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How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Do you have an upcoming dental surgery? Are you curious about how much pain you might feel? In this blog, our Winnipeg dentists discuss the after-effects of dental surgery and share tips on how you can mananage any discomfort you might feel.

What's dental surgery?

Dental (oral) surgery consists of diagnosing and surgically treating injuries, diseases, or defects of the soft and hard tissues of the face, teeth, jaws, and mouth. At Odyssey Dental Care, we take a preventive approach to dental treatment and implement the least invasive treatment method possible for dental problems.

But, there are times where less invasive treatment options are not enough and oral surgery is required.

Below are examples of some common kinds of oral surgery:

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

Will I experience pain after or during dental surgery?

Depending on your comfort level and how complex your oral surgery procedure is, your dentist or oral surgeon may use one or more types of anesthesia to reduce pain and help you feel more comfortable.

After your surgery, you will be provided with after-care instructions to help reduce any pain you may feel and help you in your recovery.

During Surgery

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a gas that's inhaled through the nose and mouth. It can help keep you calm, lower anxiety, reduce gag reflex, and make time seem to pass quicker. This option provides minimal sedation and helps you feel drowsy and more relaxed.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is more moderate and covers a number of medications that can be administered directly into the bloodstream, through the vein. This offers the deepest level of sedation short of general anesthesia and you’ll have limited memory of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form for more complicated surgeries. This medication is orally taken prior to the dental procedure for a relaxing, calming effect.

Local Anesthesia

A numbing substance will likely be applied to your gums via injection, near the extraction site in all cases. While the anesthetic will not completely numb the area, you shouldn’t feel pain or sharpness.

You may be able to feel pressure or movement. For a simple extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely use a local anesthetic, and you’ll be awake for the procedure.

After Surgery

Your dentist might suggest taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help manage any discomfort or pain you may feel after the procedure. 

They may prescribe stronger pain medications if your surgery was more complex and involved the gums and bones.

How can I alleviate pain or discomfort?

After dental surgery, follow your dentist’s post-operative self-care recommendations. These might include:

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

Though there may be pain involved with your dental surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon can help you manage the pain with sedatives and local anesthesia during the surgery.

After your procedure, prescription medication or OTC drugs might be recommended to help manage postoperative pain or discomfort. Though your recovery timeline will vary depending on the surgery, any tenderness should only last a few days.

If you have a dental surgery coming up at Odyssey Dental Care and are worried about any side effects or pain you might experience contact our Winnipeg dentists today. Our team can answer any questions or concerns that you have.

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