• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

D-day Quickly Approaching

P

powerwus

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
So, after three cancellations due to Covid 19, my appointment to remove my upper right first molar is set for Friday, June 12th. Just typing that sends shivers of anxiety through my chest.
This is my first adult tooth extraction, brought about by a root canal that served me faithfully for 18 years. An infection in late February-early March set things in motion for extraction. The Endodontist took less than 2 minute to declare the tooth incapable of further treatment (it had been re root canalled six years previous, and I have bad gum recession and some bone loss) and extraction was recommended.
Part of me wants to just keep the tooth. There has been no infection flare up since the one that triggered this whole series of events, no pain. Another part of me realizes that should such another flare up inevitably occur that some health dangers open up far more serious than tooth and mouth discomfort.
My wife, she tries to be supportive but sees this as "just a tooth" and not a tooth anyone can see so why worry? a couple of days of some discomfort and eating soft foods and all will be well. I worry about the two adjacent teeth and how they will react to the removal of their comrade. I worry about how this might affect my appearance. The deeper seeded revelation is that this is a sign of my soon to be fifty body's decline, a further sign of my mortality.
I can't lie, I have contemplated cancelling the appointment but that just kicks the problem further down the road,and isn't the wisest course of action should the infection return with a vengeance. I do sometimes wish the tooth WOULD be in pain to remind me that yeah, the fucker's gotta come out.
I don't know. I need to keep the anxiety at bay until Friday, and I also need to just go in and lose a part of me I've had for forty years. As far as replacement goes I doubt my gum recession and bone loss makes me a candidate for implant and well, it is very cost prohibitive even on a payment plan (which in the Covid era would be a difficult thing to set up.) Also I will be fifty in July. It's not an impending death sentence but I worry how many years I would get out of say an implant that would take a year minimum to get done.
Needless to say, I am a budle of mixed emotions.
 
Last edited:
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,582
Location
United States
Hi powerwus,
I remember you from your previous posts and your feelings are valid. All of the cancellations from COVID certainly are not helping matters from an anxiety point of view. It sounds like you probably have gotten as much use out of that tooth as you can with having a prior RCT and re-treat on it already. Root canaled teeth are actually dead so it is understandable that the tooth would not be causing you pain. I can understand the conflict with removing a tooth that seems fine right now but it is much easier to extract a tooth thats not dealing with infection and puts you in a better position from a healing/recovery stand point. I don’t think this is necessarily a sign of your mortality...people lose teeth at all ages for all kinds of reasons. It is hard when family and friends are not supportive or don’t understand your fear..luckily you can come on here and share as much as you need too. Being the first molar, I believe something will need to take it’s place so that the other teeth do not shift around but a bridge is also an option if you don’t feel like an implant is the right choice. Best of luck for Friday!
 
P

powerwus

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
So here we are, the day before my extraction. I am freaking out, mainly by my gum recession on the surrounding teeth. I am worried that a bridge may not be a feasible option because of the recession (though it didn't stop them putting a crown on the root canalled tooth that now needs removal), so my options seem limited. My wife continues to emphasize to me "Its JUST a TOOTH!" My "gappy" co workers equally brush off my concerns. None of them have replaced their missing teeth and thus far it hasn't overtly affected them.
No one seems to understand my fears/concerns. Like I know it isn't the end of the world. It's not losing an arm or leg or a major serious surgery. Still it won't leave my thoughts.
This pandemic couldn't have come at a worse time. Offices are not working at normal capacity and that means that even if I am a bridge candidate (or candidate for anything), who knows when I will be seen? I am assuming there is a healing period that must follow the extraction before any bridge repair can begin. How long is that? Will I be able to wear my nightguard shortly after extraction or is it useless now? Dr. Google has been no help at all and in fact has likely made my anxiety worse, and as always leaves more questions than answers.
It's a first molar, so back of mouth. Appearances of the possible bridge aren't that important, so maybe the gum recession is not an issue? I don't know. All i do know is I will be a bundle of nerves tomorrow, Hell I have to get through six hours of work before my appointment which ought to be fun.
So I wait.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,170
Best of luck for your appointment :grouphug: !!

