“Does tooth extraction hurt?” is a question we’re often asked. Patients with extensive tooth decay, a badly damaged tooth, or problematic wisdom teeth may need dental extractions. Many of our patients want to know how much discomfort to expect during tooth extraction. At Parramatta Green Dental, we use cutting-edge technologies and the latest techniques to ensure patients are comfortable throughout the procedure.
Why dental extractions are sometimes needed
Tooth extraction may be necessary due to trauma, infection, disease or decay. While a dentist’s goal is always to preserve natural teeth, extensive damage or infection may mean extraction is the only option. In fact, failing to remove a tooth that needs extraction can lead to further discomfort and overall damage.
For example, an impacted wisdom tooth can cause problems such as infection and misalignment. Not only does tooth extraction helps prevent pain and discomfort, but it also stops infected or decayed teeth from affecting the gums, bone and neighbouring teeth.
So does tooth extraction hurt?
The answer is no. Dental extractions do not hurt (at least not during the procedure). We provide patients with local anaesthesia and the choice of dental sedation to help them through the extraction process.
What to expect during the procedure
Patients facing tooth extraction nearly always ask the same two questions: “does tooth extraction hurt?” and “what can I expect during and after the procedure?” We’ve answered the first question, so let’s now answer the second.
First, the dentist administers local anaesthesia and then uses forceps to gently rock the tooth forwards and backwards to loosen it. Patients may feel some pressure at this stage, but since their mouth will be numb due to the local anaesthetic, they shouldn’t feel anything.
In the case of complex dental extractions such as impacted wisdom teeth below the gum line, the dentist will make a small incision into the gum to remove any bone blocking the tooth.
The tooth may also be cut into small pieces for easier removal and patient comfort. Sutures will be required to close the gums once the tooth has been removed.
Once the tooth has been pulled, the dentist will ask you to bite down on a piece of gauze for around 30 minutes to help stop the bleeding and encourage a blood clot to form. This protects the underlying nerve ending and bone in the empty tooth socket.
It also provides the foundation for new bone growth and tissue to develop. It’s important not to disturb the clot, or a painful condition known as dry socket could occur.
Managing discomfort post-dental extractions
Depending on the complexity of your case, you may experience some swelling or tenderness following tooth extraction. Don’t worry. This is normal and only to be expected. Swelling is the body’s way of healing and helps deliver nutrients and antibodies to the extraction site to speed up recovery.
Our dentist may prescribe medication and instruct you to take things easy for at least 24 hours after surgery. Here are the steps to follow to help your body heal and aid recovery.
For the first 24 hours
Avoid rinsing your mouth, spitting, or using a drinking straw, as this could disturb the blood clot.
48 hours after the extraction
Start to rinse your mouth with saltwater a day after tooth extraction. Doing so will rinse away any food debris and sanitise the surgical site. Brush and floss as usual after 48 hours, but brush carefully around the surgical site to avoid disturbing the blood clot.
For the first week
For the first week, we advise patients to ease back slowly into activity and eat food that doesn’t require chewing, such as scrambled eggs, soup, yoghurt, and smoothies. To minimise further swelling and accelerate healing, it also helps to prop your head up above your heart using pillows. Refrain from smoking for 5-7 days to ensure the wound remains clean.
The steps above are essential to minimise discomfort after tooth extraction and return you to your regular daily routine. The dentist will schedule an appointment within 10-14 days to remove any stitches, if necessary, and to check on your healing.
A final word
We understand patients’ concerns regarding tooth extraction, and it’s only natural to want to know ‘does tooth extraction hurt?’ At Parramatta Green Dental, our goal is to make patients feel relaxed and remove teeth with minimum discomfort. As soon as you’re ready, we can discuss your options for tooth replacement to restore your smile and confidence.
If you’re overdue for a dental check-up, why not schedule an appointment with the experienced team at Parramatta Green Dental. We can evaluate your oral health and discuss your future dental needs to give you the beautiful smile you deserve. We practice gentle dentistry and look forward to welcoming you to our clinic.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
BAOMS – Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Colgate – A Guide to Sedation Dentistry
Mayo Clinic.Org – Dry Socket