I had all four wisdom teeth extracted in one session, years ago - which may or not make a difference. Two bone impactions (bottom) and two soft impactions. I had also heard and seen the horror stories about wisdom tooth extraction and figured I was in for real nasty experience.
Actually, when I went to see the oral surgeon, I was going in to have only the bone impactions done. After X-rays, he suggested I have the tops extracted also - same time, same place.
I asked him if he thought I was nuts or what - given the things I had heard. He lauged and said that, done with the bone extractions, I would not even know that the tops were extracted. OK Fine - for the tops but it sure made me (more) nervous about the bottoms. He said that sometimes people do have some misery but, in general, few people have more than relatively minor discomofort. I had local anesthetic which (although I've never had nitrous oxide - laughing gas) I generally think is better that general anesthetics.
He turned out to be right. I went back to work (it was one of those "inventory" days where they threaten your job if you don't show up) but since I was spitting blood - bothered others but not me - I went home.
As far as dry sockets are concerned, I think there is a random element with them but get the feeling that what you do after the extractions has much to do with it. Follow what the oral surgeon says to do.
Note I keep saying oral surgeon. No reflection on you dentist but in general it is far better to go to someone who does whatever often - really often. Oral surgeons are alway chopping on the bone in someones mouth. Dentists so a lot of filling. They are not, obviously, the same thing. Same thing applies to something like root canals. Most dentists, I think, do far less than 100 a year. Sorry - not enough. Some dentists specialize in root canals. Same deal. Go to them.
No reflection on dentists at all. But its your mouth. My dentist is the one who sent me to the oral surgeon -- because he said he doesn't do enough extractions to be as good at it as the oral surgeon.