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I have to have my wisdom tooth removed under anaesthetic and the fear is taking over my life

I

ItsBecky

Junior member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
13
Location
England
Hello! New member of the forums here! I have read a few posts in the past and actually have this site bookmarked but this is actually my first post on here!

The reason I am posting is because as you can see by the title of this thread I have an upcoming surgery to have a wisdom tooth removed, and my anxiety over this surgery is so high it's taking over my entire life, it's on my mind 24/7, I often randomly burst into tears at the thought of it and I needed to get it off my chest somewhere where professionals and people who can relate to my anxiety can read it, so you will not believe how happy I was when I found this site! (I admit I found this site through googling wisdom teeth surgery which is not a good thing to do, but I found this place so something positive came out of it!)

I will put a quick little back story first, so as is pretty obvious I have a massive phobia of the dentist, it's so bad I even have panic attacks over check-up's, just writing about it is making me anxious but anyway at my last check up just before lockdown was announced, I was told there was a potential cavity forming in one of my wisdom teeth, and due to my anxiety and severe gag reflex (which is mostly caused by my anxiety) my dentist does not want to attempt to fill it at his practice, and due to it being a wisdom tooth he decided it would be best to just remove it under sedation or general anaesthetic. (I don't know which method will be used yet) so I got referred to the hospital to have an x-ray of my teeth done then we were going to go from there. A couple of days later I had my xray done at the hospital, I dropped the disc off at the dentists then I made an appointment for my xray review, I can't go to the dentist without my mum (sad I know but i'm so scared I can't go alone) so I made the appointment for a day where my mum could come with me, they actually did tell me that it's not mega important so there was no rush to see me, so they could wait a couple a weeks if needed, however I still wanted to get it out of the way otherwise I would spend the whole time worrying, so I booked it for the week after.

About a week after that lockdown was announced so my review has been postponed until this is all over. I have been taking this time to keep my teeth really clean, so it doesn't get any worse and it's been a couple of months now and the tooth still has not been causing me any issues, which I'm very grateful for. However my anxiety has got REALLY bad over the surgery since being in lockdown, as I never got my review I don't know whether I will just be sedated or have a general anaesthetic (GA), I am REALLY scared of being put to sleep and to be honest i'm even really scared of having IV sedation, the thought of not being in control completely terrifies me, I know whatever happens I will have one of those options so every single day I am just freaking out about it, and I don't want lockdown to end because I know I will have to go and have this review, find out what's going on then obviously have the surgery, (I know that probably sounds really selfish and I'm sorry) I am hoping the dentist will let me choose what I would prefer (IV sedation) and I was hoping to maybe have an oral sedative before too, so I won't freak out to the point I can't go through with it, but I don't know if they do that in the UK? Would I be given the option of IV sedation instead of GA, or will I have to have a GA? Or will they even do a GA for one tooth?

The only thing I know is that my wisdom tooth has come through completely and the dentist said this was good news, so I'm hoping that means the procedure would be pretty straight forward, also as far as i'm aware I would only need the one out. I have to go to the hospital to have it done as my dentists surgery doesn't offer any kind of sedation, and hospitals mega freak me out as well! Due to not being able to have my review I don't even have a date for the surgery yet, and as it's not causing me any problems and it's not an emergency I'm not sure when it will happen, but to be honest I don't really want to know when it is! At least at the moment I don't look at a certain date with dread, but I know that day will come again when I will get an official date and I feel so stupid how scared I am, especially over such a minor operation, I even feel stupid writing this.

As you can see my anxiety is pretty severe and this is completely taking over my life, can anyone try and help reassure me, by answering some of the questions I asked in this thread, as well as if possible give me some advice on what IV sedation feels like, or even general anaesthetic? I am actually more scared about being put to sleep then the actual operation or recovery after! Which I know makes zero sense but that's my brain for you! I have actually had a GA once but I was pretty young so I don't remember what it felt like at all, so any help would be so appreciated thanks!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
Hi ItsBecky:welcome:,

glad you found this site and could write it all out. Writing helps to sort thoughts and get some clarity and looking at your post, you pretty much know which route you would prefer and that's a good thing.

