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  #1  
Old 04-09-2003, 12:57 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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I'm getting a tooth pulled for the first time tomorrow and I am a huge wuss

Pulse racing. Palms sweating. Heart pounding so hard I wouldn't be surprised if it jumped out of my rib cage and landed with a bloody PLOP right on the desk in front of me.

I've never even had a FILLING.

My anxiety is beyond description.

It's my back upper tooth. I've let it go so long (My anxiety is such) it has a nice sharp point now that digs into the side of my mouth every time I talk.

My teeth are great. Aside from THIS.

I'm scared to death.

I'm afraid it's going to hurt. I'm horrified of having a needle in my mouth. I'm cowering at the thought of choking on my own blood(shudder shake panic dear god).

Someone tell me I've given birth three times and this is NOTHING. Oh please by all that is holy someone tell me that even if it's a lie.

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  #2  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:17 PM
Spacegirl Spacegirl is offline
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Just make sure they give you nitrous, it calms you right down. You won't choke on your blood because they have that sucker thing, and they give you gauze.

I have had 8 teeth + wisdom teeth pulled. It sucks but it's not that bad, and it's over before you know it.

I think that worst part was the bloody gauze, it was disgusting!

Like I said, nitrous!
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:30 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Stop worrying!!!!
I am the world's most sqeamish patient.
I squeam a lot.(hey, why can't it be a verb,too?)

And I have always been proud of never having any dental problems.Until recently, when I had to submit to both an operation on my gums, and a root canal. I was terrified---but.........now I know:

It will not hurt at all!! The dentist will give you a painkiller that totally numbs your mouth.You wont feel anything during the procedure.And afterwards, too--you may have a bit of a headache (mostly from nervous stress, I think, not from real pain)--but one aspirin will solve it all.

I did get physically tired in my arm muscles, though, from gripping the arms of the chair too tightly.So relax.....
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:32 PM
Contrary Contrary is offline
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I second BluMoon on that.

I am also a complete baby about the dentist, so much so that I am a complete freak about taking care of my teeth. However one of my molars cracked despite all my excellent care (including twice yearly visits to the dentist). It cracked badly enough that a crown didn't solve the problem and the dentist wasn't hopeful about a root canal either.

So long story short, I had it pulled in January. It wasn't tons of fun but it wasn't the worst experience of my life, either.

My advice is use the nitrous and obey when you are told to breathe deeply. Follow the post care instructions exactly -- do the salt water rinses religiously, it really does help the healing process. And don't be afraid to take your pain pills, you aren't going to get enough of them to get hooked or anything.

If you've given birth, you have already gone through worse.

The upside of this for me is now getting my teeth cleaned is a snap and I think (think, mind you) that I could get a filling and not need the nitrous.

Then again . . .

BTW -- good luck.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:37 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Tell your dentist that you're terrified. Most of them are very careful about pain management. You will have a topical anesthetic put on your gum with a large cotton swab, so you won't even feel the needle going in! I always close my eyes when I'm getting a shot.

If you're this anxious, the dentist may very well give you some sort of sedative. Back before I was on blood pressure medication, I had one dentist prescribe me a sedative that I was supposed to take before bedtime the night before, and then in the morning. Of course I had to have someone drive me to the office!

It's not "nothing", but it's not nearly as bad as you are afraid of. You MIGHT feel a bit of a sting when the needle goes in. When the tooth actually gets pulled, you'll only feel pressure, not pain. I've had several teeth pulled, and I've never felt pain during the extraction. A dental assistant will be using a little vacuum in your mouth the whole time, so you won't be able to choke. After the extraction, the dentist won't let you leave until s/he's satisfied that you're gonna be OK.

And I cannot emphasize this enough...OBEY THE FOLLOWUP INSTRUCTIONS! You'll probably get a handout sheet, telling you what to do and what not to do.

