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Scared of Extraction and Infection



Junior member
Sep 6, 2022

I’m 23 have not really been scared of going to the dentist before Covid but I do suffer with health anxiety. I went to the dentist for the first time in 3 years yesterday, I have a huge cavity in my bottom left 1st molar and obviously they said that I would need to have it extracted or have root canal. It all happened so fast and the dentist was quite vague and uninterested. I have been given strong antibiotics to take for a week because the tooth is probably infected and I’m scheduled to have it taken out on Saturday (could not afford route canal.)

I’ve spiralling all day, I’m so terrified. I’m scared of these antibiotics causing resistant bacteria because I don’t have any symptoms of infection (abscess) but then I’m also terrified of getting sepsis before or after the extraction. So many things I’ve read say that you should get the tooth out as soon as possible and it has been like this for months so delaying it by having me take antibiotics has me scared.

Also that fact that I can only have it extracted leaves me to deal with the fact I will be missing a important tooth and I can’t afford to get an implant so it will look ugly and affect my speech and eating and the teeth around it will start to move over time.

Sorry I’m so worked up and overwhelmed and have no one to talk to.
Hey Randle!

Firstly I’m so sorry you’re going through this and have no one to talk to or lean on. You’ve made a big step by reaching out on here though! And an even bigger step by getting yourself to the dentist!
I’m a little surprised they would be okay with extracting a tooth that could be saved with a root canal. I will say, you should always be 100% comfortable with your dentist. Do not force yourself to stay with a dentist because you think you won’t be able to find anyone else. You deserve to be heard and listened to.

If it makes you feel better, and I hope it will, I found out back at the beginning of March that I needed extractions. I have yet to have any done because of booking issues. So I’ve had multiple teeth in my mouth for months that need to come out, and I’ve had no issues. Of course if you have an infection you need it treated as soon as possible but if you’ve been given antibiotics that should take care of any possible issues before extraction.

You’re going to be okay! Lots of people get extractions every day and it’s a very scary process and of course, yes, things could go wrong, but as long as the dentist knows what they’re doing, they very rarely do. There’s plenty of resources on here that can help you. And we’re all here for you. I’m sure you’ll be just fine!

Take a deep breath because you’ve got this! Having one extraction is going to be okay. Having it be a molar will change some eating habits sure, because you don’t have as much power as you would with all intact, but for the most part, since it’s just the one, you should be okay! I very much doubt you’ll sound too odd or have a big problem with food since it’s just one tooth coming out. The good news with molars is that because they’re located in the back of the mouth, no one can really notice if one’s missing. So you need not worry about that! A lot of people in my family are missing molars and they’ve been doing fine without replacements.

The movement of teeth is a thing that will happen, yes, I’m surprised though, was a single tooth denture not discussed with you? Implants are not the only route and most of us can’t afford them. I myself am getting a removable partial denture after my extractions. Obviously not cheap either, but it certainly costs much less than an implant!

All the best :grouphug:
Hi @APhobicQueen

Thank you so much for replying. I’m just so scared of the infection spreading and obviously route canal is a good option but I just can’t afford it and can’t get a NHS dentist to help.
I feel like I can only have it extracted but at the same time so many things I’ve read say that extraction should be the last resort, especially if you are young, which then conflicts with things saying you should have the infected tooth out as soon as possible.

It was a emergency appointment so not a lot was discussed they just basically said I need it out or route canal’d and I need to decide

I’m just stressed and conflicted.
Update: I’m now at a even bigger cross roads I had an idea to call up my old NHS dental practice to see if I was still registered (it’s located where I used to live before Covid) and they said I’m still registered.

They said I could be seen for a check up next week on the 15th. A Route canal would only cost £60 so I could potentially save my tooth but at the same time it would mean waiting till next week and then god knows how long after that.
I’m still on the antibiotics I got privately and have payed the non refundable deposit for the extraction (£40 ) which will cost an extra £110 on the day.

I’m just so conflicted on whether to wait it out to get route canal for maybe weeks/months? The infection/sepsis still scares me even though I don’t have swelling or redness or a visible abscess. This tooth has been bad since February I’m so scared of it hurting/ killing me.

