black abstract

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery: How Long Does it Take?

Aug 01, 2023

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery: How Long Does it Take?

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is a process that doesn’t end when you leave your provider’s office. But the recovery is predictable, especially if you follow the rules and know what to expect.

For some individuals — about 80 in every 100 — at least one wisdom tooth never breaks the surface of the gumline, meaning it doesn’t cause problems and won’t need to be removed. But in many cases, one or all wisdom teeth cause problems and require extraction.

The process of wisdom tooth removal can be scary, but for some patients, the thought of the aftercare is more daunting. How do you know when you’ll start to feel better after wisdom tooth extraction?

Ueno Center Dental Specialists offers safe tooth extraction as well as a host of other treatments for a healthy mouth. Our founder, Jeremy K. Ueno, DMD, and our other providers prepare you for the aftermath of surgery so you know just what to expect. 

Who needs their wisdom teeth extracted? 

As we mentioned, sometimes wisdom teeth never erupt, and in a portion of the population, they do not exist at all. Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be pulled either; they can grow in for some people and not cause any problems. 

You probably need your wisdom teeth removed if you experience one or more of these issues: 

  • An infection leading to an abscess
  • Teeth that shift to accommodate a poorly positioned erupted wisdom tooth
  • Periodontitis (or gum disease)
  • Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially caught as they erupt 

The aftermath of your wisdom tooth extraction

The procedure itself isn’t difficult. In fact, with proper sedation, you won’t remember a thing. Be sure you have someone to take you home afterward, because you won’t be able to drive yourself. And once you’re home, the recovery begins. 

The actual healing process may take weeks to several months, depending on whether the tooth is impacted or not. A blood clot needs to form, which takes a few days, and then new tissue forms. Finally, bone starts to form. But you won’t notice all of this as it happens.

Use an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time on the day of your surgery to reduce pain and swelling. Then, for the first week or two:

  • Eat and drink only soft foods and liquids 
  • Don’t blow your nose
  • Take your pain medication as directed
  • Avoid using straws 

Timing is everything

Everyone is different, but the noticeable recovery process from wisdom tooth extraction takes a week or two. During the first week, get lots of rest and follow all the rules we laid out here. 

The second week may be a little milder in terms of pain, discomfort, and the steps you need to take to ensure a safe recovery. Some people still experience pain at this point, but if your prescription medications have run out, over-the-counter painkillers may be helpful. 

Basically, expect to see the side effects of your surgery subside fully after the second week. Of course, your mouth continues to heal after this, but you will be able to return to normal activities while it does. 

Is it time to have your wisdom teeth removed?

You may need to have surgery to end or avoid a number of unpleasant and even unhealthy effects of erupting or impacted wisdom teeth. But don’t worry; after the two-week mark, you’ll start to feel like your old self again.

Call us at our office in Campbell, California, today. We look forward to helping you.