Encouraging dental surgery stories?

I’d be doing much better without the whole surgery word there, but, that’s what the periodontist keeps using, so…
Tomorrow morning, I’m having an extraction and a bone graft to prep a spot for an implant. I have a pre and post instruction sheet. Mine is being done under local, not sedation, because I have no one to drive me there and back (note that IF it finishes and don’t feel like I can safely drive, I will call a cab and figure out getting the car home Friday - but the doctor didn’t question at all the idea of driving with the local - when I said I didn’t have anyone to drive, he said “so we’ll do a local” without hesitation.)
That said, this is a new dental procedure for me. I have heard excellent things about the doctor who’s doing it, but I’ve managed to get nerves up. Anyone done one of these? How was the recovery? Note that I’ve had five root canals in the past - only one of which was bad during it (and that was due to bad initial anesthetizing).

(I am aware that everyone’s experiences are different and mine will be different. I’m just trying to calm myself down this evening.)

I had three teeth extracted a few weeks ago. Two were wisdom teeth that probably should have come out years ago. The other is in prep for a graft and implant like yours. But my periodontist just had the oral surgeon do the extraction. They wanted to let things heal up before they do the bone graft and then again, I guess, for the implant. Which was fine by me since it’s not cheap and this way I can spread out the payments.

As to the actually extractions, the worst part, by far, was the anesthetic (novocaine). I hate that stuff. I tried to tell him that I’m not normally affected much by pain but he was intent on numbing me to the gills. At one point they shot some into a nerve that apparently controls the tip of your tongue. For a day or more after I had reversed sensation of heat and cold in the front of my mouth. Not on the sides. So if I drank something cold it felt warm. Very strange. That and I could tell if stuff was actually going down my throat. This made the recommended pills a bit hard to swallow, and I inadvertently chewed up the inside of my cheeks as well try to chew/swallow (okay, gum) stuff.

Also, the soft bland foods afterward were annoying. But the actual surgery was not too bad at all. There was one sort of unnerving part, but I’ll leave it out unless you ask since it’s not likely to occur in your case.

You should be fine driving after. For me I didn’t even really need the pain meds for sometime after since I couldn’t feel most of my face anyway. They did give me a prescription for Vicodin after, but I only ended up taking maybe one or two because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. Just used some motrin instead, and even that I could have gone without if I had to.

Thank you. That is exactly what I needed to hear - I’ve got the soft bland foods prepped, and your comments about driving were what I expected, but it’s good to have confirmation.

Reading that has gone a long way toward giving me some calmness. :slight_smile:

I had two teeth pulled and three pulp caps done under anesthesia, and the procedure went fine. I have very deep roots, so they had to do some yanking, and my mouth was open a while. I recommend having some frozen peas or ice packs handy, it can really make a difference if your jaw is sore. Especially if you are trying to avoid taking narcotic painkillers. Whatever pain pills you do chose to take, take them before the local wears off.

My dentist told me taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen together is more effective on dental pain than either alone. Just don’t take acetaminophen with Vicodin and such, as that has it in there already.

Thanks Obsidian - I have ice packs and they also said they’d send me home with one (but I got some of the quick first aid ones anyway, to be sure). And yes - they told me the ibuprofen/acetaminophen combo as well, though I’m concerned about the concentration - 3 I/2 A together, 3 times a day, with the came vicodin caveat (I don’t take painkillers of any sort often, so the 5 pills thing sounds like a LOT to me).

Thanks - these are the things that my logical brain was telling me, but my emotional brain wasn’t listening to me. :slight_smile: Much appreciation to you both!

I can’t give you specifcs, just a story with a happy ending.

I come from a family of serious dental-phobics. Teeth nightmares are common. My oldest sister is perhaps the wussiest of the three of us. She gets sedation for regular cleanings.

Anyhoo, she had a couple of problematic teeth that, after a year of futzing around with antibiotics, etc., clearly just had to go. Her dentist recommended implants, which she went for.

I was with my sisters a couple of weeks ago, and when we started talking about dentistry (what? that’s not a common topic?) the oldest sister said getting implants was the best thing ever. No more pain, no more worry about how the bone was deteriorating. She is happy, happy, happy.

I wish you my sister’s experience,** Lsura**!

No problem :slight_smile: That’s the pill combo I took as well. I also took 4 ibuprophen 4 times a day for a month when I had ankle surgery (doctors orders) and my stomach held up fine.

If you are going to take the vicodin, take some metamucil as well. Soft foods (which usually means no roughage) + opiates can make you majorly constipated.

(I’m not sure how the string “benjamin franklin” got into that field, but it amuses me to keep it there.)

I went through all parts of the implant procedures without general anesthetic. It’s not that bad. The tooth-pulling was the easiest part. Getting the hole drilled and having the post screwed in was terrifying to anticipate, but merely weird (and time consuming) in actuality. Getting the crown installed on top of the post was nothing.

I’ve had two root canals; they were definitely more painful than anything I experienced while getting the implant put in. However, my last root canal was in 1983, and my implant was in 2000-2001; there may have been some advances in dental anesthesia in the interim. But that’s the good news. They swab the area with an anesthetic gel, it gets numb, you don’t feel the pain of the injection, but you can feel an awareness of pressure, and about ten minutes later, they could probably drop an angry crawfish in your mouth and you’d only go, “Umm – whas zhas whore?”

