Is wisdom tooth removal painful?

A common question from many people and a large reason people put off any dental treatment is around how painful the treatment might be. Let’s explore the theory about wisdom teeth removal pain.

Wisdom tooth extraction is an activity that aims to extract one or more wisdom teeth of the last four permanent teeth of adults on the top and bottom of the back of the mouth. You would have to have it cut out if you have not had enough space to develop a wisdom tooth (impacted wisdom tooth). A dentist or an oral surgeon may perform this extraction procedure. Some dentists and oral surgeons recommend that wisdom tooth extraction be performed to avoid any future complications, even if those teeth may not have any current problems.

Examples of complications caused by wisdom teeth include pain, localised or spreading infection, decay in adjacent teeth, cyst formation, etc.

Is wisdom tooth extraction painful?

  • The simple answer is “No”. The procedure of wisdom tooth removal is not painful.
  • Wisdom teeth extraction by a Dentist or a Specialist Surgeon is planned for minimal procedure discomfort. First, you will be given Anaesthesia which may be: 
  • Local Anaesthesia (LA) – Most commonly used. Injection of LA is given to numb the tooth and surrounding areas. You are wakeful and may feel pressure however should not feel pain. 
  • Sedation – The surgeon will numb your tooth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you feel half asleep. Alternatively, you may breathe Nitrous oxide/laughing gas to relax and feel drowsy. You are alert yet with decreased awareness and will not recollect a lot
  • General Anaesthesia (GA) – Occasionally used especially for procedures carried out in a hospital. GA is usually given in combination of intravenous drugs and inhalation medication. You are completely unconscious and will not recollect anything about the surgery.
  • The type of anaesthesia you get relies upon how complex the Dentist or Specialist thinks the technique will be, in addition to how anxious you are. You will be requested by your dental team to avoid consuming any food or drinks prior to the procedure depending on the type of anaesthesia required. When your capacity to feel pain has been dulled and you are completely numb, your dentist or oral specialist will utilize his instruments to release and detach the tissue around your wisdom teeth, and eventually take them out. Also, recollect, you truly should not feel any pain during this procedure. However, if you do feel any pain during the procedure, inform your dentist/specialist so they can give you more anaesthesia. After the surgery, the Dentist will suture the extraction site and will place a gauze piece over it and ask you to bite firmly on it for 45-60 mins. This will initiate the process of clotting and in turn healing of the surgical site.
  • The initial regeneration and recovery of wisdom teeth extraction typically takes place over three to five days. 
  • Given it is a surgical operation, it is not uncommon to have minor pain and discomfort for a few days after the extraction, and this pain can be easily managed by painkillers prescribed by your dentist. 
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