Dental fear is the fourth most common fear among the population. Well-informed patients seemed to be less anxious, and have the least anxiety before a planned procedure. Our aim was to find out the ideal way of information required by the patient before extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth. A total of 129 patients listed for extraction of impacted teeth were randomly allocated into three groups: control group (n = 42); video dubbed by the surgeon (n = 43); and silent video (n = 44). Their sociodemographic variables and baseline anxiety scores were comparable, and each group was assessed for anxiety: (1) three days preoperatively, (2) after they had watched a video, (3) immediately preoperatively and (4) postoperatively. Assessments were made with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Modified Dental Anxiety Scale, The Dental Anxiety Questionnaire, and the Visual Analogue Scale for pain. There were no significant differences in anxiety scores among the scales before or after operation. The degree of anxiety was similar throughout the study in all groups. However, patients were more satisfied with the information when they had seen it on video, and said that they would prefer to be told about further procedures in the same way. 2016 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.