Wisdom Tooth Extraction or Wisdom Tooth Surgery? Are they really that different? Which one should I choose? Wisdom tooth extraction and surgery are actually
a different thing, even though they sounded similar. If you read many articles online, you might find information that doesn’t really differentiate one from another. So in this article, we want to help you understand this better by comparing between a wisdom tooth extraction versus a wisdom tooth surgery.
Which procedure should I opt for my wisdom teeth removal?
This will mostly depend on two things: the position of your wisdom tooth and what’s happening around your tooth.
You can find out about these through a dentist consultation and an x-ray of your teeth. An x-ray will help show wisdom teeth growth that are not visible from the surface. You will know whether your wisdom tooth is about to grow normally without disturbing other molars or crowding too much, and within a reasonable angle, or not.
Find out more about Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Surgery in Singapore.
When your wisdom tooth is growing into its place normally, your dentist will most likely advise you to go for a simple extraction procedure. Growing normally means that your wisdom tooth is growing upward, without hitting another tooth, with a normal shape, without getting too close to the nerves and without the presence of infection around it. It will also mean that the tooth has grown significantly enough in this manner, so that it is able to be pulled out without cutting a part of the gum or the bone. You can go for a simple, basic extraction that is performed by a dentist when your case is not complex.
Many cases aren’t as smooth as described previously. Many times, wisdom teeth grow in a way that causes complications. It can give this negative effect before growing visible on the surface. It can also grow in an abnormal direction and has a weird root shape. Sometimes, it can even cause infections that impact other parts of the body, such as giving a headache and fever. When your wisdom tooth behaves this way, you should opt for a wisdom tooth surgery.
Who can perform the procedure?
Actually, a wisdom tooth extraction will look like a regular dentist appointment. This non-surgical approach doesn’t need a specialist and can be performed by your dentist. However, a highly complex wisdom tooth surgery might require an oral maxillofacial surgeon. In some cases, your general practitioner might agree to doing the wisdom tooth surgery himself/herself. The simpler your case it, the less likely you will need an oral maxillofacial surgeon.
How long will it take?
Wisdom teeth removal will take about as fast as twenty minutes (or even less than this) to as long as an hour and a half. Obviously, a wisdom tooth surgery takes longer than a wisdom tooth extraction. A non-surgical extraction will take perhaps half an hour from start to finish, assuming there are no complications along the way. Some surgical extraction can take as short as half an hour. Surgical extractions that are more complicated, such as those requiring the surgeon to access a wisdom tooth that is still still buried inside the jawbone, will take much longer. The number of wisdom teeth removed will also affect the length of procedure.
What is the process like?
Wisdom tooth extraction is done through a non-surgical method. An extraction can be done in your dentist’s clinic right away. All he/she needs is a local anaesthesia, usually injected to the gum. Then, he/she will use his tools to loosen the tooth from its position and then pull your wisdom tooth out. There’s a chance that a little part of your gum needs to be cut, but this will heal quickly.
A wisdom tooth surgery in Singapore is a much more
complex procedure. You will also need stronger anaesthesia, either local or general. Depending on your case, your surgeon will either cut a little bit of your gum or move a small area of your bone to access your tooth. Sometimes, It may be possible to cut your tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to pull out. The more complicated the angle and the weirder the shape of the tooth or its root, the more difficult the surgery will be.
How much cost should I expect?
A simple extraction is a lot cheaper than a surgical extraction. A wisdom tooth extraction in Singapore costs around $350-$700 per tooth on average, with about $100-$150 for each doctor’s consultation fee and x-ray. This estimation is what you can expect from an average clinic. You can get an even cheaper rate if you go to polyclinics and clinics owned by the government.
Meanwhile, a wisdom tooth surgery in Singapore costs around $1200-$2000  per tooth on average. This is also not including your doctor’s consultation fee and x-ray, which are around $100-$150, depending on the doctors and clinics. It is significantly more expensive than a simple extraction because it is a surgical procedure. On the other hand, because it is a surgical procedure, you can use insurance. You can use Medisave to help you cover your wisdom tooth surgery cost in Singapore. Don’t forget to check with the clinic and double check on how much you can claim with your insurance and Medisave.
