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Big Dental Surgery Coming up!

L

laum1005

Junior member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
Thought I would share a journal of my story to help me get it out as well as maybe help someone else. This site has been so helpful to me. I am a 42 year old female. I had a bad experience with a mean old dentist when I was about 10 years old. He shoved the needle so hard the last time I went to him (kicking and screaming) that I actually bit him. He told My mother to take me and to leave and never come back. So I never did. I haven’t been to the dentist in over 30 years. Besides not going for that long my teeth did not start to get really bad until about 10 years ago when my mother passed. I just stopped caring I guess at that point.
I have all molars on all four corners broken now almost to the gum line. There are also small breaks on a couple of other teeth on the bottom In the backs.
I have never had really bad pain during all this time and I could still eat everything so I just figured no big deal. I still don’t have to go see a dentist. Well all that changed about a month ago while self-quarantining and working from home.
One day the very back of the roof of my mouth was sore for really no reason that I knew of. The next day I had slight tooth pain (nothing severe at all) on the left side of my mouth. Then the next day I woke up and my left cheek was swollen and hot. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t have any tooth pain at all. It was also the time I usually have sinus problems every year. I called a telephone doctor and he told me it could be one of two things. An abscess tooth or sinus pressure causing swelling. Well the thought of an abscess tooth was appalling to me. What was I going to do now? I was prescribed the antibiotics but the pharmacy didn’t have them and I needed to wait until the next day to get them. The swelling actually went down by itself the next day (not completely but quite a bit reduced). I took the antibiotics religiously and told myself that if I got better I would go see a dentist to get checked out. When the medicine was over and I was better I was still putting it off. I had people telling me to do it. One day I just got up my courage and called to make an appointment. This dentist advertises as the no fear dentist with IV sedation. I thought that sounds like for me. Dentist offices in Ohio just opened back up for non emergencies that same week. That is another reason I waited. I didn’t want them to have to use PPE on me that could be used on real emergencies or Covid patients.
I called the dentist and told them that I needed a consultation. I cried through most of the call. This was a Monday and I made the appt for that Friday.
To my surprise I actually went to the appt. I was shaking like a leaf and crying the whole time. They were so nice and welcoming and the office was really nice. I kept going strong through the whole thing. The X-rays and the doctor sticking his hands and instruments inside my mouth. Then the doctor came in with his treatment plan. Cue Jaws music. I thought he was going to say.... nothing can be saved. He didn’t say that. He said I need a deep cleaning something like 10 fillings and 6 extractions. All of the extractions are on the sides of my mouth so can’t be seen when I speak. There is also a 7th extraction that I need which is a front impacted tooth that never made its way down for some reason. I am going to call them back after thinking about it and maybe not have that one removed with the rest at this time. I also have a piece missing from one of my front teeth that has been missing for years. I speak in a way so it doesn’t show. They said they can fix that with filling material also. Phew. That one really drives me crazy.
So I left the office still shaking like a leaf with an appt made for June 1st using IV sedation. I am having the deep cleaning,
Fillings, and extractions all in one session. It will take approximately 3 hours for all of it. I have a friend lined up to drop me off and pick me back up after. I am terrified and I literally can think of nothing else than this since my original appt. I have been consulting the internet way to much and seeing too many horror stories. Then I came across this site and it has actually eased my fears quite a bit. I still do have some major fears that I will describe below if anyone has any comments for any of them.
1. I am also scared of needles so the IV thing will be really scary for me when the needle goes in. My plan is to pinch myself really hard somewhere else while the needle is going in. I know it will still hurt but I have to do it.
2. I am scared of the whole IV sedation thing because I have never even had a surgery before. I don’t go to the regular doctor a lot either. I think I am relatively healthy but I don’t know if I have any underlying conditions since I do not get physicals or anything.
3. I have slightly higher blood pressure than the average person. Will this affect the IV sedation? They told me my heart rate will be regulated by the medications I am under at the time. This still makes me a little nervous since I don’t know what will happen with my blood pressure during this. I have not seen a cardiologist yet but when I take my blood pressure it is always higher than the normal.
4. I am really concerned about the clotting from the extractions. Everything I have read says that they should clot within the first 3-4 hours. What if they don’t for some reason? I have read to use black tea and I already bought black tea bags to try if they don’t clot quickly enough. I hope it works. I am scared to sleep until they clot for fear of losing too much blood and dying in my sleep.
5. I am scared of dry sockets. I bought nicotine patches and my plan is to start using those for a week prior to my surgery. I hope I can do it. I never suck on straws so I am not worried about that one. Because I am a smoker I tend to cough a few times to clear my throat in the mornings. Not sever hard coughing or anything. If I have to cough will that dislodge a clot? Also I don’t sneeze in ones or twos. If I have to sneeze I sneeze about 10 times one after another. Will any sneeze cause a loss to the blood clots? I have been practicing when I sneeze to sneeze more through my mouth than closing my mouth and sneezing just through my nose. Does anyone know anything about the coughing and sneezing stuff?
6. There actually isn’t anything else I can think of right now.
So now I am just waiting until the 1st and driving myself completely crazy at all times. I go to sleep thinking about this and wake up thinking about this. I am sleeping fine but during the day it is like my mind won’t get off of this anticipation and all the worries I have.
I keep telling myself if I don’t do this now I will never do it. I need to reclaim my life. I need to smile and laugh again and not have to worry about hiding my teeth. My breath is atrocious and I can’t stand it anymore. I am really outgoing and have lots of friends. No one has ever commented on my teeth. At least not to me directly. I need to fall in love again and haven’t had to courage to date with my mouth in its current state.
My plan is to let my extractions heal for the next 2-3 months and then to see about getting partial dentures for the gaps. I would not want implants. I have friends that have them and really encouraged me against getting any. Plus they are way too expensive. I also plan to brush in the morning in the evenings before bed and after every meal. I need to keep the rest of my teeth healthy as long as I possibly can. I feel so stupid for having let it get to this point because of my fears surrounding dentists and needles.
Anyway thanks for reading and I will update throughout my journey. Any advice or tips that you can provide to me would be greatly appreciated.
Laura
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
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Minneapolis, MN
Laum1005

