Fotolia_13918662_XS-200x300Being a dentist a question we get quite frequently is: Is this going to hurt? So that brings me to today’s topic: What to expect from your dental visit. One thing to mention is that in dentistry each individuals experience is different. Just as every person is different we find that every procedure is different. And, quite simply the only time you can consider a dental procedure as having been routine when you have looked at it retrospectively and decided that it had gone routinely.  That being said, following is a list of the average experiences of patients for the most common procedures performed in the dental office.

  • Regular Hygiene/ Cleanings : Regular 6 month recall appointments should be pain free during the procedure as well as after. However, you may experience sensitivity during treatment or soreness afterwards if you:  normally experience hot or cold sensitivity, have not had a cleaning in a while or have deep or inflamed periodontal pocketing. For many patients who experience the aforementioned things, as practitioners, we may recommend they be numb for their cleaning appointments to avoid discomfort during the cleaning.
  • Fillings and Crown/Bridge: During these appointments you should feel little to no pain once sufficiently numb. Local anesthesia will block any hot, cold or pain sensations, however it will not block the feeling of pressure in the area. After your appointment some may experience hot or cold sensitivity, this does not always happen however it is a risk and typically can last for up to a week or two.
  • Root Canal Treatment:  Your reaction to this procedure is dependent on the status of the nerve prior to treatment. Teeth that are infected or already in the midst of a toothache may have more difficulty achieving profound anesthesia. However, most patients do not have this experience. Once the area is sufficiently numb, similar to a filling, you should just feel pressure. Afterwards the tooth will normally experience a sore almost bruised feeling for about 5-7 days.
  • Extractions and Implant Placement: This procedure, once numb, you will feel pressure and an intense squeezing sensation. The pressure usually is felt throughout the whole quadrant of the mouth that is being worked on. However, you should not feel any sharpness or pain. Afterwards, you should feel sore in the area for about 5-10 days.
So, long story short, you should not feel pain during your dental appointments. With the array of great local anesthetics available you should be able to complete a multitude of procedures pain free. With some procedures sensitivity and soreness is to be expected. However, soreness is normally likened to a dull bruised feeling. And, remember you should always feel comfortable asking your dentist what their expectations are for your visit, during and after.]]>

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