Unlike many people who are terrified of being aware during oral surgery, I am terrified of not being aware. Sedation creeps me out. It took me 15 years to work up the nerve to get any of my wisdom teeth removed because I was so scared. When my tooth started bothering me a few months ago, there were a few moments when I felt it'd be easier to die than deal with getting them out.
I also used to be afraid of locals - scared of side effects - so I had many fillings done with NOTHING. I am ok with locals now.
So, anyway the surgery. I'm 30. I was getting 1 erupted upper and 1 impacted lower (partial bony) removed. I took 1mg Ativan beforehand so I could get to my appointment because I was *freaking out.* My (amazingly kind and compassionate) oral surgeon and I agreed to a very light dose of Versed. I'm not afraid of IVs or needles at all, but I can tell you that all I felt when the needle was inserted was a quick little pinch. Nothing bothersome to me. He injected 1mg Versed, and nothing else was used in my IV except a dose of amoxicillin. I didn't use any nitrous. I was alert and aware the entire time but relaxed. Just how I wanted it. Before he started the surgery he put in another 1.5mg Versed.
The surgery itself was awesome. The Versed relaxed me so I was able to just enjoy the experience. First he gave me a shot of epinephrine-free carbocaine on the upper gum and cheek and then the lower. Like I said, I have no fear of needles so the tiny pinch didn't bother me a bit.
The upper tooth came out in a minute or less - I felt nothing. He pretty much just pulled it right out. The lower required an incision which I didn't feel, and a bit of bone removal. I suppose the drill was a bit loud, but it certainly didn't upset me a bit and it was totally painless. Bit of painless yanking, tooth popped out. I got two stitches over the lower site. I found it all completely painless. They gave me my teeth to keep after.
I spent years absolutely terrified of getting my wisdom teeth out, but due to the magic of Versed and local anesthesia, it was absolutely nothing and while in the recovery room I texted to my mother that the experience had been "awesome." Imagine that!
Left for home with my family, after I'd rested 15 minutes or so.
My tips: Wear cargo pants to surgery so you can put an iPod in one of the side pockets and listen to relaxation music/nature sounds. Also, if you are afraid of dry socket, buy the "Red Cross Toothache Kit" from any drug store. It contains clove oil packing, which is what oral surgeon use to pack dry sockets. From all accounts I read online, it provides INSTANT pain relief, so it gives me peace of mind to have it on hand.
Update regarding recovery: I had very little pain the first two days, and ibuprofen and tylenol were more than adequate to cover it. Day three and four were a little rougher, as warned by my surgeon, with soreness, pain in adjacent teeth, and a very stiff jaw. However, at no point did I feel any need to take anything other than OTC pain relievers. On day 9 the pain dramatically receded. After that I was annoyed by the huge holes in my mouth but not in any pain. At no point was the pain severe; only annoying or bothersome at most.
Edit 2: At three weeks I started to feel a sharp stabby pain in the gum around my lower socket. It was probably more intense than the original surgical pain. It hurt even to move my cheek. Finally I looked in there with a flashlight and saw a leftover, very sharp, bone shard working its way out of the gum. I pulled it out with tweezers. Sweet relief! Apparently this is a fairly common occurrence and once I got it out I was just fine
Edit 3: At week 5 I noticed two more small bone shards emerging around the socket and pulled them out with tweezers. These ones didn't hurt though. The socket itself is filling in nicely though a hole remains and there is no pain left.
Overall the surgery was a total snap, and recovery was not fun but not miserable.
Hope this helps someone. It helped me to read all your stories beforehand