Hi Laura, I just first want to say :welcome: and just Wow!! I'm so taken by your bravery in this last dental adventure for you after so many years and your bad experience as a child, really getting up that courage to go in and get this taken care of and facing another dental appt! This is just so huge and I know inspires me along with anyone who will read your testimony!

I'm really glad you were able to go in and get a plan and the news wasn't as bad as you had imagined and you have a plan and he bravery to go forward! And sounds like they were really good to work with !

I don't have alot of answers but maybe some experiences that might be helpful..

1. you mentioned being afraid of needles and worrying about the Iv part of the sedation. My daughter got dental surgery when she was 16 and they put some medicine on her arm which was like a topical anesthetic and she didn't even feel the needle going in. You may want to ask about this. I don't remember the name of the cream but someone may.

2. I know if I'm about to be sedated or get any anesthesia I feel better going for a quick preop exam at my internal med dr. just to get reasurrance . It puts me to ease to hear them say, you don't have to worry, it will be ok.

With the blood pressure again I'd ask your dr if you could but also bring all these concerns again to your dentist before the procedure saying . These are my concerns and give them a chance to reassure you. Whether that is a call or email . I know for me email is less threatening, but.. my dentist is awful at emails so I end up going in and get reassured that way ,he spends the time to answer every question to my satisfaction and reassure me on every point :). I hope you will find what way works best for you and your dentist to make sure you get all your answers so you can be more at peace before you walk into your procedure.

And we are here , we are glad to have you here at DFC its a great source of support! You have come along way already and can't wait to hear how things go along in your journey :grouphug:
 
L

laum1005

Junior member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
Thank you very much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I am about 2 1/2 weeks away now. I would have done it sooner but because of work meetings the first week of June was the first time I can truly take off without worries or missing anything.
I have done a lot of research around the blood pressure question I have and from everything I read I should be fine on the sedation and they will monitor me the whole time. I went to the hospital for severely high bp and they just sent me home without anything. I guess they were not as worried as I was at the time. Stopping smoking will probably lower it some also. I am determined to quit for good this time and this is the time to do it when I can’t smoke anyway.
I will keep updating as things get closer and the recovery afterwards.
Laura
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,059
Hi Laura :welcome:, first of all, congratulations on getting up the courage to see a dentist, well done:welldone:!

As @krlovesherkids777 has mentioned, you can get topical anaesthetic which prevents you from feeling the needle go in. In the UK, Europe and Canada, there's Ametop cream, but I seem to remember that this is not available in the US? (though that might have changed in the meantime - always worth asking a pharmacist!). If not, EMLA cream can be used instead. With Ametop, the cream should be applied 30-45 minutes beforehand, I'm not sure how long beforehand EMLA has to be applied - but I'm sure a pharmacist would know. Obviously, you'd need to find out where to apply the cream :). I'm sure your dental office will be able to help you with this!

You might also be able to find the answers to some of your questions on our IV sedation page:



I also plan to brush in the morning in the evenings before bed and after every meal. I need to keep the rest of my teeth healthy as long as I possibly can.
The advice on looking after teeth (and gums) has changed massively over the last decades, so if you haven't seen a dentist in a long time, you'll probably be in for a surprise... for example, it's no longer recommended to brush your teeth after every meal. You can find lots of tips for looking after your teeth and gums on these pages:

How to prevent gum disease (or stop it from getting worse)

How to prevent tooth decay (or stop it from getting worse)

I hope these links help! Also, please don't fret too much over the potential for complications after extractions - they're actually fairly rare, and most people heal uneventfully.

