How much does dental surgery really hurt?

If you have a dental procedure coming up you might be wondering if there is any pain involved. In this post, our Calgary dental team shares the after-effects of dental surgery and what you can do to manage any discomfort. 

What is dental surgery?

Dental surgery, or 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. At Market Mall Dental Care, we take a preventive approach to dental treatment and always use the least invasive treatment possible for a given dental issue.

However, in some situations, dental surgery may be required to correct an issue and restore your oral health. 

Here are some common types of oral surgery:

Will I feel 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 alleviate any pain and aid your recovery.

During Surgery

The following methods may be used to help you stay pain-free during the procedure:

Nitrous Oxide

This gas is inhaled through the mouth and nose. It will help calm you, reduce gag reflex, decrease anxiety and make 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 limited memory of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe oral sedatives in liquid or pill form for more complicated surgeries. You’ll take this medication orally before the dental procedure for a calming, relaxing effect.

Local Anesthesia

When local anesthesia is used, it is applied via injection into your gums around the area in which the procedure will be taking place. The initial injection creates a small pinching sensation that fades quickly as the numbing sensation takes effect. 

With a local anesthetic, you should not feel any pain or sharpness but 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.

After Surgery

Your dentist may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), to help manage any post-operative pain or discomfort.

If you had a complex surgery involving the bones and gums your dentist may prescribe you a stronger pain reliever. 

How can I manage pain?

After dental surgery, follow your dentist’s post-operative self-care recommendations. These might include:

  • Get lots of rest - no 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 (to avoid shocking any sensitive nerves)
  • Use warm compresses
  • Rinse with saltwater starting 24 hours after surgery

Though there may be pain involved with your dental surgery, your dentist or oral surgery can help manage pain with sedatives and local anesthesia during the surgery.

Following your procedure, prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs may be recommended to help manage postoperative pain or discomfort. Though your recovery timeline will vary depending on the surgery, most tenderness and discomfort from minor oral surgery fade within a few days. 

Are you concerned about pain or side effects from an upcoming dental surgery at Market Mall Dental Care? Our Calgary dentists can address any questions and concerns you may have. Contact us today.

Your full service Calgary dental team, conveniently located at Market Mall. 

We strive to always provide you with the best service possible to keep your smile healthy. Whether you require a simple cleaning or a more complex treatment, we're here for you. 


Questions? We're happy to help!

Contact our team via phone, online chat or by filling out a form. We will do our best to get you the information you need.

Feeling Anxious? Don't Worry!

We work with you to ensure you understand your treatment. We also offer sedation services to ease your nerves.

Welcoming new patients to join us.

Our team of general dentists and dental professionals are currently accepting new patients to join our dental family. 

Contact us now!

A member of our team will get back to you within 48 hours* with a response. 

(403) 288-5500