Tooth extraction is a standard procedure where the dentist removes the entire tooth, including the root. An extraction may be simple, where the whole tooth is visible, or surgical, where the tooth is below the gumline. Dentists use forceps to remove teeth from the gum and bone tissue.
Recovering from a tooth extraction
Surgical extractions have longer patient recovery times compared to simple ones. Surgery can require a few dissolvable stitches, whereas most tooth removals rely on a forming blood clot.
Extraction recovery time
Every patient experiences a different recovery rate and time. To monitor their progress, individuals need to know the various stages of healing.
The first healing stage takes place within the beginning 24 hours. Patients may feel discomfort as a clot begins to form at the tooth extraction site. The most common symptoms include minor bleeding and swelling.
For the first three days, patients need to follow the dentist’s instructions closely to avoid complications. During this time, the gums begin to heal around the wound. The wound does not tend to close for seven to 10 days. It takes about one to two weeks to heal completely.
Aftercare following the appointment
Directly following the extraction, dentists place gauze in the patient’s mouth and apply pressure. It is essential to keep the tissue in place or replace it until the bleeding stops at home. You can bite down to apply pressure.
Symptoms following an extraction include pain and swelling. Patients may require bed rest for the first 24 hours and should limit activity for the two days following. Ice can be used to keep the swelling down by applying it for 10 minutes at a time. Patients should not spit, drink from a straw, or rinse their mouths for the initial 24 hours to prevent dislodging the clot. Following the first day, you will be able to rinse with saltwater. While you should not disturb the extraction site, you should continue to brush and floss the other teeth.
For optimal healing, patients should eat soft foods, avoid smoking, and slowly increase consumption of solid foods during the healing process. To reduce bleeding, sleep with your head propped up on a pillow.
Red flags after a tooth extraction
Stay alert for symptoms that may signal complications or poor healing. If a patient has severe bleeding for four hours following the procedure, it may indicate a problem with clotting.
Healing, fever, chills, and nausea may be signs of an infection. While some swelling is normal, excessive swelling, redness, and discharge that does not improve may also be a deeper issue. Tell your dentist if you experience any of the above, including numbness, intense pain, or sour taste.
Tooth extraction is a typical procedure that requires about one to two weeks to heal fully. When individuals obey the dentist’s aftercare instructions, they tend to have a more optimal healing time.
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