Tooth extraction is sometimes a necessity to improve dental health. Extractions may be recommended for a variety of reasons from severe decay to orthodontic benefits. When a tooth can’t be saved with restorative procedures, it will need to be extracted and replaced with a dental prosthetic of some kind. When teeth are extremely crowded in the mouth, extracting one or more teeth can make more room for the existing teeth to straighten out and come in properly.
If you’re in need of tooth extraction, you may be wondering how long the procedure takes. Learn how long you can expect to be in the dental chair and other information about the extraction process.
Average Length of a Tooth Extraction Procedure
The procedure for extracting a tooth is relatively short. On average, the entire procedure from start (administering anesthesia) to finish (placing sutures) in the dental chair is between 20 and 40 minutes. This is based on extraction of a single tooth that is visible above the gum line. There are other factors that may lead to a longer extraction procedure.
What Factors Can Contribute to a Longer Procedure?
The length of a tooth extraction procedure may be affected by the following:
- Number of teeth to be extracted. Each additional tooth that is being extracted will extend the length of the procedure. Additional anesthesia will need to be applied for each additional tooth as well, which increases the total time in the dental chair.
- Location of the tooth. Teeth in the back of the mouth are more difficult to access, which could mean that the procedure will take longer than it would for a tooth near the front.
- Size of the tooth. Size also impacts the procedure length. The larger the tooth is, the more difficult it may be to remove. Sometimes larger teeth need to be taken out in parts.
- Impacted teeth. Teeth that are still under the gums or trapped beneath other teeth are more difficult to remove, which can make the procedure take significantly longer.
- Use of sedation. Most tooth extractions can be performed with local anesthesia, but in some cases sedation may be used, either for more invasive extractions or to ease anxiety. The use of oral or IV sedation can extend the length of the procedure due to necessary recovery time. But in other ways it can speed up the process as the dentist can work more quickly if the patient is sedated. Overall you can expect the procedure to take 1-2 hours if sedation is used.
- Tooth replacement plans. In most cases you will need time to heal after an extraction before the tooth is replaced, if that is the plan. Ridge preservation may be included in your extraction, which means that a bone graft may be placed in the socket after your tooth is extracted to preserve the bone tissue for a dental implant to be placed later. You may also have a dental implant placed right after your tooth is extracted in the same appointment. These added steps will increase the length of your extraction procedure.
Follow-up Care After Tooth Extraction
Your instructions for follow-up care may vary depending on your individual situation. One important tip that applies to all extractions is to avoid drinking from a straw, as this can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a condition called dry socket.
You may need to bite down on clean gauze after your extraction to minimize bleeding. A few stitches may be used to close up the gum tissue and reduce bleeding. These stitches will typically dissolve on their own as the tissue heals. Depending on how you feel and what type of anesthesia was used, you may need to rest for the remainder of the day after your extraction.
Golia Dental Provides Tooth Extraction
If we recommend a tooth extraction, we can provide you with an estimate for how long the procedure will take so that you know what to expect ahead of time. Most dental extractions are routine procedures that take very little time. We provide sedation options if you need it to help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your extraction.