Dental work

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
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i go in for much needed surgery on april 4th.. im really anxious about this because its a serious amount of work they have to do.. im worried ill be in alot of pain for days on end just to recover. ill be missing so much work from this too.... any input on what to expect or what you guys have gone through??

i couldnt think of a good subject for this topic.. mods change if need be.

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pmjett's picture
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Joined: Sep 5 2005
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It depends.

On what kind of dental work you're going to have done. Or in your case, what sounds like oral surgery. The most serious work I have had done to date is wisdom teeth. Three impacted wisdom teeth required IV valium. I was out of it during the whole procedure. Did it hurt? Yeah, some. I took lorcet for a couple of days, ibuprofen for a couple of more, and that was mostly it for pain. I had a fiberectomy done right after I had my braces off several several years back, it it didn't hurt more than a day. You'd have thought it would from the description: to cut most of my teeth loose from the gumline with a scalpel!! Arrgh! Wasn't that bad. Really. I looked like a vampire for a week though (minus the fangs)

So it depends. What's you dentist/surgeon have to say for his/her self? If they are worth their salt, and have any kinda "bedside manner" they'll tell you straight up. It's also going to depend, IMHO, on the experience and skill level of the doc. If you have something complicated planned, experienced hands should minimize trouble on your end. My dentist has known me my entire life, and is both gentle and skilled. I trust him completely- and his suggestion for an oral surgeon for the wisdom teeth work was spot on. So I'm hoping you have a similar situation.

If all you have planned is a bunch of cavity repair work, I really wouldn't sweat that. I've had several done, 3 at once one time (put off the ol' dental work for several years for cost considerations) and it didn't hurt through the evening.

Good luck in any event. Hope it is an painless as possible...

mike

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
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im getting wisdom teeth pulle

im getting wisdom teeth pulled, plus fixing some others.....

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dvsjr's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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talk to the doc

Explain just what you posted, make sure he/she knows you are concerned about the pain, thats the best approach. It worked well with my Doctor because as I began to open up, he listened a lot more than he had been and changed my presecription and followed up very closely with me after the surgery, and that helped a lot.

d

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pmjett's picture
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Re: im getting wisdom teeth pulle

Smiththers wrote:

im getting wisdom teeth pulled, plus fixing some others.....

That'd explain the apprehension! Yeah. There's lots of horror stories floating around on wisdom teeth. I got mine pulled, and then a day or so later packed up and moved to Texas for the summer for an internship. It didn't really slow me down. As I mentioned, I did narcotics for a day or so- as little as I could - and then switched to ibuprofen. The most difficult part was eating for a week or so. Things were naturally sensitive, so I had to be more deliberate in chewing, etc. But the post-op pain - for me - wasn't debilitating. I had 3 wisdom teeth cut out as they were impacted.

Now, I agree with dvsjr. One of the doctor's jobs is to allay your fears. If they don't care, or are in too big of a hurry to talk about your concerns- you best find another surgeon. I'd talk with them, mention your concerns of missing work, unreasonable pain, etc. If they are good, they will discuss the procedures and any things you might do to speed your recovery along. Oh yeah- make sure you've got someone to pick you up after the surgery. You won't be in your right mind! Wink

mike

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eeun's picture
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I had four impacted wisdom te

I had four impacted wisdom teeth removed at once, and while it wasn't fun, it wasn't too bad. The pain afterwards is more like a bruise or muscle soreness...none of the sharp pain like a toothache. I'm sure it'll be nothing as bad as you're imagining.

Use it as an excuse to relax and take it easy! Stay in bed, watch TV. The toughest thing I found was not laughing when there was something funny on the TV. And of course, that feeds back and makes it seem even funnier...I think the painkillers helped with that, too.

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thanks for all the input, mak

thanks for all the input, makes me feel alot better about this.....

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Sucking it up

I didn't have insurance when I had to have my badly impacted lower wisdom teeth pulled, so I had it done as cheaply as possible. No general anesthesia, no gas, just a shot in the jaw and a lot of yanking and ripping. (One "fleshy extraction" and one "bony extraction", so I'm sure you can imagine the carnage.)

The key to surviving something like that is to have a sort of Zen "out of body" approach to it. Take nice, slow breaths, keep your eyes gently closed (don't scrunch or grimace) and try to have fun with it. It is an interesting experience, after all, and if they've done the shots correctly it doesn't hurt. Really, the hard part is to not get wound up and die a thousand deaths dreading the initial injections. I've known people who've fainted just because of that.

Just be sure to *not* open your eyes when they're putting the stitches in, if you don't get gas. No matter how Zen you are seeing a spiderweb of bloody threads in front of your eyes is unnerving. ;^)

As for the recovery you might be surprised. Getting your wisdom teeth pulled sucks, don't get me wrong, but after about one day of being knocked out on Vicodin you can probably go back to work, as long as work doesn't involve much talking. I've found that of the over-the-counter drugs Naproxen ("Aleve" and friends) seems to work the best.) Just don't drink anything out of straws or do anything else to disturb the blood clots. Eat soft foods you can chew with the front of your mouth and swallow down easily, and drink plenty of fluids. (Just sort of pour them down your throat. Don't suck.) I found McDonalds hamburgers, the little ones, were the almost perfect food. They're easy to mash to a pulp with your tongue if necessary, and you can wash them down with one of their bland, smooth, comforting pseudo-milkshakes.

