How soon can I return to work or school after a tooth extraction?

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If you need to have a tooth extracted, you may be concerned about resuming your normal routine afterward. The type of tooth extraction performed will influence the timeline of your recovery. Post-extraction complications can also extend your recovery period, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent them.

Types Of Tooth Extractions

A dentist may perform two types of tooth extractions, depending on your needs. Extractions are either simple or surgical.

  • Simple extractions are performed on fully erupted teeth with enough tooth material that can be held by forceps and removed manually.
  • Surgical extractions are performed on impacted teeth when surrounding bone must be removed to access and remove the tooth. If a tooth has broken off under the gumline, a surgical extraction will be needed, as well.

What To Expect After Tooth Extraction

The type of extraction performed will determine the treatment timeline. Patients who have a simple extraction likely can resume normal activities associated with work or school later that day or the next day, depending on the time of your appointment.

The recovery following a surgical extraction may take a bit longer, but not much. Barring any post-operative complications, patients typically can go back to school or work within 2-3 days after a surgical extraction. If you have a particularly strenuous job, you may need to take off a few extra days so that the physical activity doesn’t interfere with the healing process.

You may experience some discomfort after your tooth is extracted. Typically this symptom can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. If you have severe or persistent pain, you should contact your dentist to follow up for further evaluation.

Preventing Complications That Can Delay Your Healing

Before you leave your appointment, you will get detailed instructions about post-extraction care to prevent complications. Follow these instructions closely to make sure that you miss as little time from work or school as possible.

The most common issues that develop after a tooth extraction are infection and dry sockets.

  • Infection can be prevented by keeping the extraction site clean as directed and taking a prophylactic course of antibiotics if one is prescribed for you.
  • Dry sockets can be prevented by avoiding activities that dislodge the protective blood clot, such as smoking and drinking through straws.

We encourage you to contact our team at Towson Dental Care to ask any questions you may have in preparation for your tooth extraction. This includes the anticipated timeline of your recovery. We are here to help you go through this process as smoothly as possible.