Although it may sound painful to have a tooth pulled by your dentist, the fact is that this procedure is extremely common and – thanks to effective anaesthetic and modern dental sedation methods – it is usually no more or less uncomfortable than any other dental procedure. The truth is that the circumstances leading up to needing a tooth extraction are normally much more painful than the procedure itself. This includes tooth trauma, extensive tooth decay, an impacted wisdom tooth, or a badly fractured tooth, for example. So if you’re an Cedar Park, Texas, dental patient worried if tooth extraction hurts, we have some comforting news: you will very likely feel little if any discomfort when your dentist pulls a tooth. In this article, we’ll explore why that’s true, and what you can expect during and after a tooth extraction procedure.
What to Expect During and After the Tooth Extraction Procedure
As is always the case, every person is different. And when it comes to dental services, the exact length of time a procedure will take, as well as how extensive the process will be, depends on your current oral health and the type of problem that necessitates the dental procedure to begin with. We mentioned earlier how a variety of issues may require that a tooth be pulled. If a tooth is badly decayed and can’t be saved by some other method – such as a filling, crown, and/or root canal, for example – your dentist may recommend pulling the tooth. This type of situation would normally be what’s called a “simple extraction,” where the dentist uses specialized instruments to extract a tooth that has already erupted through the gum tissue. But if you have an impacted wisdom tooth, for example, you may need a “surgical extraction.” In this type of situation, your dentist will need to make an incision in the gum tissue in order to access the tooth that needs to be extracted. So your individual needs will make a great deal of difference in the exact steps involved in your tooth extraction procedure.
With that in mind, we provide the following steps that are typical for most dental patients who are having a tooth pulled:
- Dental sedation and anaesthetic – The first step in the tooth extraction process is for the dentist to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible. This involves administering an anaesthetic all around the area of the affected tooth in order to make sure that this portion of the patient’s mouth is completely numb during the procedure. If you decide that you would like some form of dental sedation in addition to anaesthetic, your dentist will help you decide what type is most appropriate for you. Sedation methods range from laughing gas administered in the dentist’s chair just prior to the extraction, to oral sedation prescribed by the dentist and taken by the patient before ever arriving at the dentist’s office. Whether or not you receive sedation – as well as the type of sedation – will depend on several variables, such as how nervous you are about the procedure, how extensive/intrusive the extraction will be, and/or how long the procedure will take. Your dentist can help you decide what will work best for you.
- Removal of the tooth – Once the anaesthetic and sedation are administered, your dentist will begin the extraction procedure by using forceps to gently rock the tooth back and forth to loosen it. You may feel some amount of pressure during this process, but thanks to the anaesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any pain at all. If you require a surgical extraction, your dentist will need to make a tiny incision in the gum tissue in order to access the tooth before using forceps to loosen it. Once again, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort thanks to the anaesthetic.Once the tooth is sufficiently loosened, your dentist will use an instrument called and “elevator” in addition to forceps to remove the tooth completely.
- Caring for the socket – After the tooth is removed, your dentist will gently pack the socket with gauze and you’ll be asked to bite down on the gauze for 30 minutes or so. There are two reasons why this step in the process is so important. The first is that the gauze will help to stop the bleeding. And the second is that the gauze will allow a blood clot to form inside the tooth socket. This clot protects the surrounding gum tissue, bone and nerves inside the socket.
Recovering At Home
Unlike most other dental procedures that are entirely done once you leave the dentist’s chair, the follow-up recovery steps that you do on your own at home after a tooth extraction are extremely important. Your dentist will provide you with a full set of instructions on what to do and what not to do after your tooth has been pulled, and it’s vital that you follow these directions to the letter to ensure that you heal completely and quickly. You’ll need to take care not to dislodge the clot that has formed in your tooth socket, so you’ll be asked to avoid rinsing your mouth out for a period of time, as well as avoiding using a straw, spitting, smoking, drinking alcohol, vigorous exercise and any other activities that could dislodge the clot. If that does happen, and the clot is compromised, it can result in what’s called a “dry socket” – a condition that is not only extremely painful, but also prolongs the healing process.
If you need to have a tooth pulled and are wondering if tooth extraction hurts, you should feel confident that you’ll feel very little if any discomfort during the procedure itself. And while it is true that you’re likely to be sore afterward, your dentist will provide you with complete instructions on how to effectively manage any pain you might feel at home, as well as how best to heal as quickly as possible. To find out more about tooth extractions, talk to your Cedar Park, Texas dentist.