Update #2: I went to the dentist yesterday and had 9 back teeth extracted. I was more scared of the IV sedation than anything else b/c I had never experienced it before. I have to say the whole IV part went very, very well. Here's what went down when I got there: First, I had to pay up front before anything was started. It was very difficult to write that HUGE check - but it was well worth it. I think the affordable places usually run anywhere from 3K to 4K ... I'm paying 7K. This amount covers everything and includes the appointments for the extractions, the impressions, the making & fitting of a full set of dentures and 2 reline appointments. Trust me, this is A LOT of money for me. I got divorced about a year ago and am one of those people who lives week to week on a paycheck (with just a very small amount in my savings). When I found out the total cost, I went to my credit union and took out the loan (they are taking out $50 a week w/ no penalty for a payoff). I could have gone the other route and did the affordable denture place...but this is very personal to me and I like the one-on-one attention and the pace that everything is going (b/c no one knows what's going on). I've known lots of people who've done the one day/immediate denture places and I've heard good things. I just chose to go this route b/c I like the confidentiality of it and the personal/long term care that comes with it.
Anyway, after I paid, they took me back to the room where my extractions would be done. The dental assistant was so sweet. When she asked me how I was doing, I immediately broke into tears. She asked if I was scared or just sad...and I replied pretty much just sad. She was by my side with a box of kleenex and told me everything would be ok. These were her exact words, "I know it's hard b/c this is a very tough loss. Just focus on the end and how beautiful you and your smile are going to be." After she calmed me down, she walked through everything step by step. I had a 101 questions about the sedation!!! She gave me the following rundown: 1) the dentist would come in and talk to me for a minute 2) he'd tap my arm to find a vein and insert the needle 3) after the medicine kicked in, he'd administer the shots 4) once numb, he'd start extracting the teeth 5) within an hour, he'd be done...the IV would be taken out...and I could go home. Well, everything went just like she said it would. The dentist was wonderful when he came in!!! He was so serious my other two appointments; yesterday he was a little more light hearted to lighten the mood. When he asked me if I had questions, I told him only about the sedation (I'm sure the assistant was like: REALLY???? AGAIN!!!) My question to him was: since I've never had these medicines before, what happens if I'm allergic...esp since they will be coursing through my veins? He told me that he's never seen anyone have a reaction, but that they do have something in the room that would reverse if something should go wrong. He then explained the process a little further. He said he'd be giving me two medicines through the IV - one for anxiety and one for pain. I then asked how soon after would he give me the shots. He said once they have ran through for a few minutes, he'd then start the shots. The IV went in great. First, water was just running through; then he added the medicines. Within seconds, I felt a little strange/light headed...but I still had my senses about me. Next, they covered my eyes with a paper towel like cover (the assistant said this was to help keep me calm if I opened my eyes and would also keep any debris from my face). Soon after, I got about 12 shots and I really didn't feel anything but a little pressure. Once he began the extractions, there were times I felt more pressure...but nothing major or hurtful at all. The only real problem I had was that he had an issue numbing my lower, right eye tooth. He had to give me 2 additional shots and wouldn't do anything until it was numb. Even though I was sedated, I was fully aware of what was going on - I was just REALLY relaxed. I had heard that some patients had dental amnesia and don't remember the situation, but I remember just about everything. It obviously was not a fun experience, but it wasn't bad at all. Afterwards, they let me sit in the chair for about 10 minutes to gain my bearings after the IV was removed. I had to use the restroom and thought I was feeling ok. The assistant helped me stand up....and boy did the room spin!!!! I was fine once I got moving, but I could tell something was definitely different. When I went into the restroom, I almost cried b/c my face was so swollen...but then I kinda laughed b/c I looked so funny :) When my mom saw me, she tried not to laugh...but she couldn't help herself (I looked like a chipmunk storing up for winter). Let me give you one word of advice: have at least one or two people to be your support system....I can't imagine doing this alone. I don't know what I'd do without my mom. She was very comforting the whole entire trip there....then was having fun with me afterwards to keep my spirits up. After the dentist put new gauze in my mouth, he prescribed me Tylenol 3 and told me he'd see me in July and we'd start finishing the process. I asked him how quickly the rest of the procedure would go and he said fairly fast. I'll go back in on July 6th for an evaluation and impressions, then go back on July 11th for some type of fitting and adjustments. After that, he said I'd be back in his office for 5 more appointments - about 3 to 10 days apart. He said it's really nothing but smooth sailing from now until he extracts the front teeth and puts in the dentures.
When I got home, I was feeling ok. I had to take the gauze out b/c it felt like it was poking into the extraction holes. Plus, my remaining front teeth were really sore (probably from the trauma that went on around them). I was also starving and thirsty b/c I couldn't have anything in my system 6 hours prior to my sedation. After I got home, I immediately drank some water and later ate some Spaghettios. I chose that food b/c I can eat it luke warm and it was a soft food that would fill me up. I could barely open my mouth due to the numbness, so I just had to take little spoon fulls at a time. I felt like a huge baby b/c I had no idea that I had the sauce running down my chin until I looked down at my shirt (that's how numb my chin was!). But, I successfully ate and drank with no problem. When the numbness started to wear off, I could feel the pain starting to set in. It wasn't horrible, but it did hurt. Stupid me thought I had some Ibuprofin at home and I did not (definitely make sure you have some type of pain medication at home). My mom had already left, so I called one of my friends to see if they could run to the store for me. I got some Tylenol Rapid Release and some Tylenol PM. Until my friend got there, I was using ice on my cheeks and that helped tremendously. When my friend made it over, I was so tired that I just took the Tylenol PM and went to bed....I slept GREAT (I highly recommend having that on hand if you can take it for a good night's rest).
When I woke up this morning, I didn't know if I'd want to go to work due to the swelling. When I looked in the mirror, the swelling did go down a little, but not much. It still hurts a little, but nothing major. I figure if I take my Tylenol with me and some ice, I should be able to work the whole day in the office. I will try to go today to get the Tylenol 3 - I imagine it's a little stronger than regular Tylenol. But, if what I have works - I may not deal with it b/c I really don't feel like dealing with all the people at WalMart (so we'll see).
Right now, I am attempting to drink a glass of milk and eat some cereal. The milk is ok (the cold feels really good), but the cereal is a challenge. I still can't open my mouth too wide and I definitely can't chew. I also have a fear that something could go down into one of the extraction holes; so I'm eating very cautiously and focusing on keeping the food in the center of my mouth. I've let the cereal get kind of soggy so it's easier to eat. Plus side to all this, I'm looking forward to losing a few pounds :)
Hopefully today will be an ok day at work!