Pain Management 101

Ever wondered, “is it going to hurt?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. Every day at Bradford Family Dentistry, we respond to this question. That is why we’re outlining normal pain versus abnormal pain following a dental procedure.

Knowledge is power. Knowing when to come back into the office if experiencing pain, is in your best interest.

Bradford Family Dentistry tooth extraction

Everyone is different. What one patient might experience post-procedure is likely not the same as what the next patient will experience.

Healing from a tooth extraction or root canal normally takes anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks of recovery. (And yes, we realize the distance between these two numbers.)

Due to inflammation, pain typically peaks around the second or third day. If pain is worsening after the the third day, we recommend you come back into the office to be checked out.

What Could the Pain Mean?

Complications after dental surgery might include infection or dry socket, though the probability of such complications are low.

Dry socket is when the bone has been exposed during surgery, often making recovery uncomfortable and prolonged. Only two to five percent of patients are estimated to experience dry socket following a tooth extraction.

When a tooth extraction is healing properly, a blood clot will form over the socket to protect the bones and nerves underneath. If it heals improperly, the blood clot will either become dislodged or dissolve, thus causing discomfort.

Signs of infection include a fever and/or chills.

Additional Tips in Pain Tolerance

  • Don’t do anything to irritate the area. This include touching the sensitive area with your tongue or fingers. Avoid using a straw.
  • Stay away from hard, crunchy food.
  • Advil is a good idea (it’s an anti-inflammatory). If Advil isn’t a viable option for you, Tylenol works ok as well.
  • Under the description of the Bradford Family Dentistry staff, a possible prescription for pain might be prescribed.

Ask Questions!

If you’re experiencing what you believe to be abnormal pain following a procedure, call our offices today! We always encourage patients to err on the side of safety.

While the topic of pain management is important, know that we do our best to limit the pain to begin with. We care about our patients and we care about their comfort.

At Bradford Family Dentistry, we strive to make that clear in both word and actions.

~Dr. Chai (a.k.a. Dr. Tooth!)

Dr. Tooth


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