Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff help!

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Mike2

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Hello to all,

I have to say that once this is over I will no doubt be going to the dentist as much as I can to avoid furthur problems. However, I have to get past this visit on friday 2/9/07 and I need everyones help.

:cry: I have periodontal disease. Not severe but enough. I have some bone loss. My guns do not bleed only a little sometimes. I have no pain just a little sensitivity. I have been told I will need a deep cleaning which is tooth scaling and root planning. I am not sure if it is the whole mouth or just some areas. I regret to say and I am extremely embarrased to say that I have not been to the dentist in 25 years. I have never had a cavity, tooth pulled or anything only cleanings when I was a child. I always had strong teeth but my fear of dentists is what is now my biggest downfall. I am a 39 year old male.

My dentist said that she could clean the whole mouth in 1 session or I could split it up into 2 sessions. 1 session would cost me $100 or 2 seperate sessions would be $80 each.

I am really scared about this procedure. :scared: I have been searching on the net for days now reading many different things and actually seeing some video on how the procedure is done.Maybe I should not have seen some video but I needed to know what is ahead of me.

I will be given needles for sure my dentist said. I had some questions that I hope some can answer for me. I really want to go through with this but I am getting cold feet as the appointment approaches and I am terrified. :hidesbehindsofa:

How many needles are given if I get everything cleaned or how many per quadrant? Do the needles really hurt? Should I get the whole mouth done at once? Does the numbing gell really work? I was planning on taking 600MG of ibuprofin 1 hour before I go and then 400 after. Is this ok to do? Should I continue to take Ibuprofin every 4-6 hours so I don't feel pain afterwards? Will I be able to eat solid foods the next day? Are the gums pulled away from the teeth with this procedure going to be a problem where food will get stuck and then it will be painful for me to get it removed by brushing. Can I drink hot or cold stuff? :confused:

I am sorry for the questions but I am now petrified, scared stiff, my heart rate goes up just think of this procedure. I just want to know everything there is to know about how this is going to be done and what to expect in regards to pain. I feel that if I know what is coming next it will make it easier for me to deal with.

I feel that if I know how much pain the needles are going to give me and where they will be put in, I at least will be ready and be able to prepare for it. The fear of the unknown is a real killer in my opinion. As I said before, I never had anything wrong with my teeth until now so I never went thorugh anything ever.

I do have other things that I need done. I have to big holes in my 2 front teeth. My dentist said that once she begins to clean it out she will then be able to determine if it turns into a root canal or not. She said if I clean it out and expose the nerve it will be a root canal. I don't think she will touch these 2 front teeth on Friday because this procedure is enough for 1 day. I also have a wisdon tooth that the crown is broken off and fell apart that will need to be removed. :scared:

If I can get through this procedure, I feel I will be able to get the rest of the work I need done. I just need to know everything there is so I can prepare and try to ease my mind. I never had novacaine or whatever they use. How do I know when I am numb enough? I have a lot of fear. Some say the top teeth are easier to work on than bottom that the novacaine works better up top. Some say needles to the pallet are painful. Am I going to get needles in the pallet? :scared:

Again, I am sorry for the questions and writing a book. I need to get this out of my system and just talk and write about it. By going under the gum isn't this going to expose the root and anything like liquid or food getting under there is going to make me shoot to the roof? :scared:

Please if anyone has had this procedure please tell me everything. I am going to go but I need to know everything even if some parts are extremely painful...I need to know so I can prepare. I am sorry for being a big 39 year old baby but there is nothing like fear of the unknown. :shame: I have gone through an outpatient surgery on my neck for the removal of a cyst so I have had needles before that made me numb. Yes I have had blood tests before as well. However, I never had a needle in the mouth and it this whole procedure that scares me to death. I want to be awake because I am ( yes you guessed it) afraid to be put to sleep. :hidesbehindsofa:

My wife has gone through many procedures on her teeth as well but not this one. She is very supportive and will be there but I am glad I found this board. My son will be going for a general cleaning shortly. I need to be strong for him to show him things will be ok but in reality I am scared stiff. Anyone with any advise or help or techniques please respond. Should I tell my dentist to slowly put the needle in? is faster better? She does not have the wand that I have read about.

