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6 extractions - From suicidal to successful in one day

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Gorbstein

Junior member
Joined
Dec 9, 2010
Messages
5
In complete, utter, desperation I posted the thread here on the support forum on Thursday afternoon. I was right at the very bottom. I even had a total breakdown on Thursday night and became suicidal at the thought of either living with more tooth pain or having to see a dentist. I actually went out the door that night with plans of ending my life.

By the next morning I had painlessly received 6 (complicated) extractions, and was feeling *absolutely fine*.

I hope this can be of some comfort to those who are at the very bottom and can't face the thought of oral surgery to cure their problems.

Here's my story. It's long so bear with me.

In my teenage years I had some very bad experiences with dentists. One dentist repeatedly failed to get me numb during some very deep fillings, and when I was screaming and pleading for him to stop, he refused and claimed I was making it all up. Only when I physically tried to get out of the chair did he agree to top up my local anaesthetic. On one occasion he actually held me down.

I then needed to have both toenails on my big toes removed as they'd become ingrown. I had the same problem. The surgeon didn't give me enough local, and refused to top it up even when I was screaming. The injections were also rushed and painful, I actually passed out as the LA was being administered, due to the pain. By then I had lost all trust in surgeons and doctors to give me any level of care during an operation.

I then had further problems as the ogre dentist previously mentioned had failed to do several fillings properly and had left me with underlying decay which eventually slowly killed two teeth, with excruciatingly painful results.

In my early twenties my wisdom teeth came in, and since I couldn't reach them for cleaning, they slowly and painfully rotted too. But despite suffering four concurrent abcesses, I refused point blank to ever, ever see a dentist again.

Over the years this developed into a very complex and severe phobia of everything clinical. Needles, blood, even seeing someone wearing dental or surgical clothing would send me to the bathroom to be sick.

Then, six years ago one of my upper premolars broke in a cycle accident. It rotted away to nothing more than a foul tasting, excruciatingly painful stump. I could hardly eat.

When the pain became too great I eventually tried to find an NHS dentist to just 'get it over with'. The NHS referred me to a dentist in Dunfermline, and this was the worst thing that could have happened. He was even more of an ogre.. blamed me for all the problems, criticised the state of my teeth, then aggressively poked each one with a DIRTY probe - even the abcessed ones. I actually just walked out, refused to pay him, and told him I was going to report him. I was close to physically assaulting the man, I was so angry. I do NOT know how these people are allowed to practise. They should be in jail.

That was two years ago. Thanks to reading the posts on this forum, I eventually got in touch with Fraser Hendrie of Craigentinny dental practice in Edinburgh. What a difference. This guy is so good that he managed to change my view of dentists in a single visit. Although I couldn't let him treat me, I knew just from his patience and manner that he'd give a whole different level of care.

Fraser appreciated that I'd need some sedation for treatment, and referred me to David Offord of Dunedin Dental Solutions in Edinburgh. David is also a star, and his patience and manner is both reassuring and confidence inspiring. He's so relaxed, and behaves like a true professional.

So, I had the date set for six extractions under IV sedation (3 of which were broken stumps and one was buried in gum). Still, as the date approached I had nightmares every night, and as mentioned, on the eve of the operation I actually had a complete breakdown and refused to go.

Here's how I managed to actually do it.

1) My girlfriend managed to talk me round to taking it in little baby steps. Getting dressed. Having something to eat. Getting into the car. Having the option of escape at ANY point with no pressure at all.

2) Diazepam, and lots of. I was prescribed 2mg by my doctor, but I took 10mg the night before, and another 10mg before setting off in the car. It changed me from a locked up, shivering wreck, to a chilled, happy, and controlled person. I highly recommend it.

3) Having a 5 minute breather before letting anyone touch me. If your dentist doesn't let you have a breather, you need to find someone else.

4) AMETOP numbing cream. I have a mortal fear of needles, and I find injections unbearable. It doesn't help being a redhead with sensitive skin. Every injection I've had in my life has been intolerable. However, David managed to get the IV in without me even noticing. I actually just turned round and it was in. The stuff is that good. I did not even feel any pressure. You can get a tube of it from your pharmacist for a few pounds, and it needs to stay in the fridge. If you need proof, buy two tubes, and use one a couple of days before your operation, just to reassure yourself how deeply numb it makes you.

