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Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed. :(

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gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
I'm 25, haven't been to the dentist since mid-high school. In high school, I had an experience where a dentist brushed a receding gumline with an explorer. Ever since then, I've been terrified of the dentist and have avoided them. I am fortunate enough that nothing appears wrong with my mouth at first glance. If anything, it's enabled me to kick the can way too far down the road.

2 years ago I had a car accident and a back left tooth chipped. Ever since, bits of it have come off at various times. I finally made an appointment with a sedation dentist, and this is what he told me needs to be done:

Appt. 1: Root canal by a referred endo with IV sedation. No abscess or "hot" pain to date.

Appt 2: 6 extractions under GA: 4 wisdom teeth and 2 back teeth (these are far enough back to where I won't miss them from a cosmetic standpoint, small miracles.)

Appt. 3-4: TWELVE (!!!) cavities, crown for root canal, and deep cleaning of gums. This would be done over 2 appointments under IV sedation.

So, I'm terrified. My girlfriend has had a lot of dental work done under less optimal conditions, and she keeps reiterating how this won't be a big deal because of all the medicine they'll have me on. (Her wisdom teeth were removed under IV).

I've never been under for sedation or any kind of surgery. I want to believe that I'll be fine. I guess what I'm really looking for here is reassurance that this isn't going to be all that bad, that the sedation will get me through just fine. I'm scared that I'll be "aware" or that I'll feel pain since I'm not "truly" asleep.

I'm hoping that after the first appointment with the root canal, I'll be so relieved that I won't be (as) afraid for the next phases.

So, please, help! Root canal is next monday, please tell me I'm not engaging in wishful thinking that this will go off without a hitch.
 
L

laughingloon

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Messages
31
Location
Upper Midwest USA
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

I have had a lot of dental work done due to an injury and not under sedation. It sounds like your dentist has a good plan, though I'm not a dentist (nor play on TV--humor always helps:)) Kudos for going to dentist. Try to relax. You'll do great. :)
 
chickenjen

chickenjen

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Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,320
Location
Illinois, USA
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

You shouldn't feel pain while you are under IV sedation because they do give you Novacaine.
Everyone's IV sedation experience is different......I'll share my experience with it.
I had 9 extractions done (2 wizzies and 7 bad teeth) and a cleaning.
I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the day of.
They put some numbing gel on my wrist and put the IV in, then escorted me to the treatment room. I got comfortable in the "chair", they put a blanket on me, some protective goggles, I said goodbye to my husband. They started putting in the medicine, and I went out like a light.
I did wake up briefly a couple of times (I was not in any pain) but I pretty much went right back to sleep.
I was out for 3 hours, but it could have been 3 minutes.......you can't really tell.... it's like you went for an unintended nap and lost track of time.
My recovery was very easy.....but I don't know if it WAS that easy or was it just the freedom of the constant tooth infections. I was able to eat soft solid food about 2 days after my extractions. I really was back to normal about a week after.
I hope that helps ease your fears a bit!

Wish you the best,
Jen
 
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gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

Thank you Jen and Loon for the kind words.

My appointment is Monday and I'm freaking out. I know I've got the best possible situation, with no pain in the tooth going in, no abscess, and IV sedation.

I've never been sedated before. I think that's a lot of the fear - I have nothing to compare it to, no experience to say, "oh, okay, it was nothing, it'll be cake."

It's kind of hard to believe that I won't feel or remember anything, since I'll be able to respond to commands.

Feel like I'm absolutely going to die on Monday. Got my ambien script for the night before... don't know what to do.
 
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GrahamDee

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
523
Location
Hampshire, England
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

I've been sedated three times and yes, you will not remember anything.

Slight pinch in back of hand, in goes the stuff, count to ten, open eyes, everything done!!!

Simple as that.
 
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gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

I've been sedated three times and yes, you will not remember anything.

Slight pinch in back of hand, in goes the stuff, count to ten, open eyes, everything done!!!

Simple as that.

This is very good to hear. I have freaked myself out seeing the stories here about things not taking for numbness, etc. The procedure is tomorrow, trying not to panic too much. It's an uphill battle.
 
J

Justdoit454

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
27
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

Dear gpsmith86,

IV sedation is safe, merciful, and effective. Tomorrow's appointment should be smooth sailing. I recommend not eating after midnight (assuming this is a morning appt?), wear short-sleeves, and comfortable clothes. The dental team will take good care of you. The RCT is usually done in about an hour. Think of something nice to do for yourself on Tuesday or later this week- have something fun to look forward to!
You can do this.
We will all be thinking of you!
 
G

gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

Dear gpsmith86,

IV sedation is safe, merciful, and effective. Tomorrow's appointment should be smooth sailing. I recommend not eating after midnight (assuming this is a morning appt?), wear short-sleeves, and comfortable clothes. The dental team will take good care of you. The RCT is usually done in about an hour. Think of something nice to do for yourself on Tuesday or later this week- have something fun to look forward to!
You can do this.
We will all be thinking of you!

You and the other posters were absolutely right about IV sedation. The root canal went off without a hitch, and so far, the recovery has been very easy (knock on wood).

I have three more appointments, and unfortunately, the next one is general anesthetic with an oral surgeon for 6 extractions (2 pulls, 4 wisdom teeth). I am still very scared about this one because of what I watched my girlfriend go through with her removals, but I think once that's over, I can make it through the fillings and deep cleanings with the help of the IV.

