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How long to heal after molar extraction?

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Old 10-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New Britain, CT, USA
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CTmom HB User
How long to heal after molar extraction?

I am having my farthest back, upper molar removed later this week. This tooth developed a painful crack and my dentist attempted a crown but the pain became much worse and I developed symptoms similar to a sinus infection, but tests run by my doctor were negative. Really felt sick, but antibiotics have helped a lot. Now I just have the tooth pain - can't bite on it at all. My dentist recommended a root canal but I've decided to have it pulled for a number of reasons. First, it is a very short tooth. In fact, my permanent crown has not been put on because it's been refabricated 3 times in an attempt to get a good fit. A root canal wouldn't fix this situation, only crown lengthening and while I've done that for other teeth I'm not lookng forward to it on top of the root canal as the healing process takes so long. Second, the tooth takes a lot of biting stress and since it is already cracked, I worry about it continuing to fracture even after the root canal/crown placement. Finally, I have a weak immune system and even though both options have risks, I feel getting the tooth removed offers the best chance for me to heal in the long run. I am more than willing to consider an implant if that is what my oral surgeon recommends once I have recovered from this infection. My dentist actually thinks it may not be necessary since it is my furthest molar.

Anyway, I've never had a tooth pulled before other than wisdom teeth way back in college. How long does it normally take before you feel "better." I was wondering how much time I should take off from work. Of course, I will take the day of the extraction but should I feel ready to go back the next day or should I plan for longer? What have your experiences been? Thanks!

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Old 10-28-2011, 05:11 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: OH
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Re: How long to heal after molar extraction?

Well, the healing process truly depends on each person.

You may feel little/to no discomfort afterward, or you may experience a great deal.

However, generally speaking, if you get the tooth pulled, I'd take off work for about 2-3 days after it's extracted.

This will give you time to rest, deal with any pain you might have, and to heal properly (assuming no difficulties arise after the extraction).

At the VERY least, take off the day after you get the tooth pulled.

Also, when you get a tooth pulled, you will have a blood clot that will form in the pocket of where the tooth once was (this is what SHOULD happen). The blood clot is VITAL to the healing process. For a week or two, you need to be careful. Do not drink from a straw, smoke cigarettes, or drink hot fluids. This can cause the blood clot to come out and create what is called a "dry socket" which can be EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. You CAN drink warm fluids, just not hot. If you happen to be a smoker, try to cut down as much as you can. If you smoke a cigarette, take a piece of gauze, cut off a strip, fold it in half, and tuck it up where the tooth was pulled. This will at least be SOME protection for the blood clot, though it still doesn't guarantee that it won't come out.

If you have excessive bleeding after the extraction, put a fresh/dry tea bag on the side of your mouth where the tooth was pulled. It will stop the bleeding. (An actual dentist taught me that trick.)

Using an ice pack on that side of your face will help with pain. After the first day, you can alternate between cold AND warm compresses.

Of course, be sure to follow any instructions your dentist will give you.

I hope all goes well! =)

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