Tooth Extraction: Procedure, Healing, Cost and Aftercare
Some people describe going to the dentist as pulling teeth! But this is far from the truth. Have no fear, whether you need an actual tooth pulled or a regular routine dental visit, your dental professionals will make you feel comfortable and help you maintain a healthy smile.
- Severe Tooth Decay
Harmful oral bacteria that comprise dental plaque feed on sugars consumed, which leads to the release of acids that breakdown teeth. If a tooth has become infected and severely decayed, your dental professional may determine that extraction is necessary.
- Advanced Gum Disease
Advanced gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, can breakdown your teeth, the alveolar bone, and gum tissues that hold teeth in place. If the tooth structure and supporting oral structures become severely damaged, other dental procedures such as a filling or crown may not be able to repair the tooth.
- Impacted Teeth
Impacted teeth refer to teeth that are partially or fully stuck underneath the gums. Third molars (wisdom teeth) are the most common teeth to become impacted, which are often recommended for extraction for various reasons such as infection, lack of space for eruption, or pain.
- Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment focuses on aligning teeth and the jaws to improve function and aesthetics. Your orthodontist may recommend an extraction to create space for the teeth to align properly.
- Risk of Infection
Tooth extraction may be recommended as a preventative measure. A tooth with a risk of infection may require extraction.
- Fractured Teeth
Tooth fracture can cause significant damage and reduce the stability of the tooth. If the fracture is severe and the tooth cannot be saved, a tooth extraction will be considered necessary.
- Baby Teeth Not Falling Out
Retained baby teeth can cause numerous oral health issues. If the baby teeth fail to fall out, your dental professional may recommend for them to be extracted.
Tooth Extraction Procedure
There are two different types of tooth removal methods. Below we explain the tooth extraction procedure for simple and surgical dental extractions.
Simple Dental Extraction
A simple dental extraction involves removing a tooth that is erupted above the surface of the gums. The tooth is grasped from the visible crown using dental tools and removed form the socket gently. The tooth extraction healing time for a simple dental extraction is typically a few days.
Surgical Dental Extraction
A surgical dental extraction is often slightly more complicated when compared to a simple dental extraction. This procedure may be recommended when the tooth is not easily accessible or is too damaged to be removed with simple extraction dental tools. The dentist may need to make an incision in the gum using surgical instruments to expose the tooth. In some cases, dental sedation may be used.
How Long Does Pain Last After Tooth Extraction?
How long does pain last after tooth extraction? Most people wonder if tooth removal is painful and how long pain will last afterwards. In this section we discussion all you need to know about tooth extraction pain.
On the bright side, tooth extraction is relatively painless. Individuals may experience slight discomfort following a tooth extraction, but the pain can be easily managed and goes away after a few days. Your dental professional may recommend using over-the-counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen to help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. If you are experiencing severe jaw pain, fever, facial swelling that does not subside after a couple days, or a dental abscess or infection, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Tooth Extraction Healing Stages
So, how long does a tooth extraction take to heal? The tooth extraction healing process is relatively simple, but can vary from individual to individual. Continue reading to learn more about the tooth extraction healing stages.
The healing process begins immediately following a tooth extraction procedure. The first two days after the extraction, normal blood clots will begin to form to help the extraction site heal. You may experience slight discomfort during day 1-2 as your body heals. It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities, smoking, or drinking through straws during this period of time.
From 3 days to a week, you will notice considerable healing at the extraction site. The bleeding should have subsided, and there is likely minimal swelling. Continue practicing good oral hygiene, rinsing with warm salt water, and eating soft foods.
A week to two weeks after a tooth extraction, the blood clot should be fully formed. Speak with your dental professional if you are experiencing excessive bleeding, pain, or possible infection of the site.
After 3 weeks has passed, the healing process is roughly complete. You may have a follow-up visit with your dental professional during this period to assess your healing.
1 to 6 months after tooth extraction surgery complete healing should occur. You will likely notice the indentation of the extraction site to be diminished.
How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?
Wondering how much does a tooth extraction cost? The cost of tooth extraction can depend on factors including the type of tooth to be extracted, the extraction method required (i.e. simple vs surgical), insurance coverage, and necessary additional procedures (i.e. bone graft, dental sedation). In the following section we discuss the average cost of tooth extraction.
Tooth Extraction With Insurance
Most dental insurances offer some coverage for tooth extractions. Dental insurances on average cover 70-80% of the costs for tooth extractions. On average, a simple tooth extraction with insurance ranges from $25 to $145 per tooth. Whereas a surgical tooth extraction with insurance ranges from $45 to $220.
Tooth Extraction Without Insurance
The cost of a tooth extraction without dental insurance can vary. Continue reading to find out the average tooth extraction cost without insurance.
Tooth extractions paid for out-of-pocket can still be relatively affordable. Tooth extractions without insurance range on average from $75 to $300 for a simple extraction, and $150 to $650 for a surgical extraction. It is important to remember that additional services, such as sedation, are considered a separate fee.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After having a tooth extracted, there are important steps to follow to ensure proper healing. Below, learn about tooth extraction aftercare.
- Apply Gauze Gently
Bleeding is normal for a few days after having a tooth extracted. Applying a thick layer of gauze gently on the extraction site helps control the bleeding.
- Ensure Adequate Rest
Healing requires adequate energy from your body. It is recommended to get the recommended hours of sleep and avoid strenuous activity for at least 3 days after having a tooth extracted.
- Manage Pain Effectively
You may experience slight discomfort after a tooth extraction. Your dental professional may recommend over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to control the pain.
- Maintain Oral Cleanliness
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent oral infection and disruption to your extraction site. Maintain your regular brushing and flossing habits, but refrain from brushing the extraction site.
- Choose Soft Foods
After a tooth extraction, it is important to eat soft foods. Crunchy or hard foods should be avoided, as they can damage the extraction site.
- Avoid Suction Activities
Suction activities can disrupt the healing process and lead to a painful oral condition known as dry socket. Avoid drinking from a straw or spitting for the first few days following an extraction.
- Refrain from Alcohol/Heat
Avoid consuming alcohol or consuming hot foods or beverages immediately after having an extraction. Alcohol and heat can disrupt blood clots from forming, which is a necessary part of the healing process.
- Keep Area Untouched
Avoid touching the extraction site. Habits such as smoking, eating hard foods, using a straw, spitting, or touching the site with your tongue can significantly slow the healing process.
- Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids after having a tooth extracted. It is recommended to stay hydrated with water.
- Do regular check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are needed to monitor your healing process and keep your smile healthy and happy. Your dentist will perform a thorough clinical examination to check the condition of your teeth, jaws, and gums.
Tooth Extraction at Gentle Dental
In need of having a tooth extracted? Gentle Dental provides top-notch care and a wide range of dental services, including tooth extraction, to keep your smile healthy and happy for a lifetime. Our dentists and dental specialists will make you feel comfortable and cared for throughout any procedure. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation to evaluate your smile.
Tooth extraction doesn’t sound fun, but sometimes it’s necessary. A dental professional, such as your general dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon, performs this procedure. Teeth that are severely damaged, infected, impacted, or have no room to erupt may need to be extracted. If you need to have a tooth removed, our team of dental experts at Gentle Dental offers exceptional individualized care to meet all your dental needs.