While the wisdom tooth extraction procedure takes place in just one appointment that is approximately two-hours long, the recovery can last for two to three weeks after. If complications arise, it may take even longer to properly heal from a wisdom tooth extraction. Keep reading to learn more about how long you can expect the recovery from wisdom tooth extraction to take.
What to Expect on Day 1
Immediately after your wisdom tooth surgery, you will likely experience significant discomfort, swelling, bruising, and bleeding. You should plan to rest for at least the first 24 hours. Use ice packs at 20-minute intervals to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Take all pain medications and antibiotics as directed. Until the blood clot forms over your extraction site, you should place moist, clean gauze to protect the socket and absorb blood. In most cases, bleeding will cease completely after the first 24 hours and you can stop placing gauze.
What to Expect in the First 3 Days
In the first two to three days after your procedure, you will experience swelling and bruising. This is normal, and most people are able to address the discomfort and swelling by applying ice packs or cold compresses to the face for 20-minutes at a time and taking prescription or over the counter pain medications as directed. Avoid applying heat to the area of the extraction site as this can lead to increased blood flow and further discomfort.
What to Expect in the First Week
Within the first seven days of treatment, you should return to the surgeon’s office to have the stitches removed if necessary. At this point, you should feel much better and see noted improvement in swelling and bruising. You should be able to resume your regular routine with some restrictions when it comes to driving, heavy lifting, and otherwise exerting yourself.
What to Expect After 7 to 10 Days
Within the first ten days, jaw stiffness and limitation in range of movement should be completely gone. If you are still struggling to speak, chew, yawn, or smile without pain, it’s time to contact our office. In order to ensure your recovery by this point, we encourage patients to start exercising and massaging the jaw joints after the first 48 hours. Gently open your mouth as far as possible and move the jaw from side to side. If you feel, see, or hear anything out of the ordinary when moving your mouth, stop exercising the jaw immediately. If you notice new bleeding or swelling after your attempt at jaw exercise, call your oral surgeon. In addition to exercising the jaw by performing a range of movements, you can also massage the jaw joints to relieve pain and allow for more comfortable motion. Gently massaging the jaw joints for a few minutes at a time can greatly improve comfort and range of jaw movement.
What to Expect After 2 to 3 Weeks
After two or three weeks, your extraction site should be healed over, any bruising and swelling should have subsided, and you should have a full range of jaw movement. If you are still experiencing pain or discomfort after the first three weeks, please call your oral surgeon right away.
Meet the Practice
Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers excellence across a complete list of Houston oral surgery procedures, including wisdom teeth extraction. To learn more about their services or to discuss wisdom tooth removal with an oral surgeon, you are invited to contact the office at 832-293-4912.