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How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Do you have a dental surgery coming up? Perhaps you're wondering if you'll experience pain after your procedure. Our dentists at Toothworks Fairview Park Dental list some facts about the after-effects of surgery and what you can do to manage any discomfort. 

What is dental surgery?

Dental surgery (oral) surgery involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face, jaws and teeth. At 

Dental (oral) surgery includes the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, diseases and injuries of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face, jaws and teeth. At Toothworks Fairview Park Dental, we take a preventive approach to dental treatment and always opt for the least invasive treatment option possible for any given dental issue. 

That said, in some cases, less invasive treatment alternatives are simply not enough and oral surgery will be required. 

Some common types of oral surgery include:

Will I feel pain during or after dental surgery?

The complexity of your oral surgery procedure and your comfort level may factor into whether your dentist or oral surgeon may use one or more types of anesthesia to reduce pain and help you feel more comfortable. 

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

During Surgery

Nitrous Oxide

This gas is inhaled through the mouth and nose. It will help calm you, reduce gag reflex, decrease anxiety and make time seem to pass quicker. This option offers minimal sedation that will help you feel drowsy and relaxed.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is more moderate and covers a number of medications that can be administered directly into the bloodstream, through the vein. This offers the deepest level of sedation short of general anesthesia and you’ll have 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

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 or oral surgeon 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 or oral surgery can help manage pain with sedatives and local anesthesia during the surgery.

Following your procedure, a prescription medication or OTC drug may be recommended to help manage postoperative pain or discomfort. Though your recovery timeline 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 Toothworks? Contact our dentists at Toothworks Fairview Park Dental today. Or find a Toothworks location near you

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Since 2001, Toothworks Dental Clinics have been providing patients of all ages with personalized dental care and a welcoming experience at locations across Ontario.

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