Ibuprofen sufficed for the pain, most of which was just a general achiness for a few days after the extraction and the post-drilling parts.

Months from now, getting the hole drilled and the post put in will be the most time-consuming part, and you know what? Just don’t think about what’s going on; your dentist has done it hundreds of times, and you’ve done it zero times, so of course you’re liable to feel intimidated. You’ll be all numbed out and the most awful part will be the tedium. My dentist had video-screen glasses hooked up to a DVD player, and I watched most of Toy Story II during the procedure.

By the time you get the crown put on, that post will be the sturdiest thing in your body – your first bionic part, if you will, and you can go out and thwart criminals and spies (limited to situations wherein having an impossibly strong post anchored in your jaw gives you a tactical advantage).

I have a several-years-long dental implant nightmare story, but I guess that’s not what you want to hear.

Ooh, groo, it’s like my first step to being the six-million dollar woman!. Panache45 - thank you for keeping that story to yourself. :slight_smile: I definitely appreciate it.
Ok, I’m off to do what must be done.

Good luck! No implants here, but back in June I had a molar that had to go (it was that or root canal and I had no money for that) so off I went. It was under local. I hope I can get an implant there someday, but in the meanting, I’m fine; it was the one in the back anyway so it’s not visible.

The actual procedure took a while because it turned out to be stubborn, but the only actual pain was a few twinges when he did the local (it annoyed me a bit that he didn’t wait long enough for the gel to kick in fully, though it did help). And even that was very short-lived. It was an oral surgeon who did it and he had me more numb than I have ever been for any dental procedure, even from when the tooth was crowned a few years ago; he did a shot or two, let them kick in for a couple of minutes, did a couple more, waited again, then gave me even more that I didn’t feel in the slightest. There was some funky pressure and interesting sounds and (not to scare you!) he had to drill at it to get each root out separately; for a tooth in bad shape it sure didn’t want to come out. But the entire thing, while not a fun way to spend a morning, really wasn’t bad.

And afterwards I felt like a huge load was off my shoulders because the tooth had been bothering me for months, complete with a couple of rounds of antibiotics and stuff like that. No more worries! I was able to drive without a problem, though I made a point of stopping by a pharmacy to fill the prescriptions I’d been given and then going straight home and doing nothing for the rest of the day. And after about two days the only thing that hurt at all was my jaw from holding it open. I don’t know if a graft involves generally more pain, but you’ve gotten good advice on that here already.

Yes - this was probably the most disconcerting part. Have made it home, now to curl up with the ice pack, painkillers and movies for the rest of the day.

When my daughter was born, about the first thing the pediatrician said was that she was going to have dental problems. When her adult teeth grew in, we found he was right. Some of them grew in sideways. She had major, major dental surgery, surgery that was so stressful to the surgeon that when he was done he took the whole office out to lunch to recover. However, the pain was not that great, and now her teeth are fine.

Glad to hear you survived.

I was told, at age 19, that I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed, that there wasn’t room for them. This is despite the fact that, when I got braces at 13, they pulled all four of my “first pre-molars”, so I was already down 4 teeth. I’d seen several friends of mine have bad experiences with wisdom-tooth removal, so I didn’t have it done. (For that matter, I stopped going to the dentist entirely, for over 20 years.)

Finally, at the beginning of this year, at age 44, I went back to the dentist (I knew I couldn’t be in denial about any of this stuff any longer). He confirmed, “yes, those wisdom teeth have to come out.” He set me up with an oral surgeon, who did a fantastic job. I did have them knock me out, which I think was a wise idea.

I was a bit of a mess for that day, and pretty sore (on Tylenol 3 and bags of frozen peas) for another day or two after that, but, all told, it was far less traumatic than I was expecting. About 2 months later, I went back to see my regular dentist, who reported that “you can’t even tell that you ever had them,” it’d all healed so well.

I had root canal with a local and except for them keeping my mouth pried open it didn’t hurt much. I used some prescription pain killers that day and maybe the next, but it still didn’t hurt too badly.

Good for you for getting through it! Sit back, enjoy those drugs and movies and whatever you’re managing to eat. Yogurt and soup (cooled down to warm) got me through the first couple of days. After that I started getting back to normal, but very carefully for a few days. At least I had one side I could eat on safely.

A 22-year-old coworker of mine just has her wisdom teeth out, all at once, at the end of last month. She had a rough week or so but seems to be back to normal now.

Speaking of yogurt, as you finish your course of antibiotics, you may want to eat one or two cups of yogurt per day to reestablish the beneficial flora in your intestines. I recommend (and am not reimbursed by) Stonyfield yogurt, which is sold by my local Whole Foods market.

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t given antibiotics, groo. He said I’d get them if there was any sinus damage, but otherwise, I was given a special mouthwash to use twice a day and that’s it. I’m making sure I use it as directed, but yogurt is usually daily thing for me, even when I’m not on soft foods. :slight_smile:

My husband had one of those. Extraction, then implant. No problems, and not even a lot of pain, although they gave him some prescription painkillers, which he did not need.

The implant felt weird to him for a couple of months–not painful, just kind of weird and occasionally achy. The dentist said that would go away, and it did.

ETA: He had that mouthwash thing, too, only it was doing something–I think discoloring the rest of his teeth–so he discontinued it kind of quickly.