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Four wisdom teeth gone under GA (very long)



May 8, 2007
Hi guys! :cheers:

Time for me to post my success. Granted, it's only been day one and I might be sore / tired / whatever the next few days, but THE POINT is that I DID IT!

My story in short: I was never taken to the dentist as a child. Because of this, I seemed to develop a natural fear of them (and doctors in general) just because they represented the unknown. At 22, I finally decided I really needed to go, mostly for vain reasons (I wanted straight teeth! mine were quite crooked). Since I decided to get braces, I ended up getting a cleaning as well and eventually, one filling.

I was told many many times to get my wisdom teeth out, once the orthodontics were done. First time was when i officially finished with braces at 24. I basically stopped going to the dentist for fear of being scoulded. Then at 26, I had to come back because of something with my retainer, and ended up getting a cleaning, and then was lectured again about the wisdom teeth. Freaked out, I again stayed away for a year.

A few months after that last dentist visit, my upper wisdom teeth started coming out. I had had discomfort before because of my wisdom teeth but always managed to ignore it because 1) I couldn't see them, they were all impacted, so what I couldn't see I could ignore, and 2) the discomfort wasn't frequent enough for me to take action against my fear.

In April of this year, not only were the wisdom teeth breaking through and being an annoyance and looking very odd to me, but they were starting to hurt like a bitch!! And I, being in a new relationship, wasn't fond of this, nor was I fond of the thought that this could wreck the orthodontic work I had done, which initially got me to see a dentist to begin with. I decided to at least go to my dentist again for a long due cleaning and then merely ASK about a referral to an oral surgeon. I had no intention of actually going to see an oral surgeon.

I got the referral in March and let it sit an entire month. I didn't even want to call them. In April, the pain was constant. I was taking Advil for the first time in my life on a daily basic, just to function. I knew this was very wrong and often in the last few weeks went without Advil and lived in discomfort and pain just because I knew it was wrong to keep self medicating.

I went to the initial consultation alone, just to see what might be involved. I didn't like the surgeon and didn't ask any questions. I was terrified by everything he said and any thought of surgery. I set up a surgery like a deer in headlights and ran out of there. I hadn't eaten that day at all and sobbed all night thinking about this surgery and the pain I was in. I called my mom and finally told someone in my life what I was going through.

That surgery was set for May 1st. Despite getting support from my mom, I canceled the surgery. She suggested I 1) meet a second dentist to make sure I should get them out (knowing that I should, this at least gave me more time to think about it and another voice to listen to)... if anything, I hoped he would refer me to a different oral surgeon and then I could have a choice! It was all about wanting a choice.

So I went to this other dentist, really nice guy, and guess what? He recommended me to the SAME ORAL SURGERY, so I told him about my experience. He suggested I meet another surgeon there, even meet them all (if I could afford it, and I could) and pick the one that I felt more comfy with. He said that wisdom tooth removal is generally the same across the board, but my comfort level with the surgeon might make all the difference in getting me to the surgery.

So I did exactly that. I made a second consult at the same surgery with a different surgeon. This guy I really felt comfortable with and my mom did too so we set up the surgery anew: May 18.

That gave me about two weeks to have an absolute cow. By then, I had discovered this forum, and spent a ton of time on the forum reading other experiences and venting my heart out. It took me a long time to register and actually speak out about what I was going through, but I somehow knew that was what I needed to do to work through this.

All of your support was helpful! But this last week I was hysterical with fear, wanting to back out so badly, crying all the damn time and not being able to think about anything else. People in my life, people at work, who didn't know what was going on knew something was wrong, I was acting so unlike myself. I was not only afraid of this surgery but I was also in constant pain. Not a pretty situation!! I even resorted to emailing frantically my dentist and going on and on about how scared I was. He had good advice; he even offered to have me in just to talk and then figure out what I needed to tell the surgeon and how to work on controlling the anxiety.

The night before the surgery though something happened. I don't really know what. I was still nervous but suddenly I started thinking of all the positives. That the pain and pressure could be gone in twenty four hours or so if I go. I read all the good experiences on this forum and got encouraging pms from several members saying it wasn't so bad! I listened to good positive music, watched things that made me feel encouraged and then just allowed myself to cry if I needed to, allowed myself to lie awake thinking if I needed to, and accepted that I probably wouldn't sleep and that I was going either way.