I've always found it easy to live on Instant Breakfast/Slimfast and canned soup for a few days after an extraction. You CAN chew solid foods (I managed to eat a slice of apple pie right after getting all four wisdom teeth removed at once), but I have always found it easier to just drink and slurp stuff for a couple of days.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:38 PM
jellen92 jellen92 is offline
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I have had four teeth pulled, two root canals, and two crowns. The only part I don't care for is the long needle being stuck into my gums, and I had a sore jaw from keeping my mouth open for 30 minutes. Besides that, I did enjoy the buzz from the anesthetic (I had to be carried out of the room because I was laughing hysterically). It's not so bad. Some people get sick from the nitrous though, and have to take suppositories so they stop throwing up. You'll be just fine! It'll be over before you know it. I did have the opportunity to meet my dead grandmother as well while I was under, so that was pretty cool.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:13 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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Is nitrous like a general?

I'm kinda freaking, ok seriously freaking about anesthetics, because most of them make me hurl. So do pain pills. and I'm on meds that could make me prone to bleeding.

**curls up fetal**

I've already warned them I'm a toal basket case, and I mean a REAL basket case since I'm bipolar with an anxiety disorder, heh. (bipolar under control...anxiety kicking in...big time...gee wonder why...hhhmmmmm).

I hear no smoking after having a tooth pulled or you'll get something dandy called "dry socket." That's freaking me out too, as, to my shame, I smoke a pack a day. I should be alot of fun to be around.

And to top it off...my mom took a look at my gums today and said mildly..."hmm...looks like you might need some bridgework down the line...thanks to my crappy genes your gums are receding so fast I can almost see it happening."

Gee, thanks mom.

Is this age? Genes? Dad's had dentures since 17 his teeth sucked so bad(his family was very poor too, no dental care) and mom has had so much work she could have fed a small third world country with the money she's spent on her chompers. I feel like I'm heading down a slippery dental slope at 38. Ack.

Back to painkillers that make me ralph. What are the odds of over the counter stuff like tylenol or motrin doing the trick? Naproxen sodium is at least taking the edge off now......

And you guys rock...thanks for the reassurance and advice....this big baby needs it!
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:16 PM
belladonna belladonna is offline
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I had one pulled last winter. Like others have said, there was virtually zero pain. Just a bit of a sting from the shot (I didn't have nitrous), and then some pressure from the pliers-type tool. The worst part IMO is the sound. If you've never even had a filling, I can't compare it to the drilling noise but others might understand. Inside your mouth, every little noise tends to reverberate within your skull. And the sound of a tooth pulling out from the root---::shudder::--it sounded like dry sticks beneath a very large foot. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:31 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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I've had a reasonable amount of dental fillings, etc. But, last year I had to have my first crown. I was quite nervous about it going in. However, while it wasn't my idea of a fun way to spend the day, it wasn't that bad. I have had one other since, and, knowing what to expect, I was fine with it.

I'd second the idea of being up front with the doc about your nervousness. I told them I was apprehensive, and they took extra care with the pain management, went to great lengths to insure I was comfortable before proceeding, etc.

Now if I could just get Marathon Man outta my head...
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:56 PM
belladonna belladonna is offline
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Witch--yes, nitrous ("laughing gas") is like a general. It's pretty mild though, and won't really knock you out so much as make you kind of detached and hazy. If your doc offers it, go for it.
As for the pain killers--you should be able to get by with OTC stuff if you really want to. With mine, it was kind of an achy throb for a couple days but nothing too bad. Certainly not morphine worthy or anything. The weirdest part of recovery is whenever you open your mouth wide, you'll get kind of a bizarre stretchy feeling back there. And your tongue will be completely unable to stay away from the brand new hole in your mouth. That takes a while to get used to.
And yes, you are supposed to give up the smokes for a bit. Frankly, if you do cheat and sneak one (I only snuck one, I swear!) they don't really even taste right because of the bloody tinge to your saliva, so that part might not even be as hard as you think.
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:57 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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Ok, nitrous is a general anasthetic. They put a cup over your nose and you breath it in. If they take the cup off, you pretty much "wake up" in a couple of breaths. It smells kind of sweetish and makes you feel a bit wierd (def more relaxed, kinda spinny but in a good way), but still conscious. Most pain meds make *me* hurl too, nitrous never has. As far as post-procedure pain control, my dentist gave me a scrip for prescription-strength motrin but you can also just take regular ones 3 at a time. Its what I ended up doing when Vicodin had me puking every half hour like clockwork.

