• Dental Phobia Support

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Appointment tomorrow!! Super scared, feel like I'm gonna puke :(

Anxious Kitty

Anxious Kitty

Jul 28, 2016
Hey if you look at my post history, you can see my full story. Basically I've struggled with severe dental phobia for over 10 years after I passed out following a tooth extraction when I was a kid.

I have a lot of dental issues as a result of avoiding the dentist and not always taking good care of my teeth. I have so many cavities and need a lot of fillings and 8 extractions (3 wisdom teeth, 4 cavities, and 1 "unnecessary" but healthy tooth).

Back in November, I finally took the first step to getting my treatment done and overcoming my phobia. But it was just 3 fillings. This did boost my confidence quite a bit as the injection is a huge part of my fear and I managed to get past that.

However, tomorrow morning, I'm getting the first of my extractions done! They are pulling my upper-right wisdom tooth - which is fully erupted - and an upper-right molar that decayed to the gumline. They are also going to do an extensive filling (or root canal?) on the upper-right molar that is between these two teeth.

I'm very very scared because of my traumatic experience with having an extraction in the past. I've also, stupidly, read all sorts of scary stuff about extractions online. About people dying from them and such. Particularly in regards to INFECTED TEETH which I'm pretty sure the bad upper-right cavity they're pulling is!! :( I have 3 other teeth in the same condition - badly decayed and probably chronically infected.

I am just so afraid because of how long the tooth has been this way. I'm afraid something will go horribly wrong during or after. What if they have to scrape infection off my jaw? What if I pass out? What if the infection spreads through my body after the tooth is pulled and puts me in ICU or kills me???

I'm also scared about having a wisdom tooth pulled!! Like I said, its fully erupted which I've heard is the same as removing a normal molar... but I'm still scared and unsure what to expect. Will I need stitches and stuff? Will the healing be as bad as having an impacted wisdom tooth removed?

My regular dentist is doing everything, not an oral surgeon. I asked if he could do it since I'm comfortable with him and he said he could. So I guess none of it is anything so complicated that I needed to be referred to an oral surgeon...

I'm also not having any sedation. IV sedation increases my fear (don't like being knocked out) and the nitrous stuff made me feel weird/uncomfortable. I will be taking about 1-1.5mg of xanax and the dentist usually gives me an ice pack to keep on my forehead and a blanket to elevate my feet to help prevent me from having a vasovagal reaction and passing out. This is what I've found works best for me.

Has anyone else had a long-term infected tooth pulled? How did it go? Is it safe and will I be ok?
What about pulling a tooth that's decayed all the way to the gumline? Will it be easier or harder to remove?
And how does extracting a fully erupted wisdom tooth go? Is it really like a regular extraction?
Can anyone tell me how long each extraction may take?

I really need some words of comfort and encouragement right now, please. :(
Okay, scare stories on the internet are just that - scare stories. They are not at all indications of what's likely to happen. I had all of my teeth extracted, most of which were really badly decayed and/or broken down to the gumline, and I'd had on and off infections for years beforehand. But it was fine. And you will be too. An erupted wisdom is much easier to remove and will be fine.

Extractions are quicker than fillings, sometimes they take like 5 minutes! They feel a little forceful, but should definitely not be painful.

I can't stress how rare it is to have a life-threatening infection. It's *so* rare. Deadly complications from tooth extractions is just as rare. People get decayed teeth extracted in their masses every single day. You will be fine, I promise.
Everything will be fine I guarantee you. I've had 4 broken and infected teeth extracted over the last 5 months. No antibiotics before nor after. Tooth gone = infection gone. All the best for tomorrow.
I've only had one extraction so not as qualified to conment as some - however it was a broken tooth with a crown that had leaked and it was very badly infected - dentist described it as chronic and it had spread way into the gum. It smelt dreadful, tasted bad and the gum was discoloured, oozing pus etc. Sorry to be so detailed!

Anyway, the extraction was really quick and simple. It was actually far easier for me than the fillings I've had done. It was painless and it healed quickly. The infection was gone, the gum healed up and is now healthy again. It was such a relief to get the thing out of my mouth, to be honest.

