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Major anxiety over extraction



Junior member
Feb 2, 2020
I’m going to be doing a lot of describing and relevant back story so I’m sorry in advance!

I had my upper right first molar removed. I’ve had awful experiences over the last few weeks. I was getting pain in the tooth for a while but due to dental phobia I waited a while to go to the dentist (not the best, I know!). The dentist didn’t do any kind of X-ray before starting work. He then put a temporary filling into the small hole that was in the tooth and told me to leave. He booked me an appointment over a week later. I waited and was in a lot of pain over this period. When I went back to the booked appointment, he still did not take X-rays of the site and proceeded to drill out the tooth (and I’m assuming he touched somewhere near the nerve with the drill because I nearly hit the ceiling at one point) and then capped off with another temporary filling. I was told to wait til 16th March for the next appointment (this was from 20th Jan). I was in a lot of pain and it seemed to be getting worse by the day.
I waited til the 30th of January out of fear that I would have been doing something wrong.

I was in so much pain that I contacted the dentist who told me they had no appointments for me to see that dentist until the 5th Feb. I told her that if it couldn’t have been sorted I felt so awful and in so much pain that I would have attempted taking it out myself while very distressed and in tears. She seemed annoyed but directed me to emergency walk in dentist in the local area.

I went to the dentist there and he immediately took an X-ray of the site. There was less than 1mm of tooth left and the temporary filling was a small layer at the top of a huge hole which was creating pressure on the nerve. (Trying to describe what I was told here... sorry if it’s wrong!). He said he wasn’t surprised I was in agony and said he didn’t know how the other dentist had dared leave it in such a state and was surprised that he hadn’t attempted any kind of X-ray before starting drilling. He advised taking the tooth out as soon as possible as there was no chance of saving what was left as he had already damaged the tooth and nearby tissue.

I agreed and the tooth was taken out. The tooth shattered as soon as he applied any pressure on it so this then required drilling and then splitting to take the roots out individually. One of my roots were also curved. This took over an hour and a half, nearly 2 hours because it was so damaged. The dentist was great, gave me regular pauses in treatment and topped me up on anaesthetic when I was running out. As you can imagine, it was quite a traumatic removal.

I was not given gauze to cover the hole for more than 5 minutes after removal, he placed dissolvable sponge into the hole and I was let go with no other advice. I have had to do my own research on aftercare. I have been gently cleaning my teeth, not approaching the nearby areas and waited over 24 hours to do a gentle salt bath. (I rolled the water around by moving my head and then let it fall from my mouth). I have been doing this after eating and before bed.

My cheek and gum is extremely swollen and bruised which is understandable after the amount of work. This has been going down today. I have not done a lot of investigation into it, just checking occasionally and making sure it’s clean etc. I have not touched with cotton buds etc. I have been very careful not to use straws, to keep food away and to even try and drink on the opposite side.

I went to salt bath this morning and noticed that the sponge was no longer in the hole. I have had no pain at all other than in my gum where it is swollen and my cheek. The site itself has not been painful. I have had a bad taste in my mouth but this has been since the very start of the extraction recovery and has not got worse etc.

I went back to the dentist and they have packed the hole with clove dressing and antibiotic wash.

I have not been prescribed antibiotics and have not had an infection or abscess throughout. I’m just worried that in my panic I have overreacted? Will this dressing have any hinderance on healing or is it alright? After the first experience having a few trust issues, as I’m sure you can understand!

I know it seems like no worry at all but dental stuff like this has always made me incredibly nervous. I came away from the extraction shaking violently and my shirt was soaked through. I’m very sorry to bother you guys just looking to settle my anxiety.
Hi there, welcome to the forum. Back to the sponge stuff. This is a sort of artificial blood clot that's put in to help a good clot form, it's a good idea and it can help to speed healing, it sounds like you had a fairly big "hole" there to fill in! It's designed to dissolve away over a couple of days, so it all sounds pretty normal.
The clove packing stuff is designed for treating dry socket, again, it's meant to dissolve away over a couple of days, won't delay healing at all.
You don't need antibiotics. The swelling and bruised feeling is to be expected after the surgery.
Hope that covers everything. There are some FAQs here on socket healing if you have a look round.
Thank you so much for your response, it’s made me feel so much better. I’ve tried to do some research on it but just seem to be coming to the simple answer of “prevention” rather than help.

I don’t have any pain in the tooth at all, it’s not red or inflamed and I had it repacked because the original dry socket paste fell out.

It’s really unclear how long this paste should last?
How long will healing take?
If I have no pain in it and the paste falls out again, what next? Am I okay to leave it out? Last time it fell out you could still see all the way up the canals where the roots were. Is that okay to leave unpacked?
Sorry to be such a pain. I tend to get very obsessively worried about this kind of thing (if you couldn’t tell already!)
You’ve been through a lot, and are still a good sport. Well done. Posts like this are inspiring. We should all be as courageous as you.

I hope you feel better soon.Don’t be afraid to get a second/another opinion. Keep us posted.
It should be fine to leave it alone now if you're not having any symptoms.