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What can I Expect from a Molar Extraction?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Going to a dentist for a molar extraction can be frightening, especially if you don't know what to expect. Typically, you can expect to lie on your back in a dentist's chair for the duration of the extraction, keeping your mouth open most of the time. You will probably not feel pain during the procedure since your mouth will be numb, but you may feel soreness afterward. You may, however, note a tugging pressure as your dentist works to remove the tooth.

For a molar extraction, you can typically expect to recline on your back in a dentist's chair with your mouth open until the dentist successfully removes the tooth. This may prove difficult for you if you have difficulty keeping still for significant periods of time or have back pain that makes lying on your back uncomfortable. In either of these cases, you may do well to inform your dentist of your concerns before the procedure, so he can take steps to make you as comfortable as possible.

Many people fear going to the dentist and having teeth extracted because they expect pain during the process. In most cases, however, dentists inject local anesthesia into a patient's gum tissue before pulling a tooth. This means you may feel pressure during the procedure but are unlikely to feel any real pain. Some dentists even use numbing gel on the gum tissue before they administer the local anesthetic. If your doctor does so, you may not even feel the minor pinch of the needle.

Feeling a bit of tugging or mild pressure is normal during a molar extraction. Unlike with other teeth, molars are often a bit more difficult to extract from the gums. As such, you may feel tugging and pressure as your doctor works the tooth out of your gum. This is typically painless but can be a bit frightening, especially if this is your first extraction. Your dentist will likely explain what he is doing and work to help you remain relaxed during the procedure.

It is also useful to know what to expect after a molar extraction. Once the numbing agent you received during the procedure wears off, you will likely start to experience some discomfort in the area. Some people describe this discomfort as soreness or tenderness, though others may experience outright pain. You can usually handle this by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If your dentist suspects that you will experience anything more than mild-to-moderate pain after a molar extraction, he may prescribe a prescription pain reliever instead.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon946475 — On Apr 20, 2014

I had two lower premolars out and a back molar five days ago. I have been in pain since the nova cane wore off. I have a golf ball-sized jaw and a swollen cheek.

The dentist used the tool that loosens the tooth before pulling it. I blame this tool for all the pain I am suffering now, No pain killers work for more than an hour.

I do not have dry socket, but I can see what looks like white bone where my back molar was.

By anon936751 — On Mar 02, 2014

By the eye?

By anon268641 — On May 15, 2012

There is sometimes extreme pressure to remove a molar. It happened to me, so relax as much as you can, divert your attention to something else and it will go easier. He/she will also have to break the root of the tooth if it doesn't release easily from the jaw. It won't take long.

Upper teeth sometimes have a long root extending near the eye which is also painful. Again divert your attention so its easier to bear.

It doesn't take long to extract a tooth except wisdom teeth. Also, holding on to the arms of the chair tight helps to cope with the stress. The dentist or surgeon will help you relax by talking throughout the procedure.

If the pain gets too much, raise your hand to get his or her attention. It works and he will give more to numb you so you can bear it easier.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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