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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
NotExactlyCrazy Offline
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Unhappy Tooth Extraction Terror - December 5th 2013, 06:56 PM

Hello all.
So I got braces on a couple month ago and I was told that two of my teeth needed extracting. The are baby teeth, so get that they need to be pulled. Let me just say one thing: I am absolutely terrified of needles. They make me pass out. I can't explain what scares me about them, it is not that the hurt. Anyway, I am so super stressed out about the teeth being pulled. They said they do it with regular novicaine, which I am cool with, but I am scared of the pain and I am scared of losing time if they decide to put me out. I was told they could give me laughing gas if I was too nervous and while that kind of appeals to me, it also terrifies me. I don't want to be running my mouth off and letting all my secrets out to my parents. I don't want to lose control of myself. Help? What do I do? I am I crazy to be so scared? I keep crying nad having nightmares about it. Help.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Tooth Extraction Terror - December 8th 2013, 11:28 PM

Hey there!

When I was told I had to get my wisdom teeth removed I was terrified and dreading it for months. I can really relate to how you're feeling! I also hate needles...I know they aren't that bad but the anticipation anxiety that I build up in my mind is what really stresses me out. Let them know that you're nervous about the needles. Laughing gas leaves your system very quickly after the actual procedure so you won't leave the dentist's feeling drugged or like you're not in control of your body.

Just be honest with your dentist before the procedure and let them know you're afraid. They're used to patients feeling anxious and they'll do their best to make your experience more comfortable. As for things you can do in the meantime, try not to focus too much on thinking about it. If you're getting worked up about it, try deep breathing or doing something healthy that's calming to help get your mind off of it.

Having teeth removed can seem pretty frightening and overwhelming before hand but once it's over with and you've recovered it's probably going to be something you look back on and think 'that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be'.

Anyways, I hope this post helped a bit! Take care. :]

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Re: Tooth Extraction Terror - December 22nd 2013, 12:47 AM

Hey Charlie,

I too was terrified of having my wisdom teeth out. In some ways, that was a bigger deal than what you're describing, as it required general anesthesia (well...I could have gone without, but for removing impacted teeth, it is HIGHLY recommended).

I'll be honest -- laughing gas was completely useless for me that morning. I didn't feel any different at all. But I was also FULL of adrenaline and probably at about a 9 or 9.5 on a 10-point anxiety scale. So I am far from the average dental patient in that sense, and gas works WONDERFULLY on many, many people.

What I DID find slightly useful was valium. It's a short-acting oral anti-anxiety drug, and it can help take the edge off. I'd suggest asking your dentist if this is something you can have.

Another thing to keep in mind -- depending on how big of a deal this procedure is (and whether your dentist or any of their staff are qualified for the following suggestion) would be the possibility of being sedated or being under anesthesia. This WILL take care of your immediate situation, as you won't be awake for the procedure...or at least not very aware. What it won't do, though, is help you manage the fear in the longterm. It helps you AVOID it, but the fear will probably be worse later on if you need to get something like this done without being put out. Also, anesthesia often requires the insertion of either an IV line or a cannula. To be honest, though, the needle stick for my oral surgery was fairly minor, and was not a major cause of anxiety because I was already anxious about the procedure to begin wtih.

As to the needle phobia, I will say this: pain is often a factor, not because you can't tolerate it, but because it reminds you that there's a needle in your body. It is PERFECTLY POSSIBLE for you to undergo a needlestick and feel no pain (and possibly close to no sensation from the needle at all). This takes a good professional who is skilled and who numbs the area well, but it is very possible. Ask your dentist about this!! Likewise, the entire procedure should be possible without you feeling pain. If it's not, you should find someone else.

The most important thing, though, is communication. Have a signal that your dentist agrees to to let them know that you want them to stop (e.g. raising your hand). It can be for anything -- pain, resting, calming down, feeling uncomfortable, whatever. A lot of dentists recommend this. And, feel free to test them on it when you DON'T need them to stop, just to make sure they will. This is a measure of control that you CAN have.

Something else that can help is to know EXACTLY what the action plan is. Ask for a clear explanation of what will happen during the procedure. Be familiar with it. This too allows you have the control of knowing what's going on and the ability to ask questions or give any special input about things that are bothering you.

Last piece of advice -- relax and believe in yourself. Do some meditating and relaxing before, and during the procedure. Arm yourself with relaxation techniques (like the happy place exercise, or the Harvard Relaxation Response). It really will be okay. And no, you're not crazy. You're just human. The IDEA of letting someone control you and surgically remove part of you is naturally alarming. In part because it is unknown, and in part because something bad could happen. But your dentist is in their profession (hopefully) because they want to help you.

I know this was really long, but I hope it was helpful for you. Let me know if you want to talk.

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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Tooth Extraction Terror - December 22nd 2013, 03:53 AM

Hey Charlie, I'm sorry you're scared, but it's completely understandable!

When I had my wisdom teeth out I wanted to be put under for the same reason and they talked me out of it because the guy said he was a lot less gentle if he knew I couldn't feel it. Also, the recovery time is longer.

So I had the laughing gas and it was kind of fun, I was more spaced out than anything. They only give you enough to have an effect and if you feel like you're getting too much, you can breathe out your mouth to take care of it. You won't spill secrets to anybody because they will be working and will probably tell you not to talk too much. Before he gave me the Novocaine, he wiped numbing medicine on my gums so the needles only pinched, if I even felt them.

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Re: Tooth Extraction Terror - December 22nd 2013, 10:43 AM

Remember to keep breathing and ask how they want you to let them know if you feel anything. I had sixteen shots in my back recently to remove a large mass so let me tell that the important thing is to keep breathing,
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Re: Tooth Extraction Terror - December 23rd 2013, 04:25 PM

I have had baby teeth out because they weren't going anywhere by themselves, and some adult teeth out for when I had to have braces, and also two wisdom teeth out. I had them all with just local anesthetic. I was scared about them all and expected them all to hurt, the only ones that did were the wisdom teeth, but that was more jaw pain because it took him so long to get them out. They were also the only ones that really hurt afterwards. Obviously the other ones were a bit sore, but nothing more than that. Baby teeth aren't supposed to stay in permanently, so they shouldn't be too difficult for them to take out. I know it's scary beforehand, but it shouldn't be too bad. Would it help if you can't see the needle? You could try closing your eyes. Once they've given you the anesthetic you shouldn't feel anything else until it wears off. I'd say the worst part of having teeth out is the tingling as it wears off.

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braces, crying, dentist, extraction, laughing gas, needles, nitrous-oxide, novicaine, scared, teeth, terrfied, terror, tooth

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