Getting nervous/worried about upcoming appointment -- need reassurance

Susanne

Susanne

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Aug 13, 2014
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113
Getting nervous about my upcoming appointment for wisdom teeth. My dentist is going to remove the lower left one, which was hurting last week and prompted the prescription for antibiotics (he said it would be easier to numb the tooth with the local if the antibiotics were given a chance to temporarily clear up the infection and inflammation). He could also do the upper left one and I thought about doing them both at the same time to save myself another trip to the dentist.

I'm nervous about lots of things -

1) I'm 42 and I've heard and read all sorts of horror stories about how removing wisdom teeth past the age of 30 or so is so much more difficult, more painful recovery, worse swelling, more likely to have dry socket, etc. Mine are fully erupted or nearly so, so I'm hoping that means they'll be easier to remove, but I still can't help worrying about all of those age-related things that so many people have mentioned.

2) I'm worrying over anesthesia/anti-anxiety medication. I've taken Ativan on a couple of occasions and it helped tremendously, but neither my dentist nor GP doctor will prescribe it. Since I am not willing to undergo IV sedation, my only option now is nitrous. I've had it in the past and only remember it making my legs feel heavy. Worried about how it would affect me this time around and whether or not it would help.

3) I'm worried about infection. I've been on antibiotics (Clindamycin) for almost a week now, but I'm worried about the infection coming back or a new one flaring up after the tooth/teeth are removed.

4) Worried about nerve damage. Have heard/read horror stories on that, too.

5) Worried about the actual procedure. Have had others tell me the sounds of the wisdom teeth being loosened and removed are awful. Also have been told how you will feel pressure but not pain, but nobody ever says what the pressure is like.

6) The hygienists who work with my dentist and with whom I usually feel very comfortable upset me a bit last week because they both loudly insisted I should do the IV sedation since I am "so nervous." Instead of being reassuring and saying we could do things in whatever way made me most comfortable, they insisted I go the IV route when I've already said no to that. I don't want the risks - however small they might be - or the potential side effects (grogginess, upset stomach, etc.) Plus, I won't have anyone to look after me afterward were I to be given IV sedation. My dad will be coming with me to my appointment and taking me home, but he will have to go back to work after that. I'd much rather not have to deal with the side effects/risks of IV sedation on top of everything else.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Oct 27, 2017
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Your concerns are rational and reasonable. Fortunately most are unlikely to happen. And if they do, you’ll make it through.

For example I got mine out at 41, and did great. I got a little dry socket, and found it more annoying than painful.

Have courage. You are going to make it.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sep 18, 2017
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Hi Susanne,

from all dental procedures, tooth removal is probably the scariest one to have. I think wisdom teeth are scary even for people who otherwise do not struggle with dental visits at all.

Now to the things that worry you:

1) You can hear horror stories about pretty anything. When it comes to age, the stories in sense of "getting older" and how much harder things get start pretty from 30 on. Our bodies get older and things get a bit harder than otherwise, but not in the measure that your mind is telling you. You might agree that you are physically not as fit as you have been in your 20's, but it probably is not such a big deal anyway. Anyway, as your teeth are not impacted, it won't be a problem, removing an errupted wisdom tooth is not much different to removing any other molar. I am sure you will heal just fine. Cooling the area and some pain meds will help you with that.

2) Only remembering your heavy feet when it comes to your last procedure with nitrous sounds like a good sign. Heavy arms and feet is a sign of nitrous working, but if you get to a point where something doesn't feel right, just talk to your dental team and they can adjust the dose immediatelly. I know many people who had nitrous and have read many posts here and people seem to be really happy with it. I have heard it's like having two beers - you know what's going on, but it just doesn't really bother you.

3) The tooth coming out is what makes the infection clear up, not something that causes it. Many people worry about dry sockets or infections, but those are really rather rare.

4) Just let your dentist show you where the nerve on your x-ray is and where the tooth is. Seeing how much space between those two is should put you at ease. Nerve damage is more an issue with impacted teeth, however even then getting a damage would be very rare.

5) Imagining how procedures are done is always more scary than having them. Remember you will be numbed up so for you it will just all be a dull feeling of 'something' happening. Press your finger at a point somewhere on your face. That's what pressure feels like.

6) Sorry to read about how less reassurance you got from your dental team. Life in a dental practice is pretty much about routines and protocols and things that just are done in a certain way. Some of the recommendation you receive there might be pretty much about how your practice is used to go about things. If the majority of patients just accepts iv sedation, it would be only understandable that your dental team will maybe push you into that a bit more. It's good that you have your preferences and took an active role in deciding how you get your treatment.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
M

MountainMama

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Jul 1, 2018
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I had mine out as a teen, but mine were impacted, and close to the nerve. That was back before they had all the fancy x rays they have now to pinpoint exactly where the nerve is. My procedure went fine, with no nerve damage. I had all mine out at once (and I had 6!).

