Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery: What To Expect

wisdom teeth removal

If you’ve been told you need a wisdom tooth extraction, we’ll be answering the most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth removal recovery. Contrary to popular belief, most wisdom tooth extractions are relatively straightforward. When the extraction is performed with the appropriate degree of planning, by a well experienced dental practitioner, you can look forward to a speedy recovery.

How Long Does A Wisdom Tooth Extraction Take?

In the majority of cases, wisdom teeth are removed using local anaesthetic. Typically, the lower wisdom teeth may take longer to remove, but you can expect to be in the chair for an average of 10 minutes to an hour.

It may be necessary to cut through your gum if your wisdom tooth has only emerged partially. In some cases, stitches may be required to close up the incision.

What Should You Do After The Procedure?

Following your dental practitioner’s advice, is essential to ensure a speedy recovery. If you do not need stitches you will be given a piece of gauze to bite down on, to encourage the bleeding to stop.

Do not

  • Drink through a straw
  • Perform any kind of sucking with your mouth (pulling on a cigarette, sucking on straw) as this could dislodge your blood clot
  • Play with the wound with your tongue
  • Smoke
  • Drink very hot beverages after surgery
  • Eat or drink on the side of your extraction until instructed by your dentist.


  • Be prepared for your wisdom teeth removal recovery. Make sure you have some painkillers on hand, as well as the necessary liquids and foods to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
  • Be careful with oral hygiene
  • Be careful when you brush around the wound, to ensure you do not dislodge the blood clot. Also be very careful when you rinse your mouth and drink. It is best to avoid drinking and eating on that side of your mouth for a few days after surgery.


What To Expect On The Day Of The Procedure

On the day of your surgery you may not feel any pain at all because the anaesthetic may take a while to wear off.

Stick to a liquids-only diet (but avoid using a straw). Your dentist will probably advise you not to brush your teeth for at least 24-hours.


The Day After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Once the anaesthetic has worn off, you may feel pain and discomfort through the next day. You may need to take painkillers if you are sensitive to pain or had a very complex procedure. Some patients do not need to take any pain medication.

You might see a little blood as well, and this is considered a normal part of the recovery. Let yourself rest and catch up on your sleep. Don’t forget to take your antibiotics.


48-Hours Later 

48-hours after your surgery you should notice a significant improvement in swelling and discomfort. The bleeding should largely have stopped and you probably won’t need to change your gauze as often.

If you experience dryness in your mouth, you may find relief from gargling with salt water. Make sure you stay well hydrated.


3 Days After Surgery

Three days after your wisdom tooth extraction you should be ready to start eating soft foods again and will not need pain medication.

By the seventh day following the extraction, you will mostly have recovered and can return to work if you took time off.


Risk Factors And Complications Of Wisdom Tooth Extractions

In the event that any of your side effects (bleeding, swelling or pain) become worse rather than improve, you should contact your dentist immediately.

If your pain continues for longer than three days and is very intense, you may be experiencing a condition called dry socket. This occurs in only 2% to 5% of all tooth extraction cases, and is caused when the blood clot that forms to close up the wound is dislodged. Sometimes a fever presents along with intense pain.

This means that the wound is not protected and can easily come into contact with saliva, food or bacteria. This result in a lot of pain and infection, and it can continue for seven days following the surgery. Following your dentist’s post-operative care instructions can help you to avoid dry socket.


Wisdom Tooth Extraction Cost

The cost of your procedure will be forecast once your dental practitioner has evaluated your mouth and taken the necessary x-rays and scans.

Have more questions about wisdom teeth removal recovery? Please contact our practice to speak to a professional: (03) 5975 5355.


recovering from wisdom teeth removal