• 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!

Dental journey

M

mcredding

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
36
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I decided to make one of these myself...

I had 2 teeth extracted on Thursday, & with those gone, I now only have one remaining posterior tooth in that quadrant. Extractions went well...I think. They gave me a TheraTapper, had a TV screen with nature scenes for me to watch, & played music in the background, & with all the distraction I don't hear much of what's being said. The one tooth left behind - which in the middle of the two being extracted - gets used as a fulcrum. The dentist's hand slips, & then she tells me that something happened to the middle tooth but it's too noisy to hear & I'm too distracted to even remember to ask what she said at the end of the appointment. I go home, & there's no post-operative pain...at all.

Fast-forward to today. I got a sudden, excruciating stab of pain in the remaining tooth. It felt like the tooth was getting ripped out with no anesthesia...& I describe it that way because it felt exactly the same to the pain I feel during extractions when local anesthesia starts to fail. But now, there's no dentist at home, no anesthesia, it's not like I have any way to inject anesthetic. Tylenol & Motrin not working. There's a gaping hole in that remaining tooth & there's blood coming out that hole. I'll have to call for emergency care first thing in the morning.

I know that tooth was marked in my treatment plan for a 2-surface filling, so I know there were caries there pre-extraction, but the hole got twice as big between when I woke up the day of the appt & when I got home. I've got periodontitis too & it's not my dentist fault that her hand slipped, & certainly not her fault that her hand slipped against the tooth giving me pain now, but that doesn't make the pain go away. Nervous about shifting teeth & jaw resorption too; no discussion has been held on how to deal with that, but I have been told we'll get to that part after scaling & root planing.
 
M

mcredding

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
36
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Had my appointment yesterday, glad I went. The pain is not related to last week's extractions. According to the dentist, the different angle used for an x-ray this time as opposed to last week's x-rays have allowed her to see something she couldn't see last week: the tooth root is compressing a nerve. Though judging from this post, https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/threads/do-nerves-show-up-on-x-rays.5909/, I guess she meant that the root is very, very close &/or curving around the nerve.

Friday, the lone tooth will be getting extracted. My next appt after that one will need to be my annual exam. In any case, because I'm on a very, very low fixed income, the plan is to make a partial stayplate for the lower arch to prevent further shifting in that arch & to prevent teeth in the opposing arch from dropping down any further than they already have. I go to a sliding scale clinic & already have the funds to pay for the stayplate, so this will give me time to save more $$ for a partial denture. Dental journey getting more optimistic...the extraction part is bad, but that stayplate will buy time so that I can get a partial, & we had the discussion about addressing the shifting.

While the dentist's hand did slip (& she DID advise me that the tooth used as a fulcrum just got chipped - I was just too distracted to hear her or respond), it's clear on previous x-rays that there was a big cavity there to begin with, it got bigger between the time my initial treatment plan was created & the time that x-rays were taken for extraction of the 2 teeth on either side of it, & it was just that the visible hole was small until it got chipped. Dentist was hoping to be able to save that tooth with a root canal & crown (& so was I), but we won't be going that route because of the new findings & the need to give rapid pain relief.

Hope they can reopen for routine care soon. Guidance on reopening - by both my county & my state - hasn't been clear, so some dentists are reopening for routine care now while others are still only offering emergency care. Because of the shortage of dentists in my area, people at this clinic usually end up seeing a different dentist for each appt unless they're willing to accept longer wait times to see a specific dentist. I like this dentist. While it will her colleague that extracts the tooth Friday because of the urgency in giving me relief & her schedule would've had me wait another week, I will stick with her whenever it is feasible. If there's no excruciating pain, I will wait to be able to see her.
 
Last edited:
M

mcredding

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
36
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday's extraction went well: tooth was so loose that dentist was able to extract it in literally 2 minutes. We spent longer waiting for anesthesia to reach its full effect than for the actual extraction. There was no post-operative pain - there was soreness, but it was just minor discomfort.