Just to give you some perspective on the sedation and difficult procedures, I recently had a very complex procedure done, where I had my front tooth extracted, and the surgeon had to go in and manually scrape out infection from an abscess that had been there long enough to tunnel back into my palate. The surgeon had to grind out infected bone, and go in above my tooth to access it. He had to go all the way up to right under my nose and back behind the tooth into the palate. He also did extensive bone grafting and put in an implant. All that was done under nitrous and local.
I absolutely hate the sound of drills, bone being ground, etc. The sounds and feelings of pressure are some of the main reasons I am terrified of dental stuff. Yet with the nitrous I didn't have any issues. Getting the shots were the worst part. Everything else was fine.
 
T

thisisme

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Aug 17, 2012
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I’m 32 and had an erupted upper one extracted a week ago. I was so scared, but it took maybe took 3 minutes to come out. I did it with just local. Lots of tugging and pulling and you can feel that, but no pain. He told me that if you feel anything sharp to let him know. I didn’t. Your mouth is tiny. The hands are big. That’s what makes it most uncomfortable. There was a sound. It sounded like a crack. The moment I heard it, I cranked my headphones way up. It sounds worse than it is and wear headphones if you can.

It wasn’t like yay! Sign me up to do that again, but if another upper one erupted, I’d let him pull it. It was such a quick experience and they were so nice. Obviously everyone is different, but they told me a list of everything bad that could happen but then told me it was not common. I didn’t have any complications if that helps! There are risks to everything but your dentist is highly skilled and will do everything he/she can to minimize them.

I didn’t taste blood or anything. They stuffed the gauze in and checked it five minutes later. They told me the clot had formed but told me to keep a new piece in for at least an hour.

I didn’t have any real pain. Just a bit discomfort. I couldn’t open my mouth fully and stuck to soft foods for the first day. I got it pulled on Monday and ate pizza on Wednesday (cut up of course). Each day I could open my mouth up wider. Now I can eat without a problem. I actually forgot about it because I used a straw... oops! It’s been a week, though, so I think I’m in the clear.

Side note: I was shaking in the chair. My legs were just slightly shaking and the assistant asked if I was doing okay. Maybe just ask that they check on you and coordinate a stop sign so you’re in control.

Good luck. I know you’ll do great!
 
Hoppi

Hoppi

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Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
24
Hm ._.

I can only speak for IV sedation because I had a wisdom tooth removed using that just a few days ago. It went very well indeed. IV sedation is fantastic, to be honest. At least that was my experience. It was over so fast and with really no distress at all. I numbed my hand with Ametop cream beforehand, looked away, they put the needle in and pretty much the next thing I remember is the dentist telling me it was all done. It was pretty much like a miracle.

But yeah erm, I stayed with my dad for the 24 hours after the appointment. I think I had a little bit of forgetfulness very shortly after the appointment but nothing major. I felt mostly fine.

I also did take some diazepam before the appointment and told them that I would be taking it, so I signed the consent forms on a different day and they reduced my dose of the sedation a bit I think. Also I made sure that the dentist I was going to was pretty good. I knew there was a risk of complications or damage but a) the dentist was good and b) they told me that in my case the risks were particularly low.

So... I figured it was worth that small risk. And it feels fine to me now. It's not like I could have left it in! That tooth was a mess... it was cracked and I could taste and smell the bacteria. Not very nice.

I guess there's not much more I can add. But I was truly terrified also. But then afterwards I was amazed at how easy it went at least in my case. It was genuinely one of the easiest things I've ever had done.

I hope that my story helps at least a bit :)
 
Aurora10

Aurora10

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Feb 9, 2017
Messages
333
I had mine out as a teen, but mine were impacted, and close to the nerve. That was back before they had all the fancy x rays they have now to pinpoint exactly where the nerve is. My procedure went fine, with no nerve damage. I had all mine out at once (and I had 6!).

Just to give you some perspective on the sedation and difficult procedures, I recently had a very complex procedure done, where I had my front tooth extracted, and the surgeon had to go in and manually scrape out infection from an abscess that had been there long enough to tunnel back into my palate. The surgeon had to grind out infected bone, and go in above my tooth to access it. He had to go all the way up to right under my nose and back behind the tooth into the palate. He also did extensive bone grafting and put in an implant. All that was done under nitrous and local.
I absolutely hate the sound of drills, bone being ground, etc. The sounds and feelings of pressure are some of the main reasons I am terrified of dental stuff. Yet with the nitrous I didn't have any issues. Getting the shots were the worst part. Everything else was fine.

You were soo brave!
 
H

Historian

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Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
14
I had mine out using IV sedation but they we're impacted. I was lucky enough not to experience any side effects at all, not even memory loss or grogginess. If you don't feel comfortable doing IV sedation then I think you should go with whatever method makes you feel the most at ease. Just follow your dentist's instructions closely and you probably won't have to worry about dry socket or an infection. Perhaps they tried pushing the IV because they feel like it will make the procedure easier. Mine also recommended it to me. Good luck, everything will be fine!
 
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