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Wisdom teeth extraction under GA - pretty terrified

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Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Members,

So after visiting my dentist for an infection in one partially erupted bottom wisdom tooth (this is the second time on the same tooth), I'm told by my dentist that I should have all 4 wisdom teeth removed.

Further, he is saying it will be under general anaesthesia.

Needless to say, I'm a little petrified. Unfortunately I have suffered from pretty bad health anxiety and generalised anxiety for quiet some time and I hate it...but it is what it is.

So many things running through my mind concerning the procedure but the main things I feel are:

- lack of control
- haven't been under ga since my childhood years (I'm 30 now)
- the idea of them tearing teeth out of my mouth
- the idea of not waking up
- the idea of "lights out " and nothing but darkness

I have a specialist dental surgeon booked for 4 May and he is pretty revered for our town, so I know I'm in good hands...BUT...I still can't shake the above fears.

Can anyone qualm my fears here?

Does GA feel like sleeping/dozing or is it an abrupt sleep?

Can I possibly have a diazepam before the procedure to calm down?

Please tell me everything will be alright! Haha
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
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Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,784
Hi Nathan_Lee,

first of all: everything will be alright :) wisdom teeth are scary enough even without a general anesthesia and without any further issues so I totally get your anxiety about the procedure. I have no own experiences with GA (hope you get some replies from experienced members soon too), but there are a lot of success stories about it here on the forum. The anxiety before it will be the worst part, but you won't remember anything from the procedure itself (so no tearing anything out of your mouth). From what the other members report: you will get very calm first and right after that it will be over. I don't know about the diazepam, but it might be a good idea to ask your dental team about this and to voice any concerns.

I was considering posting a link of a success story for you, but wasn't sure if you would like to read anything detailed. Everyone has their own triggers and not reading anything is sometimes the best option. If you would like me to post a link for you, let me know.

All the best wishes and keep us posted.
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
501
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Are you getting a consultation before the extractions? In my personal experience, at the consultation, I was given pills to take 1 hour before going for the procedure that does help a bit with the nerves. As mentioned by Eneret, contacting them and voicing any concerns might be a good idea if you don't have a consultation before the day of the extractions. But make sure they know any medication you take since they would need to make sure that there are no interactions with the drugs used for the GA.

For the GA, it feels like dozing. In my experience, I feel like having the staff talk to me pretty reassuring. You are not aware of what is going on during the GA. When I wake up from GA it always feels like just a few seconds ago I was dozing away. I never had a memory of "darkness" for the periods I was under GA.

Do remember that they received special training for GA and the administration of GA is tightly controlled. Any dentist or anesthesiologist must prove they have the staff, the equipment, the procedures, and the training to safely provide GA. This includes being able to wake you up.
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Nathan_Lee,

first of all: everything will be alright :) wisdom teeth are scary enough even without a general anesthesia and without any further issues so I totally get your anxiety about the procedure. I have no own experiences with GA (hope you get some replies from experienced members soon too), but there are a lot of success stories about it here on the forum. The anxiety before it will be the worst part, but you won't remember anything from the procedure itself (so no tearing anything out of your mouth). From what the other members report: you will get very calm first and right after that it will be over. I don't know about the diazepam, but it might be a good idea to ask your dental team about this and to voice any concerns.

I was considering posting a link of a success story for you, but wasn't sure if you would like to read anything detailed. Everyone has their own triggers and not reading anything is sometimes the best option. If you would like me to post a link for you, let me know.

All the best wishes and keep us posted.
Hi Enarete,

Thanks so much for your reply.

I have heard that it is a very calming process before you go under. I suppose in my mind I have formed this unreasonable idea that it is like a "straight knockout".

And like every/most medical procedures I've ever had...the anxiety before was the most difficult part.

I'm happy for you to post the success story if you wish :) I've seen a few on this site already and they have really helped. I suppose it's a matter of going through the extraction process yourself because I can read a million experiences but it just doesn't feel the same!

Cheers,
Nathan
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Are you getting a consultation before the extractions? In my personal experience, at the consultation, I was given pills to take 1 hour before going for the procedure that does help a bit with the nerves. As mentioned by Eneret, contacting them and voicing any concerns might be a good idea if you don't have a consultation before the day of the extractions. But make sure they know any medication you take since they would need to make sure that there are no interactions with the drugs used for the GA.

For the GA, it feels like dozing. In my experience, I feel like having the staff talk to me pretty reassuring. You are not aware of what is going on during the GA. When I wake up from GA it always feels like just a few seconds ago I was dozing away. I never had a memory of "darkness" for the periods I was under GA.