I am extremely happy for those who have had enough courage to go thorugh all dental procedures and aplaud you all for taking care of things. I want to be on the other side helping others through this and other procedures as well. Please help. Thanks a bunch to everyone in advance and the best of health to everyone in 2007 and beyond!!
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

I think I've found your list of questions, sorry if I miss any...

1) Usually one or two per quadrant is enough
2) The injections should be almost completely painless
3) Can't answer, it depends on too many factors, you need to sort it out with your dentist really
4) Numbing gel is pretty good
5) Good idea on the ibuprophen, remember to tell your dentist that you've taken it
6) Certainly you will
7) No, the gums won't be pulled away from the teeth
8) It won't be painful to brush
9) Apart from some sensitivity (maybe) to cold it should be fine afterwards
10) Drink what you like. Mine's a beer :)
 
brit

brit

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Mike
:welcome:
Hope Gordon's put your mind at rest there.
You will feel numb so you will be able to relax - one thing you might ask your dentist for, to give yourself control is a 'stop signal'.....then if you feel you want a break or would like more anaesthesia, you can easily communicate that by raising your hand.
It is not supposed to be painful so if you are uncomfortable, don't hesitate to say so straightaway.
Well done for going after this long.....think you'll be pleasantly surprised and your teeth are bound to feel great afterwards.
Let us know how you get on.

I have gone through an outpatient surgery on my neck for the removal of a cyst so I have had needles before that made me numb. Yes I have had blood tests before as well. However, I never had a needle in the mouth and it this whole procedure that scares me to death.

I know you would think an injection in the mouth would be worse than in the arm or whatsoever but it isn't, it's far more comfortable in my experience...I've never felt one ever and I've had a lot over the years - usually I've had the gel but not always.
Most painful injection I've ever had was in my big toe! I had a blood test last week and that was a mere pinprick.
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for replying. Once numbed will I feel anything other than some pressure? Will my teeth get loose once they are cleaned? They are not loose now only 1 moves very slightly. Did you get this procedure done? Thanks it helps to talk about it. Can't wait to have that beer but being that I will be on Ibuprofin I may have to wait a bit :)
 
M

Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Brit,

Well, It sure helps to talk about it. I have read many different things on the net. Everything from people not getting numb to really painful needles and people who have had really bad experiences with this procedure. I am just hopeful that I will be one of the people who will not really feel the needles and who can get numb.

I guess that if I am not in pain now that is a good thing. I said to myself, I better get things done now than to have to run to the dentist in pain. I am also on Antibiotics to take care of something else so I guess being on them could help prevent some infections in my mouth as well. Thanks to all and if anyone else has any comments please let me know. I am really interested in hearing al different experiences this way I will know the good and the bad so I will know what to possibly expect. Thanks again. :)
 
G

gdentalfear

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Mike :welcome:

Gordon is one of our resident dentists (not sure if you realised that).

Anyway, I wanted to put your mind at rest as well (from a patient perspective):
The numbing gel works very well. Over the last three years I've had around 24 injections from my dentist. All with the numbing gell first. And I haven't felt the needle go in at all. So, the numbing gel works.

As for the injections: I haven't felt a thing! All 24 (or so) have been totally painless!

Whether an injection hurts or not has to do with how fast the dentist injects you. Nice and slow - and you feel nothing. Fast - and it hurts. It's that simple!
As Brit has suggested: discuss a stop signal with your dentist. Then if it feels uncomfortable you can get her to stop/slow down straightaway.

You were also wondering whether to get the cleaning done in one session or in two. The advantage of getting it all done in one session is that it will all be over and done with. The disadvantage is that all of your mouth will be numb. Personally I wouldn't be so keen on that. I would prefer to have just half of my mouth numb, even if this meant I had to come back for another session. But that's just my preference.

