What to Expect When Your Teen Needs A Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Teen with Toothache

Last week, I took my 16-year-old daughter to the dentist.  She had her annual checkup as well as a panoramic X-ray. At the end of the visit, her dentist informed me that her wisdom teeth are coming in and need to be removed. “All four?” I asked. “Yes, all four of them need to be removed because there is no room for them to come in.” All I could think of was that winter break during my senior year of high school when I did not leave the house for an entire week because I  I looked like Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks. My face was so swollen, I ran through all the ice in the freezer.

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Now, I am weighing my options. Should my daughter do all four at once or one at a time? My preference is to get all four done at the same time. That way it’s just one surgery and one time under anesthesia. To help with my decision, I asked my close friend whose daughter just had the surgery so I could prepare myself with what to expect.

She told me that her daughter had all four wisdom teeth removed under anesthesia and felt no pain during the surgery.  She was a little loopy when she woke up and had to be held as she walked to the car. As her mom drove her home, she was still a little lightheaded and needed to be taken up to her room to rest.

She was really swollen for about three days to the point that she did not want to leave the house.  So, she recommended we do the surgery over a school break. She also said that her daughter could not eat solid foods for about a week and had some soreness, so we should do it when I can be home to help keep her comfortable. She also recommended interviewing a few different dentists before having the procedure.

After speaking with my friend, my daughter, and our dentist, I have decided to have all her wisdom teeth removed the first week of summer vacation.  I will be able to be home with her and she can rest and recover without worrying about missing school. While I am a little nervous about the surgery, she is excited about all the ice cream she will get to eat as she recovers.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Natalie Pennington, DDS, April 2019

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