It's all about attitude really. If you can go into the office and say "bring it on!" with a laugh and keep laughing (or at least smiling weakly) through it you'll make it okay.

--Peace

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
I just had some done...

I will post my absolutely wonderful "wisdom tooth" story another time... after you get yours done...

... but I just had a filling and a planing & scaling done yesterday. It still feels like I got kicked in the jaw.

See, I have this metabolism that adjusts to certain types of foreign substances, like novacaine, rather quickly. As the various "-caine" drugs (Procaine, tetracaine, lidocaine) are acidic in nature, my body adjusts it's pH to counter them. This means that they wear off quicker than normal and a second does will only last 1/4 of the time as the first.

Make sure you tell your dentist if you experience any discomfort.

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catmistake's picture
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anesthesia

Most people don't have much problem with wisdom teeth. Usually an oral surgeon can do the surgery in his office. Sometimes, nitrous/demerol isn't enough. The wisdom teeth are really really close to the brain, so if the surgeon thinks he needs an anesthetist or anesthesiologist, surgery will probably be done in a hospital, because ANY time for ANY reason that you are being "put under," its pretty serious and they need resources close by in case anything goes wrong. I'm just letting you know that most people's experience is that its no big deal, which seems to be the consensus here.

afa being in pain... its 2007. No one has any excuse for being in pain. This is what doctors do. If you are in pain, tell them. If they give you something that barely works, tell them, get something stronger.

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Jon
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I had six teeth pulled at onc

I had six teeth pulled at once a few years ago, and only with a local injectable. It sure helped that the anesthesiologist doing the injections was pretty dang hot -- that took my mind off the 8 injections she gave me. The surgeon doing the pulls was very good, but they lost suction on the 5 tooth and ended up having to to do gauze soaks and stuff until the 6th was out and it was all stitched. I did the Zen thing (I'm really good about being able to block pain if it's constant/consistent) and I didn't open my eyes during the actual procedure until they were totally done. That is some good advice, I second it from personal experience.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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You just need a place to sit

The fear of pain is probably your worst enemy. The fear of the dentist in general is another. The more anxiety, the more difficult it becomes for the dentist. Most dentists practice "bedside manner" as much as possible before and during the procedure. They're trained in that, and if your dentist does not instill calm and confidence in you, you may want to get another dentist. But it's too late for you on that, obviously, so hopefully you have this feeling already about your dentist.

As for oral surgery, having wisdom teeth pulled is nothing like the pain of having a root canal done, or even a filling done. A heavy dose of novacaine and you're good to go. I speak from recent experience. I broke my tooth three weeks ago. It broke right at the roots so it was not repairable. So I went to the oral surgeon last week to have the roots removed. That was quite an experience and strangely painless. He had to open up the gum and get those roots out. He was hammering, and using the pliers, and using some kind of drill thing that was very loud--took about 30 minutes in all. He said it was one of the more difficult cases because my roots are bulbous and brittle so they had to come out in many pieces. The hardest part of all was simply withstanding all the blows to my jaw. He prescribed Vicodin for the pain after the xylocaine wore off, which I took that first night, but the truth is, I didn't need anything that strong. Tylenol would have easily sufficed. I didn't take any pain killers after the first night, and have felt no pain since. Wisdom teeth were a much simpler procedure because he's got a whole tooth to grab. A few hits with the drill, pliers on the tooth, some wrenching and wiggling the tooth, and it comes right out. Shouldn't be much pain. Hardest part is just dealing with the tugs.

When the dentist is coming at your nerve with the drill during a filling or root canal--now that's intense pain. The secret is to not think on the pain, to not concentrate on it. The dentist knows what he's doing. What I always do in that situation is, I imagine this very peaceful meadow in the middle of a forest on a beautiful day. There's a rock in the middle of that meadow. I go and sit on that rock and wait for the drilling to end, trying to just enjoy that peaceful setting all around me in spite of the pain. Just soak up that wonderful day. It works.

I've got a genetic dental condition. My mouth has been a dentist's playground. I spent six hours in the chair one day. You survive, the next day comes, your mouth feels better.

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well tomorrow is the big day,

well tomorrow is the big day, should be interesting....

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pmjett's picture
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Joined: Sep 5 2005
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good luck!

I hope the doc gave you some words of reassurance. Good luck with the dental work. You can start beating a path to Wendy's for Frostys now without the guilt Wink

mike

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davintosh's picture
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I still have two of my wisdom teeth...

... in a jar on my dresser!

Had them out a long time ago; two were impacted and came out in pieces, and two had already surfaced & came out whole. The surgery went smoothly, but I didn't exactly follow the doctor's orders, and I paid dearly. Won't go into details, but will say this; listen closely to what the doc says you should do post-extraction, take notes, and DO EVERYTHING HE SAYS!

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well here i sit, mouth so num

well here i sit, mouth so numb i cant swallow, but im not dizzy anymore, when they knocked me out it was very comfortable, and i dont remember a thing. im going to follow doc's orders as best i can, soon as i can swallow a pill without choking i will. granted for what i just went though i feel great so far. im sure soon as the novacain wears off i will be feeling a little different..

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