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Is a Tooth Extraction Painful?

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

If you have excessive tooth decay, crooked or misaligned teeth, or recently suffered a tooth injury like a tooth fracture, you may need a tooth extraction. The thought of having a tooth pulled is scary, but thanks to innovation in technology, modern techniques, and powerful numbing agents, tooth extraction is now a painless and straightforward process. Call Broadway Family Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ella Dekhtyar for the best dental care. Dr. Dekhtyar examines your teeth and gums thoroughly to determine if tooth extraction is inevitable and treats your pain and infection as soon as possible. She also provides thorough emergency tooth extraction services to prevent serious complications like the spread of infection into the blood and other organs.

Having a tooth extracted is not a pleasant experience, but it is not as painful as it is believed to be. You may experience some pain, but the level of pain will depend on several factors, such as the kind of tooth problem you have and the location of the tooth being removed, as well as the expertise of the dentist. You may also experience a little pain after the dental procedure as the extraction site may be inflamed.

Read on to know what getting a tooth pulled is like and what you can do to ensure you keep this pain down.

What Is a Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction is the medical term for removing a tooth from the mouth. The root of the tooth is attached to the jaw bone with the periodontal ligament. During a tooth extraction, the entire tooth is removed.

Dentists prefer the least invasive procedures and most conservative treatments possible to save a tooth, but unfortunately, extractions are a common procedure. There are many reasons why one might need a tooth extraction when the tooth cannot be saved.

Is Tooth Extraction Painful?

Extraction of a tooth is certainly painful without any painkillers or numbing agents. However, dentists know how to handle their patients and provide pain relief, depending on their threshold of pain, so that your tooth extraction is not a horrifying experience.

The use of nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas, is one of the most common ways of helping patients relax and be free of all pain during treatment. The dentist gives you a mask that will cover your nose or in some cases your mouth. As you inhale nitrous oxide through the mask, you will quickly begin to feel the effects of the gas. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas as it tends to give a slight euphoric and happy feeling. It makes you less aware of your surroundings, including the ability to sense pain.

However, considering the type of pain most people experience during tooth extraction, nitrous oxide does not provide strong enough pain relief for tooth extractions, especially for people who need surgical extraction. Most dentists prefer an oral sedative to ensure their patients do not experience any pain or discomfort and go through the extraction process easily.

Reasons for Tooth Extractions

Reasons for Tooth Extractions and Removals

In some cases, extraction is the only dental intervention that can be a solution to the problem.

Some reasons for tooth extractions and removals include:

  • Wisdom teeth – When a wisdom tooth gets stuck in the gums or jaw and pushes against the rest of the teeth, it can cause pain and swelling, or damage to neighboring teeth. An impacted tooth needs extraction.
  • Decayed teeth – The build-up of bacteria known as plaque and tartar on your teeth can cause irreparable damage and result in intense pain and infection. If the infection cannot be treated or the tooth is too damaged to be saved, it is removed to save other teeth.
  • Broken teeth – Accidents and trauma to the face can result in chipped, broken, or damaged teeth. If the damage is severe, the broken teeth may need to be extracted to prevent further harm and get the right replacement.
  • Overcrowding – Sometimes teeth come in when the jaw is still too small. This overcrowding of too many teeth in one place can cause teeth to become crooked. Extraction is the only solution to remove an unnecessary tooth and ensure your teeth shift and fit perfectly.
  • Loose teeth – A loose tooth, due to any reason, is bound to fall out, but at times it needs to be pulled. With the extraction process, it can be removed quickly and easily.
  • Orthodontic treatment – If you are getting braces, the dentist may need to remove an unnecessary tooth that is causing overcrowding.

Use of Oral Sedation and Anesthesia for Dental Extractions

Oral sedation is significantly stronger than nitrous oxide and helps to keep the pain of extraction down. Oral sedatives are available in pill form. Dentists suggest you take a pill between 30 minutes and an hour before the dental procedure, as they tend to kick in after about an hour. This way, when it is time for extraction, the oral sedative will be in full effect and keep the pain away.

Oral sedatives are the most effective option for eliminating the pain from the tooth extraction process. As the dentist removes your tooth, while you will feel some pressure or pulling sensation in the area, you should not feel any pain. Some oral sedatives make you feel sleepy, so you may fall asleep during the procedure. Even if you don’t fall asleep, these sedatives help you feel very relaxed.

Dentists usually use oral sedatives for tooth extractions because they keep the pain down effectively, but they may not be as good in all cases. Serious tooth extractions like impact wisdom teeth need stronger sedatives as the dentist cannot pull it out like other teeth. The dentist will need to cut the gums to reach the tooth, and because this process requires a level of surgery, stronger and more effective sedatives are required.

Anesthesia for Tooth Extractions

Dentists prefer general anesthesia to prevent any type of pain and discomfort during tooth extraction. It is because general anesthesia is the strongest type of sedation, rendering you unconscious for the entire process, so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.

General anesthesia can be provided intravenously, or via a gas mask. No matter how it is administered, the results are the same. Once it takes effect, it is just like you have fallen asleep. You will not wake up at any time during the procedure. Thus, you will also not feel any pain or discomfort.

Remember, it takes some time to recover from the anesthesia so bring someone with you who can drive you home once the procedure is over. After about a day, you will be over the effects of the anesthesia. However, you may feel some pain during the healing process. This pain can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers until your mouth has healed.

Simple Tooth Extraction vs Surgical Tooth Extraction – What’s the Difference?

The difference between a simple tooth extraction and a surgical tooth extraction is that a normal tooth can be removed by removing or filing the bone. On the other hand, in a surgical tooth extraction, the dentist will remove parts of the bone to get to the tooth.

Surgical tooth extraction is needed when a tooth has not erupted out of the bone. The dentist will cut or make an incision on the gum to remove some of the bone to access the tooth. Sometimes, the tooth is split into several pieces before it is removed completely.

What Level of Pain Is Considered Normal?

Experiencing a throbbing feeling in the extraction area, as well as sensitivity, also known as the socket, is common. It is perfectly normal, and your dentist will most likely prescribe some pain relief mediation to help you minimize discomfort.

The amount of pain and length of recovery time depends on the tooth that is extracted. An impacted wisdom tooth is more likely to require a complicated extraction, which may cause a higher degree of lasting pain.

When to see your dentist:

  • Severe, worsening, or sudden pain
  • Continued pain after three days
  • You can see the exposed, dry socket
  • Noticeable bad breath
  • Pain spreading to your temple, neck, eye, or ear

Tooth extraction pain peaks early, within 24-48 hours, and then starts to fade in the following days. The healing process, as a whole, can take weeks, although it should not hurt after the first week. However, if it has been a couple of days and you notice no change in pain or the problems are worsening, it is best to talk to your dentist.

Tooth extraction does not have to be agonizingly painful or hurt unnecessarily as the procedure is carried out after dentists give strong painkillers, such as oral sedatives or anesthesia to eliminate most, if not all pain. To find out more about tooth extractions, how they are performed, and how much they will hurt, visit Broadway Family Dental and get expert dental advice. Dr. Ella Dekhtyar will tell you everything you need to know about tooth extractions and the associated pain. She has been treating patients with dental issues for years and recommends the best, painless treatments to ensure you enjoy excellent oral health for a lifetime.

Page Updated on Apr 9, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

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