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TERRIFIED of wisdom teeth surgery, but I need to get it done - please help!



Junior member
May 24, 2016
Hi everyone. I've been a lurker on this forum for a while but I just recently joined. I would really like some advice on how to deal with my intense fear of wisdom teeth removal. I've put off the surgery for a while but I'm starting to think that I should really get it done. I'm tired of flossing all the way back there.

I originally had the surgery scheduled last year, but was so intensely afraid that I cancelled last minute. The fear and anticipation were so bad the day before that I just couldn't do it.

I'm not afraid of a botched surgery or never waking up from the anesthetic or anything like that. I'm mostly afraid of feeling disoriented/groggy from the anesthetic. I once was put on laughing gas to get sealant put on my molars (a long time ago), and started panicking once I felt the effects. Even in everyday life, if I'm feeling super tired or "out of it", I can get really anxious. I don't like that feeling of not being in control or fully aware, or not being bale to take care of myself, or losing time. So the concept of being put under and then waking up "loopy" scares me to no end.

Additionally I'm quite scared of getting the IV put in. I'm not comfortable with having my blood taken, and from what I understand an IV is a step above that. I can feel the needle and tube inside my body and it makes my skin crawl. Is this what an IV is like? Is it more painful? What's the process?

Lastly I'm afraid I'll feel nauseous or throw up, for any reason. I have generalized anxiety disorder and an extreme fear of vomiting. When I originally scheduled my surgery the assistant mentioned I shouldn't eat beforehand so I wouldn't throw up. That really scared me because I hadn't even considered it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my scared rambling. I would really appreciate some advice since I know I need to have this procedure done.
Have you talked with a dentist/oral surgeon about doing the extractions with just local anesthetic? I had similar fears. I had mine out with local anesthetic.
Re: TERRIFIED of wisdom teeth surgery, but I need to get it done - please help!

I'm also someone who panics when feeling "out of it". Codeine was enough to make me anxious! But when I awoke from general anasthetic, it was more like waking up after being asleep. But maybe a little drunk too. It wasn't the most fun thing in the world, but it wore off fairly quick and then I just felt tired.

I hate getting blood taken, but the IV wasn't as bad for me. Much less painful than the last time I had blood taken. It hurt a little if I moved my hand, but I was careful with the hand it was in, and I could ignore it.

You don't eat anything after 9pm the day before going under general anasthetic, if I remember correctly, and only drink one small glass of water in the morning, so you can't throw up. There's nothing *to* throw up.

Like FearfulInMA said, a local anasthetic might be better suited? Either way, even for people who don't have anxiety disorders, these situations can nerve-wracking. But remember the staff will be used to people who are very anxious, and in my experience, are very reassuring and good at keeping you a bit calmer.
Re: TERRIFIED of wisdom teeth surgery, but I need to get it done - please help!

You sound just like me! Though admittedly I am terrified of my surgery, I am not too nervous about the "going under" part. I did it once before and it really was like falling asleep. I don't like feeling out of control either, which is why I don't drink much and I hate when alcohol hits me too hard and I feel out of it like when I haven't eaten. It gives me a panic attack. This wasn't like that. I wasn't panicky about being out of control because one minute I was in control and next minute I was waking up. I am scared about all the other things you are, but hopefully this eases your mind about that one part.
Remember that, for an IV, the needle is NOT left in your vein. Only a soft plastic tube is left there for the duration of the surgery.
Re: TERRIFIED of wisdom teeth surgery, but I need to get it done - please help!

My two cents (I had posted about this before to someone else, so I'm just copy pasting part of it...)

For the IV, ask for the baby needle and insist they put it in the crook of your elbow. From personal experience and trial and error- I know what combination is the best. Baby needle in the crook of your elbow. I didn't feel it at all. I'm not even kidding. I was like 'I was scared for that?'. the doctor had to tell me the needle was in. I did not feel it at all.

Note: I am scared of needles too. I do not like them and the IV scared me too, but as long as they start the anesthetic pretty soon after putting it in, you won't even feel the needle.

Also, as for your fear of throwing up, tell the staff that. then ask again exactly when are you to stop eating, and drinking and follow the instructions exactly. The problem is that the doctor can't have you throwing up during surgery, so the staff will make whatever recommendations to make sure that you DON'T. They will ensure that you DON'T throw up during the surgery, but you need to let them know you have that phobia.

I've had general anesthesia 3 times. (2 were dental). You just feel really tired. After my endoscopy last year, I just wanted to go back to sleep, and I almost did! My suggestion is to convince yourself that you're going to take a quick nap in the car after the surgery. I didn't feel like I was out of control of my body, and I actually thought it felt pretty cool.

Good luck! It'll be OK.