Is Tooth Extraction Painful? Experts Weigh In

Tooth Extraction

Even though we have many dental treatment options, having a tooth pulled may still be necessary for several reasons. Your dentist may recommend tooth extraction to treat and prevent the spread of tooth decay. Tooth extraction is also a treatment option for orthodontic reasons.

If your dentist recommended a tooth extraction, you’re probably wondering if the procedure will hurt. Since you’re essentially getting a tooth pulled, you may expect to feel some pain. However, there are plenty of anesthetic and medication options to eliminate any pain you feel.

Is tooth extraction painful? Continue reading to see what the experts have to say and how to manage pain after a tooth extraction.

Tooth Extraction Process

First, let’s look at the actual tooth extraction process to gauge how and when you will feel pain — if any.

Your dentist will first administer a local anesthetic. There are a couple of different types of anesthesia that your dentist may use. Be sure to mention if you or your child have allergies or prior complications with a specific anesthetic. Learn more here.

To administer the anesthetic, your dentist will inject it into the gum line of the tooth they will pull. This way, the area will be completely numb.

From here, your dentist will use a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth from the gum. They will then extract the tooth using forceps. During this part, it’s normal to feel pressure. But because of the anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel pain. Always inform your dentist if the pain is bad. They will administer more anesthetic.

What if you need a surgical extraction? Your dentist will still use a local anesthetic, but they will make an incision instead of using the elevator tool. Again, since you’ll be numbed, you’ll experience more pressure than pain.

Other Anesthesia Options

Local anesthesia is always the first choice for dentists, but you can opt for general or sedation anesthesia if you’re uncomfortable.

For sedation anesthesia, your dentist will likely use nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas). The sedation will be minimal and you’ll mainly feel relaxed during the procedure.

A general anesthetic is also an option, but only reserved for special situations. With general anesthesia, you’ll fully lose consciousness and will be asleep during the procedure. Your dentist will administer the anesthesia through an IV or inhalation.

Pain After a Tooth Extraction

While your dentist will use general anesthesia, there may be pain during the healing process. If so, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce your pain. If you had a surgical extraction, your dentist may prescribe pain medication.

Be sure to care for yourself and your oral health during the healing process. Rest if the pain gets too bad. Use an ice pack to reduce any swelling. Eat soft food so you don’t chew as much. Be sure to rinse your mouth with salt water to prevent an infection.

Is Tooth Extraction Painful?

If your dentist recommended a tooth extraction, you may be asking yourself this question: is tooth extraction painful? Since your dentist will use anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel any pain but a little pressure is normal. You can always request sedation or general anesthesia if you’re uncomfortable.

Continue reading our blog where we answer all of your pressing health questions!

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