How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take and What’s the Procedure Like?

How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take, and What Else Should I Know?

Tooth extractions are probably the most common dental procedure after caries removal, but they’re also probably the scariest one for most people. Well, at least for those who don’t need some more complicated treatments, like dental surgery, for example. Some of the most common questions people have when it comes to tooth extractions are, naturally, about pain, but many also wonder how much time they’ll have to spend on the dentist’s chair. So how long does a tooth extraction take, and what else should you know about your appointment? We have all the answers in the paragraphs below!

If you need a tooth extraction in West Loop, Chicago, IL, or if you’d like to learn more about the procedure in person, visit the site and book an appointment now!

How Long Does It Take?

Without further ado, let’s rip the bandaid right off and get to the heart of the matter: how long does tooth removal take? The procedure is much quicker than you probably think! In most cases, you’ll be in and out in about half an hour. That includes everything from the application of anesthetics to the actual extraction and, finally, stitches (if they are required at all).

Naturally, that’s only if you’re having a single tooth extracted. If there are multiple teeth that need pulling out, well, you’ll be in the office for much longer (how long precisely, depending on the number of teeth we’re talking about).

Are All Extractions the Same?

Of course, there are more types of tooth extraction. What we said above is relevant only to regular tooth extractions, that is, those done under local anesthesia. In contrast to those, we have surgical extractions.

What are those? They are usually a routine procedure for extracting teeth that have not yet broken out, such as wisdom teeth. Your dentist will also resort to surgical extractions when the tooth is broken or too damaged to be pulled out the old-fashioned way. 

Since surgical extractions involve a few extra steps (for example, making a small incision in the gums), they might take longer. 

What Are All the Steps During an Extraction?

Since you’re more likely to undergo a simple tooth extraction and not a surgical procedure, we’ll focus on that.

First, the dentist will let you become comfortable. That includes allowing you to relax and administering the anesthesia. After that, they will wait a bit for the anesthesia to start working and for your mouth to become numb. If necessary, they might administer some sedatives, too, to help you relax and ease you into the process.

Once the anesthesia and the sedatives are in effect, the dentist will start loosening the tooth. Depending on the individual and the tooth, this might take anywhere from five to half an hour. Once the tooth is loose, the dentist will pull it out.

After that, your wound will need to be washed out, closed, and covered. This process is not long, although it sometimes requires some extra care if the tissue is too damaged. 

If sedatives were required and the anesthesia was too strong, you’ll be allowed to stay in the office for a while until you’re able to go home on your own.

What Happens Afterwards?

Once the anesthesia has worn off, you’ll be free to go home. Naturally, your dentist will provide you with clear instructions in regard to what you should do next. Usually, you’ll need a bunch of ice packs to keep the swelling under control, as well as some painkillers to get you through the recovery process.

How Long Is the Recovery?

Getting the tooth extracted is one thing, but recovering from it is another. Since you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take before you’re back to your usual routine, we’ll say a few words about the recovery process, too.

For regular extractions, recovery is rather speedy. Usually, you’ll have to give your body about two to three days before the clot can form, and you can continue with your usual physical activity. In about three weeks to a month, the tissue will heal completely.

As for surgeries, well, the recovery is a bit different. The first few days after the procedure will probably be the same. That is, you’ll have to get plenty of rest and avoid any physical activity. After that, you’ll be able to return to your usual routine in a limited capacity for about a week or ten days. 

The time it’s going to take for you to be at your full capacity will vary on how your body reacts, as well as on the type of surgery you underwent. Of course, it will also depend on your walk of life. If you’ve had several teeth removed surgically, and you work construction, you’ll have to take it easy for way longer than somebody working as a proofreader in an office.

Additional Info

There are a few factors we’d like to mention that will affect the time it takes for the dentist to finish extracting your tooth. Those include:

The type of the tooth

Not all teeth are the same, as you know already. Some are larger, some smaller, and some are much more durable and harder to remove. Incisors, for example, are much smaller, and their roots are not as strong. Molars, on the other hand, are larger and more robust, and their roots are much larger. They are also in a tough position since it’s much harder to reach the back of your mouth.

The strength of the anesthetics

Not all kinds of anesthesia take the same amount of time to kick in. The position of your tooth will also be a factor. For example, the back area of your mouth is way more difficult to numb down, which is why it might take a few more minutes before the procedure can start.


  • How Long Does a Tooth Extraction and Bone Graft Take? 

Bone grafting usually takes around an hour to complete, although it can take up to an hour and a half. 

  • How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take With Sedation? 

It takes around thirty minutes to pull out a tooth with sedation. The effects of the sedation itself will last up to twelve hours. 

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