How to Prepare for Dental Extraction

Did you know that, on average, Americans lose around 12 permanent teeth by the time they're 50? This includes wisdom teeth, to be fair. Preparing for tooth extraction is a great way to feel empowered and eliminate risk.

There are several common reasons why you might need a tooth extraction. Maybe your tooth is badly damaged from decay or trauma, or maybe your teeth are crowded. Perhaps you have gum disease, an infection, or you're at high risk of infection.

Getting teeth pulled at the dentist's can be an anxiety-inducing experience, but it doesn't have to be! Learn all about tooth extraction preparation.

How to Prepare for Tooth Extraction

Don't worry! You'll probably spend more time contemplating the event than actually having your tooth extracted. It usually takes less than 45 minutes. The following things apply to how to prepare for wisdom tooth extraction as well.

Questions to Ask

Please make a list of the questions you have, and don't be afraid to ask them during your initial consultation. Your dental provider is there for you and is trained to help calm your nerves.

  1. How many teeth will need to be extracted?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. What type of anesthetic will be used?
  4. Are there any precautions I should take before and after?
  5. What should I know about recovery?

Your health provider will cover what you need to know, but bring a list of questions anyway, just if you want to know more. Now, let's go over some important information.

Know Your Medical History

Before your appointment, you should recall your medical history. Try to gather all the details.

Having the following conditions can make you more susceptible to certain infections. When preparing for tooth extraction, notify your health provider if you have:

  • Congenital heart defect
  • Liver disease
  • Heart valves (bio or mechanical)
  • Artificial joints
  • Bacterial endocarditis (current or past)
  • Immune system issues

Include a list of any current medication you may be taking. This way, your provider can eliminate any chance of drug interactions.

Any blood thinners you're taking should be mentioned so you can be advised properly to stop taking these before the treatment. These may prolong healing and carry a risk of bleeding during your appointment.

Painkillers and Anesthesia

You'll be given sedation or an anesthetic combination. Decide with your provider, which will be used for your tooth extraction. If you already know which works well for you, great!

If any of them caused you negative side effects in the past, mention that as well. You and your dental provider can develop a perfect plan for you to make your experience comfortable and risk-free.

If you want painkillers, it's perfectly fine because they're usually prescribed for recovery. Mention any preferences you may have for these. Be careful because they can sometimes become addictive, so consider switching to a non-narcotic option soon after your recovery.


Stop eating 12 hours before your surgery to prevent nausea. However, if you're using a local anesthetic, you probably don't have to fast. If you have a condition that requires you to eat on a strict schedule, such as diabetes, let them know right away.

Also, don't smoke for those 12 hours before surgery. It's even better to avoid this up to 24 hours beforehand. Smoking will hinder the healing process and could cause a serious condition called a "dry socket."


How should I prepare for tooth extraction when it comes to insurance? Speak to your insurance company and explain what is covered surrounding this type of procedure.

Your insurance company might need a written description of the tooth extraction procedure, and this may need to include the ICD-10 codes.

You'll Need a Ride

Whatever type of anesthetic you choose, you'll need a ride home after the appointment. Many people think they're fine, and upon driving home, they get into accidents due to impaired reflexes. Schedule your transportation ahead of time.

Options include a friend, family member, taxi, or Uber/Lyft. Maybe you'll want to go big and hire a limo! Also, prearrange for time off work if needed, as well as any childcare, if needed.

Dress for Comfort

Pick out clothes that make you feel comfortable and at ease. Go for a short-sleeved shirt because you're IV might drip and stain long sleeves. Or wear something you don't mind being stained, just in case.


  • No contact lenses
  • Remove jewelry beforehand
  • Avoid dark-colored lipstick
  • Pull back your hair
  • No perfumes

The air may be a little dry in the room, so bring chapstick along as well.

Home Care

Know what to prepare for wisdom teeth extraction when it comes to food. Consider ordering some of your favorite (soft) foods, or have it prepared ahead of time by a friend or family member for brownie points!

Some great options include:

  • Smoothies
  • Protein drinks
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Ice cream (treat yourself!)

Your cheeks and tongue will be a bit numb afterward from the local anesthetic. Rinsing, spitting, and drinking through straws will prove difficult (and could cause dry socket), so it's best to avoid these activities.

Recovery time is only about one or two days afterward, during which you should take painkillers if tolerated (and as directed). It will be helpful to prop up your head on a pillow. Avoid brushing the site of the extraction.

A bit of swelling is normal, but should you experience any of the following, notify your health provider:

  • Chills or fever
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Severe swelling or bleeding
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

These indicate possible infections. If you experience any of the above, you should see a doctor right away.

Tooth Extraction Preparation Is Half the Victory

Take this time to prepare your documents, medical history, and yourself for the big day. Now that you're informed about tooth extraction preparation call your insurance provider so you can move forward without surprises.

Trust us. We'll carry out the procedure safely and efficiently. We want you to have a comfortable experience.

Contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation.