There are many reasons you might need to have a tooth extracted. Decay, damage, injury, and even overcrowding are all common reasons to have a tooth pulled. And about 85% of us need to have our wisdom teeth extracted.
At 54th Street Dental, we know that it’s not pleasant to think about having a tooth removed, but it’s our goal to help you feel prepared and confident before your extraction. Dr. Meriem Boukadoum and our experienced team know that a tooth extraction can be a good investment in your overall oral health.
We’re here to talk about extractions and what you can expect in terms of pain relief.
What to expect during the procedure
Inside of each tooth is a soft tissue component called the pulp. This is the part of your tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. Nerves are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. It’s why you might feel a toothache if a deep cavity affects the nerves in your tooth, or if a sports injury breaks your tooth and exposes the nerves. Pain messages are a good thing because they alert your brain that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
The presence of nerves in your tooth is also why a tooth extraction might feel uncomfortable.
However, if you need to have a scheduled tooth extraction, we can keep you comfortable with anesthesia. Options for pain relief include:
- Local anesthesia (which may feel like a little pinch)
- Sedation anesthesia, such as laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to help you stay calm
- General anesthesia (ideal for longer or more complicated procedures)
Tip: Most people tolerate local anesthesia quite well, especially for a simple extraction. The initial pinch is quick and then the numbing effect quickly takes place. However, if you have concerns about your anesthesia options, feel free to talk to us. We can answer your questions and help you feel confident in your choices.
What to expect after the procedure
It’s normal to feel a little sore after a tooth extraction. Surgical extractions (such as an impacted wisdom tooth removal) may cause a little more discomfort as opposed to removing a tooth that was fully above the gum line.
You can reduce discomfort in the following ways:
- Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheeks (you can even find facial ice packs designed for facial surgeries or dental work)
- Take any prescribed pain medication as directed
- Eat soft foods only
- Avoid hot foods and sharp or hard foods
- Elevate your head while sleeping to help reduce swelling
- Use salt water rinses (do not use during the first 24-hours after the extraction)
Pain and discomfort after an extraction are temporary. You can reduce the pain of dry socket (a painful condition that occurs when your protective blood clot over the extraction site becomes dislodged) by avoiding the use of straws, not spitting, and following all post-extraction instructions carefully.
Do extractions alleviate pain?
Although there is some discomfort associated with a tooth extraction, it’s important to look at its benefits. An extraction can help eliminate pain such as a badly damaged tooth that can’t be repaired or from a severely decayed tooth that can’t be saved.
Tooth extractions can also help prevent future problems. This is often the case when it comes to wisdom teeth.
Don’t let the fear of pain keep you from the care you need
If you’re in need of a tooth extraction, don’t delay your treatment. At 54th Street Dental, it’s our mission to help you keep your oral health in top shape. If you’re concerned about pain relief, talk to us, and we can guide you through the process and explore all of your options.
To request an appointment at our dental clinic, give us a call at 212-333-3200. Alternatively, you can use our easy-to-use scheduling tool to book an appointment online.