I wouldn't suggest a buttload of Tylenol because as I understand it, its not as strong and bad for your liver.

I am super-scared at the dentist and also have terrible teeth. Luckily I have a dentist that has worked with me over a period of years so that I am much more sane during a visit (no more hysterical tears, etc.)

Make sure you tell the dentist that you are very very scared and do not want to feel ANYTHING. You might call ahead and formulate a plan so that you don't have to discuss it in the middle of your "holy crap I'm at the dentist" freak out session*. When I had my last root canal they gave me 3 (count em, 3) shots of novocaine spaced out over 15 minutes to insure absolute numbess. AND I had nitrous to take the edge of my anxiety.

*When I had my first root canal I was not able to speak coherently to the dentist in the "dentists chair room" at all. I had to leave the room and go out into the hall to have the mental space to talk about my teeth/dental history/etc.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN BEING SCARED! YOU'LL BE OKAY!
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2003, 02:58 PM
Mama Tiger Mama Tiger is offline
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Nitrous is a gas you breathe, that for those who it works for apparently makes you not CARE what the dentist is doing. I wouldn't know, however. Unfortunately, I'm one of the ones it doesn't work for; the one time I tried it, it just put my hands and feet to sleep, and did zero for my anxiety level.

Most dentists are VERY used to fearful patients, however. I've found that telling them I am a total and permanent wuss (in spite of spending half my childhood in the dentist's chair -- or perhaps BECAUSE of it?) helps a lot, and letting them know when you feel any discomfort also helps because they've got all kinds of ways to help you through it. If they aren't nice about it, FIND ANOTHER DENTIST.

DO let the dentist know about your reaction to painkillers and anesthetics, though! Dentists do NOT like surprises! I learned this by having an asthma attack some years in reaction to the novocaine shot. Fortunately, the dentist told me how to avoid it in the future (using straight carbocane, not the epinephrine mixture they usually use). So I always TELL the dentist up front, then before they come near my mouth with the needle ASK them again if they're using the recommended mix. It's saved me two other asthma attacks! Plus straight carbocane wears off a LOT faster. Whew!

Good luck. It's okay to be a total wuss. I end up flat in bed for 24 hours every time I go to the dentist, even if it's just to have my teeth cleaned. My husband, who falls asleep while they're working on his mouth, does NOT understand. But at least, after driving across town at 9,000 mph to bring my asthma inhaler, he believes it's real!

Laura the newbie on board
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2003, 03:22 PM
Contrary Contrary is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Witch
Is nitrous like a general?

I'm kinda freaking, ok seriously freaking about anesthetics, because most of them make me hurl. So do pain pills. and I'm on meds that could make me prone to bleeding.
Nah, it won't make you hurl. It will make you not care much about the tooth extraction, which IMO is a good thing. At least it was for me.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2003, 03:23 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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If you smoke carefully, you can smoke after having teeth pulled. I did (I did get one dry socket out of four).

Go for the gas. You'll be glad you did.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2003, 03:46 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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I swear I'm walking in begging for gas.

This is a new dentist for me. My last one was an a-hole, which explains why I haven't gone in awhile. I talked to the new guy's receptionist at length today, who told me idiots such as myself are his specialty.

Let's see how he deals with anxiety attacks. Poor bastard. I almost feel sorry for him.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief on the smoking thing. I know I won't want to smoke too much, but I'll need to at least "feed the beast." How sad.

butrscotch..I have a history of asthma but haven't had an attack in years...I don't even carry inhalers anymore...hope I don't start now. bleah.

