Since more than 90% of people in the U.S. will have their wisdom teeth removed, it is helpful to know what to expect of the recovery process. The length of time it will take to recover will depend upon several factors, including if your wisdom teeth were impacted, your overall health and wellness, and how well you follow post-surgical instructions. Here’s a detailed look at how these factors affect your recovery after having your wisdom teeth removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars, which humans don’t need. Unfortunately, they can wreak havoc on the alignment of your other teeth that you may have spent lots of time and money achieving through orthodontics. Most people do not have room in the back of their mouths to accommodate these extra molars. As such, at some point, you’ll likely need to see an oral surgeon who specializes in wisdom tooth extraction. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed as teenagers or as young adults.
Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your dentist tells you that your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be removed, they are talking about wisdom teeth you can’t yet see. Impacted means that the teeth are trapped beneath the gum, and potentially beneath bone, and cannot push through the gum line. But they can cause problems with your smile alignment, even beneath the gum line, which is why they need to be removed.
It will likely take one to two weeks to recover from having impacted wisdom teeth removed. It may take several months for the tissue to completely heal.
If your wisdom teeth have broken through the gum line, extraction and recovery are similar to any other tooth extraction. You should feel better in just a couple of days, but more time will be needed for the complete healing of the extraction site.
Overall Health and Wellness
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a surgery, and all surgeries have some degree of risk and require some period of recovery. Each person will recover at their own pace, based in large part on how healthy you are before surgery to remove your wisdom teeth. Individuals with certain bleeding disorders or other underlying conditions need to make sure that the oral surgeon performing the extraction is aware of your complete medical history.
Irrespective of whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, or have pushed through, you need to follow all post-surgical instructions given to you by your oral surgeon. The instructions you will be given are designed to promote healing, prevent infection, and allow you to get back to your regular activities as soon as possible. During your recovery, you will need to stay hydrated, use caution when brushing your teeth, avoid hard/chewy food, and avoid touching blood clots with your tongue. You should avoid smoking, vaping, smokeless tobacco, and using a straw. You may be instructed to ice your jaw, keep your head elevated, and may be given other instructions. You also need to take all medication exactly as prescribed. If you have any questions during your recovery, be sure to check with your oral surgeon.
Fullerton Oral Surgery in Fullerton, CA provides dental services such as dental implants, wisdom teeth removal and bone grafting. They pride themselves in their attention to detail that they give to their patients by way of education and providing options to get them to be functional and to feel confident.