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How much does dental surgery really hurt?

Have a dental surgery coming up and wondering if you’ll feel pain following your procedure? Our Ottawa offers some facts about the after-effects of surgery, and what you can do to manage any discomfort. 

What is dental surgery?

The diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, diseases, and injuries of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face, jaws, and teeth comprise dental (oral) surgery. At Sandy Hill Dental, we take a preventative approach to dental care and always employ the least invasive treatment for any given dental issue.

However, in some cases, less invasive treatment options are simply not sufficient and oral surgery is needed.

Here are some common types of oral surgery:

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

Will I feel pain during or after dental surgery?

Depending on your level of comfort and the complexity of your oral surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon may use one or more types of anesthesia to reduce pain and make you feel more at ease.

After your surgery, you’ll be given after-care instructions to help alleviate any pain and aid your recovery.

During Surgery

During surgery, some practices will give you a choice between:

Nitrous Oxide

This gas is inhaled via the nose and mouth. It will help you relax, reduce your gag reflex, lessen your anxiety, and make time appear to pass more quickly. This option provides minimal sedation to induce drowsiness and relaxation.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

Moderate IV sedation encompasses a variety of medications that can be administered directly into the bloodstream through the vein. This provides the most profound level of sedation short of general anesthesia, and you will have little to no memory of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form for more complicated surgeries. You’ll take this medication orally before the dental procedure for a calming, relaxing effect.

Local Anesthesia

In all instances, a local anesthetic will be injected into your gums near the extraction site. Even though the anesthetic will not completely numb the area, you should not experience any 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 may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help manage any post-operative pain or discomfort.

A more powerful pain medication may be prescribed if you had a complex surgery involving the bones and gums.

How can I manage pain?

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

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

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

A prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever may be prescribed or suggested to alleviate postoperative pain or discomfort. The duration of any soreness should be no more than a few days, despite the fact that the recovery period will vary depending on the type of surgery.

Are you concerned about pain or side effects from an upcoming dental surgery at Sandy Hill Dental? Our Ottawa dentists can address any questions and concerns you may have. Contact us today.

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