Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common types of oral surgery. It involves extracting the third set of molars in an effort to prevent or alleviate impaction or other dental concerns due to lack of jaw space. Wisdom teeth removal is typically performed between the ages of 17 and 25. While the procedures is straightforward with very little risk involved, many patients want to know what to expect when they return home after this oral surgery.
Full recovery from wisdom teeth removal can take up to two weeks. Don’t worry – you won’t be swollen, eating applesauce and mumbling your words for that long. Depending on whether stitches were necessary and how well you take care of your wound, many patients return to normal eating habits after 2-3 days. Still, the recovery is gradual and there is a general timeline of events in the healing process that you should be aware of, including the following:
The healing process can be broken down into the following stages:
- First 24 hours: Blood clots will form. Minimal bruising, swelling and discomfort may be present.
- 2 to 3 days: Swelling of the mouth and cheeks should improve.
- 7 days: Remaining stitches may be removed by your dentist.
- 7 to 10 days: Jaw stiffness and soreness should dissipate.
- 2 weeks: Any mild bruising on the face or other residual effects should heal and go away.
Keep in mind that recovery time will be different for each patient. In addition, it is highly important that you follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions, especially when it comes to preventing “dry socket,” or when the blood clots become dislodged from the wound. You’ll be instructed to not drink from a straw and avoid strenuous activity for a period of time.
At Park South Dentistry, we are happy to explain your wisdom teeth extraction in more detail, as well as tell you what you can personally expect during the days following your oral surgery. Many older teens and college students tend to plan this procedure during a holiday break so that they can avoid missed school days and maximize their healing and recovery experience at home. If you have recently had wisdom teeth removal and are experiencing symptoms of infection or dry socket, please call our Central Park office right away.