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1st post need help. Sorry it's long

T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Not sure where to begin with this. I have a crippling phobia of going to the dentist for reasons I can't quite pinpoint but it's so bad I haven't been for about 6 years. I only went 6 years ago because I had an accident and smashed my front tooth in half. It took many many hours of me panicking and crying and screaming to sort that out. I got to the end of it which felt amazing for about 5 seconds until they said that I had a cavity.

I really really wish I'd forced myself back into the chair right then and there, but I didn't, I noped out of there and didn't do anything about it.

I never really saw it as a legitimate problem either, it worried me, but I have other mental health issues and tried to kill myself a couple of years after that. I never expected to be alive now as a 20 year old if I'm honest and that's a big part of why I let it get that bad.

I haven't dared look at it for a long time (it's a back tooth) but it hurts at least a little every day now, on and off. The tooth I had repaired doesn't seem to have had a very good job done on it and part of the repair has broken and my front teeth don't line up anymore, I suspect they'll find other issues once they look. I'm terrified to even know. I don't want anyone else to know either like the dentist or my parents who I'm still dependent on. I'm ashamed of it and feel disgusting.

But I know I absolutely have to, one of these days the pain will get really bad or I'll get a fever or something and I'll have no choice. I think the only way I can is in a place that specialises in anxious patients and uses sedation. The prospect still makes it hard to breathe but I genuinely want to try it. But I'm really worried about the cost of that kind of thing. It's available in my city and my parents probably would pay for it as they'd be over the moon I'm going to the dentist, but I suspect it would cost hundreds or thousands depending on what I needed and I have no idea how they'd pay for it. I don't even know how to ask for it because I don't want to talk about it, it's genuinely triggering. I also don't want to tell them I've ignored pain and made everything worse, if I had to chat with them about any of this it would probably make me feel so bad overall that I'd be incapable of going anymore and I don't deserve them spending lots of money on it.

They're in the mindset now of not even thinking about it, I haven't been for years and they don't know I'm in pain, I can't just book an appointment and go because I can't afford to pay for it so I'm gonna have to loop them in somehow. And then somehow actually go. And maybe the clinic will specialise in anxious patients but still be terrible. I just don't know if I can do any of it.

Please don't judge me, just give me any advice that might help.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Hi there and welcome to DFC! :welcome:
You are definitely not alone in your phobia of dentists. I too have a phobia for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint; I suspect something happened that I either blocked from memory or was too young to recall but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a fear...but how you got it isn’t important...the important thing is figuring out what to do about it. It sounds as though you have already pondered over this for some time. I am not sure about the cost of sedation dentistry in Europe but there are many forms of sedation and some are probably more costly than others for instance, nitrous oxide would not cost as much as IV sedation and it may be even less costly to take a prescribed medication by mouth that calms you down. Determining the right type of sedation for you is a decision that you will need to make with the dentist (and your parents) but I would maybe do a little research now so you have an idea of what your options are.

When approaching the topic with your parents, you do not need to go into all of the details. You could simply say that you are ready to try to get your teeth sorted out to improve your overall health but need their help. It sounds as though they already know that you have not had dental care in quite some time, so you could mention something along the lines of being worried that there is a lot that needs to be done due to not seeing a dentist for so long and are worried about the cost of it and see what they say. Depending on how the conversation goes, you could then go on to propose sedation dentistry as your #1 choice.

Online reviews can be a really good indicator of whether or not a practice is good with anxious patients so I would recommend researching the ones near you and maybe narrow down a few options prior to even speaking with your parents about it. Nobody here will judge you....in fact, I think you are very brave to take this first step to ask for help and share your story with us. Please keep us posted with how you get on with things and we will be here to support you in any way that we can. In the meantime, feel free to vent, ask questions, or just think outloud here.
 
Sevena

Sevena

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Jun 24, 2012
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UK
Hey! I echo welcoming you to the forum. And I echo the message that you absolutely do not have to decide on a bunch of costly treatment, now or never, do or die. It doesn't have to work like that.

That initial appointment isn't some gloomy death sentence. Going now may save you and your parents a lot of money in the long run, because dentists can spot issues as they are arising and either treat them, if needed, or give you pre-emptive advice. They can also have a lookie and tell what the most urgent issue is and treat only that and nothing more - if that's what you say you want. As you haven't been in a few years, they will want to take a good look at your business. They will probably just repeat what you already know - that you need treatment on that back tooth. If you haven't been in pain or haven't noticed much change in appearance to your other teeth, it's likely the other work they would suggest would be minimal.

But you can always say, "please just treat this problem tooth and have that be that". That's perfectly fine. And then, if they give you advice on treating other teeth, you can take your time. It's important to balance dental health and mental health. You don't want to suffer in one aspect, just to favour the other! You can narrow your focus down to "one problem tooth" rather than "all my teeth".

