Molar Extraction in 2 days time and I’m scared

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Totallyascaredycat

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I’m 20 this year and over years of lacking dental hygiene because I was dumb and young, my teeth are now yellow and ugly. It has taken a huge toll on my self-esteem so I finally hauled my ass to the dentist just earlier today and I was told that my second upper left molar has decayed and cannot be saved — which means I have no choice but to extract it. I’m starting to feel an ache in the left side of my face so out of fear and desperation, I scheduled an appointment to take it out two days later. The problem is that I’m so, so scared of losing my molar and the extraction itself. I finally decided to post here (after a breakdown) to seek advice. My anxiety really stems from the fact that I have a terrible gag reflex and I was totally traumatised when I had braces and they had to make a mold — I can still remember how much I gagged and thrashed about in the chair. I’m so worried that the extraction is going to trigger my gag reflex and I wish I could be sedated but my dentist says they’re only allowed to provide local anaesthesia for me. I’m also scared of needles so :’)

Tldr: I’m scared out of my mind and some advice or letting me know about your experiences would totally help :’)
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Totallyascaredycat and welcome to the forum :) you are in the best company here when it comes to being terrified of dental procedures.

First of all, I doubt that you were lacking dental hygiene in the past years due to being dumb and young. I would rather say that you didn't know better and now you do. It's great that you are ready to address your problems now and are on your way to save all other teeth and keep them healthy long term. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder for having made it to the dentist at all. By the way, a good dental cleaning can make a lot of yellow ugly teeth looking nice again so this might be also your case.

I understand that an extraction sounds very scary, but you might be surprised to hear that extractions are often the quickest procedures. From my experience the waiting for the numbing to take effect takes the most time. You will be numb so there won't be any pain and your dentist will hopefully talk you through and try to put you at ease.

Your fear of needles and your gag reflex would be good topics to get discussed with your dentist. If you worry about gagging, let him explain why it won't happen this time (probably because he just won't touch that part of your mouth that provokes gagging). Making a mold cannot be compared to an extraction when it comes to gagging. Which tooth is it that needs to come out?

Scared of needles. This one is my favorite, because I am too (and the most people and even the ones that don't consider themselves as scared of the dentist). Tell your dentist about this one and tell him you do not want to see anything. He will take then work below your sightline. I also always look up up up as much as I can not to see anything. Be aware of the fact, that being numbed is no comparison to a needle anywhere else. It you think of blood tests or getting shots, it's not like it feels. Your dentist will use a numbing gel so that you wont feel the needle going in. You won't even notice a pressure, you won't notice anything. The second step is that your dentist will numb you really really slowly. This is the key for you not to feel anything. Believe me or not, but this is how a shot feels when my dentist is doing it: He takes a tool (I do not see which one because I look up), the holds the tool in my mouth (I can feel it resting on my lips) and we stay like this for ages till he announces that it's done. It's the most boring part of any treatment, you are just being there and waiting. So it's not just about 'not having pain', it's about 'not noticing anything whatsoever'. It might be a good idea to ask your dentist how good he is with needles and if he can make it painless.
Here is a link that you might find helpful: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/needle-phobia/

If you, after talking to your dentist still feel absolutely unable to get through the procedure, you might consider finding a practice that offers nitrous or even sedation.

All the best wishes and let us know how you got on
 
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Tryingtoovercome

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May 31, 2017
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I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had to get wisdom teeth out but because those are the farthest back in the mouth, I was too scared. I let them hurt me for YEARS off and on because I couldn’t imagine a dentist and hygienist in the way back of my mouth with all of those tools. Fast forward to today, all 4 wisdom teeth are gone while awake and it did not trigger my gag reflex a bit. Not even close I promise. I was especially scared of the bottom teeth because they are close to my tongue and touching my tongue that far back can trigger gag reflex but it didn’t at alll and top teeth were even easier. I swear he got my top wisdom out in 30 seconds no exaggeration. You won’t gag I promise. You won’t even feel close to it. With an extraction, there’s not many tools in your mouth and the dentist is only touching the tooth, nothing else around It. Plus it’s super quick
 
