Skip to main content
Dealing with Tooth Extraction Anviety

A little information on extractions…

Extractions are one of the most common oral surgical procedures. They are performed relatively quickly and painlessly. Extractions have become so routine in our practice Dr. Bulloch could probably perform these with his eyes closed (although he never would). Not everyone knows this, though. It is very understandable for a patient to be apprehensive about having a tooth pulled. Here are some simple tips to help you overcome that lingering anxiousness causing so much trouble.

Understanding

It’s no secret our imaginations can tend to really get away from us. When I was young, I used to imagine a cold, dark man with a giant set of pliers climbing on top of me, grabbing a hold of my tooth and yanking with all his might! If you’re reading this, I would wager your horror fantasy is probably not too far off from this. Really, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to modern technology and advanced methods in training, the whole experience can be quite pleasant.

Take advantage of a consultation and ask plenty of questions. Anything you can think of. The more you know and understand, the more comfortable you will feel. Nothing takes place until you are fully on board. There should be no surprises for you during the procedure. Certainly no one will be climbing all over you and yanking any teeth out of your mouth.

What Pain?

Pain is the most common reason patients are nervous about tooth extractions. Most of our patients report feeling little to know pain at all. Now days, there are powerful anesthetics Dr. Bulloch is thoroughly trained in using that provides optimum comfort during the procedure. Once that numbing agent is placed, you will repeatedly be asked how much sensation you feel. The procedure will not proceed until you are completely numb. If during the procedure you begin feeling discomfort or sick, clear hand gestures are used to notify Dr. Bulloch so he can make adjustments.

Big Empty Hole

Sometimes, the anxiety does not stem from fear of pain but from fear of having a gaping hole in your smile. Rest assured, you will not be walking out of our office with an empty space in your smile. Aesthetic teeth (those that can be seen when you smile) will have a temporary abutment and crown placed for the duration of the healing phase. These are not meant to last longer than about 6 months, however. It is best to avoid chewing using these teeth.

Anterior teeth (those located toward the back of the mouth) will not receive a temporary abutment and crown. These teeth are used most often for chewing and can place a high amount of force on the surgery area if a temporary crown was placed there. Instead, these will be capped off with a healing cap to prevent food from entering the space.

Your 5 Senses

Your 5 senses will certainly be stimulated during your procedure, from the bright light overhead, to the sound of the equipment running, down to the feel of instruments being placed in your mouth. Placing acute focus on what is going on can be overwhelming and hard to process. Try addressing these one at a time. For example, a face mask will help keep excess light away. You could also wear earplugs to listen to soothing music or just to block out sound. Knowing what to expect will also help you prepare mentally in advance and help minimize anxiety.

During the procedure, you can also play mind games with yourself. Focus on anything else other than what is happening. You could practice saying the alphabet backwards, distance yourself from the situation by imagining yourself somewhere else, improving your self-efficacy and telling yourself you are strong and the procedure is nothing to worry about, or any other number of tricks that take your mind to a different focus.

Don’t Worry

Remember, we are here for you every step of the way. We pledge to do our best in creating a comfortable and pleasant environment where you can feel relaxed. We take any concerns you have very seriously and will do everything we can to remedy them. For more information on what to expect when it comes to these procedures, give out office a call at (435) 652-1445