Well, I'm down to 27 teeth. That's certainly better than the "worst case scenarios" that were rattling around in my head. When I was a teenager, I had two bicuspids removed, to make room for my eye teeth. Then about six years ago, I had my right wisdom teeth out (one was extruded, one was impacted). Today, it was the upper left wisdom that had to go.
It turns out that what I'd been supposing was true. My wisdom tooth was trying to extract itself. My mouth was never quite big enough for it, and it was crowded to the outer reaches of bone. It hung in there for a heck of a long time, but it just gave up. So, since it was trying to let go, and by closing my mouth I would push it back in, an abscess formed, which is what was torturing me.
I'm relieved to say that my dentist, Dr. David Mahon at Gentle Dental was very kind, and patient with my phobia, and he managed to live up to the name of the practice. The five or six shots I got were virtually painless, and the extraction itself? Except for a little pressure, no big deal at all. Really, there wasn't much to it. I'm back at home, and the bleeding has stopped. I feel some minor discomfort, but nothing too bad--certainly better than before. I've got some soft food lined up for today, and I am practiced at being very careful after having had previous extractions (though I was unconscious before) and periodontal surgery.
Now, mind you, I'm on hydrocodone at the moment, so things could change! But I have to tell you, dental-phobia is all about anticipation. During and after, it really isn't that bad. Periodontal-phobia? Whole different story. It sucks on every level. But thankfully, Dr. Mahon says I'm looking good gum-wise. Woohoo!