Whether it’s wisdom teeth removal or tooth extraction, these procedures can be very intimidating, especially for those of us with dental anxiety or low pain tolerance. At our dental clinic in Mississauga, we offer sedation dentistry, so you should feel no pain during a tooth extraction procedure. Our experienced dentists and oral surgeons frequently perform these routine procedures, so you have nothing to worry about!
The initial healing period usually takes about one to two weeks. New bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap. Over time, however, having a tooth (or teeth) missing can cause the remaining teeth to shift, affecting your bite and making it difficult to chew. For that reason, your dentist may advise replacing the missing tooth or teeth with an implant, fixed bridge, or denture.
So how long does it take for a tooth extraction to heal?
Thankfully, with dental anesthetics and modern medicine, the tooth extraction process has become significantly more comfortable for the patient. In most cases, you will experience some pain, uneasiness and irritation for a maximum of seven days and a minimum of three days. Any severe pain should subside anywhere from 24 hours until 72 hours following the tooth removal procedure. It’s crucial to follow your dentist’s recovery instructions to ensure you aren’t in any unnecessary pain.
There might be challenges in your healing period such as dry socket, damage to your nerves, jaw or remaining teeth, and infection. These complications will mean that you will be in pain for a longer period of time, but with advice from your trusted dentist, the pain will subside in about a week.
Tooth Extraction Pain Management and Recovery Tips
To decrease how long you will be in pain after tooth extraction, you must follow the recovery instructions given to you by your dentist. The following tips will help minimize pain, reduce your chance of infection and speed up the healing process.
- Take the painkillers prescribed to you by your dentist or over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
- For the first several hours following the procedure, bite down on the gauze pad given to you by your dentist. Biting firmly but gently on gauze will reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket. Change the gauze pad if it becomes soaked with blood.
- Keep down swelling by applying an ice bag to the cheek on the outside of the extraction site right after the procedure. Leave the ice pack on your cheek for only ten minutes at a time.
- Rest and relax for at least a day following the procedure. We recommend taking the two days after your procedure off of work.
- While relaxing, ensure your head is propped up with pillows as lying flat can prolong bleeding.
- Don’t rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours after the procedure. Rinsing or spitting forcefully can dislodge the clot forming in your socket.
- After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of warm water to clean your extraction site.
- You can gently brush and floss your teeth during the recovery process but avoid the extraction site.
- Do not drink from a straw or smoke for up to a week following the procedure.
When You May Have A Dental Emergency During a Tooth Extraction
As aforementioned, it is normal to experience mild pain, bleeding and swelling for a few days when the anesthesia wears off following a tooth extraction. If your extraction site is still bleeding profusely or you’re in severe pain for more than four hours after your tooth removal, call your dentist right away. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact our emergency dental clinic in Mississauga.
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive redness, swelling, or discharge from the extraction site
- Coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain