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Tooth extractions are a routine procedure performed by dentists and oral surgeons to remove the entire tooth structure from the gum socket.
There are two different types of extractions:
There are several reasons why teeth need to be extracted, which include:
Some of these issues may also indicate an emergency tooth extraction. During an emergency extraction, a tooth has to be removed within a 24- to 48-hour period.
For example, if you have a bacterial infection in your mouth, it can cause a tooth abscess. If the case is severe enough, pus can form inside the tooth structure and lead to more severe complications. An emergency tooth extraction would be necessary.
A simple extraction without insurance costs between $75 and $250. For a surgical extraction, however, prices can go up from $180 to $550 per tooth or more.
The price depends on several factors, including:
If your dentist deems the procedure medically necessary, your insurance can cover all or part of the cost. It will depend on your provider.
Knowing how to prepare for a tooth extraction eases anxiety about the procedure and ensures the removal goes as smoothly as possible.
To prepare for tooth extraction, you’ll want to:
If you opt for laughing gas (nitrous oxide), you should not eat anything for at least 2 hours before the procedure. Most dentists recommend waiting about five hours before eating soft foods.
Your dentist determines if you need a simple or surgical tooth extraction. Depending on the case, some dentists will still refer a simple tooth extraction to an oral surgeon.
Here are the general steps of tooth extraction:
The specific steps of tooth extraction will depend on each case. Sometimes, the procedure can take longer.
Factors affecting the procedure include:
Recovering from an extracted tooth can take two weeks or more, depending on the case. Remember to follow the instructions your dentist gives you after the procedure.
During the first and second days after an extraction, you might experience mild bleeding. This will stop once a blood clot forms.
As your mouth heals, you may experience some temporary side effects. They include:
Here is the general recovery timeline after an extraction:
Blood clots will form during the first 24 to 48 hours after the extraction, which will help the tissue begin healing. During this time, you may experience some pain and discomfort.
Your dentist will typically prescribe a pain reliever to help you through this period. You will also be able to return to non-strenuous activities.
The swelling around your mouth will peak during this period. Dental professionals recommend using an ice pack to relieve the discomfort.
Here are other things you should do during this period:
By the third day after your extraction, your tooth socket should be mostly healed. The bleeding will stop, and the swelling will be minimal. You may still feel some tenderness, but there should be minimal pain or discomfort.
Here are some things you should do during this time:
Once a week has passed from your tooth extraction, a clot should be fully in place. If your dentist sutured the extraction site, this is the time for a dental visit to remove the stitches. If they are dissolving stitches, they will go away on their own.
If you are still experiencing pain or bleeding, visit your dentist immediately. They will determine the cause of the issue.
In two weeks, the extraction site should be mostly healed. The gum tissue will still be tender, so it’s vital not to brush this area too much.
You should still avoid chewing tough foods or anything that can rupture the gum tissue. Be mindful of keeping food debris from the socket, and visit your dentist for a checkup.
During the first two days after your tooth extraction, you should only eat foods that don’t require chewing. These include:
For two to five days after your extraction, you can start to eat foods that require minimal chewing. These include:
Once a week has passed, you can slowly start to eat a normal diet. Be careful chewing around the area of the extraction site, as the gum tissue can still be tender. You can also ask your dentist when the best time to eat hard foods is.
Some foods you should avoid for at least two weeks after a tooth extraction include:
Here are some things you can do to manage your pain after your tooth extraction:
If you’re experiencing severe pain, contact your dentist immediately. Try to be mindful of the effectiveness of your medications and let your doctor know if they work for you.
Tooth extractions are a standard dental procedure and usually occur without significant complications. However, like all medical procedures, there are risks.
A dry socket is one of the most common risks of tooth extractions. It is a painful condition when the blood clot formed over the extraction dissolves or dislodges and exposes the bone.
If you develop a dry socket, you’ll need to return to the dentist for a protective dressing that allows the formation of a new clot.
Other risks associated with tooth extraction include:
Tooth extraction is a standard dental procedure where the entire tooth structure is removed from its gum socket. It is often performed by general dentists or oral surgeons.
It takes approximately two weeks to heal from an extraction. A dry socket is a common risk that can develop after tooth extraction.
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