This study assessed patient perceptions of immediate post-operative recovery after the surgical exposure of impacted maxillary teeth with an open-eruption technique. Thirty patients (24 females and six males) underwent surgical exposure of 39 impacted maxillary teeth using this technique. After surgery the patients were contacted by telephone daily for 7 days, to complete a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire, which assessed their perception of recovery in four main areas: pain, oral function, general activity, and other symptoms. Severe pain was reported by 30 per cent of the patients in the first post-operative day (POD 1), which declined to 6.7 per cent by POD 6. Consumption of analgesics declined gradually over the postoperative days (POD 1:80 per cent, POD 7:20 per cent). Difficulty in eating required 5 days to reach minimal levels; enjoying everyday food, 2.5 days; school attendance, limitations in daily routine, swallowing, and speech, 2 days each; swelling, bad taste/smell, 1.5 days each; within 1 day all other measures attained minimal levels. The need for bone removal during the exposure resulted in delayed recovery with regard to the ability to eat. In general, females reported delayed recovery for pain. The present data may serve as basic guidelines against which future studies which assess postoperative management of patients after surgical exposure of impacted teeth by an open-eruption technique may be compared.