Do remember that they received special training for GA and the administration of GA is tightly controlled. Any dentist or anesthesiologist must prove they have the staff, the equipment, the procedures, and the training to safely provide GA. This includes being able to wake you up.
Hi Geos,

I really appreciate your reply.

I am seeing a maximillo (is that how you spell it?) facial surgeon on 3 May. I anticipate that I will undergo the surgery shortly after (1-2 weeks).

I intend on discussing my health anxiety with the surgeon and asking if there was anything he could do to make it as relaxing as possible before going under.

I have heard from reviews that this doctor is very good for anxious patients and children...which is exactly like I'm acting righ now haha).

I'm not taking any other medications apart frI'm sport supplements as I'm a bit of a fitness nut but I'll let him know anyway.

Your words regarding the GA are comforting. I would rather the process be like snoozing or going to gradual sleep than just being "knocked out cold" or like a forceful sleep, if that makes any sense.

That partly why I don't mind the idea of having some form of diazepam before the procedure because I'll be doppie as anything and already half way there haha

Liked you have said, I understand GAs are highly trained. I can only hope I get one that really understands anxious patients but I'm sure he or she will be?

Again, thanks for your reply.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,784
Hi Nathan, happy to hear that you have found some helpful success stories already. I'm sure you will be very relieved after it's over - make sure you also post a success story too as soon as you are done ;)

Happy to hear that your surgeon is good with nervous patients and children (which is actually the same.. don't know how about you, but I definitely act like a child when being nervous).

Hope the waiting till May 3rd will be as stress free as possible. All the best and keep us posted.
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Enarete,

It's funny you mentioned you hoped the wait till 3 May was as stress free as possible...

My mother who is a nurse thinks I should ask to see the surgeon earlier than 3 May as she believes the stress will consume me and affect my work/loved ones etc. Truth is I probably won't stop thinking about it till 3 May.

What do you think?

It would be nice to overcome the fear sooner rather than later but then of course I could regret it when my anxiety kicks into gear knowing it's sooner rather than later.

I know deep down she is right but obviously a part of me wants to delay it.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,784
Hi Nathan,

there are these two parts of you - the one wanting to put it off as much as possible and the other one that wants to get through that as soon as possible, right?

I think that the only question is what would YOU like to do. You will make it through the procedure and you will be absolutely terrified along the way, probably in waves, but with all symptoms that belongs to anxiety. These are facts. Everything else are preferences and completely up to you (and the availability of your dentist). There is no right or wrong to it. However you decide, the result will be: you will win, anxiety will lose :)

All the best wishes :clover:
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Nathan,

there are these two parts of you - the one wanting to put it off as much as possible and the other one that wants to get through that as soon as possible, right?

I think that the only question is what would YOU like to do. You will make it through the procedure and you will be absolutely terrified along the way, probably in waves, but with all symptoms that belongs to anxiety. These are facts. Everything else are preferences and completely up to you (and the availability of your dentist). There is no right or wrong to it. However you decide, the result will be: you will win, anxiety will lose :)

All the best wishes :clover:
Hi Enarete,

Thanks so much for your reply. It really is comforting.

I ended up booking an earlier appointment to see the specialist for next Tueaday. I won't lie...my anxiety has since kicked into overdrive.

Despite knowing it was the right thing to do (i.e. getting it over with, overcoming the fear), I'm still thinking the worse.

I just seriously don't know what to expect with the general anesthetic. I'm praying (and I'm not even a practicing Catholic these days) that its just a pleasant doze or nod off and not some "knock out".

And then there is the fear of not waking. I'm truly hating it.

I heard from my mother (shes a nurse but surprisingly doesn't do the best job at calming me), that I could take a pre-medication before the GA. Like a benzodiazepam of some type?

This really is consuming me and affecting my relationships/work/pretty much everything.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
501
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hi Nathan,
You could ask the dentist regarding your fears. I'm pretty sure they have techniques they can use and adapt to make sure that the anesthetics are given to you in a way that's comfortable for you.

Regarding waking up, I believe they always have on hand a product that can wake you up, no matter what is going on. You will be connected to monitors plus the staff will always keep an eye on you to make sure that everything is going fine and that you are the most comfortable possible.

For the pre-medication, your dentist would need to be aware of them, to make sure that they are not giving you too much medication or that there is any interactions with what is needed for the surgery. As per my experience, if you do take pre-medication (mine was given by the dentist to be taken an hour before my appointment), it will help making the transition to a pleasant doze or nod off.

