Three tips for recovering from a tooth extraction

Recovery from a surgical tooth extraction usually takes between seven and 10 days.

If your dentist has recommended that you have a tooth surgically extracted, you may be wondering what you can expect from the process. The surgery is often performed in cases of severe tooth infection, decay or trauma, or when the teeth are crowded or impacted.

Your surgeon will explain the process to you before your treatment begins, and let you know how to take care of your mouth once the surgery is complete.

Although each person is different, you can usually expect healing to take place over the course of around a week to 10 days — here’s what you can do to make this time as comfortable as possible…

1. Manage your pain

Although you won’t feel any pain during the surgery itself, you are likely to feel some discomfort once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. Your surgeon will prescribe or recommend some medications to help alleviate your pain — be sure to take these as instructed.

You may also find it helpful to apply an ice pack to the site of treatment. This can help to relieve pain and swelling. Try to get as much rest as you can for at least the first 24 hours after your surgery. When you sleep or lie down, elevate your head with some pillows to reduce swelling. You can continue to brush and floss your teeth, but be sure to do so gently and avoid the site of extraction.

2. Stick to soft foods

You are likely to experience some discomfort when eating, so it is best to choose soft foods that don’t require much chewing. Some good options include nutrient-rich soups and broths, as well as yoghurt, smoothies and mashed fruits and vegetables.

As your mouth heals, you will be able to gradually add more solid foods to your diet, but you can expect to eat soft and liquid foods for around a week after your treatment.

3. Be patient

You may want to resume your normal diet as soon as possible, but it is important that you take enough time to ease back into your usual eating habits. After a week or two, you will begin to notice that side effects like pain and swelling have subsided, and you will be able to enjoy all your favourite foods again. Over time, new gum tissue and bone will grow over the site of extraction, and your mouth will start to feel more comfortable again.

It is important to understand, however, that having a missing tooth can cause some oral health issues, including shifting teeth and bite misalignment. For this reason, it is advisable that you speak to your oral surgeon about ways in which your extracted tooth can be replaced — fortunately, there are a number of effective options available, including dental implants, which are the gold-standard of tooth replacement.

How can we help?

At OMFS, we offer a range of oral surgeries, including the removal of teeth. If you have been referred for this procedure, we encourage you to get in touch to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Our surgeons understand that each patient is unique, and you will be guided through the process from beginning to end. It is important that you follow the post-operative instructions that your surgeon gives you to ensure that you enjoy a smooth recovery.

If you would like to find out more about surgical tooth removal and what it involves, as well as what to expect from the recovery period, please have a look here.

We also offer dental implants; bone and soft tissue grafting; and implant-supported dentures for those who would like to replace a missing tooth following a surgical extraction. To find out more about these procedures, please have a look here.

To arrange an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call on (03) 9347 3788.