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Lower Wisdom Tooth Extracted!



Junior member
Jan 13, 2024
Hi all! I'm new to these forums, but I figured I'd post my story since I relied heavily on these forums the past few days to get me through my crisis. I have had dental anxiety for as long as I could remember. It started in my late 20 (I'm 43 now) and turned into me neglecting routine care. Over the years, I have had several teeth pulled and root canals. Recently, I had observed a cavity in my lower left wisdom tooth and my general dentist recommended I get it pulled out. I wasn't having any pain at all, but did not want to get to that point. Fast forward to last Friday:

I scheduled the extraction with a local oral surgeon I had used in the past. I was super anxious about the appointment, but pushed myself to go assuming it was going to be straightforward (fully erupted/not close to nerve). Dentist numbed me up and while my lip/cheek/tongue felt numb, my teeth didn't feel as numb as usual. He proceed to try to pull it and I felt a sensation. He injected more anesthetic and tried once more-- no dice. He stated that we would "fit me in" Monday and do IV sedation and left. He wasn't rude, but wasn't too personable which set off my worry/anxiety spiral.

All weekend I was a mess. I researched these forums, read actual research papers on dental sedation/statistics of dying under sedation. I was looking for every bit of information about dental IV sedation I could find. You see, I am diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. My OCD brain latched onto the thought of dying under sedation and that was it-- all weekend I was living like it was my last. My main fears were that I am considered obese (BMI 36.8), have moderate sleep apnea, a thick tongue, and a thick neck: all risk factors for dental sedation. I was beside myself. I also have past trauma of my dad having a cardiac arrest under light sedation for an endoscopy (he survived).

Today was the day. I slept poorly and was unable to feel relaxed. I felt like I was walking to the gallows. My wife was so supportive and held my hand on the drive to the office. I broke down in tears thinking about everything. When I got there I was fairly composed. I spoke to the Dental Assistant that would be monitoring my breathing the whole time and told her of my fears. Then the Dr. came in and I told him the same stuff (even the stuff about my dad). He acknowledged my fears and validated them, but then also said that the tooth was chronically infected and compromised and that he wanted me to have a healthy mouth. I floated the idea of letting my current mouth situation heal (was quite sore from all the injections) and trying under local again. He stated that he wanted to get the tooth out today and that the longer it sat in my mouth, the worse it could get. In that moment, something clicked for me. I agreed to the sedation. I asked for my wife to be able to come back to sit with me and they let her. She held my hand again and comforted me. The Dr. started the IV and then injected a little bit of medication in the IV and told me I would start to feel relaxed. I did. The next thing I remember is them telling me I was all set and they brought my wife back into to be with me while I recovered. I was happy and laughing and would drift in and out of consciousness.

Now I am home and while still a little anxious about feeling so tired and about the recovery ahead of me, I am SO GLAD this major hurtle is jumped over. Please, if I could push myself to do sedation, you can too! :)
Well done @dade1980!! Wow, I need to have all four of my wizzies removed - two the dentist can do under LA, two might need to be referred to another of the dentists at the clinic. I’m really hoping they aren’t too complex in nature.

Did you get stitches from your extraction? I hope the recovery keeps going well. 🤗
The doctor did put stitches in the extraction site. 24 hours later besides soreness and some stomach issues (related to my GERD and probably not eating as much), I'm doing good! :)