How painful is tooth extraction?
Getting a tooth removed from your mouth can be a daunting procedure for nervous patients, but with a good dentist, you are in the safest possible hands. Generally, tooth extraction is a very safe and quick procedure.
So, exactly how painful is tooth extraction?
In this blog post, we will outline all the information you need to know.
What happens at a tooth extraction?
Once you are sitting in the chair, your dentist will give you an injection of local anaesthetic, which numbs the area around your tooth. This means that you will only feel pressure, not pain, during the procedure.
The dentist then uses an instrument called an elevator to loosen the tooth and remove it. Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket– so the dentist will ask you to bite down on a clean gauze to help stop the bleeding.
If any stitches are needed, these will dissolve within 2 to 4 weeks.
How do you prepare for tooth extraction?
- Tell your dentist if you have any existing health conditions (e.g. a congenital heart defect, liver disease, thyroid disease, artificial joints, or an impaired immune system).
- Tell your dentist if you are taking any medications, vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs.
- Before your tooth extraction, do not smoke for at least 72 hours, as this can increase the risk of infection.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before your tooth extraction.
- If you have been feeling unwell before your tooth extraction (e.g. if you have cold, flu-like symptoms, nausea or vomiting), tell your dentist, as the dentist may want to reschedule your treatment.
- If you are receiving intravenous (IV) anaesthesia, wear a short-sleeved shirt or loose clothing and do not eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before your appointment.
- If you are receiving general anaesthesia during your tooth extraction, ask someone to drive you home after the treatment.
- You may have to take some time off work or school while you are recovering from a tooth extraction. Make sure you get plenty of rest and avoid doing strenuous activities after the treatment, such as exercise and chewing hard foods.
How painful is tooth extraction?
Your tooth extraction should not feel very painful. When you receive a local anaesthetic, this numbs the area of your mouth where the tooth is going to be removed. This helps prevent pain, so you should only feel pressure, rather than pain.
You may feel the sensation of the injection as the needle numbs your teeth and gums.
Most patients only feel mild discomfort during the tooth extraction, as the procedure is relatively quick and the anaesthetic numbs the affected area, so you don’t feel any pain.
After applying the anaesthetic, your dentist will ask you questions to check that the whole affected area in your mouth is numb- e.g. they may ask if your lips are tingly, or they may test your gum tissue.
If you feel any pain when the anaesthetic is delivered, this may be because your tooth is infected or there is an abscess. If this happens, your dentist will advise you on what will happen next.
Once the dentist has checked that your mouth area is numb, they will go ahead and extract the tooth and advise you on the correct aftercare.
When may I need to get my tooth extracted?
There are different reasons why you might have to get your tooth removed, for example, if you have:
- Severe tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Trauma to the mouth
- Crowded teeth
- Broken tooth
- A wisdom tooth that needs removing
What is a wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow during the late teens or early twenties. Because all the other 28 adult teeth are usually in place, there may not be enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.
If your wisdom teeth cause you severe pain, or they become decayed or infected, you may have to get them extracted.
During the wisdom teeth extraction, your dentist will apply a local anaesthetic injection to numb the affected area in your mouth, before removing the tooth from its socket.
You may experience swelling, discomfort and bruising for a few days after your wisdom tooth extraction.
Do tooth extractions come with any risks?
Tooth extraction is generally very safe when it is carried out by experienced dentists.
However, the procedure is associated with a few risks.
Your dentist will advise you on what the risks are and how to manage them if they do occur.
If you experience any severe pain or experience any of the risks below after your tooth extraction, book an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible or seek medical attention.
The risks that come with tooth extraction include:
What if I am nervous about getting a tooth extraction?
Plenty of patients feel anxious when they have to get a tooth extraction because they can’t help but think ‘how painful is tooth extraction going to be?’
Try not to worry. Tooth extraction is a routine part of a dentist’s job, so they are very accustomed to extracting teeth and they know how to make patients feel comfortable during the procedure.
Here at Didsbury Dental Practice, our team of highly skilled dentists, specialists and hygienists offer comprehensive and compassionate dental care.
We are proud to ensure that every patient is treated with the most sophisticated care and the best-customised treatment in a truly relaxed atmosphere.
We offer services for nervous patients because we understand that they may feel anxious at the prospect of receiving dental treatment. For example, we offer conscious sedation, which makes the patient feel drowsy, and provides the sense that time is passing quicker during the appointment.
So, if you come in for a tooth extraction with us, rest assured, you will be well looked after- we are very experienced in treating nervous patients and we will support you every step of the way.
How can I take care of myself after having a tooth extraction?
After getting a tooth extracted, you may experience temporary soreness, swelling, bruising, or slight bleeding in your mouth
Here are some useful guidelines on the correct aftercare after a tooth extraction, which will help you feel better:
- Follow the aftercare advice from your dentist.
- Apply a clean gauze to your mouth to stop any bleeding from the affected area.
- Keep your mouth area clean while it heals.
- Take painkillers (but never more than the recommended dosage).
- Get plenty of rest and avoid doing strenuous activities, such as exercise.
- Avoid mouthwash (especially those containing alcohol), mouth rinses, hot food, hot drinks and strenuous activity for the first 24 hours.
- Avoid flossing the area where your tooth was extracted, for at least 24 hours after the extraction.
- After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water 3-4 times per day, always after meals. (This should never be done with young children).
- Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your tooth extraction, as this can prevent healing.
- Eat a soft food diet for a few days, until you can chew properly again. You can eat foods such as soup, porridge, smoothies and yoghurts. Avoid hard foods like carrot sticks and apples.
- Brush your teeth very gently, without harsh movements, being careful not to dislodge blood clots in the tooth socket.
- Apply a cold compress to your jaw to ease swelling.
- Sleep with an extra pillow for extra support. Try not to lie flat on your back, as this may prolong bleeding.
- If your pain, bruising or bleeding worsens, contact your dentist as soon as possible. You may need to book an emergency dentist appointment.
- If you experience any severe symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, or fever, use the NHS 111 online or telephone service as soon as possible.
Where can I get an emergency dentist appointment?
Here at Didsbury Dental Practice, our emergency dental care is second to none.
We know that dental problems don’t always stick to 9.00 am to 12.00 am, and we also understand that people lead busy lives and they want dental treatment to fit around their lifestyle, rather than taking an appointment at a time that is inconvenient to them.
That is why our emergency dental care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including Christmas and Bank Holidays. If you need an emergency dentist appointment, call our emergency helpline on 0161 445 0005, or walk into our practice.
Find out more about our emergency dental care on our website here.
You should now have the answer to the question ‘how painful is tooth extraction?’
To find out more about Didsbury Dental Practice, visit our website here.
If you need an emergency appointment, visit our webpage on our emergency dental treatment here or call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2835. Alternatively, walk into the practice and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.
Visit our blog to read more articles on dental health.