Hopefully you'll be able to ask your dentist all the questions you have about replacing the tooth. By the way, 50 is very young these days, and I think I read somewhere that the average age of dental implant patients was 52 (in one study, anyway - but it seems plausible). It's not at all uncommon for people in their 80s to get implants nowadays!

All the best and keep us posted!
 
P

powerwus

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
So today is the day. Right now I am strangely calm about it, maybe a little undercurrent of nervousness but not enough to really distract me.
I chose to come into work for about six hours. My appointment is for 12:40pm Eastern time, and judging from what I've seen of the Dental Office the past few days, I may be the only patient in building at the appointed time. I am curious to see how Covid will have changed the practice. I've already been told to wait outside in my vehicle, where someone will come to greet me with paperwork to fill out. I am to be masked, and will be called in when they are ready for me.
My wife will be waiting in the van while I am in the office. I am hoping that music will be allowed as I have read that root canalled teeth usually are taken out in pieces root by root, though who knows, with my bone loss/gum recession maybe a quick tug will all that will be needed.
I have questions, mainly regarding my nightguard. Will I still be able to wear it or will I need to have a new one made (I am assuming at some point a new one will need to be made but am hoping I can still get some use from my current one) Will I need to discuss replacement options then or can that wait until I see my General?
I have been getting reassurance and support from friends on Facebook and from co workers who know about the extraction.
I think my major concerns are pain, recovery time and replacement options, though like I said, the latter may be something best discussed with my regular Dentist.
I wish I'd been able to get in a cleaning before this procedure, but my early May appointment was cancelled due to Covid and isn't happening now until August.
Hopefully it all goes well.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,736
Hi powerwus,

keeping my fingers tightly crossed for everything to go well. Glad you feel calm today and hope that the fact that you might be the only patient at the time of your procedure will contribute to your calmness too. I was sorry to read that your wife hasn‘t been too much of a help. For people who find dental visits easy it is sometimes hard to understand how much anxiety a treatment can cause, but I hope you are staying kind to yourself and allowing yourself to be a mess whenever you feel like being one. It might be a good idea to ask whenever questions worry you. Even if this dentist is not your regular one, they might be able to put you at ease and give you some useful informations, maybe at least a general frame.

All the best wishes, may all go well today and let us know how it went!
:grouphug:
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,582
Location
United States
I hope everything went well for you today! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,903
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Powerrus.

Thinking of you and hope you are doing well! Hope you are getting some rest! Let us know how you are doing !:grouphug:
 
P

powerwus

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
So my appointment went down. I get there and they greet me at my car, masked up with a clipboard full of questions and aftercare info. I wait for about five minutes then get ushered in. All the individual room are closed off with tape and plastic sheeting (denoting the fact they are sterilized).
I explain to the Oral Surgeon why I am there (failed root canal after 18 years, infection that came and long ago went, Endo saying their was nothing more that could be done for tooth), and we get down to business. Freezing, then the loosening of the molar. He yanks off the crown first. after a few attempts to extract, he then gets drill and breaks the tooth into four sections. Pop, pop,pop, pop and I am then gauzed up in the hole. Couldn't have been more than fifteen minutes.
At home I pop some ibuprofen in prep for any pain but there is none. First day is strictly soft foods but by Sunday I'm carefully eating hamburgers, hot dogs and salad.Hell I even wore my nightguard last night.
No real discussions of what to replace tooth with yet. Surgeon said it would need time to heal and then I could make my decisions.
All in all it went very well. Great chairside manner by the Surgeon, kept me surprisingly calm.
A few questions that didn't get answered and I forgot to ask: how long do I go without using a straw? How long until initial healing phase is done (so I can eat with both sides and brush the teeth in the area)? Does anyone have a general idea?
Covid restrictions were not as extreme as I thought. Aside from the taped off rooms, Dentist and hygienist looked no different than they would've pre Covid. More glove changes than normal. Only one other patient. kinda spooky.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,903
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Powerrus,

This is so great to hear that it all went very well, especially that the surgeon had good chairside manner and kept you calm through it, that is so huge. and sounds fairly quick. the plastic sheeting and empty office would be a little surreal like in some kind of scifi movie I imagine but glad they made it seem less threatening with their kindness during the procedure. If I remember its at least. 2 days without a straw but could be longer. hope a dentist answers too :)
 
Top