One of the concerns that many people have when considering wisdom teeth removal is whether or not the procedure will be painful. While it’s natural to have some apprehension about any surgical procedure, including wisdom teeth removal, it is typically performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation to minimize pain and discomfort, making it virtually painless.
It’s important to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for aftercare to help minimize pain especially in the first night after extraction. This may include taking pain medication as prescribed, avoiding hard or crunchy foods, sleeping with your head slightly elevated, and keeping the extraction site clean with gentle brushing and rinsing, among others.
However, you can still expect some soreness and swelling in the following days, most of which should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses, and some other home remedies for tooth pain management.
In rare cases, complications may occur that could cause additional pain or discomfort, such as infection or dry socket. However, these risks can be minimized by following your dentist’s aftercare instructions and seeking prompt treatment if any issues arise.
Overall, while there may be some discomfort associated with wisdom teeth removal, the procedure itself should not be overly painful. Your dentist or oral surgeon will take steps to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
You will feel some pressure during wisdom teeth extraction
The procedure can be performed by your dedicated dentist, or a specialist oral surgeon in a hospital. Before the treatment, a local anesthetic injection is administered to numb the area around the tooth.
It is common to feel some pressure just before the tooth comes out, as the dentist or oral surgeon rocks the tooth back and forth to widen the socket. In some cases, it is necessary to make incisions in your gum, or cut the tooth into smaller pieces, before extraction.
A typical tooth extraction takes less than 20 minutes. After the extraction, you may experience some pain, discomfort and swelling, though it should subside in a couple of days.
Pain is a common side effect of wisdom teeth removal
The disadvantages or side effects of wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on the individual and the complexity of the procedure. Pain or discomfort after wisdom tooth extraction is normal due to tissue and bone damage caused during the surgical procedure.
Once the anesthetic wears off, you will begin to experience nociceptive pain, which is acute pain or slight discomfort caused by tissue or bone damage. This pain is typical during the first 24 hours after the surgery, but since it’s superficial, you can expect it to subside as you heal.
Pain may peak around 6 hours after the procedure and can be accompanied by bruising, swelling, and traces of blood in the mouth.
Your dentist will recommend some over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to help manage the pain and discomfort. Applying icepacks to the affected area can also help reduce bruising and swelling.
In more complex or intensive procedures, stronger pain medication may be prescribed to manage greater discomfort.
Other side effects of wisdom teeth extraction
It is common to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising in the days following the surgical extraction. The gums may also bleed for a short period of time.
In addition to physical symptoms, there may also be some emotional and psychological effects. Many people feel anxious or stressed about the procedure, and may experience fear or apprehension leading up to and following the surgery.
Following wisdom teeth removal, you can expect:
- Mild to moderate pain and discomfort that can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers
- The area around the extraction site may become swollen and bruised, which can be uncomfortable and affect your appearance.
- Bleeding from the gums is normal after the procedure and should subside within a few hours. However, if the bleeding is severe or persists for more than a day, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Some people may experience stiffness or difficulty opening their mouth fully after the surgery. This usually resolves within a few days.
In rare cases, the nerves in the jaw can be affected during the extraction procedure, leading to numbness or tingling in the lower lip, tongue, or chin. This is usually temporary, but you should contact your dentist if it persists.
It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-operative after care to minimize symptoms and promote healing. You may experience more pain at night following the extraction, but this should be manageable with proper aftercare to get you through the first night.
If you experience any severe or prolonged symptoms or have any concerns about your recovery, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
What is considered abnormal pain following wisdom tooth removal?
While it is normal to experience some degree of pain or discomfort, which usually subsides within a few days, if the pain becomes excruciating or lasts longer than ten days, it may be a sign of further complications.
One common complication is a painful dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot fails to develop or is accidentally removed from the extraction site. This may cause a dull ache or throbbing pain in the gum area, along with an unpleasant taste or smell.
Another potential complication is an infection caused by bacteria that attack the site due to improper cleaning or food debris. This can lead to pain or discomfort, and other symptoms such as:
- Swelling or bruising that get worse over time
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Numbness in the area
- Pain that does not subside with antibiotics.
There is also a risk of sinus injury during wisdom tooth removal when removing upper wisdom teeth. The roots of upper wisdom teeth are often in close proximity to the sinus cavity, and if the tooth is deeply impacted, it may be necessary to remove a portion of the bone separating the tooth from the sinus in order to extract it. This can cause a perforation or tear in the sinus membrane, which can lead to sinus complications such as infection or fluid leakage.
It is important to remember that complications are rare and millions of wisdom teeth extractions are carried out without any problems. Nonetheless, as with all surgical procedures, there are risks involved, albeit usually small.
Patients should follow all post-operative instructions carefully to minimize the risk of complications, and report any unusual symptoms such as pain, fever, discharge, etc. to their dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the risk of sinus injury during wisdom tooth extraction?
The incidence of sinus perforation during wisdom tooth extraction is relatively low, occurring in only 0.5-6% of cases. The risk can be minimized by using proper techniques and equipment, such as performing a careful preoperative evaluation of the tooth’s position and the sinus anatomy, and using a sinus lift or other bone grafting techniques to reinforce the bone around the sinus if necessary.
If a sinus perforation does occur during the extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon will typically take steps to repair the tear and prevent further complications. This may involve placing a patch or graft over the perforation to seal it, and prescribing antibiotics or other medications to prevent infection or inflammation.
How long does wisdom teeth removal take?
The duration of a wisdom teeth removal procedure varies depending on the complexity of the case. Simple cases can take as little as 20-30 minutes, while more complex cases can take up to an hour or more. Your dentist or oral surgeon can give you a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation.
Do they break your jaw to remove wisdom teeth?
No, breaking the jaw is not a common practice during wisdom teeth removal. In most cases, the teeth can be easily accessed and removed through the gum tissue. In rare cases where the tooth is severely impacted, your dentist or oral surgeon may need to remove some surrounding bone to access the tooth, but this does not involve breaking the jaw.
How long does pain after wisdom tooth extraction last?
The duration of pain after wisdom tooth extraction varies depending on the complexity of the case and the individual’s pain tolerance. Typically, the acute pain lasts for the first 24-72 hours after the procedure, with the peak of pain around 6 hours after the extraction.
After the first few days, the pain should gradually decrease and subside completely within a week or two.
However, some individuals may experience lingering discomfort for up to a few weeks after the procedure. If you are experiencing severe or prolonged pain after wisdom tooth extraction, it is important to contact your dentist or oral surgeon for advice.