The Dos and Don’ts After Having a Dental Extraction

Firstly, one important thing to consider is choosing a good dental practice where you can get your tooth extracted. If you do not go to the right dentist with a good reputation and experience, then you could risk having a problematic experience. After a tooth removal, you must follow certain steps to ensure that you have a speedy and smooth recovery. If you follow aftercare well, and the dental extraction has been performed correctly, healing can be quicker.

At Burley Dental Suite, we are a team of experienced and reputable dentists in Ilkley. Before we perform the tooth extraction on our patients, we explain what to expect during the procedure. We also give them a detailed guideline on the do’s and don’ts after having a tooth extracted to help make the recovery process better.

Before we get to the dos and don’ts let us address two very important questions. 

When is it necessary to have a tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction is generally the last resort in a dental practice. We only consider it when we know there is no other way to save the tooth. Having said this, there can be some specific reasons which necessitates tooth extraction. Many adults need to remove their wisdom teeth to help treat and prevent other associated problems. 

At the Burley Dental Suite, we follow a process. First, we diagnose the problem, then we check if there is any way we can save the tooth. Following this, the correct treatment can be prescribed. This may mean gum disease is treated, a filling is required, or in some cases root canal treatment may be needed. If the tooth is beyond repair, then unfortunately, you will be advised to have the tooth taken out.

We do everything in our power to prevent deeper damage and handle each case as delicately as possible. Our main goal is to ensure that our patients do not feel anxious, but feel comfortable during and after the dental treatment. We feel proud that people in Ilkley have faith in our dental practice. 

Our general approach is to exhaust all possible avenues of preventing a tooth extraction before we offer it as the last option. The reason we try to avoid a tooth extraction is that the underlying bone can start to resorb if a tooth is taken out. In our experience over the years, we know that in dental extraction cases, there is approximately 25% bone loss. With time, this causes structural problems, and eventually can require more advanced or specialist dental treatment, such as dental implants or bridges.

What to expect during a tooth extraction?

At the Burley Dental Suite, you can expect anaesthesia or sedation (where you are awake but very relaxed). We take special care of our patients who feel anxious about undergoing a dental procedure. At our dental practice, we have the option to use intravenous sedation to relax anxious patients during an extraction, although mostly used during wisdom tooth extractions.

We advise patients who undergo sedation not to eat or drink beforehand. You can head home on the same day but you must bring a chaperone to accompany you home after the sedation. Patients must have someone with them for at least 24-hours after the procedure.

Does tooth extraction hurt a lot?

It depends on the dental practice you choose for the procedure and the experience of the dentist conducting the procedure. If done right, it should not hurt during the process. Post-treatment, there will be some discomfort for 3-4 days, but after that, once healing has commenced, the discomfort subsides. You may need painkillers for the first 3-4 days, but not afterward. 

After the extraction, there is a small risk of an infection developing. If this happens, then there may be discomfort and pain. You will have to return to the dentist to get the infection treated in time. If you feel intense pain continuously after the treatment, contact the dentist in order to resolve this.

How long does it take the gum to heal completely?

In healthy and fit people, it can take from 7 to 10 days. If there is an infection and a problem during the healing process, then it can take longer. If you are diabetic or have any underlying health condition, it is best to discuss it with us, as this can affect healing times. It is part of our dental practice policy to ask health-related questions and to find out if you are allergic to specific medicines. 


  • Rest a lot – We recommend taking the day off from work. Even though most patients feel well enough to go on with their life as normal almost immediately, we recommend not overdoing it and letting the gum heal after the tooth extraction.
  • Chew on the other side – It is important to eat using the teeth on the other side. Avoid disturbing the wound on the gum until it heals. To do this, go on a soft diet and take things like smoothies, yoghurt, soups, and mashed meals. Do this until you feel well enough to eat harder food once healing is complete.
  • Apply ice – This can help lessen the swelling that may appear a few days after the treatment. Usually, swelling does not appear immediately. Apply a cold pack to reduce the inflammation and feel better.
  • Keep the wound clean – We recommend gargling with saltwater and mouthwash – but ONLY the day after the extraction. This helps prevent infections by keeping the wound clean. 
  • Brush your teeth regularly – Normally, any dental practice would recommend brushing at least twice a day. It is a healthy habit which should be continued after a tooth extraction. 


  • Don’t consume hot beverages or food – Having warm or very hot food in the first  few days can cause the healing tissue to dislodge. This can lead to more bleeding, pain, and bacterial infection. At the Burley Dental Suite, as part of our dental practice, we recommend avoiding hot drinks until the anaesthesia has worn off to prevent burning your tongue without realising.
  • Don’t smoke – Smoking causes hypoxia, which means the healing tissue does not get enough oxygen. This can slow the healing and even cause infection in the gum and bone. Avoid smoking until healing is complete. 
  • Don’t exercise – Take a break from working out for at least 48 hours. An extreme activity can cause raised blood pressure to affect the clot and eventually lead the extraction site to bleed. Refrain from dancing, partying, climbing, and running, etc. 
  • Don’t take Aspirin – This medicine is a blood thinner. It causes a delay in clotting and this prevents healing of the bone and gum.
  • Don’t disturb the gap – You may feel a little strange with the gap between your teeth. Do not poke it with your tongue or finger. Disturbing it will prevent a clot formation and delay healing. 

If you have more questions or if you want to learn more about our dental practice for other treatments, feel free to get in touch with us