If they are providing general anesthesia, they should know how anxious people are and how much support they need. Simply make sure they are aware of it and the staff should help make the experience as pleasant as possible.
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Nathan,
You could ask the dentist regarding your fears. I'm pretty sure they have techniques they can use and adapt to make sure that the anesthetics are given to you in a way that's comfortable for you.

Regarding waking up, I believe they always have on hand a product that can wake you up, no matter what is going on. You will be connected to monitors plus the staff will always keep an eye on you to make sure that everything is going fine and that you are the most comfortable possible.

For the pre-medication, your dentist would need to be aware of them, to make sure that they are not giving you too much medication or that there is any interactions with what is needed for the surgery. As per my experience, if you do take pre-medication (mine was given by the dentist to be taken an hour before my appointment), it will help making the transition to a pleasant doze or nod off.

If they are providing general anesthesia, they should know how anxious people are and how much support they need. Simply make sure they are aware of it and the staff should help make the experience as pleasant as possible.
Hi Geos,

Thank you and I will almost certainly discuss my extreme anxiety with the surgeon. I have a feeling he will probably think I am such a sook...but oh well.

I hope the pre-medication will assist with falling asleep. I think if the dosage is high enough (without interacting with the GA) it should do a pretty decent job.

Like you say, I really hope the anesthetist and staff at this hospital have experience in dealing with extremely anxious patients such as myself.

The funny thing is, I know that once I arrive at the hospital I will try to act like everything is cool but deep down I am literally sh&^ing myself. As in proper terrified. And that any moment I could snap or break down.

Health/medical anxiety really is debilitating. My work, relationship with my partner, family life, friends...it is affecting everything. And coupled with clinically diagnosed generalised anxiety...its not a fun time.

And all for what is referred to as a "minor" dental procedure. It has really ripped the confidence/self-esteem/life out of me.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Guys/Gals,

So I'm meeting with my surgeon tomorrow and suffice to say I'm extremely anxious and stressed. I probably won't sleep very much tonight at all...and thats not even the procedure!

I have done endless amounts of research on the various options available for wisdom teeth removal (impacted or not, combination) and I'm quite interested in IV sedation or "twighlight" as they call it here in Oz.

It seems like its a good choice for anxious people who are particularly concerned about being put under completely. It is "apparently" a very relaxing and calming experience. I have read however that it is almost the same result i.e. no recollection of the event, most people fall asleep for the procedure.

I was discussing this with my brother's partner who is a dental nurse and her comments/thoughts seem to err on "your surgeon might not give you an option" or "most nervous patients actually go with GA".

As someone that suffers from real bad anxiety and wants ALL the options presented, this seems pretty limiting to me? From my dentists comments, my wisdom teeth are not in awkward positions/severely impacted/in the bone so I don't know why he couldn't offer both forms of sedation?

Does anyone know if/why oral surgeons might only present one option?

I just want to be geared up for the consultation tomorrow.

Cheers in advance,
Nathan
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I was discussing this with my brother's partner who is a dental nurse and her comments/thoughts seem to err on "your surgeon might not give you an option" or "most nervous patients actually go with GA".

As someone that suffers from real bad anxiety and wants ALL the options presented, this seems pretty limiting to me? From my dentists comments, my wisdom teeth are not in awkward positions/severely impacted/in the bone so I don't know why he couldn't offer both forms of sedation?
Hi Nathan,

I totally understand that you would like to know which options you have and this is very responsible, after all it's your health and your body. The comment from your brother's partner surprises me a little since GA is actually the last option and rarely used for dental treatment, the most procedures get done under IV sedation.

It would be valid to ask your surgeon about the options. If he only offers you GA, it would be good to know, what the reasons for that are. It could be some specific medical reasons for iv not being suitable for you in this case, or just the fact that your surgeon doesn't do IV sedation at all and generally does all procedures under GA. However it's the right thing to want know.

Assuming there are no special conditions that would make iv sedation impossible for you, if you feel like IV sedation is the way you would like to go and your surgeon doesn't offer it, you could consider looking for a surgeon who does - it's your health and your body and you should be able to decide which procedure you would prefer.

Good luck for your consultation
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Hi Nathan,

I totally understand that you would like to know which options you have and this is very responsible, after all it's your health and your body. The comment from your brother's partner surprises me a little since GA is actually the last option and rarely used for dental treatment, the most procedures get done under IV sedation.

It would be valid to ask your surgeon about the options. If he only offers you GA, it would be good to know, what the reasons for that are. It could be some specific medical reasons for iv not being suitable for you in this case, or just the fact that your surgeon doesn't do IV sedation at all and generally does all procedures under GA. However it's the right thing to want know.

