If you need a tooth extracted, there are a few things that are totally normal. First, it’s normal to be a little anxious about the procedure. And second, it’s common to wonder how long does a tooth extraction take.
In this article, we’ll help to ease your mind by at least setting proper expectations of what to expect during an extraction appointment.
How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take?
If you’re having a tooth extracted you’re probably hoping that the procedure is quick and painless. But how long does a tooth extraction take?
The actual working procedure itself can be completed in 20-30 minutes on average.
But there’s more to it than that. You should feel comforted to know you won’t feel rushed. Most dental practices schedule at least an hour for a tooth extraction appointment. The extra time before and after the tooth extraction procedure is designed to make you comfortable, discuss expectations, and answer any questions.
However, if you’re having multiple teeth extracted, the process becomes even more efficient. Each additional tooth will take another 2 to 20 minutes of appointment time, depending on its location and complexity.
Will I Experience Pain During the Extraction?
Generally, there is no pain during a tooth extraction. The dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. After being numbed, you will not feel the sensation of pain, however, you may notice the sensation of pressure. If at any time you are uncomfortable, you may ask for additional anesthetic.
For patients that have dental anxiety, your dentist may offer sedation dentistry. During dental sedation, medications are used in addition to local anesthetic. The medications help you to remain relaxed and pain-free.
Is There Anything Else to Make the Procedure Easier?
The biggest factors of dental anxiety are caused by the five senses. The touch sensation will be numbed by the local anesthetic. But what if you are afraid of hearing or seeing something?
Many dental practices will offer sunglasses, weighted blankets, or noise-canceling headphones to listen to musting during the tooth extraction. These options all help to reduce the sights and sounds which contribute to elevated anxiety.
Variables for How Long a Tooth Extraction Takes
The answer to the question of how long a tooth extraction takes depends on a few variables. Let’s talk about a few of them now.
Complexity of Tooth
Depending on the complexity of tooth, it affects how long a tooth extraction takes. Some common examples that affect complexity are the position of the tooth in the mouth, if its impacted or not, if it has had a root canal in the past, and if it’s severely broken.
Effectiveness of Local Anesthetic
Some people are more difficult to achieve profound anesthesia than others. Some common factors that affect local anesthetic effectiveness are genetics, history of medications, and if the area is swollen.
Because a dentist will always make sure you are comfortable before extracting a tooth, sometimes the process of providing additional anesthetic takes additional time to make sure you are comfortable.
If you choose sedation dentistry, the time of the appointment will be longer. This is because you have to account for the process of getting you comfortable with sedation and giving enough time to wake up.
Here’s the good news. To you, it will feel like the procedure is only a short period of time. So although in real-time the appointment time is longer, while you’re sedated it will seem significantly shorter.
Pre and Post Extraction Events
Before you even get numb, your dentist will spend time discussing any expectations of the procedure and answering any questions.
The same goes at the end of the procedure. At the end, the dentist will go over post-op instructions for ideal healing and to help guide you on what to expect.
How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take—Why Time Matters
Aside from general curiosity, setting proper expectations is one of the best techniques to achieve success. If you understand the time and process of a tooth extraction, you will feel confident going in.
Confidence is the antidote to anxiety. So if you are nervous about an upcoming procedure, you’re doing the right thing by researching and asking questions. For more information on tooth extraction aftercare check out this link.