I did sleep a little. I laid in bed a while too but I felt far less nervous than I had before. I realized I had come to terms with this in my desperation and I was going.

My nervousness really kicked in when it was about six am and I woke up. I couldn't get back to sleep, didn't intend to, so started getting ready and tried to relax myself. I found myself pacing the apartment and set everything up post surgery friendly. Then my mom came at about 8:30 and she blew my plans by suggesting I instead come to her place where she could fully care for me (we live rather close so it wasn't a trek for her to transport all the food I'd bought for post surgery!). I actually think this was helpful to shake up the plans a little. I felt better coming back to a place that wasn't mine, where I wouldn't feel obligated to do anything.

So off we went. Listened to uplifting music the entire car ride (about forty minutes long). Second most panicky moment was having to get out of the car door and walk into the surgery, haha. It took me about ten minutes to get to that point, but with mom's help I did. Once I was in there I paid my dues, signed more forms and then sat down to listening (on earphones) to yet more uplifting music while I waited (about twenty minutes) to be called. I found the music to be a very good way of distracting myself and keeping me there.

When I was called, I was tempted to break down, cry on my mom and hug her, but I knew I didn't want to do this and get myself worked up, so I just set off and she said she would be here and take care of me once I was out.

I got into the surgery room, got in the chair, got some very friendly questions and chat about the weather from the nurse. I appreciated that. She started hooking me up to monitors and the only one that really freaked me out was when it started registering my heart beat. I've never been hooked up to one of those before and I suddenly realized this was really happening. Then the surgeon came in and started lowering me and gave me oxygen. I now had a hook up on my finger, my chest, my stomach, and my face. This was the final time I wanted SO BADLY to run away. I felt trapped and vulnerable in all those hook ups, but the surgeon was very nice.

He actually said to me at that moment, "Are you ready to get started?" I felt like he was always making sure I was ready, and though I never would be, it gave me some power to say 'no' if I really decided to flee and to say 'yes' and have some control over the situation. When he asked how I was and I said 'nervous' he said 'Does it make you feel better that I'm not nervous?' That statement, and his incredible calm the entire time, really helped me get relaxed.

So I said 'I guess so' to the question "Are you ready to get started?" and resisted running away. The oxygen was calming me a little and making me a tad drowsy. He took my arm without mentioning the needle, told me to squeeze a fist and thanked me for my prominent veins, LOL. I said 'it's the least I can do, I suppose,' then asked if I could unsqueeze my fist now and he said yes.

And that was it. In a flash, I was sitting next to my mom in another room talking about post op stuff, and though I remember the drive home I did several things (according to my mom) that I do not remember, including trying to put some lip balm on, trying to talk a lot, asking for a pen so that I could write stuff and writing 'Can I take my teeth with me?'

We stopped at Wendy's to get frosties (an idea my mom got while in the waiting room - a young man and his mom came in and his mom was more upset than HE was and he was getting his wisdom teeth out... he said to his mom 'Hey, I'll be fine, just get me lots of frosties on the way home). I don't remember stopping at Wendy's but I remember saying that I wanted frosties. :)

So moral of the story is that it's not easy by far to get to this point! Fear is fear and there is no rationale to why we feel like we do. But it is true that the mind is ten times worse than the reality of these situations, so the key for me was to find support and ways to deal with the anxiety while it is there and just go. It might take years (like it did with me) to do so, and even leading up to days within the date you might cancel or you might want to run away. But hopefully, you will eventually get there, and then find out it isn't as bad as you thought.

Cause it wasn't for me and now I am so thankful I can go on with my life! THANK YOU to this forum!
Thanks for this....I go tomorrow for my wisdom teeth out with IV sedation...I am freaking out, but this made me feel better.

Congrats! :XXLhug:
What a good story, and all the emotions you were feeling are so common to the majority of us. As you've found, getting the right dentist is half the battle because if you're not comfortable with one, you're going to be all the more tense and worried. i bet you are so, so proud of yourself, and so happy now it's all over. Presumably, you're now off the medication you relied on for so long and life is looking so much rosier. Well done indeed. A real success story. In my book, just turning up for a dentist appointment, whether its for initial consultation or for actual treatment is a hell of an achievement.:grouphug: