Healing Process and Length for Common Dental Procedures

Healing Process and Length for Common Dental Procedures

How to Care For Your Teeth to Promote a Quick Recovery

While some people have a fear of heights, others are afraid of the dentist. Whether it’s due to a past experience or the loud, buzzing noises of the tools make you cringe, you might try to avoid visits to the dentist whenever you can. However, dental care isn’t something to be neglected.

Should you need a dental procedure, it’s important to get it done as soon as possible. And while you may feel uneasy about the whole thing, knowing what to expect can help calm your mind and make for a smooth recovery.

There are several types of dental procedures, each one requiring their own unique healing process. If your dentist has recently suggested one of the following dental care procedures, this guide can be a helpful reference to facilitate your recovery and optimize your results.


Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures and are performed when a patient has a cavity, or a tiny hole in the tooth caused by decay. This procedure is relatively quick, taking anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

After your filling, it’s recommended that you avoid chewing near the treated area and follow a soft-food diet for 24 hours. Fillings heal fast, but you may notice some sensitivity in the treated area for two to three days after your procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help.


A crown is used to restore a tooth that has broken, weakened, or decayed. The procedure itself is simple, only lasting about 30 minutes. However, patients must follow a specific aftercare process to support quick and proper healing. Before a permanent crown is placed, you’ll need to wear a temporary one, which has a healing process of its own.

Once your temporary crown is placed, allow it to dry by refraining from eating or drinking for 30 minutes. It’s also important to chew on the opposite side of the crown and avoid chewy, hard, or sticky foods for 24 hours. Carefully brush your teeth and do not floss directly around the treated area.

After two to three weeks, a permanent crown will be placed. Like the temporary crown, you should only eat soft foods for 24 hours following your procedure to allow the cement to set. Permanent crowns take a few days to heal and you may experience mild discomfort that will subside within a week. To reducethe swelling of your gums, rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day. You can floss as your crown heals, as long as you do so gently.

Tooth Extraction

Your dentist may perform a tooth extraction for a variety of reasons, including decay, overcrowding, or trauma to the tooth. This procedure usually takes less than an hour.

Following your extraction, it’s normal to have temporary swelling, bleeding, and soreness. Within the first 24 hours, blood clots will form and the tissue will begin to heal. You can expect bleeding and minor pain. Swelling can be treated by applying ice packs to the face.

Most of the healing process occurs one to two days after your procedure, so it’s important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure to get plenty of rest, change gauze when necessary, and take a pain medication recommended by your dentist. Minimal bleeding and soreness in the treated area is normal.

After three days, the socket will be mostly healed. You should have very little swelling and no bleeding. The extraction site may feel tender and sore, but not painful. To allow for proper healing and to keep the clot in place, practice other hygienic measures by using saline rinses and eating soft foods.

The clot should be completely formed and in place a week after your extraction. After two weeks, the socket will be almost completely healed. However, the tissue will still be tender, so be careful when brushing and avoid chewing around the treated area. The healing process will be complete after three to four weeks. Tenderness is normal, but you should no longer notice any pain or bleeding.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Some patients need this procedure if their wisdom teeth pose a threat – or will in the future. A wisdom teeth extraction typically takes 45 minutes or less, but the entire healing process lasts for two weeks.

Immediately after your procedure, gauze packs will be placed on the treated area to absorb the blood. These will need to be regularly swapped out as blood clots begin to form. You can expect to experience some pain and discomfort as the numbing medicine wears off. Make sure to drink clear liquids and follow a liquid food diet. Keep the treated area clean using a prescription oral rinse or salt water rinse.

One to three days after your extraction, you can incorporate foods like mashed potatoes and applesauce into your diet. Pain and discomfort will peak during this time. You may notice bruising, swelling, and inflammation at the treated area.

Pain and discomfort will subside a week after your procedure. You can eat more solid foods, but avoid tough and crunchy foods. Gently begin brushing the extraction site during this part of the healing process.

After two weeks, the treated area should be mostly healed and have no impact on your daily life. You can return to your usual diet and begin brushing and flossing normally. The extraction site might be tender and sensitive to the touch, but will continue to fully heal over time.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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