How Long Does It Take To Feel Normal After Tooth Extractions?

How Long Does It Take To Feel Normal After Tooth Extractions?

If you have a surgical tooth extraction, such as wisdom teeth removal, it will take some time before you feel normal. A simple extraction that does not require surgery has a shorter recovery time because the tooth is usually intact, easily accessed, and removable without surgery. A simple extraction is generally performed in your dentist’s office. Recovery may take 48-72 hours if you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

Surgical extractions are more complex. They involve incisions into the soft tissues and surrounding bones, so recovery takes longer. Most patients return to work three to four days after surgical extraction but may not feel normal until a few weeks later. The timeline below gives you a better idea of what to expect during recovery from surgical tooth extractions.

The First 24 Hours

The incisions have been sutured, and blood clots will begin to form over the extraction sites. There is some pain and bleeding that can be relieved either with a prescription we provide or over-the-counter pain medication. Ice packs can help with any swelling, which will peak during the first 24 hours. You need to rest and relax without any strenuous activities. No work, school, or driving. Keep your head elevated and get lots of sleep so your body can begin the healing process.

One to Two Days After Tooth Extraction

During this time, your body is focusing on the healing process. There may be some minor bleeding and pain at the extraction site. Continue to get plenty of rest, as you will feel tired. Healing uses a lot of energy. Keep taking your pain medication as directed to maintain comfort, and change your gauze dressing periodically. You should continue to sleep and rest with your head elevated to encourage healing and minimize swelling.

Three Days After Tooth Extraction

By day three, most or all of the swelling should be gone, and the empty tooth sockets should be healing nicely. There will be some tenderness, but not pain. You will need to rinse your mouth a few times daily with a saline rinse to prevent infection at the extraction site and continue eating a soft food diet. You will begin to feel more energetic on day three or four. You may want to return for a half-day and see how it goes. Many people return to work at this point, but pace yourself and avoid overdoing it.

One Week

After the first week, your stitches will dissolve or can be removed. If you still have pain or bleeding, please contact our office. You may need an appointment to see if there is a complication. You can participate in all your normal activities at this point. You will feel relatively normal, but there will still be tenderness at the extraction site. Follow a regular oral hygiene routine, but do not vigorously brush the gums around the extraction site. Avoid chewing in that area to avoid infection or damaging the delicate gum tissue.

Following Weeks

In the following weeks,  the tooth sockets will continue to heal. You should feel back to normal within two weeks, but complete healing takes three to four weeks. During this time, be careful not to let food debris get into the empty space left by the extracted tooth. Drs. Black and Chen can give you specific instructions to ensure a quick and complete recovery.