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How Long Does It Take to Fully Recover from a Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure?


Wisdom tooth extraction is a common surgical practice. A wisdom tooth generally develops in the gums during the late teenage years or early twenties. Due to lack of space in your mouth, they may sometime erupt at an angle or become stuck, only to emerge partially. These types of wisdom teeth are known as impacted wisdom teeth, and they can lead to future oral health problems such as infection and pain. If performed by a specialist, removal and healing of wisdom teeth is generally uncomplicated for most patients.

Healing After Wisdom Teeth Removal: What to Expect

Surgical removal of wisdom teeth is quite common, and most people feel little or no pain after the surgery. Healing time differs for everyone, and it may take longer if your wisdom teeth are impacted. Following your wisdom teeth removal, you may experience slight swelling, mild bruising and discomfort in your face for 3-4 days. You should follow the instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon on how to take proper care after the surgery.

Here is an outline of the healing stages, after your wisdom teeth removal:

Initial 24 hours: Blood clot formation

2 to 3 days: Improvement in mouth and cheek swelling

7 days: Removal of remaining stitches by the dentist

7 to 10 days: Expected improvement in jaw stiffness and soreness

2 weeks: Expected healing of any mild bruising on the face

How to Speed Up Recovery Following Your Wisdom Teeth Removal

Blood clot formation at the wisdom tooth extraction site is a crucial aspect of the healing process because it:

  • Helps check excessive bleeding
  • Prevents wound infection
  • Boosts new tissue growth
  • Protects the exposed bone

It is important to ensure that these blood clots are not removed during the first 24 hours after the surgery. Avoid the following activities for at least 24 hours:

  • Brushing teeth close to the extraction site
  • Rinsing your mouth
  • Drinking hot beverages
  • Eating foods that necessitate chewing
  • Sucking on straws
  • Smoking or drinking

After 24 hours, gentle rinsing with antiseptic mouth rinse is recommended.

Recovery Tips for Wisdom Tooth Removal

Follow your doctor’s instructions for a faster recovery. Here are a few useful tips that you should follow for the first 3 days after your surgery:

  • Apply an ice pack to remove swelling or the color changes in your facial skin.
  • Use damp heat to treat a sore jaw.
  • Gently exercise your jaw by slowly opening and closing your mouth.
  • Eat soft foods including pasta, rice, or soup.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Brush your teeth after 24 hours of your surgery but avoid brushing against any blood clots.
  • Take all the medicines that are prescribed by your dentist to relieve the pain or swelling.
  • Contact your dentist if you get a fever, or if your pain or swelling doesn’t improve.

What Problems Are Linked to Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted or partially emerged wisdom teeth can lead to dental problems. Food and bacteria can get in the edges of your teeth and gums to cause plaque build-up which can lead to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Pericoronitis (an infection of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth)
  • Cellulitis (a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue or throat)
  • Abscess (pus formation in the wisdom tooth or in the surrounding tissue)
  • Cysts and benign growths (very rarely seen in a wisdom tooth)

Many of these issues can be cured using antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwashes.

It’s best to visit your dentist when you feel pain or discomfort in your wisdom tooth. They will review your condition to suggest if you should get it extracted or not. Wisdom tooth removal is generally suggested by dentists when other treatments have failed.

