Pain After Dental Procedures - What to Expect
Most dental procedures are relatively pain-free. However, many patients are worried about the pain that might follow after a dental procedure. But when the dental procedure is done right, you should experience minimal pain. At best, you should feel some slight discomfort and soreness. But even though severe pain isn’t one of the outcomes of dental procedures, some patients may experience some pain for various reasons. Below is what you should expect after the most common dental procedures.
Pain after a dental crown procedure – what is the cause?
It is rare to experience pain once a crown has been installed. However, from time to time, patients experience some pain. If you feel pressure, discomfort or pain, you should consult your dentist.
Some of the causes of dental pain may include;
- Open crown margins, which create sensitivity
- Bite requiring some adjustments, especially if you grind down on your teeth
- Some nerve reaction if you had deep tooth decay
The pain is easily corrected by adjusting the bite or looking into a possible infection or nerve problem (1). In certain cases, root canal treatment may be required.
How to ease the pain
Sensitivity usually settles on its own in a few days, however using toothpaste or gel that targets sensitivity will help the symptoms subside more quickly. Tenderness on biting is often caused by a high spot on your crown and this settles on its own soon after the bite is adjusted by your dentist. In the case of nerve inflammation, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication may be required, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Find out more about our dental crown treatment procedure.
What to expect during the first week after getting braces?
Immediately after the dentist finishes the procedure, you will feel uncomfortable as the braces rub against the insides of your mouth. However, the wires shouldn’t feel sharp against the inside of the cheek. If they are, point it out to the dentist to have them adjusted. Aside from that, the wires may scrape your tongue as you get used to having them in your mouth.
Some people experience pain and generalized soreness around teeth and gums for the first few days after fitting or adjustment of your braces, but that is just the teeth slowly moving into perfect alignment for a great smile.
Easing the pain
Ensure that you use the dental wax provided by the dentist over your braces to prevent the irritation on the lips and inner cheeks. You can also take pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. To relieve soreness, rinse the mouth with saline water (2)
Find out more about our dental braces treatment procedure.
Possible causes of pain after bridge installation
After the installation of dental bridges, you might experience some discomfort and mild pain. The causes of the pain vary, but generally, it could be as a result of;
- The bite being a little too high
- Nerve inflammation
How to handle the pain
The pain usually subsides after a week. For sensitivity, you can avoid taking food that is either too hot or too cold. Room temperature food is fine for the first couple of weeks. Also, some pain medication will help. However, if it’s because of the bite being too high, you might need some corrections done.
Find out more about our dental bridges treatment procedure.
Discomfort after Dental implant surgery
Discomfort or mild pain may be experienced after implant surgery, depending on the number of implants placed and possibly also on any ancillary procedures carried out at the same time, for example, bone grafting procedures.
The following are the typical types of temporary discomforts you may experience after dental implant surgery;
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Pain at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
Paracetamol or NSAID medication, such as ibuprofen, would be indicated in these cases.
Find out more about our dental implant treatment procedure.
What causes denture pain?
It’s rare, but some people are allergic to plastic and resin or sometimes metal used in dentures. In this case, alternative material can be used.
The natural teeth are usually anchored to your jaws. As such, when you bite down, the jaw supports the pressure. But it’s different with dentures. It takes a bit of getting used to. However, the mild pain is usually temporary.
This happens with both new and old dentures. In both cases, the soft gum tissue is affected, and an adjustment is necessary.
Poor oral hygiene
It is important to remove the dentures every night, brush the gums regularly and have regular dentist visits. Failing to do so may result in fungal infections.
Tips for treating denture discomfort
Below are some things to try when you experience denture pain:
- Topical cream or gel – there are specific creams made specifically for soreness and pain relief on the gums
- Salt – remove the dentures and rinse your mouth with salty water for 30 seconds to reduce inflammation.
- Aloe Vera gel – apply this gel to your dentures twice a day to help in soothing and preventing gum irritation
- Massage the gums – massage the gums regularly to encourage blood circulation and to ease swelling
- Pain relief medication – use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to ease the mild pain
- Remove the dentures overnight – this will provide time for the gums to relax from the pressure exerted during the day
- Denture adhesive – the adhesive will help to keep the dentures in place and protect the soft tissues. Sliding dentures cause irritations and sore gums.
Find out more about our dental dentures treatment here.
How long should it hurt after a tooth extraction?
It’s normal to experience discomfort, pain, and soreness after tooth extraction. You might also experience some swelling. However, the discomfort and mild pain should subside in a few days (usually between 2-3 days).
When to call a dentist
If the pain increases after a few days, you should see your dentist ASAP. The dentist will rule out any chances of an infection or a dry socket (this happens when the blood clot breaks down early leaving the underlying bone exposed).
What to do following an extraction to ease the pain
- Take the prescribed painkillers
- Have an ice bag on the affected area at all times at 10 minutes intervals
- Rest for 24 hours after the operation
- Do not dislodge the blood clot. Also, don’t use a straw, spit or rinse during the first 24 hours
- Avoid smoking
- When sleeping, you should prop your head on pillows. Lying flat could cause some pain and extend the healing period
- In case of a dry socket, a specific dressing can be placed inside the socket by your dentist to aid healing and reduce pain.
Find out more about our tooth extraction treatment procedure.
Why do I still have pain weeks after my root canal?
A successful root canal has mild pain that can last for a couple of days. However, the pain is temporary and eases with good oral hygiene.
Possible causes of root canal pain include;
- Missed canal
- High bite on crowns
- Sodium hypochlorite leak
- Infected root canal (3)
- Cement, or air forced through the root tip
- Infection to the bone
- Inaccessible accessory canals
When to seek help
You should seek help if the pain is severe or lasts for more than three days
Managing root canal pain
Over-the-counter pain relievers should work fine to relieve your pain. Also, you need to avoid chewing or biting down on the tooth until the final restoration is done and the tooth settles.
Find out more about our root canal treatment procedure.
How long does the pain last after veneers?
After the veneers have been installed, you don’t feel any pain. However, there is some mild pain experienced during the shaving and molding of the veneers and can last for a few days.
How can I control my pain after getting dental veneers?
Taking OTC pain medication such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol should work just fine.
Find out more about our dental veneer treatment procedure.
With dental procedures, you can expect to feel some mild discomfort or pain during and after the process. However, the pain associated with the above procedures is often temporary unless some complications arise, which is quite rare.
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