How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Take?

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How long does wisdom teeth removal take? The tooth extraction procedure takes about 30-60 minutes per tooth, plus prep and recovery time. Extraction time is determined by the complexity of the tooth’s roots and whether the tooth is impacted. Allow for a few hours to allow for anaesthesia to wear off.

Wisdom teeth are third molars that appear in the back of the mouth between the ages of 17 and 25. While some people’s wisdom teeth grow in without causing any problems, many people require their removal for a variety of reasons. To help you understand what to expect during the procedure, we’ll look at how long wisdom teeth removal takes, from preparation to aftercare.

Preparation ahead of wisdom tooth removal

Before you have your wisdom teeth extracted, you should consult with an oral surgeon or dentist who will examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine the position of your teeth. X-rays are essential in determining whether the teeth are impacted or if any underlying complications exist.

During wisdom tooth removal surgery, your surgeon will discuss the type of anaesthesia or sedation that is best for you. Local anaesthesia, general anesthesia, nitrous oxide, and intravenous sedation are all options. The type of anaesthesia used will be determined by the procedure’s complexity and your individual needs.

Always discuss any pre-existing medical conditions and medications with your oral surgeon ahead of time. Some medications or health issues can increase the risk of complications during the procedure, and your surgeon will need to be aware of any potential issues in order to keep you safe. You can reduce your risks and feel confident that your wisdom teeth removal procedure will go smoothly if you prepare properly.

The procedure itself

The procedure for removing wisdom teeth is generally simple, but the degree of difficulty varies depending on the position and condition of the teeth. The oral surgeon will usually start by numbing the area with local anaesthesia. Sedation may also be used to help you relax during the procedure.

The surgeon will then make an incision in the gum tissue in order to expose the tooth and bone. If the tooth is impacted, or trapped beneath the gum or bone, the surgeon will remove it in sections to protect the surrounding bone.

After the tooth is extracted, the surgeon will clean the area and close the incision. The stitches will dissolve and the gum tissue will heal naturally over time.

While wisdom teeth removal is generally safe, complications such as infection, dry socket, nerve damage, or excessive bleeding are possible. Your surgeon will explain the risks and precautions to take to reduce the likelihood of these complications.

Because the surgeon must remove the surrounding bone and gum tissue to access the tooth, the extraction time for impacted wisdom teeth is usually longer than for erupted teeth. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, extraction time can range from 20 to 60 minutes per tooth.

Aftercare and recovery

It’s normal to have some pain and swelling in the area for a few days after the procedure. Bleeding, bruising, and difficulty opening your mouth are all common post-operative symptoms. To manage these symptoms, your surgeon may advise you to apply an ice pack to the affected area and take pain medication as needed.

Rest and avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after the procedure to ensure a quick recovery. Stick to soft foods and avoid using straws, as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot and cause healing to be delayed.

It is critical to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions for a successful recovery following wisdom teeth extraction, or any other kind of oral surgery for that matter. This may entail rinsing your mouth with salt water, using a prescription mouthwash, and refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol. It’s also critical to keep all follow-up appointments in order to monitor the healing process and identify any potential problems.

You can minimise discomfort and ensure a quick and successful recovery from wisdom teeth removal by following these tips and taking proper care of yourself.

Factors that may delay wisdom teeth extraction recovery

While the recovery period after wisdom teeth removal is typically 7-10 days, there are several factors that can cause the healing process to be slowed. Among these elements are:

  • Smoking: Smoking can impede the healing process because nicotine constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the affected area. This can result in a longer healing time and a higher risk of complications like infection and dry socket.
  • Inadequate oral hygiene: Failure to keep the extraction site clean can also slow healing and increase the risk of infection. Patients should take their dentist’s advice on how to care for the extraction site and avoid irritating it.
  • Excessive physical activity can raise blood pressure and interfere with the blood clotting process, resulting in bleeding and delayed healing. During the first few days after surgery, patients should avoid activities like heavy lifting and running.
  • Medical conditions and medications: Some medical conditions and medications can impede healing and increase the risk of complications. Prior to the procedure, patients should inform their dentist or oral surgeon of any medical conditions or medications they are taking.
  • Failure to follow aftercare instructions: It is critical to follow aftercare instructions to ensure a quick recovery after wisdom teeth removal. For pain management, eating and drinking, and oral hygiene, patients should follow their dentist’s instructions.

