Visiting the dentist is never really any fun. Face it, it’s something we all dread doing. But what makes any dental check up and cleaning worse is when the dentist says, “It looks like we’re going to have to remove your wisdom teeth.”

Dim the lights and cue the dramatic music, because once those words are spoken, it strikes the worst kind of fear. But the truth is, most wisdom teeth extractions are routine procedures that have you in and out in no time. And the good news is: you get to spend a couple of days of forced “vacation” on the couch recuperating.

Here are a couple of quick tips to prepare in advance so that when you get home, all you have to do is rest and sleep:

Talk to your dentist

First and foremost, you’ll want to consult with your dentist as to whether or not your wisdom teeth are impacted or if he/she sees any potential problems with your teeth, mouth, and gums. By having an in-depth discussion with your dentist, you’ll be more informed about what to expect for your personal case.

Laughing gas vs. anesthesia

It’s up to you which one you choose, but you will want to discuss this with your dentist before you go in for surgery. With laughing gas, it basically boils down to whether you can handle the sounds and pressure of what’s going on in your mouth. You won’t FEEL anything but there are a lot of other sensory happenings that may make you feel uncomfortable.

On the other hand, with full anesthesia you won’t be aware of anything happening with the procedure until you wake up. And when you wake up, you should expect to feel very groggy and out of it.

Regardless of which option you choose, you need to plan on having a family member or friend there to drive you home since you will be too out of it to drive yourself.

Load up on liquids and soft foods

For the first 24 hours after the procedure, you’ll most likely be allowed to eat only liquid foods. Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are well stocked with ice creams, smoothie fixings, and such. After that you can move on to comfort foods like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and soups.

Create a long Netflix list

Before you go in for your wisdom teeth removal, you’ll want to cue up all the movies and television series you’ve wanted to see. If you’ve been waiting to binge watch “Breaking Bad” or “The Sopranos,” now is the time to do it.  

Find out if your insurance covers your procedure

If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of your wisdom teeth extraction, there is a no-cost option available for you. Currently, there is a clinical research study being conducted in Salt Lake City, Utah by Jean Brown Research on a wisdom teeth surgery. Qualified participants may be compensated for time and travel.

Visit the Jean Brown Research wisdom tooth clinical study page to learn if you may qualify for wisdom teeth extraction in Utah at no charge.