Life After Tooth Extraction: How Long Will the Socket Take to Heal?

Life After Tooth Extraction: How Long Will the Socket Take to Heal?

October 11, 2021

Tooth extraction, including wisdom teeth removal, is a standard dental procedure, but no one ever looks forward to it. Not because it’s painful (since it is performed under anesthesia), but because it is not fun losing a tooth. There is also the period where you have to care for the wound after the extraction that can make wisdom teeth surgery unappealing.

The top priority of our dental practice is ensuring you retain your natural teeth. Extracting your teeth is a last resort. Before looking at how long it will take for your wound to heal, let’s understand why you need to undergo a tooth extraction.

Is It Necessary to Have Your Teeth Pulled?

Our dentist’s primary objective is to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. This means that our dentists in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, will do everything possible to save your teeth. However, if your oral health is at stake, there will be no choice but to remove the tooth. Some reasons our dentists may recommend a tooth extraction include:

  • preparing for orthodontic treatment, mainly if there is no space to move your teeth due to overcrowding
  • removing severely damaged teeth
  • removing infected teeth that cannot saved using root canal therapy
  • pulling loose teeth caused by periodontal disease
  • removing impacted teeth

After the extraction, some factors will determine how long the socket takes to heal, including the tooth’s size and type of tooth extraction.

After Tooth Extraction

After an extraction, you must care for your socket so it doesn’t get infected. It’s okay to feel pain and discomfort after the extraction. Swelling of the gum and some bleeding is also expected after the procedure.

However, the socket will undergo three distinct stages as healing takes place:

  • The inflammatory phase. This is the initial phase characterized by gums experiencing inflammation, followed by clotting. Granulation tissue will soon form over the socket to cover the wound
  • The proliferative phase. When your socket gets to the second stage, healing takes place.
  • Maturation phase. This is the final stage of the healing process, where collagen formation creates a bony network covering the wound.

How Long Will Your Socket Take to Heal?

Regardless of the tooth being pulled, there are two types of extractions determining how long your socket heals. These include:

  • Simple Tooth Extractions

A simple teeth extraction is performed by our dentists only when you have visible teeth, or if your teeth are visible above the gum line. In most cases, teeth that need simple extractions are severely decayed, infected, or overcrowded.

The procedure is relatively fast. Our dentist will numb the site and use forceps to pull the tooth.

If your tooth has a single root, the wound will not be extensive, and it will heal relatively fast. In most cases, it will take a week. Complete healing will take place roughly two weeks after the extraction.

But, if the tooth is big and has several roots, it will take no less than three weeks for the socket to heal. Complete healing will take a few months and depends on how you care for the wound and how fast your body heals. When you swipe your tongue after three or four weeks on the extraction site, you will feel an indentation even if the hole is sealed.

  • Surgical Tooth Extractions

A surgical teeth extraction is a bit more complicated than a simple extraction. Therefore, you can expect the healing process to take much longer than undergoing a simple extraction. These are performed when you have:

  • impacted teeth
  • remnants of a broken tooth
  • fragments of teeth under the gum line after a simple extraction

Surgical extractions are the best solution when the teeth being pulled are not visible above the gum line. When it comes to molar extraction, the healing time may be longer than any other tooth. In this case, it is the gum tissue and the jaw bone that need to heal. Therefore, you can expect the socket to heal completely after several months.

In any case, tooth extraction aftercare is also a significant factor in determining how long your wound takes to heal. If you have any questions, contact us at Great North Dental.