Oh, and your teeth won't be "lose" as you put it after the cleaning! If you don't have the cleaning, then your teeth will eventually become lose. The cleaning prevents this from happening.

G.
 
archaeodani2

archaeodani2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

I concur with all the above, Gordon, gdentalfear, etc who say the numbing jel is a wonderful product.. I had an extraction 3 weeks ago, and have no clue, other than the first, how many shots I was given for the extraction (I do know it was more than 2, but how many more, I have no idea) there's warmth that spreads thru your jaw, then once all numbed up your face feels "floppy" for lack of a better word. talking is an amusement, because your tongue can't really do anything properly..

The worst parts of my exraction was the pressure from his work (made my jaws sore, and became annoying), and when some of the numbing jel and/or local kinda went down my throat - the stuff tastes horrendous, but that's ok - you can rinse and spit as needed..

Once numb completely.. the best I can describe the sensation is your face feels concrete, or solid.. hard to describe. it's quite wierd, actually..
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Thanks to all for responding,

Well I feel more confident but another worry is that I may not get numb enough. I have read where some peole do not get numb enough or numb at all due to "Anatomic Variation" I have never had any novacain so I don't know if it will work on me or not so that scares the heck out of me. Some say that as they get older it does not work as well. I am 39.

I am hopeful that because I never had anything before, it will work just fine but that is just a theory I have. Does anyone know if this theory has any validity to it? My dentist said that the whole procedure should take about an hour or so. I hope it is less. My wife tells me that she uses a very fine needle that seems to be flexible. Is this the norm?

I still do not know if I am going to get the whole mouth or just 1 or 2 quads done.I have 3 days to decide so I have time. Thanks for the support everyone!
 
brit

brit

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Well I feel more confident but another worry is that I may not get numb enough. I have read where some peole do not get numb enough or numb at all due to "Anatomic Variation" I have never had any novacain so I don't know if it will work on me or not so that scares the heck out of me. Some say that as they get older it does not work as well. I am 39.

Mike...just promise yourself that if you can't get numb (highly unlikely), then you won't go through with it...simple. It's your mouth, you are in control...or should be. You then have the option of going somewhere else with nitrous oxide as apparently this helps relax people and then they get numb more easily in many cases. You would be a very rare case if you did turn out to have atomic variation...it is far more likely that a dentist might have injected in the wrong place rather than that you would have different physiology.....so if there is a problem...say so straightaway and have more LA.
Have a look in the 'Common Fears' section on here under 'Can't get numb' it gives all the reasons and because of adrenaline, being very nervous is one of them, infection is another etc etc . This doesn't mean you have to put up with it however....there are always ways round these things. Try to see it as a procedure you are choosing to have done...on your terms.

 My dentist said that the whole procedure should take about an hour or so. I hope it is less.
Then I would suggest you do as Gdentalfear says and do it in 2 sessions - sod the expense :p! I've never been numb 100% so I would guess also its better to just do half at once...break yourself in gently to these new experiences.

My wife tells me that she uses a very fine needle that seems to be flexible. Is this the norm?
The needles are very fine and sharp...hence why they can easily be painless....sounds right what you have described. What has your wife said about the comfort level of this dentist? Do you feel comfortable with her, on what you have seen so far?

Researching on the internet is a wonderful thing but obviously people post their worst experiences rather than their uneventful run of the mill experiences in blogs etc so you can easily get a distorted view.....also in the vast majority of cases all these people were probably 'free to leave' if they wanted to.

You'll be fine....so long as you feel you have some control.

 
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Thanks Brit,

Well, my wife says that in regards to the needles, it is like 10 seconds of slight pain nothing major. I wonder if my dentist removes plaque will there be exposed cavities under it? If sop would she fill them when I go for the cleaning? I don't want to leave with an exposed cavity and have the Novocaine wear off and be in pain. Just wondering.

regarding doing the whole mouth, I am not sure yet. I want to get it out of the way but I am worried about how bad it will be to have the whole mouth numbed. I hope I can relax because I want the Novocaine to work. When I had x-rays done and was sitting in the chair, my legs were like jelly and my heart was racing as she was picking and looking around.