(I say this now. I'm sure I'll be posting frantically once the days approach.)

For the time being, I tried to use my experience to help someone else as best I can. I posted my "trip report" here in response to the OP, I am first reply:


Now, about those wisdom teeth... :/
 
chickenjen

chickenjen

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Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,320
Location
Illinois, USA
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

So glad your IV sedation experience was a good one.
Are you in the U.K.? We don't get general anesthesia for dental work here in the States, just IV sedation, so unfortunately, I can't offer any advice, but send you good wishes for the best possible experience!
Hugs,
Jen
 
K

Knightsaber

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
385
Location
Iowa, USA
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

We don't get general anesthesia for dental work here in the States

Speak for yourself, Novocaine Jen! Well, let's just change it '99% of dental work'. Mine was a special case, I think, though.
 
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gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

The root canal is continuing to be sore. I try not to "test" it too much during the day and stick to mostly soft foods. I eat on the left side of my mouth, but every now and again the rooted tooth "touches" with the bottom tooth and I get a sharp pain.

It will be a week on Monday. The pain is still manageable with Motrin, but should I be concerned at this point? I'm so nervous something will ruin my tooth again before I'm able to get a permanent.

I am trying to get the nerve up to call for the wisdom teeth on Monday. I can't get this thing crowned until after the wisdom teeth, dentist's orders. Six extractions is terrifying to me.

Speak for yourself, Novocaine Jen! Well, let's just change it '99% of dental work'. Mine was a special case, I think, though.

What was your GA like? I have never had it, and would like to know what I'm in for.

Also, if anyone could give me ways to manage any wisdom teeth recovery pain, I would like to hear it. I am so scared largely due to the pain I watched my g/f endure after her extractions. I feel like I'm fighting the clock with this root canal being temporary.
 
brit

brit

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Mar 23, 2006
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In My Dental Happy Place
Re: Root canal, extractions, deep cleaning under sedation - help and reassurance desperately needed.

The root canal is continuing to be sore. I try not to "test" it too much during the day and stick to mostly soft foods. I eat on the left side of my mouth, but every now and again the rooted tooth "touches" with the bottom tooth and I get a sharp pain.

It will be a week on Monday. The pain is still manageable with Motrin, but should I be concerned at this point? I'm so nervous something will ruin my tooth again before I'm able to get a permanent.

I am trying to get the nerve up to call for the wisdom teeth on Monday. I can't get this thing crowned until after the wisdom teeth, dentist's orders. Six extractions is terrifying to me.



What was your GA like? I have never had it, and would like to know what I'm in for.

Also, if anyone could give me ways to manage any wisdom teeth recovery pain, I would like to hear it. I am so scared largely due to the pain I watched my g/f endure after her extractions. I feel like I'm fighting the clock with this root canal being temporary.

RCT:
The worst pain after a root canal (if any) should be gone within 48 hours usually. See here:


However I am puzzled as to why you describe the root canal as 'temporary' - have you only had one endo appt?
I know one appt endo is sometimes possible but it is more usual to have 2 appointments and then to restore the tooth with say composite and then wait to see if it heals up. Several months later, you put on the crown maybe. Since everyone works differently though it could be that your endo has not done the composite restoration and that you have to return to your General dentist for this who may or may not want to do a crown straightaway (opinions differ on the timing of this - why spend out on a crown on an rct tooth which may fail - others argue putting the crown on early promotes the healing - I think the truth lies inbetween the two...do a composite restoration wait a few months and then do a final crown on an asymptomatic (well on the way to healing) tooth is my preference as a patient.

Also usually when you do a rct, the tooth gets 'taken out of bite' to stop it banging into other teeth causing pain/wear and to promote healing until the final crown/restoration is placed.

GA:
Do not worry, GA is a breeze - I had it myself for wisdom teeth. The other good news is your gf probably was one of the really unlucky people re after healing, not everyone has an horrendous time with it. The way to cope best though is to take your pain medication even if you don't think you need it...keep the pain at bay as this works better than trying to get rid of it once it has kicked in. Rest a lot to make it easier for your body to heal - GA can make you quite tired anyway, please do not head straight back to work - be kind to yourself. You also feel better once your stitches have dissolved/been removed.

Maybe give the endo a call for reassurance about the rct and the timing of the needed restoration.
 
G

gpsmith86

Junior member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
The RC'd tooth is feeling much better now. I still can't chew with that side, but I can bite down without fear of the tooth stinging sharply if it touches the bottom tooth.. By temporary, I mean that the endo did a temporary filling, and I am to return to my sedation dentist after my oral surgery to cap it with a crown.

About the GA, don't worry, I plan on crashing and eating soft foods. I will miss being able to drink milkshakes post dentist, but after what happened to my girlfriend, I'm not going anywhere near a straw for a few weeks.

I am glad to hear it is not usually that terrible. She really did go to a terrible surgeon, they treated her more like a product to push out the door than a patient. A few weeks later, she thought she was getting some sort of tumor in her socket, but it actually tuned out to be her body pushing out a piece of tooth they left in!

I ran my referred surgeon's name through google. They seem to have good reviews. Between this and the endo, I think I lucked out with finding a good dentist that has good people to refer out to. My goal will be to try and call the surgeon by the end of the week.
 
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