The two types of tooth extractions are simple and surgical. Simple tooth extractions are the removal of a visible tooth and are a much more routine procedure. For this procedure, only a local anesthetic is used and the operation is completed at the general dentist office. The recovery should be short and not include serious pain or swelling. A surgical tooth extraction, on the other hand, is complex. Surgical tooth extractions are more invasive as it is the removal of teeth that are not visible yet in the mouth. These teeth have not broken through the gum fully or are fractured under the gum line. Surgical tooth extractions require general anesthesia. The general dentist may have to send you to an oral surgeon to have the procedure completed. It also requires a longer recovery time with more swelling and pain than a simple tooth extraction.
The length of a tooth extraction procedure depends on what type of extraction you are receiving. A simple extraction usually takes 10-20 minutes. A surgical extraction usually takes 30-60 minutes. Wisdom teeth extractions can be either type or a combination of the two and take on average 45 minutes. If multiple teeth are going to be extracted, the length of the procedure could be longer. Ask your Community Smiles Dentist, for a more precise time frame for your operation.
For simple tooth extractions, the post-operation recovery time is about two to three days. After those initial few days of resting, the patient can return to their usual activity. The operation site then takes two to three weeks to completely heal. Surgical extractions have a seven to ten-day recovery time due to the more complex nature of the surgery. Patients are suggested to rest for at least four to five days before attempting to resume regular activity. The extraction site from a surgical tooth extraction will take four to six months to fully heal.
It is important to make a few preparations before the extraction so you can have a quick and easy recovery. First, make sure to arrange transportation home from the doctor's office beforehand because anesthesia will prevent you from driving yourself. While coordinating a ride home from your procedure also make sure someone can help you with postoperative care while your anesthesia wears off. Fasting the six to eight hours before or sometimes overnight, the procedure is often required. Additionally, it is beneficial to stop smoking leading up to the procedure as it increases the risk of complications. Finally, inform the dentist of any medications you are currently on, as well as your medical history to decrease the possibility of complications.
It is safe to start brushing your teeth about 24 hours after your extraction, although it is not recommended to brush near the extraction site for at least three days. This is to avoid disrupting any blood clots or stitches that could lead to complications in recovery. It is also recommended to not floss or rinse out your mouth for the first 24 hours after the operation. When you first start rinsing your mouth out, make sure to spit gently as any force could disrupt the extraction site.