One thing I am flustered with though is that the dental clinic still hasn't move forward with resuming routine care or scheduling appts for those...& they had told me it was the because the county said they couldn't reopen yet. The county's health order has been relaxed this month to allow for hospitals to resume elective care & to allow dentists to reopen at their own discretion; the same can be said of state guidance: it's up to each individual office/practice to decide when to reopen. So that made me mad: if you're still closed to non-urgent care, it's because of a decision made by clinical &/or administrative leadership at the clinic because there are no county- or state-level prohibitions in place right now.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
159
Location
Us
I understand your frustration, but there may be a valid reason that they’re not opening up yet. For example, I know that my dentist has opened up, and every non-admin staff member has full protective gear on, and that the exam rooms are cleaned after every patient. Maybe your dentist is not able to provide a safe enough environment for employees and patients yet. As you mentioned, most counties are leaving this decision up to the business, but that business must follow certain guidelines. Neither the county or state is going to help with the costs of following those guidelines.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,768
Location
Minneapolis, MN
mcredding

Really sounds like your extraction went well and quick. That is great news!! really great!
I know it is frustrating having to wait for care . Hope they will open for you soon to get on with your other care you need. I do believe Boxermom they probably want to make sure everything is the safest for you.

I work for a lasik center and some of our offices are open and some are not just because we have to prepare the office and make sure the staff is ready and that we have enough ppe not only for staff but patients. Its quite the process. I love telling people they can schedule now and hate telling them they have to wait or I don't know ..
 
M

mcredding

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
36
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Yeah, I know they're following guidelines, wanting to make as safe as possible...but there are no mandatory rules. If you can't open yet because you don't have the means to make it safer, then that's fine...just don't act like the final decision is being made at the governmental level when it's really being made at the business level.

On a somewhat more positive note, my mother has finally dropped opposition to me getting partial dentures. That means less harassment each time I go to the dentist to get things taken care of.

Before, she didn't want me to get them because 'it's my fault that I have missing teeth & now I just need to deal with it, & I'm too young for dentures anyways'. (Makes no sense, I know.) Just because I lost so many teeth at a young age does not mean that no effort should be undertaken to fill in the gaps. She wouldn't say something like that for anything else! Maybe she sees extractions followed by dentures as me trying to get a quick fix - if you're way too poor to afford root canals & crowns, then yes, an extraction to relieve pain is like trying to get a quick fix. But those are decisions made in concert with the dentist, & root canals aren't possible in every single case. Sometimes, it isn't possible to save a tooth, & I can't leave untreated decayed teeth in the mouth like she wants - makes no sense. I'm not a dentist & she shouldn't be pretending to be one. Not all teeth can be saved, whether she likes it or not.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
159
Location
Us
Yeah, I know they're following guidelines, wanting to make as safe as possible...but there are no mandatory rules. If you can't open yet because you don't have the means to make it safer, then that's fine...just don't act like the final decision is being made at the governmental level when it's really being made at the business level.

On a somewhat more positive note, my mother has finally dropped opposition to me getting partial dentures. That means less harassment each time I go to the dentist to get things taken care of.

Before, she didn't want me to get them because 'it's my fault that I have missing teeth & now I just need to deal with it, & I'm too young for dentures anyways'. (Makes no sense, I know.) Just because I lost so many teeth at a young age does not mean that no effort should be undertaken to fill in the gaps. She wouldn't say something like that for anything else! Maybe she sees extractions followed by dentures as me trying to get a quick fix - if you're way too poor to afford root canals & crowns, then yes, an extraction to relieve pain is like trying to get a quick fix. But those are decisions made in concert with the dentist, & root canals aren't possible in every single case. Sometimes, it isn't possible to save a tooth, & I can't leave untreated decayed teeth in the mouth like she wants - makes no sense. I'm not a dentist & she shouldn't be pretending to be one. Not all teeth can be saved, whether she likes it or not.
Yikes. Sounds like my mother. She’s been making snarky comments about how my hair needs cut and colored. I’ve got way more problems to deal with than what she thinks my hair should look like.
Sometimes extraction is the best solution, and my dentist likes to say “we don’t worry about the past. We only worry about what can be done to make you feel better and be healthier now.” But I’m glad you don’t have to deal with that added stress anymore.
 
M

mcredding

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
36
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Yikes. Sounds like my mother. She’s been making snarky comments about how my hair needs cut and colored. I’ve got way more problems to deal with than what she thinks my hair should look like.
Sometimes extraction is the best solution, and my dentist likes to say “we don’t worry about the past. We only worry about what can be done to make you feel better and be healthier now.” But I’m glad you don’t have to deal with that added stress anymore.
Yeah, my mother can get pretty snarky too...though I wonder where she got the idea that you should not receive prosthodontics if your teeth are missing because of dental neglect. That's kind of like saying, 'If you need surgery because you let a health issue go untreated & now the problem requires more extensive treatment, you shouldn't be able to get the surgery.'
 
Top