According to WebMD, a dentist or dental surgeon usually numbs the area when extracting a single wisdom tooth, but she may opt to use a general anesthetic if several teeth are removed at once. This results in the patient sleeping through the procedure.
If a dentist or oral surgeon plans to administer general anesthesia for an extraction, she advises the patient not to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure. This is not required when the patient is awake throughout the extraction. In most cases, pain medication is prescribed to deal with any pain after the teeth are removed.