Wide Awake During My Wisdom Teeth Extraction

woman at the dentist

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This is part 2. If you haven’t read the first part, please read Anxiety and Wisdom Teeth Extraction.

Walking back through the lobby door of the dentist’s office, I resorted to my usual tactics of bad humor and small talk which are especially noticeable when I’m feeling anxious. The dental assistant and I spoke about the pajamas I was wearing and I nervously giggled as I mentioned how terrified I was to have my wisdom teeth removed.

She sat me down and immediately tried to put my mind at ease. She allowed me to find something on TV that would take my mind off of what was about to happen and walked me through the procedure, putting an emphasis on how routine this was, though no words were going to calm me down.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, my dentist was in the lobby, getting the deets about my anxiety from my husband. He knows that I tend to hide it when it’s at its worse, so I appreciate him going behind my back to make sure she was aware.

When my dentist walked in, I felt a small level of comfort. This was only my third time in her office but I already felt comfortable around her. I could tell that she deals with a lot of anxious patients.

She spent the first 10-15 minutes reassuring me that I was in control at all times and would continue to remind me of that throughout the procedure. Only a person who has dealt with anxiety on a daily basis would know that was key to calming an anxious person down. And it was reassuring to know that she cared enough to make sure I was okay.

We decided it would be best to try laughing gas (nitrous oxide). She placed a gray nose mask on my face (I imagined that I looked like an elephant) and told me to breathe in and out through my nose.

After five or so minutes, I didn’t feel any different so she cranked it up a bit. When my face started to tingle, I knew that it was probably working and immediately asked her to lower it. Unfortunately, that tingling feeling amped up my fears vs providing me comfort. It’s one of the reasons that I was never a fan of drinking or drug use. I need to feel in control of my body at all times.

She applied the topical gel to numb the area where she would be injecting the Novocaine. I felt the first needle but as she continued to give me more, I felt nothing though it seemed my heartbeat was increasing with each syringe.

I lost count at some point, but she kept assuring me that she would make sure that I didn’t feel a thing and that to me was half of the battle. I had three c-sections, so I know what it’s like to feel even though you are numb. At least with the c-sections, there is a sheet covering you and you can’t see what’s going on behind it.

I closed my eyes, forming my own sheet. I tried to take my mind off of what was about to happen. I allowed myself to trust my dentist enough to let go of the anxiety, even if just for the moment. 

“You are in complete control.”

She started to wiggle and pull on the top wisdom tooth. I could feel pressure, but I felt no pain. I remember thinking about how great it was going to be when she told me the tooth was out.

It felt like an eternity, but I’m willing to bet it didn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to get that first tooth out. When I felt her hand release, there was a sense of relief that filled my body. I knew that if she could get that first one out without a problem, the second one would be out soon enough.

And then I remembered that she told me that the bottom wisdom tooth would be harder to extract. I don’t remember the reason and for some reason, I allowed myself to forget until she started wiggling the bottom tooth.

My heart was racing so fast, I wondered if the nitrous oxide was turned down to zero. I tried to remind myself that it was almost over. My dentist kept telling me that I was more than halfway done.

What seemed like two minutes later, the bottom wisdom tooth was out. 

“You did it!”

The next thing I knew, I was getting paperwork and a care package to take home with me. I had to get an x-ray on my way out and then before I knew it, I was in the car and on my way home.

Little did I know that the hardest part was just around the corner.

Stay tuned for the continuation…

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Because of my anxiety, I decided to remain awake while I was getting my wisdom teeth extracted. These are my thoughts throughout the process.
Because of my anxiety, I decided to remain awake while I was getting my wisdom teeth extracted. These are my thoughts throughout the process.

 

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. My husband is scheduled to have a surgery for his wisdom tooth next month. I’m a little anxious about it, but he’s looking forward to it. 🙂

  2. I am scared of dentists! I had undergone root canal treatment in 2018 and that’s it. No more dental treatments please 😞😞 I can’t wait for the next post!

  3. Oh no, that sounds like a scary adventure. I am hoping there is a happy pain free ending!

  4. Wisdom tooth extraction is really terrifying for me, thank God I had mine removed without any surgery.

  5. Oh goodness this would make me have a panic attack right there in the dentist chair. I would need to be put out completely!

  6. I experienced having my tooth drilled, and the anesthesia didn’t effectively numb my gums lol. I can feel the anxiety now…. 😀

  7. The last time that I had a tooth extraction is when I was a kid. But you were so brave, it sounds so painful having your gum sliced.

  8. Oh no! The to be continued part is giving me goosebumps. I had a weird case, my wisdom teeth grew back three times!

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  9. It sounds like you had a pretty good experience. I’ll check out the next installment of the story. I have had a lot of dental work and I can relate to this.

  10. I would be freaking out. I hate the dentist to begin with. I have all sorts of sensory issues and they all get triggered when people mess with my mouth.

  11. oh, wow. You are so brave! I couldn’t stand the thought of tooth extraction, a surgery even more.

  12. Oh heeeeeeeeek no! I had my wisdom teeth removed back in high school, and I am SO glad I went under for it. I don’t do blood let alone slicing my gums! 🤢

    1. I had recently an wisdom teeth extraction too and I remembered your story. It was an experience that I will remember my whole life 🙂

  13. Oh I bet that was so uncomfortable! I was actually awake for mine on purpose. They just number me up and took them out!

  14. Oh my gosh, what is the next part? I am so invested on what happens to you next! Two of my sons were put to sleep during their wisdom tooth removal and they did great. My other son has lots of anxiety and he did not want to be put to sleep.

  15. It is nice to be able to go through a tooth extraction while a person is still awake and able to be at ease with what is going on.

  16. Oh my goodness I can’t imagine! It definitely sounds like you have a great dentist though and that she really did her best to understand your anxieties!

  17. I’m scared of needles so the anaesthesia part scared me more than the extraction itself, the recovery wasn’t the greatest for me too, waiting ti hear your experience

  18. I can’t believe you had your wisdom teeth out while you were awake! That would have been so nerve racking, thankfully I was asleep when all 4 of mine were pulled.

  19. That was so smooth. Glad you did well with the tooth extraction and thanks for sharing your experience on it.

  20. I am so sensitive to pain medications that the little muscle relaxer or whatever they give you to take before you go to the office knocked me out! I don’t remember any of it. I don’t even remember getting there. My mom had to help me sign my name lol!

  21. Kudos to the technology, but most of all to the people who use it. The doctors and their bedside manners are the things that make any procedure infused with trust that everything will be ok. So glad you’re on the recovery path!

  22. When I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth tsken out at the same time they used nitrous oxide. It went super fast and I did not feel a thing plus I felt good! Lol!

  23. Going to the dentist is always stressful and having an extraction is more worrisome. It looks like it worked out for you and the stress is over

  24. Oh girl. I have rated procedure pain and having my wisdom teeth taken out as the worse. Child birth is down on the list. I was asleep during the procedure because two of my teeth were impacted. But it only got worse as days went on. Two of the sockets got infected and the pain was unbearable!!! The pain pills only made me sick. I hope you didn’t experience that.

  25. I won’t lie, reading this was starting to set off MY anxiety. I hate the dentist with a passion. I get the worst panic attacks.

    I’m worried about your hardest part coming up!

  26. Pingback: Anxiety and Wisdom Teeth Extraction - The Super Mom Life