Can You Drive After Wisdom Teeth Removal: Everything You Need to Know

Can You Drive After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Can You Drive After Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you’re having your wisdom teeth removed, you might be curious about what to expect during recovery and what activities you can safely participate in. Frequently asked questions include “Can you drive after wisdom teeth removal?”

In this extensive article, we’ll look into the issue in-depth and provide you with all the information you need to know about driving after wisdom teeth removal. So let’s get going and find out more!

Can You Drive After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Several factors, including the type of anesthesia used during the procedure, your personal recovery process, and any special instructions provided by your oral surgeon, will determine whether you can drive after having your wisdom teeth removed. You must take some time to recover after having your wisdom teeth removed because it is a surgical procedure before you can resume some activities, like driving.

Let’s break down the recuperation process into its various stages in order to better understand the post-operative recommendations for driving after wisdom teeth removal.

Phase 1: Immediate Post-Operative Period

The First 24 Hours

Driving is generally discouraged for the first 24 hours after wisdom teeth removal. This is due to the fact that anesthesia’s side effects can impair your coordination, reflexes, and judgment, making it dangerous to drive. Additionally, you might still be bleeding from the surgical site and have numbness or swelling in your mouth, which can make it difficult for you to focus on the road.

Pain Management

Following wisdom tooth removal, pain, and discomfort are frequent. To help with post-operative pain management, your oral surgeon may prescribe painkillers. You must heed their advice and refrain from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of painkillers because they can make you drowsy and impair your judgment.

Phase 2: Initial Recovery Period

24 Hours to 48 Hours

It is still advised to avoid driving as you move through the initial recovery phase, which typically lasts 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Even after the anesthetic wears off, you might still feel pain, swell, and have limited jaw movement. Accident risk is increased because of these factors, which can make it harder for you to react to sudden movements, turn your head, or keep your eyes on the road.

Follow-Up Appointment

You’ll probably schedule a follow-up appointment with your oral surgeon during this phase. When it is safe to start driving again, they will evaluate your healing process and offer more guidance. Attending this appointment and going over any issues or queries you may have is essential.

Phase 3: Full Recovery Period

72 Hours and Beyond

The majority of people start to notice a significant improvement in their condition after the initial recovery phase. Gradually, the discomfort, swelling, and pain go down, making recovery easier. It is still advised to drive carefully and wait until you are completely well before doing so.

Individual Recovery Variations

It’s important to remember that everyone’s timeline for recovery may differ. Your recovery time will depend on a number of variables, including the difficulty of the extraction, your general health, and how closely you follow post-operative care instructions. Therefore, before deciding to get behind the wheel, it’s important to pay attention to your body and speak with your oral surgeon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1: How long should I wait before driving after wisdom teeth removal?

Ideal timing for driving after wisdom tooth removal is at least 48 to 72 hours. However, it’s crucial to adhere to the precise instructions given by your oral surgeon because they will take into account your unique situation and give the best guidance.

2: Can I drive if I had local anesthesia for my wisdom teeth removal?

Even if you only received local anesthesia, it is still advised to refrain from operating a vehicle right away after the procedure. Driving is dangerous because the numbing effect and potential discomfort can impair your focus and reaction time.

3: Are there any risks associated with driving too soon after wisdom teeth removal?

Yes, driving too soon after having your wisdom teeth removed carries some risks. These include sluggish reflexes, poor mobility, impaired judgment, and the potential for distraction brought on by discomfort or pain.

4: Can I drive if I’m taking pain medication?

Driving while under the influence of painkillers is generally not advised after having your wisdom teeth removed. Painkillers may make you drowsy and impair your awareness and coordination, making driving risky. It’s best to refrain from driving until you are free of the effects of your medication.

5: When can I resume my normal activities, including driving, after wisdom teeth removal?

Depending on the individual, the precise time for returning to normal activities, including driving, may change. It’s important to adhere to your oral surgeon’s recommendations and give your body enough time to fully recover and heal. Usually, a week or two after surgery, you can gradually resume your normal activities.

6: What should I do if I experience any pain or discomfort while driving after wisdom teeth removal?

After having your wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to pull over to a safe area and evaluate your condition if you experience any pain or discomfort while driving. If necessary, speak with your oral surgeon and heed their recommendations.


Finally, it is generally advised to refrain from driving right after wisdom tooth removal. The side effects of anesthesia, painkillers, swelling, and restricted mobility can make it unsafe for you to operate a vehicle.

Follow your oral surgeon’s advice and give yourself enough time to recover completely before getting behind the wheel again. Keep in mind that safety should always come first. If you have any particular worries or inquiries about driving after having your wisdom teeth removed, speak with your oral surgeon for tailored advice.