Can I wait ?!? Everything online says I shouldn’t
Hi have a look at this thread in our FAQ section:

Hopefully it will put your mind at ease about waiting for a bit!
@letsconnect so do you think I should wait to get the route canal instead of extracting it this week?
@Randle If it was me I'd get the root canal
@Randle honestly I think most of us (and dentists!) would agree that getting a second opinion sounds like a good idea? If you can save the tooth, you absolutely should if there’s an option you can afford. It’s always better to have your natural teeth than fake ones given the option!

You’re on antibiotics so that should help kill any infection that’s happening right now. That being said, none of us can make this decision for you. Ultimately you have to decide what will be easier and more cost effective (short term and long term) and what you can live with.

I know that’s not helpful because we all just want someone to tell us what to do, but you have to go with you gut on this one. I think you’ll be fine to at the very least get a second opinion and maybe you can have a chat with your old dentist and see what they say about options? But if you feel you can’t wait that long, that’s okay too. It’s really up to you.

Also, as one person with health anxiety to another, make sure not to Google too much. It’s full of conflicting information that makes things worse. Whatever you decide, you got this!
I know it’s the better idea to wait and see my old dentist on Thursday but I just can’t stop reading all these horror stories on this sepsis website. I’m scared of it spreading before or after any treatment or any dentist doing a bad job.
Im listening to what you guys are saying I’m just worked up 😔
Hi there!
As someone who has had root canals and extractions, I understand the fear. I most recently had three extractions due to infected root canals. I was treated with antibiotics and the extractions went so smoothly. There will always be horror stories on the internet, but there’s also so many more success stories. I personally read through all the success stories on this site and it helped immensely. It helps to picture the procedure going well in your mind.
Wishing you best of luck!
@Beccab213 thankyou for your support, how long were they infected Before you got them extracted? And do you think I should go straight for extraction or try route canal ?
@Randle they were infected for a few weeks before I got them removed. As far as extraction vs. root canal, it’s a very personal decision. Some people opt to do everything they can to save their natural teeth while others wish to go right for the extraction. I would see what the dentist thinks is best and go from there.
Wishing you much luck!
I have no idea how long I’ve had the infection (I know I’ve had the cavity since maybe February) and that scares me because I don’t know how long the bacteria had been in my system. This is day 3 of using the antibiotics and antiseptic mouth wash and it’s almost hurting more then before. Are the antibiotics making it worse?!
I would report this to the treating dentist, they may want to do another exam to see what’s causing the worsening pain.
Hope you feel better soon!
So canceled todays private extraction. Have the appointment with my old NHS dentist on Thursday. Dreading the wait and the appointment tbh, scared of what he is going to say since my teeth are so bad now.
@Randle Hi! I’m a bit late to the party on this discussion, but I was happy to read that you plan to see a second dentist. Please dont be afraid that you will get sepsis between now and Thursday! I realize every case is different, but I had a front tooth so infected that pus was visible at my gumline. Out of fear I didn’t have it looked at for months. I of course lost the tooth, but even without antibiotics I never became septic or got ill in anyway.

If there is an affordable option to save your tooth I would imagine you’ll be much happier doing so. Just try to remember that there will always be more horror stories on the internet than anything else. All the millions of people who have an infection that is easily treated and cured typically don’t post about it online, it doesn’t make for much of a story! What we hear and read about are usually only the rare cases that turn out badly, but it’s much more likely that it doesn’t go that way.
@APhobicQueen ,

Do you get your partial yet? I wonder if any of your partials is a single tooth partial? As I saw another thread on the complain about single tooth partial & it makes me scared, as I'm considering single tooth partial for one of my upper incisors
@TickingClock No, not yet. My extraction date is set for next Tuesday! But no, it won’t be a single tooth partial. I’m getting four teeth extracted, all upper front, so it’s a multi tooth metal frame one.

I think the best case scenario is just to talk with your dentist and really see what the options are.

Please remember a lot of people make posts (on all sorts of sites) because when they’re in a negative headspace, they go to the Internet and forums for support and venting (nothing wrong with that!) but often we don’t see the people who have good stories, because they don’t feel the need to post anything. Because they had no issues. So always remember that when you’re thinking of your fear.
You’ll be all right though! You got this! :grouphug:
@Randle This may be of help. I had an infection so bad that I was squeezing pus out from between my gum and tooth every day. If I didn't drain the pressure from it this way it was very painful. I had it about a year and it didn't spread and I didn't get sick or anything like that. I finally told a dentist about it, and the antibiotics they gave me cleared it for me. It didn't come back or anything and I never got another infection like that.