Many patients avoid going to the dentist due to fear of pain. If you need a tooth extraction, you may be experiencing a lot of anxiety. We’ve got some good news: it isn’t nearly as bad as you’d think!

While getting your tooth pulled can be uncomfortable, your dentist will usually give you local anesthesia to make the procedure as painless as possible. To learn more about making pain more manageable during and after tooth extraction, use this article as your guide.

What Are the Common Types of Anesthesia Used during the Procedure?

  • Local anesthesia

Your dentist may use one or more types of anesthesia depending on the complexity of your tooth extraction and your comfort level. Local anesthesia is usually used for a simple extraction, meaning you will be awake during the entire procedure. 

When this type of anesthesia is used, a numbing substance will be applied to your gums and a local anesthetic will be injected near the site of extraction. You might still feel pressure and movement afterward, but you won’t experience any pain or sharpness.

  • General anesthesia

General anesthesia is used for more intensive procedures, such as dental implant placement, impacted wisdom tooth removal, or any more complicated oral surgical procedure. You will be completely unconscious throughout the procedure.

This type of anesthesia is administered by inhalation through your nose, by intravenous (IV) line in your arm, or both at the same time. Your vital signs, such as your breathing, temperature, and blood pressure, will be monitored during the treatment, and you shouldn’t feel any pain or have any memory of the procedure when general anesthesia is used.

  • Sedation anesthesia

If you are undergoing more complicated extractions, you might be offered sedation anesthesia depending on the complexity of your procedure and your anxiety. It works by suppressing your consciousness.

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas helps you during the procedure by offering minimal sedation. On the other hand, a pill or tablet could offer you conscious sedation. While you will still be fully awake during the procedure, you will feel more comfortable, relaxed, and drowsy.

How Do I Deal with Pain After a Tooth Extraction?

You will most likely experience discomfort or tenderness at the site of extraction for 1 to 3 days. If you head to our dental clinic, one of our dentists in Chattanooga may recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help you deal with pain and manage your discomfort after tooth extraction. You may be prescribed more powerful pain medication if your procedure was complex.

Aside from taking your prescribed medication, some self-care methods you should take to assist you in pain management are resting, eating soft, cool foods, placing an ice pack on your cheek, using a warm compress, propping your head up with a pillow when lying down, and rinsing your mouth with saltwater a day after your procedure.


Experiencing pain, discomfort, and anxiety during and after your tooth extraction is understandably normal. However, you can eliminate pain and have a generally painless procedure by letting your dentist use the right anesthesia for you. Make sure to also follow the after-care instructions to deal with tenderness and swelling more effectively. Finally, reach out only to reliable professionals like our family dentists in Chattanooga for your dental needs.

Here at Shallowford Family Dental in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we specialize in tooth extractions, root canals, dental implants, and more. Book an appointment now!

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