Anxiety about wisdom teeth removal!! - Anxiety Support

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Anxiety about wisdom teeth removal!!


So I've talked about this on here before, but I have really really bad anxiety about my wisdom teeth removal. What's worse is it's not the run of the mill anxiety that most people have about wisdom teeth removal, it's unique to me or at least a small percentage of people. Maybe there are more people out there with this anxiety and they just haven't reached out for help, but whatever the reason I cannot find any advice on how to overcome it.

See, I'm not anxious about the needles, the pain, the GOING under, the fact that something may go wrong or anything like that, which seems to be the run of the mill anxieties. No no. My anxiety is about WAKING UP from the sedation. Notice I emphasized that I'm not anxious about going under sedation, more so waking up from it.

And I did try really hard to find a solution for this anxiety. I researched like heck what the sedation options I had were and I specifically focused my research on the website of the oral surgeon I would be using. I finally found an option that made my anxiety lessen.

Local anesthetic!

Awake and minimal to no mental recovery time! Perfect!

I researched local anesthetic specifically and walked into my first consultation thinking I was prepared and informed. Almost immediately that relaxation and peace I was feeling was shattered when the nurse told me "Oh the doctor does NOT perform wisdom teeth extractions without full sedation." When I tell you my stomach dropped, I mean downhill on a rollercoaster dropped. I immediately tensed up and started having an anxiety attack.

I started shaking, my eyes filled with tears, my heart was pounding super fast, I was picking my nails to the point of bleeding and so on.

I did try to "fight" the oral surgeon on this requirement, trying to explain to him that it was literally the only thing I was anxious about. THE ONLY THING. And I told him that I really really preferred staying awake or at least I wanted an option that would limit my loopiness to not very long. No luck.

It was super irritating for me because I knew that the option that he wants me to do, general anesthetic, is the deepest level of sedation offered. I wanted the least, he TOLD ME that the most was the only option. His website says otherwise though! There is literally an option that says, and I quote, "excellent choice for those who do not want to be knocked out, but want something stronger than nitrous oxide." Like HELLO!!! Why not offer the patient who is obviously very very anxious about being put under, the alternative that would keep her awake like she wants?

And this is what the website says about wisdom teeth specifically under the How They Are Extracted column, "All patients receive local anesthetic, and we are happy to provide sedation if needed, from simple nitrous oxide (laughing gas) through outpatient general anesthesia." Key words: IF NEEDED and notice how it indicates I have options?

I wish I would have argued more and found a way to help him better understand how much he could lessen my anxiety by just considering my mental health. I respect that he is obviously more knowledgeable about the topic than I am and obviously knows better than me, however I also wish he would have been more considerate about offering different options.

From what I have been able to understand about my situation, none of my wisdom teeth are emergencies. He literally told me I could go years and they would never cause any problems. And from my x-rays that I saw, they are all growing in upright if maybe one slightly tiled, not completely sideways though and NO PAIN. The general anesthetic option he wanted me to do is, from what I have read, used for more severe cases. If mine was severe, I doubt he would have told me that I could get them removed whenever I felt ready.

I'm just in a bad dilemma. Do I trust this doctor who has made me feel like I will be in extreme pain during the operation if I choose a non-sedative anesthetic? Or do I find a doctor who will perform the operation with my preferred sedation/anesthetic but risk pain during?

I'm not afraid or anxious about the being put under part, I'm anxious about the waking up and being out of it. Really though, if they could guarantee that I would just be loopy for like 45 minutes after and that I could stay in the recovery room until I was mentally there, I would be 100% fine with that. It's the idea of having to be no actually freaking WHEELED out of the building because that's what this freaking place does....and having my mother see me in a loopy state that sends a surge of anxiety. Juts typing it out right, is making me anxious.

It's bad enough that at least the first day I will have to be taken care. That sends shivers over my whole body...the idea of being an invalid. I don't want to be like a drunk and not be able to be myself. That is why I am so freaking anxious and it's the only thing that I am anxious about!!

Anyone out there feel or felt the same way?

18 Replies

In my opinion, I’d recommend sedation anesthesia instead of local. I’ve heard that even though you can’t feel it, being 100% aware of what’s going on sucks

I did the sedation one and it’s basically between local and full. You’re awake and conscious but not conscious enough to have memory of what happened. Like, they can tell you to move your head and you will but you don’t remember it or feel anything. They gave me the shot, I counted to ten, I asked why I hadn’t fallen asleep yet and they told me they were already done and it was time to go home 😂

And since I wasn’t fully under, I wasn’t loopy or high after. Just drowsy, almost like I took a bunch of benedryl

I've heard of that option too! The videos I have seen of people who chose that option are soooo much more aware of their surroundings and seem so much more themselves than others I have seen of those who chose the general anesthetic. It just didn't sound like the oral surgeon I'm using would allow me to choose that. 😞

That’s so weird that he won’t allow it because where I live it’s the most common and most pushed way

It’s not really that he told me I couldn’t have that, he just didn’t give me another option. Like when I explained how the being loopy made me super anxious and stressed, he didn’t try to really ease my mind by offering any alternatives. He was a nice guy but really seemed persistent that I do the general sedation option.

