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Heart Surgery and massive dental phobia



Junior member
Apr 10, 2016
I recently found out I'm going to need heart surgery for a congenital (present since birth) defect. Prior to surgery in late June I'll require "dental clearance" stating I have no infections in my mouth. I haven't seen a dentist in well over a decade and I have at least four severely broken down teeth, never had my wisdom teeth removed, and probably a bunch of other stuff.

I'm TERRIFIED of dentists and I'm now beyond terrified that I won't be able to get the work done in time. Does anyone know if it's ever possible to get extensive dental work done (at least the extractions and maybe a filling or two) done in a rushed timeline? Or can you get like... a massive amount of dental work done in a day? can they do conscious sedation, a ton of work, and give you some great painkillers for a couple of days? I'm seriously freaking out here.
I have a coworker who is even more scared of the dentist than I am because no anesthetic works for her. She ended up going to a special dentist that actually did general anesthesia and worked on the top row, then a second time to work on the bottom row. She got half her mouth one in one sitting. However, I don't remember if she just needed fillings or more work done. Since you are waiting on heart surgery for this mention that and call around to some dentists and oral surgeons to see if they can help you get at least enough work done to make sure you don't have any infections.

Good Luck!!
Not that anyone here is following or cares but I went to the dentist today.

I need two small fillings and a few extractions in the back in order to clear me for surgery. He said that my not getting my wisdom teeth removed is what caused the damage to the back teeth. All that needs to happen before surgery is getting the extractions - the fillings can wait a few months as can the wisdom teeth extraction. My gums are in fine shape and there's no damage to any front teeth (which I was worried about - nothing hurts but I figured I'd need some work). All in all it wasn't nearly as bad as I was fearing. After surgery I can be fitted with a bridge if I want that or implants if I can ever afford them.

I explained to the hygienist and the dentist that I really don't do well with dentists and they were kind of said multiple times that my teeth were in no way the worst they'd seen.
I'm really bummed that nobody has replied here. I see all the support others get and I'm like "great, nobody here cares, either."

I have extractions scheduled for Monday. I'm absolutely terrified.
Sometimes people just don't see threads at the right time. It doesn't mean that nobody cares. That's just how forums work. Not every thread gets lots of replies, and it's usually just chance, or people thinking they don't have the right advice.

Are you getting any sedation for the extractions?
No. My insurance wouldn't cover it and I couldn't afford it out of pocket.
Ask if they can prescribe Valium or some other kind of oral sedation. It really helps. I just had 11 teeth extracted at the same time. I'm a very phobic dental patient and it worked well. I wish you well on the extractions and your up coming surgery:)
Hi -

Sorry you have felt unsupported x

Sevena is right, it's the nature of forums sometimes, and often it's do with whether people feel they have the answer to the questions you are asking. People post on threads where they have had a similar experience and feel they have something useful to offer - or at least, I know that's how I do it!

Anyway, I'm glad to see that the news wasn't as bad as you had initially feared, and I completely understand that you're worried about extractions, that's a difficult thing to get your head around! I've never had an extraction (well, not since childhood and they knocked me out for that) so I can't offer any practical advice but from what I've read on here they are much faster and less traumatic than people tend to expect.

Re sedation (or not being able to have it), the right dentist can go a long way towards making a procedure easier to tolerate, wide awake or not - things have greatly improved from how they used to be, and dentists these days are generally much more concerned about supporting their patients through things. It sounds like you have been able to tell them how afraid you are, which is really good, and from what you've said about them it sounds like there are kind, supportive people there.

Meanwhile, may not have much relevant to your situation, but what I *can* provide is this hug -> :XXLhug:
Yeah I will agree with everyone else, forums can bury posts very easily and I can only get on about twice a week. I was interested in seeing how it came out and I'm SO RELIEVED for you that it wasn't worse. SUCH GOOD NEWS. YAY!

I agree with the other person, ask for some anti anxiety meds (I take them too). Also, let the dentist know you have a severe phobia and may need more care than usual. There's a whole section of this website just for 'things that can help'

You can bring up some of these things to the dentist. Good luck!
They didn't get to both sides today because they decided to take out a wisdom tooth that previous they'd been planning to leave in for awhile.

I'm not in too much pain (I feel like I'm mostly sore from keeping my mouth open so long).

I have to go back next monday for the other side (which she claims will be a lot easier).
I'm not allowed any meds that can change my heart rate so no anxiety meds
I'm new here, and probably don't have a lot to offer by way of answers (I've never had multiple extractions on one day, etc.).

Sounds like you got through the first extraction really well! Was it not as bad as you'd feared? How are you feeling about having to go back for the next one?

I hope your experiences are all positive enough that your overall fear of the dentist is reduced. And I hope you heal fast from your heart surgery.