How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Take to Heal?
Over 5 million people have their wisdom teeth removed every year! And yet there aren’t many of us who look forward to the procedure. Most of us have it believe that it will be terribly painful, and the healing will be lengthy and inconvenient. Fortunately, the reality is a whole different picture. In a lot of cases, patients hardly experience any pain at all – at most they would complain of mild discomfort – and the recovery fortunately lasts only a few days. Suppose you have your wisdom teeth removed on a Friday, you could easily be back at work or uni on Monday.
Don’t ignore your wisdom teeth! Come take a closer look at what they are and what you can expect after they’ve been pulled out.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Because Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt, positioned behind all the others, one for each corner of the mouth, most times, you will end up with not much space left to fit them in. Wisdom teeth have a reputation for causing issues. They could end up pressing against other teeth and push them out of its’ correct placement if they don’t have enough space to fit. They could even lead to bacteria traps in your mouth if they come out at an odd angle , because it is not easy to clean the area properly. If you ignore these issues and do not address them in a timely manner, there is a chance you could lose more than just your wisdom.
The wisdom tooth removal procedure
Initially the dentist will inspect the problem tooth and take x-rays to determine the length of time needed for the procedure to be completed and how long the recovery time will generally be.
This depends quite a lot on if your wisdom tooth has erupted with or without any issues. If it hasn’t come through at an odd angle and is not impacting another tooth – the extraction would take just a couple of minutes and would be fairly straightforward. However, if the tooth is infected, is sitting at an angle, is impacting another tooth and if the gum tissue needs to be cut away – it would take much longer to complete the extraction.
Once the tooth is extracted, we will keep you for 5-10 minutes in the chair for observation. This is so we can ensure clotting has begun and the bleeding has ceased and you are feeling stable enough to move around again.
90 minutes is the longest you would have to be in the chair and this is we are removing all four wisdom teeth in one go. This time includes consent, numbing, the removal process and then the initial recovery time as well. Simple extractions will be quicker, and of course the fewer the teeth that needs to be extracted, the faster the whole operation would be.
Simple cases of the procedure, usually takes a shorter time in the chair – and often include instances where:
- Wisdom tooth has erupted
- Wisdom tooth is not affecting any other teeth
- Wisdom tooth has come through at a normal angle
The more complicated procedures, that would take longer include:
- Teeth that have become infected
- Wisdom teeth that have positioned at an angle
- Wisdom teeth that are impacted
- Gums need to be cut away for the removal of the tooth
How long does pain after wisdom tooth extraction last and how long is recovery?
There is no exact answer for this question. It depends on a variety of different scenarios and the potential recovery times would also depend on your specific case.
- If the tooth has erupted with no impaction and is not angled, the extraction can be completed very quickly and you would probably feel very little to no pain afterwards. In fact, some don’t even require painkillers and can be at work the following day.
- A more complicated scenario is if the gum tissue needs to be cut away because the tooth has not fully broken out of the gum and is impacting another tooth from under the gum. This will cause more swelling and discomfort than a simple extraction. You may need to take a few days off work and mild painkillers should be able to keep the pain levels to a minimum.
- A crooked wisdom tooth which is angled and is impacting another tooth will need much more time to pull out and longer to heal. You may experience discomfort in the days after the procedure, however, regular painkillers should be able to do the trick. You will have to take a couple of days off work or uni, but if you are able to avoid meetings and talking too much, you could potentially return earlier.
- If a wisdom tooth needs to be extracted under general anesthesia, we will refer you to a surgeon and the extraction will b e conducted at a hospital. This procedure will take longer to heal and will result in more swelling than the other scenarios. Your surgeon will be able to give you more insight into the procedure.
We are concerned about how long it will take to heal from wisdom tooth extractions because we need to fit it in around work or other commitments. Our recommendation is that you do not wait till its too late. Once the tooth starts to hurt, this will become an emergency extraction, and you will have no chance of scheduling it around your other responsibilities.
Post procedure care
What to avoid after wisdom teeth removal
- Do not smoke
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do not engage in strenuous exercise
How to aid the healing process
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated
- Get some rest
- Use ice-packs to help with the discomfort
- Gently rinse out your mouth with warm, salty water to promote healing
Chat to the friendly team at Walloon Dental
Once you have been assessed and x-rays have been taken, we will be able to get a good understanding of the current state of your teeth. We will also be able to give you a more accurate picture of how long the recovery from the extraction procedure would be. We will also be able to schedule your appointment around whatever other commitments you have – if you get in touch with us before the pain sets in.