Don't read scare stories any more - just read posts on here from many many people who've been through it. You'll be okay. I'm not making light of the fear (I had to have a sedative to deal with mine) but what you imagine is usually worse. Plus we spend hours and days imagining the worst case scenario and even a long appointment doesn't go on for days! You'll feel relief when it's done and can work on getting your mouth healthy again. It's not too late. Hugs.
It's also good to mention that if the dentist was worried about any infection that he thought an extraction wouldn't take care of, he will put you on a round of antibiotics. Some dentists prescribe them just in case as well.
I've actually just had an extraction + implant surgery this past Friday and I'm on amoxicillin for a week as a preventative measure. So I think that's an unnecessary fear you don't have to worry about. Just remember, the internet is FILLED with horror stories.

Though I just tried I.V sedation for the first time for my procedure and it was GREAT lol. Maybe it will help you to know that it doesn't actually knock you out? You are able to talk, respond to instructions. During my surgery I was able to tell them that I was feeling something so they could give me another blast of freezing. The only thing it does is work like Xanax x 100. I mean, if you want NO anxiety, that is the way to go. The reason it feels like you can be "knocked out" is because there is a retrograde amnesia effect. So you don't remember what you went through.
I find that to be a MASSIVE perk lol.
And I was talking and everything. They took my partner back to the room after I was done and I was having a conversation but i don't remember it now lol.

Good luck honey! You will be ok!
Hey folks, I figured I'd update as I just got back from the dentist & am home safe and sound! :)

First of all, I want to thank everyone that replied. Your words were very helpful and encouraging!!

So obviously I was a nervous wreck the whole morning til my Xanax kicked in by the time I got there. Still felt nervous and scared a lot, but that stuff helps tremendously and I definitely plan to use it for all my appointments!

We talked for a bit and they got me all comfy with my ice pack and my legs elevated. I got my sunglasses ready to block out the annoying lights and put in my hearbuds with some music. This helped sooo much as far as keeping me distracted.

They got me all numbed up. The injections were a bit worse than last time as I needed more of them and one in the roof of my mouth which was the worst. I still did fine though!

Then after I was good and numb, they did the extractions and it really was pretty quick and simple. I couldnt even tell which tooth they were working on and it was all over pretty soon. I'd say 3-5 mins per tooth! The worst part was just the pressure I felt during it. It didn't hurt but it's a bit unsettling. Nothing I couldnt deal with though and thankfully my music kept me pretty distracted.

Pretty soon, after going over care instructions and such, my dad helped me out to the car and I was good to go. Now I am chilling in bed with some soup and a smoothie. :)

One thing: they were not able to do the filling on the third tooth as it had gotten worse BUT they can still save it with a root canal thankfully. They didn't want to do it today so it'll probably be in another week or so. I am not terribly concerned as I've heard those are not much worse than a filling. I am just relieved they can save the tooth but will have to continue watching it til then.

I think I'm happy to say that I've found a method that works for me. I still don't really want to do IV sedation as the whole idea just causes more anxiety for me. I don't like the idea of not remembering for some reason. It sounds far too close to passing out which is one of my worst fears. I don't feel I need it anyway. Thank you for the suggestion though!

But on that note, I did not pass out today and it feels great!! I really feel that I'm on the right track to overcoming this phobia now and feel so much more confident in getting the rest of my work done. I think I may always have some fear of the dentist and will need to take precautions but as long as I've found a system that works for me to get me in and out of that dentist chair, then that's enough for me.

Really, the anxiety IS the worst part. I feel so much better now that it is done. Ready to face the rest of my work and am looking forward to having nice, healthy teeth at last. :)
Very well done!!! Do you have much more treatment left other than the root canal.
Unfortunately, yes. Besides the root canal, I need 3 more bad teeth out, 2 more wizzies (fully erupted thankfully), and one healthy but "useless" tooth (my mouth didn't have enough room for it).

I also need quite a few fillings but most are small and easy. Hoping to get the everything done in roughly ~5 more appintments.

Than maybe I can finally look into getting them straightened. :) My teeth arent horribly crooked, I mainly just need my two front teeth and a canine pushed back.

In any case, I feel much more ready to tackle what's left!!
Thanks for your story! I am going to the dentist next week. I've been living with an infected tooth/tooth decay on a back molar for 10 years. I'm insanely nervous too but your comments have been so helpful.