How much does dental surgery really hurt?

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Posted Jul 23rd, 2021 in Surgery

Concerned about whether you'll feel pain during your upcoming dental surgery? Our dentists in Thornhill share some facts about post-surgery and what you can do to manage any discomfort. 

What is dental surgery?

With dental (oral) surgery, diseases, injuries and defects of the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws are diagnosed and treated. At Dentistry on Green Lane, our dentists approach dental treatment with prevention as first priority. We always opt for the least invasive treatment possible for any dental issue. 

That said, in some cases oral surgery is needed to resolve an issue if less invasive treatment options would not be sufficient. 

Here are some common types of oral surgery:

Will I experience pain during or after dental surgery?

Depending on the complexity of your oral surgery and your individual comfort level, your dentist may use one or more types of anesthesia to help you feel more comfortable and reduce pain. 

Following your surgery, you'll be given after-care instructions to help alleviate any pain and help your recovery. 

During Surgery

During dental surgery, you'll likely feel little discomfort as the area will be numbed and dental sedation will help relax you. We offer two sedation options — nitrous oxide and oral sedation — and use local anesthesia. Your dentist can explain each sedation option and recommend which may work for your needs:

Nitrous Oxide

This gas is inhaled through the mouth and nose. Also known as laughing gas, it will help calm you, reduce gag reflex, decrease anxiety and make time seem to pass more quickly. This option offers minimal sedation that will help you feel drowsy and relaxed. However, you'll remain awake and able to communicate. 

Oral Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form for more complicated surgeries. You’ll take this medication orally about an hour before the dental procedure for a calming, relaxing effect. Though you'll still be awake, the pill will make you drowsy. 

Local Anesthesia

You'll also likely require local anesthesia, which numbs the site where the dentist is working in your mouth to relieve potential pain or discomfort.

A numbing substance will likely be applied to your gums via injection, near the extraction site in all cases. While the anesthetic will not completely numb the area, you shouldn’t feel pain or sharpness. You may be able to feel pressure or movement. For a simple extraction, your dentist will likely use local anesthetic, and you’ll be awake for the procedure.

After Surgery

Your dentist may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help manage any postoperative pain or discomfort.

A more powerful pain medication may be prescribed if you had a complex surgery involving the bones and gums.

How can I manage pain?

After dental surgery, follow your dentist’s postoperative self-care recommendations. These might include:

  • Get lots of rest - no strenuous physical activity
  • Prop your head on a pillow when lying down
  • Apply an ice pack on your cheek or affected area
  • Eat soft, cool foods (to avoid shocking any sensitive nerves)
  • Use warm compresses
  • Rinse with saltwater starting 24 hours after surgery

Though there may be pain involved with your dental surgery, your dentist can help manage pain with sedatives during the surgery.

Following your procedure, a prescription medication or OTC drug may be recommended to help manage post-operative pain or discomfort. Though your recovery timeline will vary depending on the surgery, any tenderness should only last a few days.

If you are concerned about pain or side effects due to your upcoming dental surgery at Dentistry on Green Lane, our Thornhill dentists can answer any inquiries you may have. Contact us and request an appointment today. Request Appointment

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