A tooth extraction
is generally done after a tleast local anesthesia to minimize pain. Depending on the choice of anesthetic, the number of teeth that require extraction, and your personal pain tolerance, your experience may vary.
If it is a single tooth that needs to be extracted, it may not be very painful. However, the presence of underlying infection, and inflammation, may cause post operative pain. Local anesthetics generally help numb up the area well. Once it begins to wear off, your pain may be better controlled with narcotic pain medication that is generally prescribed anywhere from every 4 to 6 hours depending on your pain level. An ice pack, can help with alleviating some of the swelling that you may have after the procedure.
A cavity is caused due to bacteria. If a cavity is not treated appropriately, one is at risk for progressively worsening pain, worsening signs of infection, a pus filled cavity, called an abscess, and ultimately, tooth loss.
A small cavity is generally treated by removing the diseased part of the tooth, and drilling and placing a filling instead. Extensive tooth damage may require crowns or even a root canal
procedure, if the nerve is damaged.
Ultimately, the earlier the treatment, the less painful it is, and the greater the chance at saving your tooth, and the higher the chance of avoiding complications of infection. You should definitely see a dentist
for further evaluation of your cavity to avoid a complication.