5) The IV sedation itself. I was utterly sceptical that this was going to work at all, but believe me, it's like magic. One minute my girlfriend was putting an eyemask on me in the dentist's chair. The next thing I remember properly is waking up in my own bed. I don't remember being given the locals. I don't remember a single tooth being pulled. Apparently he had to section a tooth which required a lot of drilling, but despite remembering hearing a drill at one point, I don't remember anything else. I do hazily remember little one second snippets of the operation itself, but no pain whatsoever, and no panic. Take it from an uber-sensitive, uber-phobic. It's MAGICAL.

The way I see it now is this. If you can find a way to get over that IV needle for the sedation, everything else that happens afterwards is irrelevant. Get yourself in the chair. Numb up the injection site. You won't even be able to count to five and it'll be over.

Thank you all, and good luck.

David
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,990
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Congratulations on kicking dental fear into touch :jump::respect::party: - what a quick turnaround. I am so pleased to hear of your first humane dental treatment experience - your past experiences couldn't have been worse from the sound of it and since you were never numb enough, it is not at all surprising that this developed into an avoidance pattern.

One dentist repeatedly failed to get me numb during some very deep fillings, and when I was screaming and pleading for him to stop, he refused and claimed I was making it all up. Only when I physically tried to get out of the chair did he agree to top up my local anaesthetic. On one occasion he actually held me down.
You were very unlucky here - it is extremely unusual for a teenager to be held down - after all it constitutes an assault in UK.

I then needed to have both toenails on my big toes removed as they'd become ingrown. I had the same problem. The surgeon didn't give me enough local, and refused to top it up even when I was screaming. The injections were also rushed and painful, I actually passed out as the LA was being administered, due to the pain. By then I had lost all trust in surgeons and doctors to give me any level of care during an operation.
This is also the worst kind of experience to intensity your needle phobia - when you say surgeon, do you mean in a hospital or a chiropodist?
Years go I had an orthopaedic surgeon (BUPA) remove a toenail for me and the injection was quite bad in the injection-pain scheme of things (nurse gave me her hand to squeeze!) but was done by an anaethetist and I think he had a good technique so I could stand it - think he did the slow fluid thing. I was completely numb (you need two for a toe unfortunately) and so once that was over the rest was fine.
However I have been with my kids at the chiropodist for partial nail removal for the same reason (more than once) and although you can use EMLA, it is one of the very sensitive areas (being an extremity)....however once the needle has been inserted, the operator can stop at any point during the fluid push and when they do there is no pain...also the pain during the fluid push lessens as the toe gradually numbs up anyway. So with these types of injections, unless you breathe nitrous, the best way to cope is EMLA, slow delivery and give the patient control so they can take breaks - makes a massive difference psychologically.
There is apparently a medical version of TheWand (dental) which is supposed to work but no chiropodists seem to have it if you google apart from one in Canada lol - a bit far to go;).

I then had further problems as the ogre dentist previously mentioned had failed to do several fillings properly and had left me with underlying decay which eventually slowly killed two teeth, with excruciatingly painful results.
Yes it's hard to do good quality dental work if you are forcing it on your patient who is not numb :mad:


I actually just walked out, refused to pay him, and told him I was going to report him. I was close to physically assaulting the man, I was so angry. I do NOT know how these people are allowed to practise. They should be in jail.
Only 2 years ago sheesh...kudos to you for asserting your right to better quality care..it takes courage to be assertive in situations like that.

Thanks to reading the posts on this forum, I eventually got in touch with Fraser Hendrie of Craigentinny dental practice in Edinburgh. What a difference. This guy is so good that he managed to change my view of dentists in a single visit. Although I couldn't let him treat me, I knew just from his patience and manner that he'd give a whole different level of care.
What a relief - the first time you met a dental person who understood their proper role. All dentists are not the same as I like to say.


