How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Tooth Extraction?

by Elizabeth Michael
Two wisdom teeth are shown in closeup after having been surgically extracted from a human mouth, teeth, tooth, wisdom teeth, wisdom tooth, surgery, human mouth, mouth, human, oral health, dentist, dental, oral, oral health, healthcare

If your dentist or oral surgeon has recommended a tooth extraction, you're probably not jumping for joy at the thought of a potentially painful procedure and lengthy recovery times.

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The good news is that with simple teeth extractions, patients often start feeling like themselves again within 72 hours of the procedure. However, complete healing may take several weeks, depending on the type of extraction procedure taking place. Understanding the different types of tooth extractions, along with their expected recovery times, can prepare you for the big day so you know exactly what to expect.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Different Types of Tooth Extractions?

Depending on the type of tooth extraction procedure performed, recovery times can vary from a few days to several weeks. Simple tooth extractions require only a local anesthetic, while surgical extractions require both intravenous and local anesthetic. Most patients start to feel better within the first 72 hours of having a tooth pulled, but the jaw can remain sensitive and tender for a few weeks.

Here's a breakdown of the different types of procedures and their recovery times.

  • Single tooth extraction: Single tooth extractions are usually performed as simple extractions under local anesthetic. The recovery time for a single tooth procedure is generally around 72 hours if the patient doesn't experience complications. 
  • Multiple simultaneous extractions: When multiple teeth are pulled under local anesthetic (simple extraction), the recovery time is also around 72 hours. However, patients may experience a more painful recovery because multiple teeth are removed at once. Recovery time after a surgical extraction for multiple teeth is typically around 10 days, but this can also vary.
  • Wisdom teeth removal: Wisdom teeth removal procedures are generally performed as surgical extractions. They are also considered multiple simultaneous extractions. Recovery times for wisdom teeth extraction typically range from three days to two weeks. Factors such as the number of teeth pulled and whether the patient's teeth are impacted in the jaw can also affect specific recovery time lengths. 

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Can You Speed Up Tooth Extraction Recovery?

While it's always important to give your body plenty of time to heal, your dentist may also suggest some natural remedies to help soothe pain and speed up your recovery time. Here are a few recommended home care treatments after having a tooth pulled.

  • Warm salt water: Warm salt water is soothing on sensitive teeth and gums, and the natural elements in salt may help reduce swelling and eliminate bacteria. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Gently swish the mixture for 30 seconds, and repeat several times daily or as instructed by your dentist.
  • Ice packs: Placing an ice pack against your cheek in 10- to 20-minute increments can help the swelling go down while providing pain relief.

Teeth extractions are sometimes necessary to remove damaged teeth, correct crowding and prevent dental infections. Following your dentist's tooth extraction aftercare instructions and letting them know of any lingering symptoms or adverse reactions can help ensure a successful recovery.

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