You wake up in the middle of the night, and that little toothache you’ve been experiencing the past few weeks is no longer little anymore. Your tooth hurts so much right now that you can practically hear it throbbing! After taking a quick look at it in the mirror, you’re guessing the dentist is just going to want to remove it. If this is the case, how long will it take you to recover? Will you have to miss a lot of work? In today’s blog, we’re going to answer all of your basic questions about what to expect after a tooth extraction in 43725.
Why Would A Person Need a Tooth Extraction?
A dentist will usually recommend that a tooth be removed if:
- A large cavity has damaged it beyond repair
- It is so broken that it cannot be put back together
- Advanced gum disease has weakened the bone needed to support it
- It won’t fall out naturally/is blocking an incoming adult tooth (baby teeth only)
- Room needs to be created for a denture, dental implant, or orthodontic treatment
- It has become painful, impacted (stuck), or infected (which is usually the case with the wisdom teeth)
How Long Does It Take To Recover From an Extraction?
The answer to this question can really vary from patient to patient depending on a few important factors: the size and location of the tooth, a patient’s dental health, and the patient’s compliance with aftercare instructions.
For a simple extraction (which involves removing a tooth that has already erupted into the mouth), the recovery process is usually very brief. Typically, your oral surgeon will ask that you at least take about 48-72 hours to relax afterward so the treatment area is allowed to clot. After that, a patient should be able to return to normal physical activity. The soft tissue will usually fully heal in about 3-4 weeks.
When a patient has undergone a surgical extraction (in which a tooth that is still within the gums and jawbone is removed), the recovery process is a little longer. Once again, the doctor will likely recommend that a patient take the first 48-72 hours easy, and after that, they should limit their physical activity for about a week or so before resuming normal activities.
As to how much time a patient will need to take off of work following an extraction, it will depend largely on the amount of physical activity required for their job. This should be discussed by a patient and their oral surgeon beforehand so the patient can coordinate with their employer if necessary.
Recovery Tips for Extractions
In order to ensure a speedy recovery from an extraction, a patient should:
- Avoid brushing, flossing, or chewing near the treatment site for the first few days
- Do not use a straw, rinse the mouth, or spit for the first 24 hours so a proper blood clot can form
- Do not smoke, as this increases the chances of developing an infection
- Limit physical activity in order to not dislodge the clot (which could cause a painful dry socket)
- When sleeping for the first few days, keep the head in an elevated position to prevent any bleeding
- Use a cold compress or prescribed medication as directed to control any swelling or pain.
Thanks to modern dental technology and local anesthesia, most extractions are relatively quick, easy, and the recovery is nice and short. Of course, if you’d like to avoid having one of your teeth removed in the first place, then the solution is simple: brush twice a day, floss, and regularly see your dentist. With this simple plan, you can ensure that every time you go to the dentist, you’ll leave with just as many teeth as when you arrived!
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon based in Cambridge, OH. At his practice, he’s able to provide simple, surgical, and emergency tooth extraction in 43725, always keeping his patients’ comfort and health as his top priorities. To learn more about tooth extractions and strategies you can use to avoid one, you’re invited to contact him through his website.