Pros and cons of wisdom teeth extraction

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, but it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not to proceed. Consider these pros and cons before you go ahead with wisdom teeth extraction:



  • Surgery risks: As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with wisdom teeth removal, including bleeding, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth or nerves.
  • Recovery time: Wisdom tooth removal recovery can take several days and may include some discomfort, swelling, and limited activity.
  • The cost of wisdom teeth removal varies depending on factors such as the procedure’s complexity and the type of anaesthesia or sedation used.

Know when to seek medical attention

While tooth extraction surgery is generally a safe procedure, complications can still happen. In other words, it is important to be aware of potential problems and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive bleeding that does not stop when pressure is applied
  • Medication does not relieve persistent and severe pain.
  • Infection symptoms include fever, chills, and pus or discharge from the extraction site.
  • Lip, tongue, or chin numbness or tingling that does not go away
  • Swelling or redness that worsens rather than improves over time

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must immediately contact your oral surgeon or dentist. They can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment.

Final thoughts on wisdom tooth removal and how long it takes

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure that is frequently required to avoid complications and maintain optimal oral health. To prepare for the procedure, speak with an oral surgeon or dentist about any pre-existing medical conditions or medications.

To minimise discomfort when you are getting your wisdom teeth removed, the surgeon will use local anaesthesia and possibly sedation during the procedure. Recovery time and aftercare are also critical for a positive outcome. While complications are uncommon, it is important to be aware of the risks and to reach out to your dentist if you experience any complications.


Q: How long does it take to remove 4 wisdom teeth?

A: The time it takes to get all four wisdom teeth removed varies depending on factors such as tooth position, procedure complexity, and the patient’s individual response to anaesthesia and sedation. The wisdom tooth extraction procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. Based on your specific situation, your oral surgeon or dentist can provide a more accurate estimate before you undergo wisdom teeth surgery.

Q: How long does it take from wisdom teeth removal?

A: The amount of time it takes to recover after wisdom teeth removal varies depending on factors such as the number of teeth extracted, the complexity of the procedure, and the patient’s individual healing process. It usually takes 7-10 days to fully recover from wisdom tooth removal. During this time, it’s critical to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and take steps to alleviate any pain or swelling. Contact your oral surgeon or dentist if you have any concerns or questions about your recovery.

Q: How painful is wisdom teeth removal?

A: The amount of pain felt during wisdom tooth extraction can vary depending on factors such as the patient’s personal pain threshold, the complexity of the procedure, and the type of anaesthesia or sedation used. Because local anaesthesia and possibly sedation are used to minimise discomfort, the procedure is not considered extremely painful in general.

Some discomfort and swelling are normal after the procedure, and your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to alleviate any discomfort. However, many patients report that they can manage their pain and discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

If you are concerned about the pain associated with wisdom tooth surgery, speak with your oral surgeon or dentist before the procedure. They can give you information and recommendations to help you feel better during and after the procedure.

Q: Is wisdom teeth removal surgery performed by a dentist or oral surgeon?

A: Depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s preference, wisdom teeth removal can be performed by either a dentist or an oral surgeon. While dentists can extract fully erupted wisdom teeth, more complex extractions, particularly those involving impacted teeth, may necessitate the skills and expertise of an oral surgeon.

Oral surgeons are specialists who have received additional training beyond dental school, specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of dental, mouth, and jaw conditions. They are trained to perform complex surgical procedures and can provide specialised anaesthesia or sedation, making them an excellent choice for those who have complicated extractions or are anxious about the procedure.

Your dentist or oral surgeon can discuss the best option for your particular situation and make a recommendation based on factors such as tooth position, procedure complexity, and overall health.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.