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How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Posted Jan 28th, 2022 in Anesthesia, Dental treatments, Emergency Dental Services, News, Oral Surgery, Sedation

How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Do you wonder if an approaching surgery will be painful afterward? Here, we offer some facts about the after-effects of surgery and what can be done to manage your discomfort.

What is dental surgery?

Oral surgery includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries and defects affecting the tissues of the mouth, face and jaws. 

While preventive care and non-invasive oral procedures are always ideal to treat health issues, this isn't always sufficient. Oral surgery is the way to go in these cases.

Here are some common types of oral surgery:

  • Root canal
  • Dental implants
  • Cosmetic dental surgery
  • Jaw and reconstructive surgery
  • Impacted wisdom tooth removal

Will I feel pain during or after dental surgery?

Depending on your comfort and the complexity of your oral surgery, your dentist and oral surgeon may need to use one or more kinds of anesthesia to reduce your pain and aid in your comfort. 

After surgery, you will be given care instructions to help alleviate pain and aid in recovery.

During Surgery

Nitrous Oxide - This option provides minimal sedation, helping you feel drowsy and relaxed.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation - IV sedation offers the deepest level of sedation before getting to general anesthesia and will leave you with little memory of the procedure.

Oral Sedation - This medication is taken before complex surgeries for a calming effect.

Local Anesthesia - This numbing substance is applied to your gums through injection. It won't completely numb the area, but will prevent some pain.

After Surgery

It may be recommended that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help manage postoperative pain or discomfort.

More potent medications may be prescribed if you had a complex surgery involving bone and gums.

How can I manage pain?

After your surgery, follow your dentist's care recommendations. These may include:

  • Use warm compresses
  • Prop your head on a pillow when lying down
  • Get lots of rest - no strenuous physical activity
  • Apply an ice pack on your cheek or affected area
  • Rinse with saltwater starting 24 hours after surgery
  • Eat soft, cool foods (to avoid shocking any sensitive nerves)

While there may be some pain involved in your surgery, this discomfort will be managed with sedatives and local anesthesia. 

Following your procedure, a prescription medication may be recommended to help manage pain. While recovery timelines will depend on the surgery, tenderness generally only lasts a couple of days. 

Do you have an upcoming surgery and are curious about pain management?

A dentist will be happy to speak with you about pain management options and what to expect from your procedure. 

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