I have a tooth in the back that gives me a shooting pain when I eat on it sometimes. There is a hole on one side but I feel it may be in between. She put the pick in the hole but I did not feel pain. When she does the deep cleaning, will this cavity be exposed more? Maybe I should tell her to skip that tooth so we can take care of it another time. I don't want that pain after everything wears off because it really hurts when I get it. It is weird I can talk fine put my tongue over it but at certain times if I chew on it it will send a shooting pain and other times it does not. Sometime when I swallow it gets painful in that tooth as well.

I just eat on the other side now so I don't feel pain. I also have a large cavity on my front tooth. She said once she cleans it out only then will she know if it will need a root canal or not. If she exposes the nerve then yes I will need a root canal. I think I will tell her to just do the deep cleaning. I mean what if she exposes the nerve? I have to sit through a deep cleaning and then the start of a root canal? Yikes!

I really hope other cavities don't get exposed. If so I guess I have to get them filled at t hat moment because if I let it go for a another session I probably will be in pain and back the next day.

Well, as you can see I have 1million things on my mind so I am worried but talking it out does help. 2 and a half days to go....this waiting is driving me nuts. I can't wait for Saturday morning or even later Friday night to get this over with so do it all at once or not. That is the question...I just don;t know yet. :hidesbehindsofa:
 
harper

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

just wanted to say the numbing gel is really good i couldnt do it without it
 
Gordon

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

I'm getting a bit lost in here, sorry if I miss a question.

The amount of "numbing" necessary for gum treatment is a bit less than for more invasive stuff like fillings or extractions, so in theory it shouldn't matter so much if the anaesthetic is a bit less effective. Some people can manage root planing quite nicely with no anaesthetic at all.

It's unlikely that removing the plaque will reveal a cavity that wasn't visible before. Almost impossible really.

It's a fiddly job that takes time to do it right, if you can't handle one really long appointment then it would be better done over more than one, if you can afford it.
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Gordon,

WOW, some use nothing at all for pain during this? It makes me feel better knowing that! :) Has anyone heard of the "Water Lase" technology? Would this and other procedures be done with less pain if I went that route? Just a thought but after hearing that some do not use any pain medication for this procedure it gives me more confidence that I can make it through this procedure.

I have heard that with water lase it is much quicker to get things done. Yes it may cost more but if I am going to feel less it may be worth it. Maybe not for this procedure but for fillings, root canal etc it may be the way to go. Water and a laser. Less trauma and less heat transfer which cause less fractures is what I have read and it is quicker and in most cases painless! :)

Well, thanks for the continued support. I bet your patients Gordon are real comfortable with you. Are you practicing yet or just starting. Let me know. I may be your next patient if this does not go well here if you are in my area! Talk to you soon. :D
 
Gordon

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Yes, some people happily have this done without any local. It's a lot less invasive a procedure than fillings or extractions. There's also a special numbing paste that can be used, err oraquick I think it's called that can be used for pain relief if the pain isn't too bad, instead of injections.

Waterlase is an excellent tool for some things, but less so for others, it's good for small, new cavities, pretty hopeless for removing old fillings and no use for root canals.
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Well,

I am about 3 hours away and my legs feel like jelly. I am nervous as heck :scared: I think I will get this over with and do the whole mouth. I guess that depends on how much pain I am in if any. I hope none and I can get this done. I still have a possible root canal in my front tooth to do and a cavity in the back. I also have a tooth that needs to be removed because it is not to good...my wisdom tooth. So, if all goes well tonight it will give me the confidence to go back and get the other things done. Thanks for everyone's support and I will let everyone know either tonight or over the weekend how it went........ :hidesbehindsofa:
 
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Mike2

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Re: Tooth Scaling & Root Planning Scared Stiff hel

Hi Everyone!

I have had some computer problems which is why I have not posted for a while. I got through my deep cleaning! I only did the lower teeth from ear to ear and have to go back for the top. I will post soon in the other area as I know this is not the area for that to tell everyone how the experience went :D
 
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