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have to go back for wisdom tooth extraction in a fortnight. that's going to be fun.

that guy isn't the dentist, btw, he was just sitting in the waiting room too.
11th Jun 2008, 14:50  

billion says:

I love doctor/dentist waiting rooms. if there's a bit of a wait you can read all those great "how to locate your g spot" cosmo articles, and check out the posters on the walls alerting you to medical conditions you never knew existed.

11th Jun 2008, 15:21

540air says:

I don't like those places much at all.

11th Jun 2008, 15:26

mat says:

I hear what billion is saying, there is a certain atmosphere in medical waiitng rooms that you don't get anywhere else.

But I don't like them either. Usually because they tend to precede either pain or disappointment (or, more usually, both)

11th Jun 2008, 15:33

nige says:

wisdom teeth. ouch. enough said really.

11th Jun 2008, 15:54

Dhamaka says:

You probably know it already, but if you want to encourage the healing process homeopathically, now's the right time to start taking Calendula 30

11th Jun 2008, 16:54

swamprose says:

arnica montana. right after, and lots of it. and ice. tylenol with codeine first few hours.

it all stops the chipmunk cheek swelling, and the pain.

best of luck. we've just done it here.

11th Jun 2008, 18:12

mat says:

Herbalism, I get, and six or seven herbal remedies have even passed clinical trials. Not one homeopathic remedy has, to my knowledge. It is just water/sugar pills, after all.

I'm not ruling out homeopathy per se, just the bits of it that can't be proven to have an effect above and beyond placebo. Which, currently, is the whole thing.

Pain isn't an issue. I can't feel pain in my mouth over the ongoing pain in my back/shoulders/neck/arms/etc. I lost the top 2/3 of a wisdom tooth last week and barely even noticed.

Still, opiates sound tempting.

11th Jun 2008, 18:16

swamprose says:

I don't believe in much alternative medicine except acupuncture and arnica. both rob and I had dental surgery and someone told us to try it for the swelling. it worked. so did the codeine.

11th Jun 2008, 18:24

mat says:

Acupuncture has never done all that well in clinical trials. Anecdotally*, it's extremely effective a number of things, including pain relief, but it's very hard to control for in tests (how do you convince someone you've jabbed them with a needle when you actually haven't?)

One thing they appear to have proved though - it doesn't matter much where the needles are put as long as it's in the right area - all this 'chakra' nonsense is nothing. When you put a needle in someone and twiddle it, you get a measurable physiological response in their brain. "Energy" doesn't enter into it.

The problem is that homeopathy often does "work" (ie, you take a thing, you feel better). But, statistically, sugar water would work just as well. Arnica, taken at herbalist quantities (as opposed to homeopath's insane dilutions), may well have a measurable effect, but at C30 doses - nothing, nada, zip (which isn't to say it won't make you feel better)

* I will happily anecdote for ages about how ace acupuncture is. But I don't know whether that effect is down to some nerve stimulation (similar to TENS) and a nice lie down for half an hour while being treated (this is important in the placebo effect) by a nice person, or something inherent in acupuncture itself.

11th Jun 2008, 18:35

mat says:

Oh, I once had dental work while under hypnosis. That was pretty sweet.

I also had some drilling done while being made to listen to Jason Donovan on headphones. That was not so effective.

11th Jun 2008, 18:37

Dhamaka says:

The best pain relief I ever had while having a filling was in Holland.(edit - just remembered it was 2 fillings). The dentist asked if I wanted the 'alternative medicine' anaesthetic and I said yes. There was no pain at all. No side effects either. He refused to tell me what he had used until after it had all been done. It turned out to be saline solution...

I've experimented with calendula cream on myself. Not Calendula 30 which is oral. Not statistically representative I know, but let's just say that I now wish I had used it on the control area too, as that's the only place that scarred.

More recently I tried the homeopathic cure to try and keep my fever down, using the reasoning that it couldn't do me much harm since there's near-as-dammit no belladona in a homeopathic dosage. It managed the fever well but I stopped after a day because it caused really scary tachycardia.

I'm not really bothered if these things worked on me through suggestion, the placebo effect or the way alternative practitioners believe them to work - the fact that they work is enough for me... I do however wish they trained British dentists to use salt water instead of nasty heavy painkillers and that they gave us the choice

11th Jun 2008, 19:58

billion says:

mat - do you realize homeopathy is available on the nhs? (I should know, I work for them!)

I don't mean to come across all richard dawkins but I do think it's highly irregular that our supposedly pro-science government is endorsing this kind of thing.

that said, I'm sure homeopathy is a damn sight more effective than the jason donovan approach...

11th Jun 2008, 20:01

swamprose says:

so arnica doesn't work. every clincal trial I looked at says it is ineffective, and in one opinion, suggests it is actually dangerous to ingest.

glad I survived.

12th Jun 2008, 15:41

mat says:

See, that's the great thing about the way homeopathy dilutes everything so much - the chances of you getting any actual molecules of the "active" substance when you take the remedy is tiny. Sugar pills and water are reasonably hard to overdose on. :)

12th Jun 2008, 15:55

Spiderbaby says:

The placebo effect is really interesting though. The trouble is knowing when it would be best to fool yourself into thinking yourself better with the aid of a cunningly disguised sugar pill and when you really do need active medication. And the whole problem of when you want someone to lie to you to get you to heal yourself and when you don't, and how much it should cost of course. Do expensive placebos 'work' better than cheap/free ones? Does it depend entirely on the patient's point of view.
Not for the first time, it would really help to know what is going on in brains.

12th Jun 2008, 17:34

hildegard says:

Homeopathy is, of course, snake oil. However & it's a big however, I have seen people recruit the placebo effect to homeopathy with truly excellent results. We don't understand the mechanism, but if we can get people to heal themselves using a homeopathic trigger, I have no objection to using it. However, because I think it's snake oil, it has no effect whatever on me.

We know that "real" meds are released & licensed on dubious data (qv Effexor et al) & we know that many of them do real harm. "Real" medicine includes such things as placebo back & knee surgery & the prescribing of placebo medications used to help enormously in controlling the use of antibiotics - one does hope that NICE haven't stopped those in their headlong rush for rationalisation.

Think that rather more herbal treatments have passed clinical trials in Germany. If you ever want to dabble in yarbs & berries, buy prescribable German preps - they have to have a reliable composition. Our hippy-led preps don't have anything like that uniformity, do contain active agents & can be damaging. An example would be the fad for St John's Wort - two bottles of tincture made by the same company from the same quantity of plant material might have vastly different levels of active agent/s. As a result, people were getting severe sunburn because the tincture had made them photosensitive.

12th Jun 2008, 17:52

FilbertFox says:

i have recently become an 'expert' on dental treatment (2 extractions 2 root canal treatments (and a 3rd next month) a new crown and a few little fillings) over the last few months. Have enough local anesthetic to fell a horse, a couple of painkillers when you get home and that should just about do it.

And as for all this herbal stuff, i would rather take summat that has been through medical trials - even though they are not perfect.

13th Jun 2008, 22:30

FilbertFox says:

Oh and mine was carried out by students!

13th Jun 2008, 22:30

PrincessJun says:

All waiting rooms have that weird tense atmosphere, and that guy pretending not to be anxious by 'casually reading a magazine' - he ain't foolin nobody...!

14th Jun 2008, 13:59