So it's definitely a good idea to have someone with me to drive me home? I figured as much, and sucked in my ex to do the dirty work. So at least that's all set.

I'm feeling a bit better at least knowing what to expect. This is all so new to me, I've never needed more than a cleaning.

I'm going at 8 AM, which i guess is good because it doesn't give me time to think of an excuse not to go, or build up too much of a panic.

GOD, I wish it was this time tomorrow.

**swoons dramatically**
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2003, 06:47 PM
beckwall beckwall is offline
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Good luck and best wishes coming your way.

And be sure to follow the post-care instructions. Dry socket is an evil bitch, trust me on this one.

BTW, you are not a wuss. Fear of dentistry is a major deal with most people. I have thrown things at dentists, told them they must have been absent from dental school the day they taught compassion, etc. - you see, I'm BP, too. You will be fine, sweetie. Take a walkman and listen to some tunes. Try not to tense up all the muscles in your body. It will be over before you know it.

One day they will find out how to make teeth stronger, gums healthier and procedures less painful. Unfortunately, I will be dead by then.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2003, 07:02 PM
Ashkicker Ashkicker is offline
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Eeek Witch, I am there with you. I am a bigger wuss than you! If you haven't read my thread on just going to get a cleaning today, then do so. It did go well. But they have told me I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled and I'm to chicken. This has been an informative thread. I want to know every detail about how it goes for you tomorrow from one chicken to another.

If I decide to have 4 wisdom teeth pulled how long will I have to be out of work? Anyone know? Can I expect my face to swell if I have them all out at once? Just wondering. Thanks again for all the information and good luck tomorrow Witch.
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2003, 07:03 PM
SouthernSky SouthernSky is offline
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Thanks to genetics, I have to visit my periodontist and dentist 4 times a year. You name the procedure, I've had it. The extraction of a back molar is painless, and it is VERY fast. Really, there's just nothing to it - you've already put yourself into far more misery than the whole thing is worth. Take a personal CD player, turn it way up, and JAM (the sound acts as a distraction to the other stuff). You'll be fine afterward, too, but feel free to go for as much sympathy as you can get by lounging on the sofa for a day or two. The painkillers they give you aren't useful - you don't really have PAIN as much as you have a sense of loss. You know something is missing, and your tongue will take awhile to know how to behave itself.

Trust me. Now, stop being such a weenie.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2003, 07:04 PM
scott evil scott evil is offline
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I had a decayed, impacted wisdom tooth yanked last week with only a local. It was a breeze, and I didn't feel a thing.

What I do when getting dental work done is just zone out and follow the dentist's instructions WRT opening my mouth, moving my jaw over, and so on. jeremy evil (who is horribly terrified of dentists) tried to freak me out in the elevator on the way up last week, but it didn't work.

Best of luck. Try the zoning out thing.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2003, 07:43 PM
Sapphire Wolf Sapphire Wolf is offline
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If it's only one tooth, they'll probably prefer to give you a local anesthetic.

I have had two decayed wisdom teeth pulled in the last six months - one in October, one three weeks ago.

If they go local, you'll get three shots. They'll swab your mouth with a topical, then you'll get two shots in the gums (one for the gums themselves, one for the roots), and one for the roof of your mouth.

A good oral surgeon will be constantly asking you if you're okay. If not, they'll stop and dope you up more.

Don't sweat it...it's not that bad, honestly. Both times, when they said the pulling was done, I was surprised. You won't feel a thing. If you do, holler. They'll help you out.

The worst thing that happened to me is that I became fiercely ill right after both of them - I was extra vulnerable to cold season.
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  #21  
Old 04-09-2003, 07:50 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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Weenie SouthernSky? I prefer spineless twerp thankyouverymuch

It's hurting me so much right now I'm almost ready to do the ol' string and the door knob trick. Of course my 12 year old son thinks this is a swell idea, and is off looking for twine. Enh, at least it's keeping him quiet.

