Have dental surgery coming up and wondering if you’ll feel pain after your procedure? Our Winnipeg team offers some facts about the after-effects of surgery, and what you can do to manage any discomfort.
What is dental surgery?
Dental (oral) surgery includes the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, diseases and injuries of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face, jaws and teeth. Dentisrts take a preventive approach to dental treatment and always strive to use the least invasive treatment possible for a given dental issue.
However, in some cases, less invasive treatment options are simply not sufficient and oral surgery is necessary.
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 Experience Pain During Or After 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’ll be given after-care instructions to help relieve pain and aid your recovery.
This gas is inhaled through the mouth and nose. It can help to decrease stress and anxiety, reduce gag reflex, and, for many patients, makes time seem to pass quicker. This option offers minimal sedation that will help you feel drowsy and 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 little memory of the procedure.
If your surgery is more complicated in nature, your dentist may prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form to help you achieve a calming, relaxing effect.
A numbing substance will likely be administered via injection near the extraction site in all cases. While the anesthetic will not completely numb the area, you shouldn’t be able to 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.
Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help manage any post-operative pain or discomfort.
Stronger 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 post-operative self-care recommendations. These might include:
- Get lots of rest - avoid 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 (not hot or very cold, to avoid shocking any sensitive nerves)
- Use warm compresses
- Rinse with saltwater starting 24 hours after surgery
Though there may be discomfort involved with your dental surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon can help manage pain with sedatives and local anesthesia during the surgery.
Following your procedure, prescription medication or an OTC drug may 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.