He indicated that one of my wisdom teeth is covered by a layer of bone, but every single article I’ve read and video I’ve watched has mentioned bone removal as if it’s a common practice. But maybe that’s why he is more persistent? I don’t know.

Huh! Well whatever you end up doing, I’m hope it goes well and you get the answers you need/want! 💙

Thank you!

Agora1 in reply to DemureRose

Actually Rose, he is more persistent for general anesthetic for his sake. They don't want to

play games while doing surgery. It's easier for them to go in and remove the teeth with no opposition from the patient.

I would also suggest consulting with another Oral Surgeon. I was like you when

I had a lot of oral surgery done a few years ago. I remember when I went for my

first consult and saw the plaque on the wall that said "We Cater to Cowards"

I thought, this is my guy lol

I have no fear of the procedure or any discomfort afterwards. But I do not want to

be put out. I want to be in control of my faculties when walking out of there.

When I get home, I am more than capable in taking care of myself. I don't fear

pain after a procedure of any kind, knowing that is normal. No pain pills necessary


I would say right now you aren't experiencing any pain from those wisdom teeth.

So I would think you can have them done one side at a time when you find the right

surgeon that will understand your priority in getting it done. Good Luck

Stand your ground. :) xx

I had my wisdom teeth taken out with only local anesthesia. The surgeon at the time was worried about managing my asthma with full sedation, so I was the opposite. He did not give me the option of sedation. Mine were growing sideways but had lots of room. I can tell you aside from some pressure and noise, it didn’t phase me. For other things, I prefer to be totally out. And I can tell you from those experiences, it has been just fine waking up. I don’t tend to remember that part much, and you may not either. I understand the anxiety of being pushed into something you don’t want, though. I’ve been there before with medical procedures, and it’s never fun to not have your wishes taken seriously.

Also- if this dentist has already made you really anxious I’d recommend maybe finding a new one. He might be fantastic but from personal experience, you sometimes attach those bad feelings to the specific doctor and it makes your anxiety waaaay worse no matter how things are going

I may have to consider this, it's just a difficult decision because he was recommended to me by my orthodontist so it would be somewhat stressful to deviate from that. 😐

It is so hard! Between dealing with referrals and insurance it’s such a pain 😭

I had two of my wisdom teeth removed because they were growing crooked and causing pain. They were both done under local anaesthetic (at different times, a few years apart) and I wasn't offered anything else. I expect I could've made a fuss and had it done with sedation, but like you I wouldn't have wanted that.

It sounds as though yours are a bit more awkward, but I wondered why you wanted them removed at all if you aren't in any pain. If they're growing basically straight why not leave them? If they cause you pain later you can have them removed then, and by that time there would be more tooth for the dentist to get hold of. That would increase the chance of doing it the way mine were, with a local anaesthetic and a hard pull. Even better, they might never cause you pain at all, and then you just get extra teeth!

Of course there are reasons for removing wisdom teeth besides pain, so don't take my non-expert advice and just leave them. I was thinking, though, that it might be worth finding out the reasons for doing the extraction, as well as the reasons for not doing it with a local anaesthetic. They're your teeth so it's always ultimately your decision what you do.

DemureRose in reply to Damian

I honestly don’t know if I could stand the stress of waiting a few more years 😂. I’ve been anxious about this since the first videos of post-wisdom tooth removal started coming out. So...a very long time. It’s my brain’s go-to late night worry thoughts 😂

So I have had both local and general aesthetic (multiple times) and I found local much tougher. All i would say is i have not ever really been loopy when i come round from either just tired and i know you are worried about family having to look after you but i am sure they are happy to help you out and they just want to be there for you.

As with buying any goods or services, you are the customer. If you are not comfortable with this doctor or his options, look for another one. I had to do that with a GI doctor for my daughter. I wasn't happy with the first one but really liked to second one. I know how you feel but you shouldn't worry about what other doctors might think.

You sound very much like my sister and she will not be put out no matter what. She doesn't like the aftereffects from anesthesia.I have had both local and sleep and I prefer to be put out.

Why are you having them extracted if they are not causing you any issues ?

DemureRose in reply to Smile62

My orthodontist and regular dentist both suggested I get it done. They said my teeth have the potential to cause problems later on and I was told if I didn’t remove them that the issues they’d cause would be harder to deal with the longer I waited. 🤷‍♀️

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