How Many Teeth Can You Extract at Once?
Extracting teeth is an everyday part of the clinical practice of dentistry. Teeth may need to be removed for any of a number of reasons, including advanced periodontal disease, severe tooth decay, or a tooth that is broken or positioned incorrectly. When a patient’s teeth need to be extracted because of periodontal disease or decay, it is possible that the patient will need to have more than one tooth extracted, and this may seem daunting. While it is often possible to extract multiple teeth in one visit, it may not always be recommended. When an extraction procedure is particularly complex, or if a patient has compromised health, it may be more beneficial to extract multiple teeth over the course of a few visits. Dentists also commonly advise patients to remove teeth from only one quadrant of the mouth at a time, so that the patient can eat with the remaining teeth while the extracted area heals; this usually means that dentists may recommend extracting no more than two teeth at a time. From a purely dental perspective, it may be entirely safe to have multiple teeth extracted in a single office visit, but there are a few reasons that this is not often recommended. One of these reasons is that extracting multiple teeth at once can cause complications that could potentially have a detrimental effect on dental and oral health.
When multiple teeth are extracted, this creates space in the mouth, and, once the teeth and their roots are absent, it is not uncommon for the adjacent teeth to migrate, shifting to one side or the other, sometimes significantly. This causes a multitude of dental problems, and it can also cause problems with the joints of the jaw and affect a person’s ability to chew effectively. The best way to prevent these problems is to get dental implants shortly after the extraction of multiple teeth, and some dental prosthetics can also help stabilize the existing teeth. For some people, dental implants aren’t advised, so be sure to work closely with your dentist throughout the procedure, familiarizing yourself with your options and planning treatment before getting the teeth extracted. Additionally, make sure to closely follow your dentist’s instructions for aftercare if you do have multiple teeth extracted, as extraction may be the first step in a longer-term procedure that requires proper healing at each step.
Within these parameters, there is no definitive rule about the number of teeth that can be removed safely in a single sitting, and the answer should come from your oral surgeon’s recommendations based on your specific oral health circumstances and clinical needs. In cases of severely advanced gum disease, dentists may recommend extracting all of the teeth in one or two sittings; if this is an option for you, make sure you follow all aftercare recommendations, and have a prompt plan for replacing the teeth and preserving the appearance of your smile. When there are no teeth in the mouth, the shape of the jaw and the lower face gradually starts to appear saggy and old, but you can stop that from happening by getting prosthetic teeth soon after your teeth are extracted.