• Dental Phobia Support

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Finally went today



Feb 27, 2008
I went to the dentist today. Even though I was completely terrified and expecting a horrible outcome, everything went pretty well, all things considered.

I haven't had a real cleaning or any work done since 1999, so I was expecting to hear that every tooth was rotting out of my head today. I have one tooth that needs a filling, and another tooth that my dentist suggests extracting. I scheduled an appointment to do that on Friday, but because I am leaving town for a week on Saturday, I may reschedule the appointment for when I return. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to pull a molar and then board a plane less than 24 hours later for vacation.

He also suggests that I get a complete deep cleaning because I have some minor bone loss. I panicked when he mentioned bone loss, but he didn't seem too concerned. He said that the deep cleaning should prevent any further bone loss.

The only thing he told me that really bothers me is that I need to get all of my wisdom teeth pulled. I'm 33, and never felt that I had any problems with those teeth. According to him, mine are showing mild decay, and he says they will only get worse from here because they are so hard to reach and clean. He wants to pull them. I went ahead and told them to schedule it for the future, but I'm dreading having five teeth pulled over the next couple of months.

The dentist was friendly and approachable and very young. The office was high tech and very different than I remember the office I last visited in 1999. There was a television screen built into the ceiling with speakers in the wall, and I loved having that as a distraction while he examined all of my teeth. It really helped as I was feeling almost sick when it came time to open my mouth.

The dental hygienist who helped me through the first part of the exam and x-rays was extremely nice and understanding about my fears. I told her as soon as I met her that I was afraid and embarrassed, and she immediately told me not to worry. She helped me to feel better. It really makes such a big difference when you can find an office with caring, compassionate staff.

So, I'm going with this place. I'm probably going to reschedule my first appointment, my molar extraction, for when I return from my trip. I've never had an extraction and I have no idea what to expect, so I'm nervous. But for me, the worst part is over, the fear of the unknown. I will post here about how my upcoming visits go. All of the work has been spaced out over eight appointments so that I can afford it all.
I wasn't sure what to expect from an extraction either having never had one. I had mine done last Tuesday. I had expected they would just pull it out but it was nothing like that. I had the numbing shots and was sent to sit down for about ten minutes. Then the dentist poked about to make sure I was properly numb. He then pushed against the tooth with a lot of pressure, it was completely painless. He let me have a short break every few minutes. Then lots more pushing. He then did some twisting before more pushing. My tooth was badly broken so he warned me it wouldn't come out in one piece, in the end it came out in two pieces. I did hear a few strange noises and a snap as the tooth broke into two but he had warned me I would hear this so I was prepared.

I experienced no pain at all at any time during the procedure. Afterwards I had to bite down on a rolled up piece of gauze. I was sent away with aftercare instructions and told to rest for several hours and not to rinse my mouth out for at least 6 hours. After that I had to use salt water rinses several times a day.

I did feel a little bit of discomfort for about a week so took painkillers.
My two extractions were just like Simon1970 described. No pulling or tugging, like you'd expect. My dentist told me the goal was to rock the tooth back and forth to "convince" the surrounding gums to let go of it, so it could come out all by itself. So, no pain at all, nothing that felt like pulling. But lots of very firm pushing, completely painless. The whole procedure, after I was numb, took maybe five-ten minutes.

I think they typically do wisdom teeth under general anesthesia, so it may even be easier than that for you.

It sounds horrible and scary but it's really very easy and mostly painless; as Simon said some discomfort for the first few days after, but nothing that over the counter pain meds (ibuprofen, etc) can't handle.

Have a great vacation!