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How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Have a dental surgery coming up and wondering if you’ll feel pain following your procedure? Our Kamloops dentists offer some facts about the after-effects of surgery, and what you can do to manage any discomfort. 

What is dental surgery?

The diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, diseases, and injuries to the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face, jaws, and teeth are included in dental (oral) surgery. We take a preventive approach to dental treatment at Pure Dental and always use the least invasive treatment possible for a given dental issue.

However, in some cases, less invasive treatment options are simply not sufficient and oral surgery is needed.

Here are some common types of oral surgery:

  • Dental implants
  • Root canal
  • Impacted wisdom tooth removal
  • Jaw and reconstructive surgery
  • Cosmetic dental surgery

Will I feel pain during or after dental surgery?

Depending on your level of comfort and the complexity of your oral surgery procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon may use one or more types of anesthesia to relieve pain and make you feel more at ease.

After your surgery, you’ll be given after-care instructions to help alleviate any pain and aid your recovery.

During Surgery

The following are some options a dentist may provide to help you manage during surgery.

Nitrous Oxide

This gas is breathed in through the nose and mouth. It will help you relax, reduce your gag reflex, reduce anxiety, and make time seem to fly by. This option provides light sedation to help you feel drowsy and relaxed.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is more moderate and includes a variety of medications that can be injected directly into the bloodstream via the vein. This provides the deepest level of sedation available short of general anesthesia, with limited memory of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form for more complicated surgeries. You’ll take this medication orally before the dental procedure for a calming, relaxing effect.

Local Anesthesia

In all cases, a numbing substance will be injected into your gums near the extraction site. The anesthetic will not completely numb the area, but you should not feel any pain or sharpness.

You may be able to feel pressure or movement. For a simple extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely use a 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 post-operative 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 or oral surgeon can help manage pain with sedatives and local anesthesia during the surgery.

Following your procedure, a prescription or over-the-counter medication may be prescribed to help manage postoperative pain or discomfort. Though the length of your recovery will vary depending on the surgery, any tenderness should only last a few days.

Are you concerned about pain or side effects from an upcoming dental surgery at Pure Dental? Our Kamloops dentists can address any questions and concerns you may have. Contact us today.

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