My fervent hope is that it will be this painful in the morning, but it won't be. I always experience the I'm-on-my-way-to-get-it-fixed-so-it-feels-fine-now syndrome.

Ironically enough, I'm sitting here with a horribly broken finger(3 months and counting) that will most likely require surgery. Am I stressing over THAT? Nah.

I hope this dentist has a high tolerence for profanity. And Aerosmith. I'm bringing my beloved Steven with me. The walkman sounds like a good idea, especially coupled with gas. Whoo hooo, just like high school.

I'm babbling. So sorry.

Ashkicker, I'm on my way to your thread.
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  #22  
Old 04-09-2003, 08:03 PM
Jenaroph Jenaroph is offline
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Yet another viewpoint demonstrating that every case is different:

I had three of my four wisdom teeth pulled at once, with nitrous and novocaine. No pain during the procedure due to the novocaine and wasn't any anxiety, the nitrous is a big help 'cause I am something of a wuss. I tend to shiver for a few minutes coming out from under it, it makes me feel cold, but it was definitely far better than without. For recovery I was given a prescription of about a week's worth of generic Vicodin.

Eat soft stuff (yogurt, soup, rice pudding, whatever sounds good) when the instructions say you can, even if you kinda don't want to. Between not eating much and the painkillers, I felt shaky and nauseous and threw up the first night. I felt much better after eating something.

The Vicodin didn't do a whole lot for the pain. What it did mostly was turn me into a zombie and help me sleep through the ache. I only took it for two days. I remember thinking "either this crap isn't working or I REALLY wouldn't want to know how much I'd be hurting without it." After two days, I took a chance and switched over to Advil, and boom, no more ache. I highly recommend it if it works for you, especially if you have trouble with other meds.

I didn't swell up or bruise much. I was up and around the next day, and two days after (the day I switched to ibuprofen) I was up for a couple hours of walking and rummaging at a sidewalk art show. YMMV. My brother swelled up like a chipmunk and lay on the couch for 3 or 4 days.

I went back for a followup a week later (was off Advil by then) and the nurse asked me if was having any problems, like dry sockets. I said I didn't think so. She said, "Oh, don't worry, you'd know."

Sure enough, two had gone dry. (Lost the blood clot.) Didn't hurt a bit. I don't smoke, so that wasn't the reason. It just happens sometimes. (Try not to hit the empty spot with a toothbrush, and don't rinse out your mouth too vigorously. I think that might have been what I did wrong.) What my dentist did was pack the sockets with medicated gauze to replace the blood clots, and have me keep them clean and come back a couple of times to get them changed until they healed enough.

Good luck and get well, Witch. Once you're done and healed, you'll be far happier than when you still had that broken tooth. And be sure to give us a big
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  #23  
Old 04-10-2003, 05:37 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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Whoo hooo I did it!!!!!

Granted I was so nervous beforehand my companion had to fill out all my paperwork because I was paralytic.

But I told the surgeon I was petrified, and he was a sweetheart. He had three assistants with him, that I called The Supremes much to their amusement, and they made every effort to make me feel comfortable and relaxed.

The worst part was that first novacane shot. Bleah. I had four, but after the first it was OK. I heard a crunching noise which was kinda funky too, but it didn't hurt, so I didn't care. There was quite a bit of wiggling, but when the tooth actually came out I didn't feel it. When I asked if it was out and the doc ansewred in the affirmative I exclaimed "you're shitting me!" and they all cracked up. I did have to have a stitch too. How brave was I? Huh? Huh?

