A tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves removing the tooth completely from its socket. This treatment is typically undertaken in the case of a dental emergency where damage or decay is past the point of repair and a complete extraction is required. Although quite a significant treatment, the tooth extraction recovery process is quite simple, and if you follow the advice provided by your emergency dentist, further complications post-extraction are rare!
What happens during a tooth extraction?
Once your emergency dentist has confirmed that a tooth extraction is required to treat your dental pain, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area and surrounding tissue.
Following this, your dentist will use a device called forceps to gently wiggle the tooth loose and pull it from the socket.
In cases where your tooth is particularly damaged, broken or decayed, your dentist may need to make small incisions in your gums to allow for the extraction to take place.
Once the tooth has been successfully removed, the socket is cleaned and stiched to ensure a safe tooth extraction recovery where further infection is prevented.
How long does tooth extraction recovery take?
The total time it takes for you to recover from a tooth extraction is dependent on the severity of your unique case. Typically, patients can return to normal activities within three days of treatment, however if your dental emergency also involved treatment to the jaw or bones, then it may take weeks to months to fully recover.
It is important to note that the tooth extraction recovery time may be a shorter or longer process for each individual. During the healing process it is likely that you will experience the following:
- Swelling, soreness and stiffness in the jaw, mouth and cheeks – this will gradually improve over time, however gently pressing a cold compress to the face can help to reduce swelling.
- Mild bruising may be visible in the treated area.
- Initial pain is to be expected post-treatment, particularly if you had a complex case
Tooth extraction aftercare tips
After the procedure your dentist will provide tooth extraction recovery and aftercare tips to help encourage a speedy healing process. These tips typically include the following, but may differ slightly depending on the severity of your case:
- Take your prescribed or recommended medications to help with the infection or swelling. Your dentist may suggest specific products or directly prescribe antibiotics to help with tooth extraction recovery.
- Eat soft or liquid foods for the first few days post-treatment and remember to chew on the opposite side of your tooth extraction.
- Avoid hot drinks and solid foods for the first few days after your tooth extraction – they increase the risk of dislodging blood clots that form in the empty tooth socket which are essential for a speedy recovery.
- Do not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or vape for the first 24-hours.
- Keep the treated areas clean – it is essential that you keep the area clean during the recovery process. Remember to use a recommended mouthwash twice daily, and avoid directly brushing over the extracted site until your dentist deems it safe to do so. You can continue to brush and floss all other teeth as usual.
- Avoid strenuous activities – typically, patients can return to their normal routines within three days, however it is imperative that you take it easy while you recover.
Home remedies are a great way to help ease toothaches and pain, find out more about our top tips for healing toothaches at home. Or, if you’re experiencing complications with your tooth extraction, please do not hesitate to contact us and find your nearest emergency dentist who will be happy to provide the urgent care you need to resolve the problem and heal your smile.