Visiting an oral surgeon for a tooth extraction can make some people apprehensive, particularly those who have never had teeth pulled.
If you’re nervous, you’ll be glad to know that the tooth-removal process is a lot easier than you probably imagine. Modern anesthetic techniques have put the days of painful extractions in the past.
You’ll Feel Pressure – Not Pain
Local anesthetic is administered at the start of a tooth extraction, so you won’t feel any pain.
You will feel some pressure as your oral surgeon loosens and separates the tooth roots from the surrounding tissues, but the removal is painful. Your oral surgeon will not even begin the procedure until your mouth is completely numb.
Sedation Can Ease Your Worries
If you’re still concerned, you’re not alone. To put your worries to rest, talk to your oral surgeon. A range of sedation options is also available, any of which can ensure you have a comfortable, pain-free experience. You may consider:
Swallowing a sedative before your procedure can help you relax, and time will seem to pass more quickly.
Inhaling nitrous oxide brings about feelings of calmness and happiness, while also altering the perception of pain.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Also called “twilight sleep,” IV sedation won’t induce unconsciousness, but it will make you feel as if you slept through the entire procedure
Though oral surgeons offer general anesthesia, the highest level of surgical sedation isn’t necessary for a tooth extraction – it’s typically reserved for complex procedures, such as jaw reconstruction and facial injury repair.
Managing Post-Extraction Pain
Clearly, your oral surgeon can make sure that your tooth extraction isn’t painful – but what about the recovery period? Will you be in for much pain as you heal?
You can expect some soreness, but the pain is easy for most patients to manage. To keep the discomfort down, you can:
- Take over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen.
- Apply ice to the cheek closest to the extraction site for 20 minutes, remove for 20 minutes, then repeat.
- Rest in a comfortable spot with your head elevated to reduce inflammation.
- Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution several times per day to keep the extraction site clean until you’re able to brush.
- Consume only soft foods and beverages — but don’t use a straw! — until the surgical site has healed.
If the professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is performing your tooth extraction, you’ll go home with complete instructions that set you up for a smooth and easy recovery. We don’t want you to be in any pain, and we’ll do whatever we can to ensure your comfort.
For more information on tooth extraction and recovery, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office and schedule a consultation today.