In fact, I was such a good girl the doc gave me a toy elephant as a reward

Hurts a bit now, but taking motrin for the pain, screw codeine. I'm just glad it's over. And thanks you guys, I felt alot more prepared after reading about your experiences. It helped this wusspuss ALOT.
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  #24  
Old 04-10-2003, 05:49 PM
Ashkicker Ashkicker is offline
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Yeah!!!! I am glad it went so well for you. And you got a toy elephant? All I got was a toothbrush and toothpaste. Oh well. Glad it is over for you. You are so brave. Hope I can muster the courage to have my wisdom teeth pulled. Eeeek! I get creeped out everytime I think about it.
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  #25  
Old 04-10-2003, 06:00 PM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Coolness. And good luck on the recovery.

I've had eight teeth out at various points, ranging in difficulty from knocking me out completely to hammer out an impacted wisdom tooth, to my last two wisdom teeth which came out without a fuss:

My dentist: Right, we'll just check to see how tightly this one's in, and ...

<wiggle><wiggle><wiggle><pop>

Hmmm...that was easy...okay, let's check the other one...

<wiggle><wiggle><wiggle><pop>

<pause>

You know, I had a whole hour scheduled for this procedure...

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  #26  
Old 04-10-2003, 06:28 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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Ashkicker...turns out this was a wisdom tooth.....and it was not bad at all. Really. I have another one that's gotta go, but they figured they'd better not stress me out too bad today. The other one will go next month, and I'm not worried. It's easy having it out, and it's just a bit sore after. But let me tell ya, it feels a helluva lot better than having that broken tooth digging into the side of my mouth.

Don't be scared, Ash. Seriously. Just get 'em yanked. You will feel invincible.

Rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide is nasty tho. But since that's the worst, I'm ok with that!
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  #27  
Old 04-10-2003, 06:29 PM
Mama Tiger Mama Tiger is offline
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Good job on the tooth -- and the toy elephant! You done GOOD to get that!

I've had one of those easy outs, too, jr8 -- I said to the dentist, "So how long do you think it's going to take to get this tooth out?" and he waved it in my face. If only they all were so easy! (The others weren't, but we won't go there!)

Minor hijack: Has anyone else grown extra wisdom teeth? I ended up with two extras -- only one root each, but definitely not supposed to be there -- and my poor sister had to have two full sets of wisdom teeth out.
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  #28  
Old 04-10-2003, 06:34 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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excellent! always demand a toy.

it sounds like you have a great dentist there.

my dentist will actually sing to try and distract me.


i'm glad things went well for you.
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  #29  
Old 04-10-2003, 07:38 PM
Splanky Splanky is offline
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I've had two baby teeth pulled because my adult teeth had grown behind them. Other than that my teeth are perfect. I was probably 7-8 at the time. I remember my mom gave me a present, that made me forget about all the horribleness. Trust me, it's fine! Really! You don't feel it, it only tickled a bit for me. You'll be gassed, and there is probably a 0% chance of them messing up or anything.
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  #30  
Old 04-10-2003, 08:15 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
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I have two more wisdom tooth buds lurking in my upper jaw. I hope to God they STAY THERE.

Yay, Witch! I HATE getting my teeth worked on.
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  #31  
Old 04-10-2003, 08:27 PM
StGermain StGermain is online now
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Thank you so much for your inspiring stories!! I have horrible dental fear. I'd had 5 abcessed teeth pulled by the time I was about 10, and Since I've become an adult I've been terrified by the thought of the dentist. I desparately need to go, I have good dental insurance, but I can't bring myself to even find a dentist. I need someone to make the appointment for me (explaining my panic), take me by the hand and walk me in the door.

I have a friend with multiple personalities. Many times I've I've wished I had an alter to take care of scary things like doctors and dentists. I'm getting a little better - I recently went to the doctor for the first time in over 25 years.

StG
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  #32  
Old 04-10-2003, 08:29 PM
Witch Witch is offline
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I stupidly let my 800mgs of motrin wear off before dosing myself up again.

NOT a good idea.

I repeat, NOT a good idea.

Did I mention that wasn't a good idea?
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