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How Long Does It Take to Heal After a Tooth Extraction?

November 30, 2023
How Long Does It Take

Dental patients may need tooth extractions for various potential reasons. Examples include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:


  • Impacted wisdom teeth aren’t erupting properly
  • Severe dental decay
  • Overcrowding teeth
  • Dental injuries
  • Gum disease


You may have some questions about the procedure if your dentist has recommended extracting a tooth. For instance, perhaps you’re wondering how long the healing process will take after an extraction.


There’s no definite answer to this question. Factors such as the location of an extracted tooth, whether a bone graft was performed at time of the extraction and a patient’s overall health can influence healing times. However, the information here should help you better understand what the healing process might involve.


What You Need to Know About the Healing Process After a Tooth Extraction

Some pain and discomfort after a tooth extraction is normal. Your dentist may recommend managing this pain by taking over the counter drugs or applying an ice pack to the affected area. In some instances, they might recommend taking prescription pain medication, but this is rarely necessary.


Most patients notice their discomfort begins to alleviate around the third day following an extraction. If your pain persists longer than three days, or your pain seems excessive, contact your dentist right away so they can take a closer look.


Important Information About Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction

Some bleeding is likely to occur after having a tooth extracted. Bleeding may last about 24 hours after the procedure.


Patients should strive to avoid disturbing the socket where an extracted tooth once was. This includes not exploring with your tongue the extraction area.  Doing so can prevent a clot from forming properly.


Thus, during the first 24 hours after having a tooth extracted, it’s very important to get proper rest. Tips to keep in mind during this period include the following:


  • Consume only liquids and very soft foods
  • Don’t use a straw to drink
  • Don’t consume very hot beverages
  • Don’t consume alcohol
  • Don’t smoke or vape
  • Brush your teeth very gently, and avoid the socket as a clot forms
  • Minimize rinsing your mouth, as this may disturb a clot


After extracting a tooth, a dentist will usually place a piece of gauze in the socket. They may instruct you to leave this gauze in place for a certain amount of time until a clot can form. Usually 45 mins to an hour.  Heed their advice to facilitate proper healing.


Follow-Up Appointments After a Tooth Extraction

Again, healing times can vary after tooth extractions depending on various factors. For example, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the healing process after extraction of a wisdom tooth can take several weeks. The healing process may not take this long if a different tooth is extracted.


The best way to learn more about what you can expect during the healing process after a tooth extraction is to discuss the matter with your dentist. By following their advice, you’ll likely feel much more comfortable in the days and weeks following the procedure.


Your dentist will also ask that you schedule follow-up appointments after a tooth extraction. After a few weeks, the dentist will confirm the healing process has been smooth and successful.


Learn More About Tooth Extraction in Washington, DC

At Blossom Dentistry, in Foggy Bottom, Washington, DC, our team’s goal is to maximize your comfort both during and after your tooth extraction. For more information about what we can do for you, contact us online or call us at 202-922-2900.

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