal.

For further information about wisdom tooth removal, please contact us

Source: HSE & NHS