I am going to be upfront that I’m not the best patient and know the situation I am in is entirely my fault. Several years ago, I had a filling fall out on a tooth. I avoided seeing the dentist, but there must have been an underlying infection because before too long I was in a ton of pain and unable to function. I finally bit the bullet and went to see the dentist. He did a root canal treatment. I was supposed to come back for a crown, but the root canal appointment almost did me in so I didn’t go and they didn’t follow up. Now the tooth is reinfected and so far gone that I had to go back. He said the tooth can’t be saved and has to be extracted. I sort of expected that but am now in a panic. Would I be better off having this done by an oral surgeon who can knock me out?
Anxiety can be crippling and there are a lot of people who suffer from dental anxiety. While you can see an oral surgeon, I don’t think it is necessary for a reason I’ll share with you in on in a moment. Oral surgeons are considerably more expensive. So I want to give you a satisfactory alternative What you need is a dentist who can work with you, without judgment, to give you an anxiety-free and pain-free experience. My suggestion would be to see a sedation dentist.
How Dental Sedation Helps
There are three levels of sedation. Almost every dentist offers the lowest level— nitrous oxide. This is a gas that is dispensed through a nose piece that allows you to breathe in the gas and relax. It’s a mild form of sedation and you’ll be back on your feet and ready to get on with your day as soon as the procedure is completed.
In your situation, I would actually suggest the second or third levels of sedation. They are for patients with higher anxiety. The second level— oral conscious sedation— is administered by taking a pill. Fewer dentists use this but it is strong and worth the trip to another dentist. Because of its strength, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as remain with you for a few hours after your appointment, until you are lucid and steady on your feet. Some patients call this sleep dentistry because you are very likely to sleep through your entire appointment.
The strongest form of dental sedation— I.V. Sedation, is available through only a small amount of dentists. Both Drs. Imam & Schroder do have it available, along with the advanced training necessary to administer it.
Another Consideration with Tooth Extractions
Whenever you lose a tooth, it is important to replace it as soon as possible. Leaving a space open for very long will cause the nearby teeth to shift or tip into the open space. This will throw off your bite, eventually leading to TMJ Disorder, along with a lifetime of jaw pain and migraines.
The best replacement is a dental implant. It will be like having a healthy, natural tooth in your mouth again.
This blog is brought to you by San Antonio Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Imam.