Do Wisdom Tooth Extractions Hurt?

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
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Do Wisdom Tooth Extractions Hurt?

No one likes to think about going through dental extractions or oral surgery. Pain is one of the major concerns of most patients when they go through this treatment. Many wonders if it’s possible to have their teeth extracted without feeling any pain. The answer, of course, depends on the individual circumstances. Some people say that the procedure is relatively painless, while others say it’s fairly uncomfortable. If you’re scheduled for a wisdom tooth extraction, here are a few things to keep in mind to help make the experience as smooth as possible.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of permanent adult teeth that develop later in life. They are also called third molars, and they are located in the backmost part of your mouth. People generally have two wisdom teeth in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. But some may have fewer or none.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth grow normally and do not cause any problems, but, in some cases, they may become partially or fully trapped (impacted) underneath your gums or jawbone. When this happens, it can cause much pain, swelling, gum disease, and other dental issues. If you are experiencing discomfort with your wisdom teeth, it’s important to see a dentist to have them checked out. Typically, they may need to be removed to avoid further problems that can potentially harm your oral health.

How Do Dentists Perform Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal begins with numbing your gums and other affected oral structures to make the extraction virtually less painful. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour or more based on the complexity of the case. In general, the process is performed in the following steps:

  • The dentist will administer the anaesthesia before the procedure begins. Once it takes effect and you no longer feel pain, only pressure, your dentist may begin.

  • The first step is to make an incision in the gum tissue so the dentist can access the wisdom tooth.

  • Next, the dentist removes any bone that is blocking the way to the tooth. Once the tooth is exposed, the dentist may have to cut the wisdom tooth into smaller pieces. This can make it easier to remove the wisdom tooth without damaging the nearby teeth.

  • Once the tooth is sectioned into parts and is ready to be removed, your dentist will pull them.

  • After the tooth has been removed, they will clean the extraction site and make sure no debris or tooth fragments are left inside the tooth socket to avoid infection or failure of blood clot formation.

  • Finally, the dentist closes the incision with stitches and places clean gauze pads over the wound to help stop the bleeding and to promote healing.

Do Wisdom Tooth Extractions Hurt?

One way or another, getting your wisdom teeth removed causes discomfort. The good news is that dentists have a variety of ways to ensure you’re comfortable during the procedure, including the use of anesthesia.

The answer to this question can vary depending on individual cases. In general, patients report that the removal process is not particularly painful. The removal of wisdom teeth can be done through simple extraction or surgical removal, and the decision of approach will significantly depend on the position of the wisdom tooth.

During a simple wisdom tooth extraction, the dentist will numb the area with local anaesthesia to help numb area, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the extraction. However, you may still feel pressure while your dentist begins pulling the tooth.

If your wisdom teeth are difficult to access, your dentist may suggest surgical removal. Generally, this is a little more invasive. In this case, you may be given general anaesthesia, which may put you to sleep during the surgical procedure. This is performed to numb the area and prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure.

Overall, no matter which type of anesthesia is used, you can rest assured that your dentist will do everything possible to ensure your comfort during the procedure. However, if you still feel mild pain while extracting your wisdom teeth, we highly advise you to inform the dentist immediately so they are aware and will take additional precautions.

Moreover, it is expected that patients will experience some discomfort after wisdom teeth extraction, which is why it’s essential to follow your dentist’s post-operative care instructions for pain management and fast recovery.

What Happens After Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Depending on the anaesthesia used, you’ll either be taken to a recovery room, or you may stay in the dental chair as you recover. You can expect bleeding from the empty tooth socket within a couple of hours after wisdom teeth removal. Bruising around the wound area during the first day is expected as a normal reaction of your soft tissues in the mouth. While they seem concerning and painful, they will look better after a few days with proper care.

Moreover, you may experience some pain and mild discomfort, which are usual side effects after removing wisdom teeth. This is usually manageable with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications. Most people may recover in a few days with bearable discomfort. However, if you have any concerns or your symptoms seem to worsen, be sure to call your dentist.

How Long Does the Pain from Wisdom Tooth Extraction Last?

The pain following a wisdom tooth extraction may last from 3 days to one week. It may persist longer if you had multiple wisdom teeth extracted; otherwise, you can expect milder pain and a shorter recovery time.

Pain and swelling after wisdom teeth extraction is expected to worsen during the first 3-4 days after the procedure. Afterwhich, it will gradually improve. However, if you have a dry socket or an infection, the pain and swelling may worsen beyond the fourth day. This is just an estimated timeline, and your dentist can give you more accurate information during your consultation.

To reduce the post-operative discomfort, take pain relief medication as needed and avoid hard, chewy, and sticky foods while your wound heals. Your dentist will give you aftercare instructions to help you manage the pain. The use of ice packs can also help reduce pain and swelling. To keep your mouth clean, rinse with warm salt water several times daily. It can also help in the healing and prevent infection. Contact your dentist if pain and bleeding persist for more than a week.

How to Know when The Pain After Wisdom Tooth Removal Isn't Normal?

While discomfort is a normal reaction following wisdom tooth removal, it is expected to subside after three days or so. Here are some indications that the pain you’re experiencing isn’t normal:

  • Your pain gets worse, instead of better, after 3-4 days
  • The pain is not relieved with pain medications
  • Having a high fever
  • The area around your wound remains swollen despite the medication and cold compress.
  • There’s oozing pus from the extraction site
  • An unpleasant taste and bad breath in your mouth
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Persistent lip numbness
  • Prolonged or excessive bleeding

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must call your dentist immediately. An infection after wisdom tooth removal is rare, but it can become serious if it isn’t treated promptly.

Are There Possible Complications With Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Although significant complications from wisdom teeth removal are rare, it’s always essential to be aware of the possibilities so you know when to call your dentist. If you experience any of the following symptoms like severe pain, excessive bleeding, and unpleasant taste after your wisdom teeth are removed, be sure to contact your dentist right away.

  • Risk of infection.
    It can occur when food particles and bacteria become trapped in the empty sockets. If the oral infection goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems. The good news is that oral infection can be controlled. Your dentist will need to clean out the infected area and may prescribe antibiotics. With prompt treatment, you’ll feel a lot better in no time.

  • Dry socket.
    It may happen when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site is dislodged or dissolves. It usually results from smoking, drinking through a straw, or brushing your teeth too vigorously in the days following surgery. The bone and nerves are exposed without a blood clot, and this can be extremely painful. Additionally, food debris can enter the socket and cause damage. It is important to abstain from strenuous activities and hard foods for at least a week after surgery to avoid dry sockets. If you experience it, your dentist can provide you with medication to help relieve the pain.

Final Thoughts

The wisdom teeth removal procedure can be a little uncomfortable, but with the use of anaesthesia, you may feel relaxed during the entire procedure. Your dentist will take every precaution and technique to ensure you will not feel intense pain.

You may feel pressure, especially when the dentist starts loosening and pulling the wisdom teeth. While the procedure itself is relatively less to no pain, you can expect to experience pain and discomfort once your wisdom teeth have been removed. This includes bruises in your mouth, facial swelling, and bleeding from the empty socket. The good news is that they can be managed with pain medications and aftercare provided by an oral health professional, which can also promote a speedy recovery.

If you have questions or concerns about wisdom teeth extractions or post-operative care, please book an appointment online or call Clear Choice Dental at (08) 9345 0455. We also offer other dental treatments and would be happy to answer any of your questions!

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