Find out more about the Detailed Cost Breakdown of Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Surgery in Singapore
What about recovery?
You can guess the length of your recovery time from the duration of your surgery. The longer your procedure takes, the more complex your case is. This means, your recovery will take longer. If your wisdom tooth was simply pulled out, you will need around three to four days to be able to resume your normal activities.  If a major part of your gum and jawbone were cut, it will take about a week. However, keep in mind that your wound will not be completely healed during this time as it will take the weeks ahead to fully heal.
You will have to keep a gauze pad in your mouth for at least the first few hours to help absorb the bleeding. Make sure you change the pad every now and then. Some bleeding is totally normal and nothing to worry about, especially during the first 24 hours after surgery (Call your doctor if it keeps bleeding for more than a day). Just use a mouthwash during the first day after extraction. Use a toothbrush again at least 24 hours after surgery. We would suggest adding another day with mouthwash. Remember, be very gentle when you brush your teeth, especially if you have incisions there.
The pain you will feel in a wisdom tooth extraction recovery will definitely be less than what you will experience in your wisdom tooth surgery recovery. You might have to deal with some throbbing pain if your incision is rather big, or especially if your surgeon had to drill through your bone and move some of it. But, that doesn’t mean it is not manageable. You can take some over-the-counter painkillers or put some ice over it from the outside to help with the pain. Be sure to follow your doctor’s prescriptions on this matter.
You might also see some swelling happening. This happens more in a wisdom tooth surgery. When you look at the mirror, it might look like you are chewing on a piece of candy right where the wisdom tooth removal was done. Some patients also see some kind of bruising too. Don’t panic, that’s totally normal. It will get better in a few days.
Read here to find out about Wisdom Tooth Surgery Experience in Singapore
Can I eat and drink normally after?
This is an important part for both your wisdom teeth extraction recovery or wisdom teeth surgery recovery. Whichever procedure you go for, you will have to pay attention to what you consume. This includes food, drinks, and cigarettes, and even the temperature of these things.
You will need to consume soft foods for a while. If you had a simple extraction, you will only need to very soft foods like porridge or yogurt for around 3 days. And then, for the next 7 days, you can gradually eat more solid foods, like very soft steamed rice and smooth soups. Nothing too hard in texture and to chew, too high in temperature and too spicy.
If you had a surgical removal, this will take longer. You need to stick with super soft foods for at least four to seven days.  You can begin eating more solid foods gradually after these 7 days. The same rules for the types of food that you’re allowed to eat. “Meanwhile, a wisdom tooth surgery in Singapore costs around $1200-$2000  per tooth on average.”
Whether you go for extraction or surgery, do not use a straw. Drinking from a straw may injure your wound. You need to drink a lot of water (not hot water) and stay away from alcohol, coffee and tea. Don’t smoke until at least four to five days after the extraction. If you want to be even safer, do this for a week or so.
Will I get medical leave?
Yes, you will get your wisdom teeth removal medical leave. The exact amount of time you need to rest at home will depend on how serious and complex your surgery really was, and also your pain tolerance. A wisdom tooth extraction won’t force you to stay home that long. Maximum for a day or two. But, a regular wisdom tooth surgery would require around five days medical leave. A regular surgery here refers to a simple surgery under local anaesthesia. If you used general anaesthesia instead of local anaesthesia for your wisdom tooth surgery, you will probably get around eight days of leave. 
Check out also the Cost of Seeing a Dentist in Singapore
 Norris, Taylor. 2019. How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?, from https://www.healthline.com/health/wisdom-teeth-recovery#recovery.
 Boge, Emily. 2019. What To Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal, from https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/wisdom-teeth/what-to-eat-after-wisdom-teeth-removal-0416.
 Koon, Low Peng. 2020. Wisdom Tooth, from https://www.aomss.org.sg/wisdom-tooth.php.