Wishing you all the best and thank you for sharing your story here :grouphug:
 
L

laum1005

Junior member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
Thanks for all the advice. I know that I can buy numbing cream over the counter in the US. Maybe not the best stuff but anything might help. I am not scared of the needle itself. Just the pain with it really. I had to get over my fear of needles really quickly when I had to give my diabetic dog two shots a day for two years. I am such a baby about pain.
Thanks also for reassuring me for the healing process. The only thing that scares me about this really is what if I have to Cough or sneeze. I am going to follow the instructions to the T and also get ahead of any pain even if I have to set alarms to wake up to take medicine, eat, and salt water rinse.
Laura
 
L

laum1005

Junior member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
Good Update Today:
I have been freaking out about everything since my original appt last Friday so I called today to talk to the office more in depth. I think I was too nervous at the time to ask everything I needed to ask. My impacted tooth is not being removed at all. There are no problems or infections with it. They are not removing any of my full teeth at all. So basically anything that I do not use right now is not being removed, only the already broken ones that I do not use anyway. They said I will not even need to get any partials at this time. I don't need them.
All of the broken teeth that are being extracted are all simple extractions and should be easy to do. I am so relieved that I am not having any full teeth removed at all. I can't believe that after 30 years of not going to the dentist that all I need is a deep cleaning, lots of fillings, broken teeth extractions, and one root canal.
This could have been soooo much worse. I am glad that I decided to take this step and go see the dentist.
I am still going to be very nervous and scared going through with all of it though. I will continue to update with my journey and recovery. I hope that this helps anyone that is scared to go because they are embarrassed or think it has been too long to fix things. Things can always be fixed and if not, then there are ways for people to smile again no matter what.
Right at this moment I am kind of excited. I will have the annoyingness gone from my mouth and not really notice and difference besides being healthier than I felt before all of this.
I need to get on a strict hygeine regime and stick to it (the dentist is going to give me exactly what to do to care for my teeth after surgery).
Thanks for listening to all of my drama. I really feel like getting it all out is helping me so much to realize my dream of smiling again and not being embarrassed.
Laura
 
L

laum1005

Junior member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
5
Location
United States
12 days remaining until the Big Day! I have been trying not to be anxious about it coming up however I am a worrier so it is hard to concentrate on much else. I haven’t really weighed myself in the last couple of months while on lockdown. I weighed myself yesterday just to see and I was down to 118 pounds. I haven’t weighed that since I was a teenager. I have found it difficult to eat lately and I must be associating food with pain. Some people are stress eaters and I am a stress non-eater. I decided that I am going to eat as much as I can stand (within reason) leading up to my surgery. I need my body to be healthy in order to recover. Plus I know that being on a soft food only diet for the foreseeable future will make me lose even more weight. I have to force myself to eat three times a day even if my teeth hurt some when I do. I am committed to this. I cannot let myself wilt away for the next 12 days. I need my body to be healthy and strong.
The good news is that with every passing day I am feeling better about the whole thing. When my teeth hurt I can’t help but ask myself why I made the appt for so far away. Maybe I should have done it sooner to get some relief.
I am still very worried about the normal things like hating the sight of blood and thinking I might have to taste and swallow blood. Having to deal with six different spots. Will I clot fast so I can eat, take my pain medication before numbing wears off so I can sleep. I am still worried about getting dry sockets even with following all the instructions. I am trying not to let my mind drift to the worst case scenarios but it is hard for me not to worry.
Sorry to ramble on just wanted to get some thoughts out. This week has been going alright and I haven’t even needed to take any medications for pain the last couple of days even while or after eating. Next week I will probably start to get really nervous and next week is also when I will go out shopping to make sure I have absolutely everything that I will need. Yesterday the cold/hot head wrap for jaws and cheek pain arrived. I like it and it will make it easier for me to place ice and heat on myself without having to hold something in place on each side of my face.
Some days I think I am ready I can do this and then the next day all the fear and anxiety comes back. My fear of the dentist has more to do with the numbing needles and the sounds not what they are actually doing. With the iv sedation even if I know what’s going on I hope that I can’t hear anything. I think they can basically do anything to me if it doesn’t hurt and I am not afraid. From what I hear I won’t care what is going on so I think that I can handle that. Of course I still hate needles and am scared of pain from needles but I will just have to get over that for a few seconds when the iv needle happens.
Ok sorry so long. Have a great day everyone.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,682
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Minneapolis, MN
Laum1005

sounds like you are in a really good place and really self aware of your anxieties and fears.That is so great. Glad you are processing through here, it really helps to let it out and there are alot who understand and we are here for you. :) Vent as much as you want.. we all do :)...
 
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