4) AMETOP numbing cream. I have a mortal fear of needles, and I find injections unbearable. It doesn't help being a redhead with sensitive skin. Every injection I've had in my life has been intolerable. However, David managed to get the IV in without me even noticing.
Really pleased you've got this solution for the future, should you need it. Dental injections can also be painless - even if you are a redhead - obviously the method is similar - numbing cream, slow delivery, acupressure/stretching the mucosa etc etc - so at some point in the future you might be able to accept a dental injection without the expensive i/v bit from Fraser maybe. Dental injections done atraumatically can be totally comfortable...unlike toes it seems lol! You wouldn't have to skip the diazepam if you didn't want to though.

Really pleased for you...alas you do sometimes get what you pay for...those NHS practices you encountered were truly among the worst though.
Enjoy the holidays..toothache free.
:party::cheers:
 
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mghstl

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
672
Location
Midwest USA
Your story brings me to tears...a first for me on this website. Your allusion to "throwing in the towel"...I was never quite there, but I remember a few near-miss car accidents and thinking "well, if it had happened, at least I wouldn't have to deal with my teeth anymore". I have a loving family, a wonderful husband, outstanding friends, yet I would have tossed it all in because of my teeth. Grand kudos to you and your girlfriend. I pray with all sincerity that both of your lives are remarkably healthy and happy. You deserve all of the joy this life has to offer you (and, yes, I'm already there!!)
Fabulous holiday wishes!
 
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pollywobble

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
37
Location
Dublin
Gorbstein , i just wanted to thank you for posting this . I am due to get iv sedation on Friday the 17th for 8 extractions . I have been feeling very sceptical that it would work following previous experiences . The nearer the day comes the more sceptical i've become . I feel better now that i've read your account , thanks again ,Polly.:hidesbehindsofa:
 
T

tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
908
Location
US
So happy for you that all went well and that now you have gotten over some of your phobia! Bravo!! :jump:
 
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michiemoo

Well-known member
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
158
Location
Kent, England
i felt tearful reading this, i understand totally how low you felt - its mental isnt it how we compare death to being more tolerable than a dental visit !!
i have (ashamedly) myself wondered if i die at a oyung age it would be better than facing my dental phobia and living the nightmare i do each time i get toothache and have to find the courage to go to the dentist. Had iv sedation myself 6 months ago to have 2 teeth extracted and a filling to my front tooth, and yes it went so well. i dont remember a thing either !just waking up from it all feeling sooooooooooo happy it was done, and i could go home. no pain or memory at all of the procedure, just the needle being inserted, the oral surgeon telling me to think a happy thought - then voila ! i could go home.
so why the hell am i so petrified of going back after xmas to ask for iv sedaiton again to get a troubling widsom tooth removed? also a back upper tooth, its giving me slight trouble but nothing major as yet so wanted to go and have it pulled before i got an abcess. not messing about with a filling, just want it out !

i am so impressed with your courage and extreme self discipline ! i hope i can be as determined as you! xx
 
Lesley

Lesley

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
152
Hi!

Just want to add my congratulations on having your treatment done sucessfully, and you are now in dental health!

Can I just point out however...as you don't mention...but I hope you TOLD your dentist that you had taken 10mg diazepam before your IV appointment?? Especially as you had already taken another 10mg the previous night, and only been prescribed 2mg?

I don't want to sound like a right old moan :D but, having taken both drugs myself, I know that the combination can be quite dangerous, if you take a high dose. Diazepam is known to potentiate midazolam...ie, will heighten and deepen the sedative effect more quickly than midazolam on its own. This can cause problems, most importantly, can suppress the natural breathing function. However, if the dentist knows you have taken Diazepam before the appointment, he can then carefully titrate the IV drug to compensate. Therefore, it's important to tell the dentist - because he won't know what your doctor has given you. My doctor wouldnt even give me a 10mg diazepam before my appointment for this reason!

No wonder you were so 'out of it'!!! :sleep: LOL

I also think Midazolam is magical...and I am sure Gorbstein DID tell his dentist, but please, for anyone reading this...don't take any drugs and not tell your dentist!
 
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ButterfliesInHerEyes

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
154
This gives me hope... thank you.

How did you feel after everything wore off? Pain, bruising, swelling, nausea?
 
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bluemooon

Junior member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
13
Come to Canada and hold my hand next week?
 
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jayjay

Junior member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
13
you are so brave after all you've been through in the past. reading your story is giving me strength to face a dental appointment today. hope your healing up ok :)
 
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