Now first of all, it sounds like you feel completely out of control - not even knowing whether they will do GA or sedation must be terrifying! The important thing is this: it is your tooth and YOU shall decide. Dentists and doctors give suggestions and act as consultants and you are the one to pick an option. A huge part of being afraid of the dentist has to do with the fact we feel being out of control and having something done "on" us, but that is not how it's supposed to be. The thing with control is that you have to take it and actively participate in the process to use it. In this sense, knowing what you wish, knowing what exactly you are afraid of and what you feel might help you to get through it are important things to consider.

There is some good news about GA: in UK it is very rarely used for dental procedures and if it is used, there must be pretty good reasons for it. Therefore chances are that you will be offered IV sedation. But then again, let them know what you want and what your worries are. Your plan with oral sedation before the iv sedation sounds reasonable and often things are done exactly that way.

We have a good article explaining everything you need to know about IV sedation here. We also have one about general anesthesia, mostly explaining why it isn't used that often in dentistry anymore. Hope this will give you some reassurance. By the way, it is not unusual to be more worried about the sedation then about the procedure or recovery; you will see if you read some success stories here.

All the best wishes and let us know how the consult went once it comes.
 
I

ItsBecky

Junior member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
13
Location
England
Hi ItsBecky:welcome:,

glad you found this site and could write it all out. Writing helps to sort thoughts and get some clarity and looking at your post, you pretty much know which route you would prefer and that's a good thing.

Now first of all, it sounds like you feel completely out of control - not even knowing whether they will do GA or sedation must be terrifying! The important thing is this: it is your tooth and YOU shall decide. Dentists and doctors give suggestions and act as consultants and you are the one to pick an option. A huge part of being afraid of the dentist has to do with the fact we feel being out of control and having something done "on" us, but that is not how it's supposed to be. The thing with control is that you have to take it and actively participate in the process to use it. In this sense, knowing what you wish, knowing what exactly you are afraid of and what you feel might help you to get through it are important things to consider.

There is some good news about GA: in UK it is very rarely used for dental procedures and if it is used, there must be pretty good reasons for it. Therefore chances are that you will be offered IV sedation. But then again, let them know what you want and what your worries are. Your plan with oral sedation before the iv sedation sounds reasonable and often things are done exactly that way.

We have a good article explaining everything you need to know about IV sedation here. We also have one about general anesthesia, mostly explaining why it isn't used that often in dentistry anymore. Hope this will give you some reassurance. By the way, it is not unusual to be more worried about the sedation then about the procedure or recovery; you will see if you read some success stories here.

All the best wishes and let us know how the consult went once it comes.


Hi! Thanks so much this has actually reassured me quite a lot knowing that I do at least get the option, or at least that I'm meant too anyway so thanks for this! The hospital I am having it done at hasn't got the best reputation so I'm a bit scared of having it done there too, I'm thinking of waiting until I can afford to go private, but then I feel bad automatically assuming that I'm going to have a bad experience, I have had bad experiences with some staff there but I'm sure not all of them are like that. I'm hoping it will be a long time until I have to have it done but I'm glad I can potentially choose IV sedation even though I'm terrified. I have had friends tell me they wish they were asleep for theirs so I am apparently one of the lucky ones for getting put out for it, it doesn't sound pleasant while awake and as I have a really bad phobia it's probably best to not be traumatised anymore and have it done asleep! I didn't say that to scare anyone who is having it done awake btw, that's just what I personally got told.

Yeah I didn't think GA would be needed, but my mum is convinced that's how they will do it, and keeps saying to me I probably won't be able to have IV sedation because of my anxiety and gag reflex and as she used to be a nurse it's making me freak out even more, however I did read that IV sedation helps suppress the gag reflex so I should still be able to have it. I'm worried they may refuse oral sedation but I have a habit of majorly over thinking things so I'm hoping I'm just overthinking all this too much, and everything will go smoothly including me getting all the options I want!

Thanks a lot i will check the article and the success stories out! and thank you for being so understanding I really appreciate it, I will definitely update everyone once I know what's going on, as well as once I've had the procedure, I'm sure my experience will go smoothly so then I can reassure others in the same position, this is what I'm hoping to do anyway!

Thanks again and will update everyone as soon as I can!
 
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