Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Don’t go in blind! Keep reading to find out average recovery time, what to expect after the surgery, and how soon you can go back to work or school.

What is recovery like?

After the surgery, the anesthesia and numbing agents will slowly wear off. It usually takes a couple of hours for the numbness in your mouth to be completely gone. You’ll experience some soreness and swelling in your mouth, as well as your jaws and cheeks. However, your oral surgeon will prescribe something to help reduce pain and swelling, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can also use ice packs on your cheeks and jaws to lessen swelling and pain.

When eating, you should take care to avoid anything hard, sharp, crunchy, or chewy, as these could be difficult to eat, cause pain, or get into your wound. You should also avoid using straws, sucking or slurping motions, and smoking, as these activities could dislodge the clot where your teeth were removed and cause a painful condition called dry socket, in which the bone is exposed.

It is important during recovery to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. Though your mouth may be sore, you shouldn’t avoid eating altogether, as your body will need nutrients to bounce back quickly. Some easy-to-eat recovery foods include:
Milkshakes
Applesauce
Soup
Smoothies
Yogurt
Ice cream/sorbet
Oatmeal
Pudding
Mashed potatoes
Pureed fruit
Cottage cheese
Protein/meal replacement shakes/drinks
Scrambled eggs
Baby food

How long will it take me to recover?

As a general estimate, you can expect full recovery to take one to two weeks, and should be able to return to normal activities like work or school within three to four days. Recovery time depends on numerous factors, including your body’s resilience, the number of teeth that were removed, and how the teeth were coming in or impacted. The more difficult the teeth were to remove, the longer the recovery period will be.

If you experience dry sockets, you’ll need to see your dentist to have the socket treated. After treatment, expect a couple of weeks to fully recover.

After wisdom teeth extraction, the best way to shorten your recovery period is to follow your dentists directions for care: take the prescribed medication, avoid foods that could cause irritation or dry sockets, and don’t overexert yourself. If you follow these guidelines, you should have a healthy recovery and be back to normal in just a week or two!

Do you need to have your wisdom teeth out? Give Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry a call today!