Does having a tooth extraction hurt?10 October 2017 Categories: Dental Anxiety Tooth extraction
By Dr. Geoff Baggaley
One aspect of dental treatment patients are often anxious about is the possibility of a tooth extraction – when a tooth needs to be removed. The most common reasons that your dentist may feel it is in your best interest to have a tooth removed are:
- A tooth that has broken down and can’t be repaired
- Severe tooth decay
- An abscess
- Gum disease
- Crowded teeth – when extra space is needed prior to braces being fitted (orthodontic treatment)
- Impacted wisdom teeth – when growing wisdom teeth can’t break through the surface of the gum
Once the decision is made to remove a tooth, your dentist will discuss the different ways of completing the tooth extraction and any potential risks involved. For example, it may be a more complex process if it is an impacted wisdom tooth or a tooth that is so decayed it may fracture further whilst being removed. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend that the kindest way to complete the treatment is to refer you to a colleague who is very experienced at tooth extraction procedures.
What happens during a tooth extraction?
It is understandable that patients can be very concerned as to the level of discomfort they may experience during a tooth extraction. However, before removing the tooth the whole area will be numbed using a local anaesthetic, so although you may feel some pressure or tugging, the actual extraction process should not be painful. Depending on the complexity of the root, the procedure may be very quick or it may take a little more time.
If you are already very anxious about dental treatment or the dentist regards the process as potentially difficult, it may be possible to have sedation. This is an excellent treatment that will make you feel completely relaxed, allowing the dentist to safely carry out the procedure.
If you wish to be sedated, an assessment is carried out beforehand (usually one week before) to make sure you are suitable for the procedure.
What should I expect after the tooth extraction?
Following the extraction, your gum may bleed for a couple of minutes. Your dentist will give you a piece of soft padding to bite onto to stop the bleeding. If you have had a sedative, you’ll need to rest until the effects have worn off and accompanied home by a friend or relative.
Before you go, your dentist will give you advice about how to look after the tooth extraction site to promote the best healing. The general advice would be to avoid the site for a day or so, followed by gentle rinsing the following day. It is also recommended that you avoid smoking for 24 hours.
If the tooth extraction site is sore, it may be advisable to use an analgesic such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for a short period. Occasionally your dentist may have placed some sutures (stitches) and these may require removing at a follow up appointment. Any other more specific advice will be provided by your dentist.
In conclusion, whilst a tooth extraction does involve some pressure being applied, with modern anaesthetic techniques, there is no reason why treatment should not be completely painless. It is often much easier than anticipated, especially if performed by a sympathetic dentist. It is always worth having a comprehensive discussion with your dentist on what to expect, prior to the treatment.
Dr. Geoff Baggaley (BChD DGDP(U.K.) RCS DipConSed(Newc)) is very experienced at treating patients that require dental extractions, including impacted wisdom teeth and other more challenging procedures. He is also a highly skilled Dental Anxiety Management Professional.
Our clinicians are dedicated to finding the best solution for you and are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to tooth extractions. Call 01423 565432 to book your complimentary consultation or contact us through our online enquiry form.