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

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Based on 205 reviews
I have used Plaza Dental Group since I moved to West Des Moines in 2009. The welcoming staff, clean pleasant surroundings. and competent providers have served me well. My experiences have been pleasant, productive outings I approach with gratefulness at the service my mouth and teeth will receive. Thank you, wonderful Dental Group.read more
Phyllis Newton
Phyllis Newton
I had an amazing experience at Plaza Dental! Sara my dental hygienist made it even spectacular. I felt comfortable around her. She was very personable and professional. She took the time to explain the whole process and very thorough with the whole process of taking X-ray and cleaning my teeth. I was impressed by her expertise and most of all I felt as if I’d known her for years because she made me feel comfortable! Thank you Sara and the rest of the team for an amazing first time experience!read more
Winnie Lee
Winnie Lee
I finally found my dental home. I had my first consultation with Dr Dietrich today, she is genuinely nice as well as her assistant . I felt welcomed , they care about me and my dental health . I'm looking forward to my first visit in a few weeks!!!!
Cheryl Santee
Cheryl Santee
My experience is just starting but yesterday was my first day and I was treated with so much care, love & respect. They made me feel as if I was at home it was a wonderful feeling. Mind you I am terrified of dentist and here I felt so welcomed with open arms . I will be continuing to go here. So far the best place I highly recommendread more
Danielle Ceballos
Danielle Ceballos
The staff at Plaza Dental are the best. Dr. Odland and his assistant, Becca, have been amazing to work with. They have always been patient, kind, and compassionate. I was always kept comfortable during my procedures and have always had a great experience. I look forward to working with them in the future.read more
Erika Sieren
Erika Sieren
Today I had my first appointment at Plaza Dental. I am one of those patients who is extremely anxious about dental visits and I had avoided getting dental care for awhile .My hygienist Hilary was AMAZING! I'm so happy that I made the appointment and that i am on my way to wanting to show my smile again .read more
Pam Gronewold
Pam Gronewold
Dr. Dietrich is so easy to work with. She's very skilled and her assistants are always able to explain every step of the way. My implant feels great!!
Amanda Godfrey
Amanda Godfrey
I moved to Iowa at the end Of February, and have been looking for a dentist that cared about their patients. When I found Plaza Dental Group, they were able to get me right in, and my experience from the when I walked in to the office, to the time I walked out after my first visit was beyond what I could have hoped for. Dr.Odland and his staff are incredible and made me feel comfortable from start to finish. They explained the next steps regarding my next appointments, and everything that was going to take place. I feel at ease knowing that I am being taken care of. All of my appointments have been great. The front staff is great as well! I can not say enough great things about this office!read more
Jessica Ford
Jessica Ford
Thank you so much got me in fast and great help very nice staff and helped me with a problem that another dentist caused and helping me get the proper care 😁
Rachel Hinrichs
Rachel Hinrichs
My hygienist rocks, love Sarah. We have become friends through the years, she is just too sweet. But there are many great hygienists and Dr. Odland and his team took such good care of me when i broke my jaw and several teeth.
Amanda Westerhold
Amanda Westerhold
Hands down the BEST dentist I’ve ever been to. I have severe anxiety when it comes to the dentist and they were SO sweet/accommodating. Only place I will be going to for my dental needs going forward.
Breanna Bedford
Breanna Bedford
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
As usual, I only waited a few minutes until Talia came to bring me to the back. The treatment itself was pleasant and efficient and everybody was very friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend this place!
Martina Walther
Martina Walther
This place is the BEST. I cannot say enough about how great Lacey is and the job she does! I was so impressed by Plaza Dental Group compared to previous dentists I've visited that I won't be going anywhere else. Highly recommend Lacey, Dr. Odland, and Dr. Dietrich - they are highly educated and knowledgeable, very thorough with their care and listening to your needs, inform/explain things every step of the way, and are so enjoyable and fun to be around. Wish I could give more than 5 stars!read more
Jasenn Greiner
Jasenn Greiner
Dr Colin Odland is the best! He is very knowledgeable, patient, kind and makes sure you are doing ok as he works. I highly recommend him, especially patients that have had bad experiences with dentists in the past.
Debora Lynn
Debora Lynn
I just switched to Plaza because it’s closer to my work/home and I’d give them 100 stars if I could! My hygienist Talia had amazing attention to detail (and I’m known to be very particular) and Dr. Odland’s chairside manner was amazing. I don’t know why I didn’t come here sooner!
Derek Zarn
Derek Zarn
Plaza Dental Group
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