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Totallyascaredycat

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Thanks for all your encouraging words! Just to add a little bit of context, I’m extracting my top left second molar this Friday :’( The thing about my gag reflex is that even brushing my molars triggers it :( I’m just really anxious because I haven’t had an extraction done before and my fear of my gag reflex and needles. I’ll probably close my eyes and try to think happy thoughts during the appointment. I don’t think I’ll try to worm my way out of this because I already feel the decayed molar aching a little and it’s making me a little desperate.

It’s really nice to have a safe space like this where I don’t get judged because this is my biggest insecurity. All I get in real life are people who just say ‘see? You should have done this and that’ or ‘I told you so’ because they don’t know I’m actually scared.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Thanks for all your encouraging words! Just to add a little bit of context, I’m extracting my top left second molar this Friday :’( The thing about my gag reflex is that even brushing my molars triggers it :( I’m just really anxious because I haven’t had an extraction done before and my fear of my gag reflex and needles. I’ll probably close my eyes and try to think happy thoughts during the appointment. I don’t think I’ll try to worm my way out of this because I already feel the decayed molar aching a little and it’s making me a little desperate.

It’s really nice to have a safe space like this where I don’t get judged because this is my biggest insecurity. All I get in real life are people who just say ‘see? You should have done this and that’ or ‘I told you so’ because they don’t know I’m actually scared.

Try to see it like this: the aim for you and your dentist is to find out a way how to get the tooth out without you gagging. It's not about you having to endure something, it's just about knowing the problem, talking to your dentist and find out a way to make it work. If you gag, he will stop and try something different.

In my experience it's very hard for 'normal' people to understand the weight of feelings and worries connected to dental fear and also how many other areas of life it can affect. 'I told you so' implies that you didn't want to solve the issue, which is not the case. It's the fear that makes you unable to solve it. All those people do not mean to be unkind, it's just very hard to understand things that are too far away from the own spectrum of experience.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, again please do talk to your dentist and let him know your fears and also any discomforts that might appear during your presence in the surgery.

As a last source here the link about 'gagging' from the common fears section: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/gagging/
You will see that there really are plenty of options to get even through that, all you need is a good communication with your dentist. Hope you have a very kind and caring one.

All the best wishes and keep us posted :grouphug:
 
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Totallyascaredycat

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Hey guys! Update: I just got my molar extracted. It was way faster than I thought it would be and so much less stressful so I thought I’d just share my experience in case anyone else on the forum is going through the same thing. I went in and chatted a little with my dentist and it chased a bit of the nerves away. He then put some pink numbing gel before injecting the local anaesthesia into my gums so there was hardly any pain. After waiting for the numbness to set in, I only felt a lot of pressure as he was loosening and rocking the tooth. Honestly, I didn’t even feel the tooth coming out. I think it took less than 3 minutes and the great thing was, my gag reflex was NOT triggered at all. Right now I’m just biting on the gauze and swallowing my own blood. I’m mostly just worried about the aftercare but it should be fine from here.

Thank you so much for everyone’s encouraging and reassuring words. This forum really helped me a lot. This is probably only the first step to regaining a nice smile. I’ll probably brush, floss and rinse with fluoride to regain some minerals that I lost and maybe pluck up the courage to go for a whitening. For now, I’ll just let this heal :)
 
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twistedsister

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Wow.... well done you. You should be feeling very proud of yourself. I was told once that fear evolves from not knowing but guessing. You will feel so much better now so a bit pat on the back for you. Be good to yourself and rest. x:jump:
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Congrats and very well done! :jump::jump::jump: Lovely to hear that things went better than expected. Recover soon and give yourself a huge pat on the back :)
 
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