Tooth extraction, or having a tooth removed, is sometimes necessary. A tooth may need to be extracted if it is too decayed or damaged to be saved. Teeth are sometimes extracted for orthodontic purposes, when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth and they are crowded together. In some cases there is widespread decay over the majority of the teeth and they all need to be extracted and replaced with dentures. Wisdom teeth extraction is also commonplace.
Whatever the reason, if your dentist or orthodontist has recommended tooth extraction, you probably have some questions about the procedure, such as how long it takes.
Average Length of a Tooth Extraction Procedure
The length of time it may take to extract a tooth ranges according to the situation:
- Single permanent tooth: 10-60 minutes. Extraction of a single permanent tooth doesn’t take long. It varies from a few minutes to an hour for the procedure itself. Most single tooth extractions can be done with local anesthesia alone.
- Wisdom teeth: 1-2 hours. Wisdom teeth extraction can take a bit longer for a few reasons. Four teeth take longer to extract than one, and if they are impacted (stuck below the gums) they can be more difficult to remove, adding complexity and time to the procedure. Sedation dentistry is often used for wisdom teeth extraction.
- All teeth: 2-3 hours. If you are having all of your teeth removed in preparation for dentures, the procedure will take a while. Sedation dentistry can make the procedure easier and seem shorter.
Factors that Affect Timing
There are many factors that affect the length of time it takes for a tooth extraction procedure:
- Number of teeth. Naturally, the more teeth you need to have extracted in one sitting the longer the procedure will take.
- Size and type of tooth. Larger teeth like molars tend to be more difficult to extract than smaller front teeth, which affects the length of the procedure.
- Position of the tooth. Where the tooth is located in your mouth and whether or not it has erupted through the gums will also affect the complexity and length of the extraction process.
- Type of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you will have will affect how long the process takes. The deeper the level of sedation you were under, the longer you will need to recover before going home.
How Long Will it Take to Heal After a Tooth Extraction?
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the gum tissue to fully heal after a tooth extraction. You may have a few sutures in place that are designed to dissolve or fall out naturally as the tissue heals. For the first few days you’ll need to eat a liquid or soft food diet to avoid irritation in the location of the extraction. Avoid drinking from a straw and spitting, as those actions can lead to a condition called dry socket that will delay healing. Also avoid smoking, tobacco use, and alcohol.
Where Can I Get a Tooth Extraction?
Periodontists specialize in dental procedures affecting the support structures for the teeth, which makes us highly qualified to safely remove teeth. Holzinger Periodontics provides tooth extraction services for teeth that are too decayed or damaged to be saved. We can also replace those teeth with dental implants and implant supported bridges and dentures.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.