Extractions are easier than pulling teeth
The phrase "It was like pulling teeth" usually means that something is very difficult. Lots of people are worried about getting a tooth extracted. They usually think that they will have to go to sleep or that it is very difficult.
This is just not the case for almost every extraction that we do. A little numbing, a push, a squeeze, and you are done in a few minutes.
Sedation is an option for the faint of heart, but most do not need it. Often we amaze the little ones when we take the tooth out “magically” with a magic mirror and sleight of hand because they do not know the tooth was already pulled out. See our section on sedation for more information.
Today a girl from Gladstone needed several teeth out for her braces. After rubbing her gums with a powerful anesthetic gel, the shot was so comfortable that she did not know what I was doing. Once the anesthetic was working well, we discussed the difference between a push and a pinch and explained how teeth are connected to ears through the jaw bone so touching teeth is louder than normal. The gums were gently pushed away from the tooth and then the tooth is rocked back and forth. Shaking her whole head a little bit helped distract her from the sensation of firm pressure. Once the tooth was out, a gauze pad stopped the bleeding. And a prize brought out a smile. She was surprised to learn that the teeth were out – she did not even know!
This story demonstrates how young kids often worry about the numb feeling or they confuse pressure with pain. Explanations of what to expect using carefully chosen words make kids much more comfortable. We joke with the children that it was "Like pulling teeth - very easy!"