Assuming there are no special conditions that would make iv sedation impossible for you, if you feel like IV sedation is the way you would like to go and your surgeon doesn't offer it, you could consider looking for a surgeon who does - it's your health and your body and you should be able to decide which procedure you would prefer.

Good luck for your consultation
Hi Enarete,

Thanks and I agree completely with your comments.

The latest message from my brothers partner is "people on Google don't know what happens behind the scenes with IV sedation and I've seen some scary stuff"...thanks for the vote of confidence!

From the (literally endless reviews) I've read, most if not all IV sedation experiences had positive outcomes.

Unless he provides very compelling reasons, I will likely seek another opinion/quote if my surgeon doesn't offer IV sedation or says he is not confident with IV sedation. I just feel it is likely my preferred form of sedation in this instance, regardless of whether it is has very similar characteristics to GA.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Well, that wasn't an ideal consult :(

So I met with the oral surgeon today. As I had anticipated, I was basically talked over the entire discussion and all he could say when I raised my extremel medical/health anxiety was "we deal with people like you all the time" and "is it the needle?" and "I understand you don't like the loss of control but the same loss of control happens with IV sedation".

He was nice enough to explain the complete surgical procedure and a little on the anesthetic but virtually nothing on different extraction procedures or how he would reduce my anxiety.

When I went to explain that I have done some research and believed IV sedation was at least an option he said "it was too difficult for him because would move around too much and its far too dangerous when he is cutting away gum, tooth etc". I was seriously hoping he could at least offer IV sedation as general anesthesia is scaring the absolute crap out of me.

That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. And this guy is meant to be a very good surgeon.

Then comes the final blow. I received the fee estimate from the receptionist following my consult and immediately inquired with my private health fund when I got to work as to what reimbursement/benefit I would receive... I'm looking at $1,000 minimum after payment of my benefits :(

That was quite a bit more than expected. Can anyone shed some light on their wisdom teeth removal costs for 4 wisdom teeth? I'll also add that my wisdom teeth did not look particularly difficult to extract i.e. only the bottoms were slightly impacted and the tops were already through the gum line.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sorry to hear that.. :( Seems that your surgeon doesn't enjoy working on conscious patients.

The question is, what does it mean to be a good surgeon. He might have a reputation for doing a great work at complicated cases or cases that are more risky than 'usual' dental surgery, but it doesn't necessarily need to mean that he is very kind or good at putting people at ease.

Do you have the possibility to consult an another surgeon?
 
N

Nathan_Lee

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
22
Sorry to hear that.. :( Seems that your surgeon doesn't enjoy working on conscious patients.

The question is, what does it mean to be a good surgeon. He might have a reputation for doing a great work at complicated cases or cases that are more risky than 'usual' dental surgery, but it doesn't necessarily need to mean that he is very kind or good at putting people at ease.

Do you have the possibility to consult an another surgeon?
Hi Enarete,

So last night after feeling a little defeated from the day, I stopped watching TV to reflect for a moment on my anxiety/fears.

I consider that I might have perceived the discussion with the oral surgeon negatively or incorrectly. Having spoken with my mother shortly after the consult, her comments (as a nurse) were "wow, he is actually quite an understanding doctor" and "you don't find many doctors who would give you as much explanation on the procedure as he did Nathan".

Like you said previously Enarete, my anxiety is coming in waves. Massive, unpredictable waves.

The truth is, I know this surgeon is very good at what he does. It is simply that he works better under general anesthesia. Its not his fault that I am scared at the loss of control. That is something I must overcome. And unfortunately the only way I can overcome it is to experience it for myself.

I know in my heart I'll wake up after the procedure (hopefully), I know I'm in good hands with both surgeon and anesthetist and I know that the procedure will go smoothly overall. Its just I cant see past the anxiety at the moment.

I don't particularly know why I'm scared of having a deep sleep, or why I'm scared of not remembering the procedure (no one wants that?!), or why I'm scared of the lapse of time that everyone says they experienced (that sounds awesome!)...I don't know why I'm afraid of all these things.

I won't be chasing further quotes or opinions from other surgeons. I acknowledge the cost is quite high for the procedure but the reality is I would be searching for another surgeon that tells me what I want to hear and not what I should receive.

I just need to place my trust in both the anesthetist and surgeon and try to enjoy the process.

I pray that what others have reported about GA is true, that it really is a piece of cake/peaceful/not a distressing experience.

Cheers,
Nathan
 
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