How long will it take to recover from a tooth extraction? Answering that question depends on a lot of factors, ranging from your general health and commitment to oral hygiene to the type of extraction you underwent. At Dr. Sean M. Swift Dentistry, we perform two main categories of tooth extractions in Kelowna: simple extractions and surgical extractions.

Simple teeth extractions

What is a simple tooth extraction?

Simple tooth extractions are when a tooth that you and your dentist can see your mouth is pulled from your jaw. Your dentist in Kelowna will use an elevator to loosen the tooth before gripping your tooth with dental forceps and gently but firmly moving the tooth back and forth until the periodontal ligament loosens enough or breaks to let the tooth come free from the alveolar bone.

Recovering from a simple tooth extraction in Kelowna is usually a quick process because the procedure itself is minimally invasive. For two to three days (48 to 72 hours) after an extraction, your dentist will recommend and ask that you avoid physical exertion to protect the clot that forms in your mouth. The soft tissues near the tooth that was pulled will heal fully within three weeks to a month.

Surgical teeth extractions

What is a surgical tooth extraction?

A surgical extraction is the removal of a tooth or more than one tooth that isn’t visible inside your mouth. You may not be able to see the tooth in your mouth because it hasn’t broken through your gums or may even be impacted underneath other teeth in your mouth, as often happens with developing wisdom teeth. Surgical extractions are usually performed by dental surgeons. Surgical extractions are more complex and invasive because your dentist will need to cut into the tissues around your mouth to be able to access and see the tooth or teeth. Soft tissue and bone matter may even need to be removed before the tooth can be extracted. In some cases — especially if the tooth has become impacted — the tooth being removed needs to be broken into smaller pieces before it can be extracted.

The more complex and invasive steps involved in a surgical tooth extraction inevitably mean that you’ll face a longer recovery period. Your dentist will recommend that you refrain from physical activity and exertion for at least a week. Depending on the nature of your job, you should consider taking some time off of work after undergoing surgical tooth extraction. After undergoing a surgical tooth extraction, it is especially important that you follow the following tips for ensuring complete recovery from an extraction procedure.

Tips for recovering in full

Ensuring a complete, quick and complication-free recovery from a tooth extraction near you, follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist and these tips:

● Don’t brush, floss or chew near the extraction site for several days and until recommended by a dentist near you
● To avoid disturbing the blood clot in the extraction site, avoid producing any suction in your mouth by, for example, spitting, smoking and drinking through a straw for 24 to 48 hours
● Don’t smoke or drink alcohol during your recovery because those activities can delay healing
● Minimize your physical activity for at least a couple of days (after a simple extraction) and a week (after a surgical extraction)
● When resting or sleeping during your recovery period, keep your head elevated with an extra pillow to minimize pain, swelling and a throbbing sensation in the extraction site
● To minimize swelling and pain, apply cold compresses to your cheek outside the extraction site
● If you experience any pain or discomfort during recovery, use over-the-counter pain medications as directed.

Tooth extractions can be stressful for patients but are actually simple and straightforward procedures that rarely result in complications as long as you follow these tips. If you have any questions at any time during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist near you.