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I'm a newbie....Terrified! Please help!

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hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
Hi everyone. I'm a newbie here, facing my first dental appointment in a very long time tomorrow. I'm 21 years old, and have tried my best to take care of my teeth throughout the years on my own, due to my extreme fear of the dentist.

I have a lower molar that has completely broken down, so much so that the gum is totally covering what's left of the tooth. I've dealt with a couple abscesses, which I treated with antibiotics, but each abscess that occurs seems to be worse than the last. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a dentist to see what can be done. On top of my fear of everything else that probably needs to be done, I know that he is going to refer me to an oral surgeon to get this problem taken care of.

I'm beyond terrified of the oral surgery. I'm not really worried about pain - I'm sure it will be far easier than dealing with an abscess. Right now, I have a huge fear of the unknown, as well as a fear of having complications after the procedure. I would really appreciate some reassurance that it isn't as bad as it seems. Roughly how long to surgical extractions like this take? I know it depends on the situation, but am I looking at 10-20 minutes, an hour, etc? If anyone could take a moment to read this and help ease my mind, I would be very grateful.

Sorry for such a longwinded first post. Thanks in advance to anyone that can help. :)
 
J

JessicaB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
277
Hi and welcome. I totally understand your fear of the unknown and especially the fear of being referred to an oral surgeon. It does seem very intimidating and difficult to deal with. I am 30 and I didn't go to the dentist for ten years until 10 months ago because I was terrified about having to go to an oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth removed. Last week I finally faced my fears and three of them are now gone. My experience with the oral surgeon and his staff was a very positive one. It was quite a nice place to go and they were very friendly and welcoming, and the place wasn't overly clinical like I expected, nor did it have that horrid doctor's surgery smell which terrifies me. The surgeon also did an excellent job and I was able to have IV sedation and I don't actually remember any of the procedure. I also had very little pain afterwards. I would encourage you to read my other posts on here and my journal to see how anxious I was about this process, and now I have to go back to the surgeon tomorrow to have a minor procedure and I am barely even nervous. Feel free to PM me if you have questions :)
 
H

hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
Thank you, JessicaB, that helps a lot! :)

I am curious though, were your teeth completely below the gumline as well? About how long did your procedure take?

Thanks again for your help. I felt so childish thinking this way about all of this until I found this forum and realized there are so many other people that share in my anxiety. I'm so glad I'm not alone.
 
H

hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
Oops! I read one of your other posts, JessicaB, and it answered my questions. Should have looked before I asked! :)
 
J

JessicaB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
277
One was partly covered by gum and the top two were just through, but so far back in my mouth they would have been very difficult to get to. It still only took the surgeon about half an hour all up (from what I'm told). I do have another lower wisdom tooth which is completely below the gumline and sitting horizontally. I have not had this tooth removed because the surgeon didn't feel comfortable doing this without a general anaesthetic and I didn't want to go down that path. I am in Australia though and GA seems to be used a lot for wisdom teeth, unlike in the UK where it's barely used at all. I was also advised that the tooth is unlikely to cause problems by leaving it there, and the only potential problem would be a cyst, so I have to have it regularly monitored by x-ray to detect the formation of a cyst if it does happen. I'm a little nervous about this I must admit, but I just couldn't face going to hospital and being put under.
 
H

hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
I can relate. I have a big fear of GA, and I've already planned on just letting them extract the tooth with LA and maybe a Valium or something else to relax me. I plan on taking an iPod and keeping my eyes closed, and even though I know I might retain some memory of it, I think I'd rather deal with that than being put under.

Besides, it's only one tooth, so I'm hoping it won't take long and it will be easier to take out than what I'm expecting.

I'm trying so hard to think positively about this, but like I said, the fear of the unknown is the worst. I think once I have a better idea of what to expect I'll be able to cope with it better.

I am looking forward to not having to keep antibiotics on hand for fear that the abscess will return. I'm sure that once it's all done and over with I'll be relieved that I'll never have to go through that pain again. Getting there is the hardest part....
 
H

hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
Going to my appointment in a couple hours....

Wish me luck! :)
 
S

Stress Doc

Account Closed
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
786
Hi:

Broken teeth are very easy to get out. They are not very firmly attached. The whole process only takes a few minutes. Once you have the LA there will not be any pain, just some pressure. The tooth is gently elevated out.

The whole thing is very easy. You are going to do great and put this problem behind you.

Blessings :D
 
brit

brit

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One was partly covered by gum and the top two were just through, but so far back in my mouth they would have been very difficult to get to. It still only took the surgeon about half an hour all up (from what I'm told). I do have another lower wisdom tooth which is completely below the gumline and sitting horizontally. I have not had this tooth removed because the surgeon didn't feel comfortable doing this without a general anaesthetic and I didn't want to go down that path. I am in Australia though and GA seems to be used a lot for wisdom teeth, unlike in the UK where it's barely used at all. I was also advised that the tooth is unlikely to cause problems by leaving it there, and the only potential problem would be a cyst, so I have to have it regularly monitored by x-ray to detect the formation of a cyst if it does happen. I'm a little nervous about this I must admit, but I just couldn't face going to hospital and being put under.
Moderator's note: GA is used for impacted wisdom teeth and other complicated surgical extractions in UK (I had hospital GA for mine and so did my OH and my friends) but it is only available in a hospital environment in UK, no longer in 'the dental practice round the corner' but you can have i/v sedation outside a hospital environment. In UK oral surgeons tend to be hospital based, they do not commonly have their own 'practices' like in USA and Australia where you can self-refer and be treated outside a hospital.
 
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H

hangingbyathread

Junior member
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
13
OK, I did it. I went to the dentist. Surprisingly, it was not nearly as bad as I had imagined, and though I'm still quite scared of the upcoming extraction, I'm glad I made it through the first step.

Aside from the assistant doing the x-ray (she kept moving the implement that you bite on and it scraped the area under my tongue to the point where it hurt), everything went smoothly. I have to have the problem tooth pulled, as well as one other one on the opposite side. The dentist was made well aware of my fears and told me that he does not expect me to have both done at the same time.

He said that I have a couple cavities, but other than that, everything looks OK right now.

He also explained that the extraction should be pretty easy, as there doesn't appear to be any issue with the nerve. He referred me to an oral surgeon and I will have it out in just a little over a month from now.

The dentist kept telling me what a great job I did and that he was surprised that I made it through the exam considering how scared I was. He said that I was far better than the many people that won't even open their mouths, which in turn made me feel a whole lot better about my own fear.

So I conquered step one. Like I said, my fear is not totally gone. But it's a month away and I'm not going to dwell on it until the time comes. I'm going to put it out of my mind for a few weeks and take things one step at a time.

I'm sure I'll be back on here before the extraction to help ease my mind a little more. In the meantime, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. It helped tremendously, and I can't wait to give you guys an update of how well it went!:D
 
A

aussiemom

Junior member
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
4
:jump: Good for you for taking the first step. I had a broken tooth extracted last week, and honestly it was over before I knew it. I thought he was just checking to make sure the LA was working and he already had it out.

After the procedure remember to ice your face, lots and lots of ice. It really helps with the swelling, and I had none the next day.

Try not to think about it for the next few weeks.
 
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