Anyway, no matter what you choose, we will be here all the way, for every step, if you need us.
 
T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Thank you both for replying so promptly!
I know my fear started the first and only time I had a cavity treated when I was 8. Before that I had never given any thought to the fact that the dentist did anything more than look. Why I found it so scary I don't know. I'm not scared of going to the doctor's, in fact I find it fascinating. I got lucky that time, it was so minor he was able to do it without any injection. But I've had a massive phobia ever since.

Medical treatment here isn't that expensive even privately, but this countries national healthcare despite being excellent, fails in the dentistry department, about the only thing you can get done for free is an extraction I've heard. I guess they can't leave people walking around with teeth that need to be removed who can't afford it. So pretty much all dentistry is private, I don't know about the costs, it seems to be reasonably accessible to 'everyone' but that won't be including sedation for most people. Last time I was having stuff done I tried various oral benzodiazepines, they were completely useless once I was panicking. I also underwent hypnotherapy and exposure therapy and stuff but never got much further than sitting in the chair, I don't think I was very susceptible to it. I probably need very heavy sedation.

I don't think I'll talk to my parents just yet as my country is still under strict covid quarantine so it's not the time to be going really.

There aren't that many online reviews around, it's a small city, but I did find one that specialises in sedation for anxious patients and treating patients with special needs. I feel any dentist who is trained in working together with patients with special needs is an encouraging sign for their level of patience and understanding.

As to what Sevena said, I'm sure the back tooth is the most urgent issue, I'm very surprised it's lasted this many years, with the state of my mental health I've not even had the best hygiene habits I should have. But that doesn't mean that the exact same cycle won't happen again where they're treating that thing and spot another thing... And if that happens I can't leave it 6 years again, I have to deal with it. I could be committing to potentially a lot of treatment, I don't know. I find the concept pretty unimaginable anyway and I'm actually starting to dissociate so I'm sorry if this is rambling.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Theblurredface,

Hello , I wanted to say welcome as well :)..after so many years of avoiding , right now you are aware and acknowledging, writing here and working on a plan.. this is all so huge. You are taking huge steps!! I agree with Kitkat and Sevena on all they said too. Do what you can how you can , and however is most comfortable for you! It is your mouth and your comfort they should be concerned about.

Not sure where you are in Europe may have missed that but we have some amazing dentists on the forum here that are great with anxious patients. regardless I hope you find someone who is kind and you feel good going with.
 
T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Thank you for your welcome and support krlovesherkids777
Yes it does feel like a massive step to even let myself think about it. Although pain makes it hard to ignore now so I guess I have to.

I live in Spain, I guess there's no need to be vague about that, on the off chance anyone has had experience paying for treatment here especially forms of sedation and would be comfortable sharing please do let me know.
 
T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Every time I consider bringing up the topic at home I find myself panicking and crying and struggling to breathe and feeling sick. It's no use. I don't think I can bring myself to ask them to pay for a sedation appointment when I'm still too scared to go. I know I need to but I don't think I can
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Try not to put unnecessary pressure on yourself...it will happen when the time is right and you are ready. In the meantime, keep reading and posting here. It is progress that you have really thought about it and come close to having a conversation...maybe if you can’t tell them, you could write it down in a letter? You don’t have to give them the letter if you don’t want to...you could hang on to it until you feel like you want to give it them or you could even rip it up or set it on fire ...but it may be a positive step towards safely considering the conversation. What exactly about attending an appointment frightens you? The first appointment would only be an exam/consultation..maybe a few xrays...so you could work towards thinking about just doing that part without committing to any actual treatment. A lot of people find that after they have met the dentist/staff they feel a lot better about going through with treatment once they know that they will be in good hands. It’s hard to mentally commit to any type of treatment/sedation without knowing who will be looking after you. The good thing is that you are in control so if you don’t like the team, you don’t have to return for treatment and can find somebody else.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Messages
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Minneapolis, MN
Theblurredface,

I agree with Kitkat, take your time , it will happen at the right time, and if you feel more comfortable with sedation , maybe there is a way, or resource for that to happen. or in due time you will feel a peace or a way about telling them or asking for help.

I know I am personally very private with my dental as far as friends and family.. its really hard to tell them , its alot easier to tell someone who I know understands and maybe less threatening like here on DFC.. so do it when you feel its right.
 
T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Try not to put unnecessary pressure on yourself...it will happen when the time is right and you are ready. In the meantime, keep reading and posting here. It is progress that you have really thought about it and come close to having a conversation...maybe if you can’t tell them, you could write it down in a letter? You don’t have to give them the letter if you don’t want to...you could hang on to it until you feel like you want to give it them or you could even rip it up or set it on fire ...but it may be a positive step towards safely considering the conversation. What exactly about attending an appointment frightens you? The first appointment would only be an exam/consultation..maybe a few xrays...so you could work towards thinking about just doing that part without committing to any actual treatment. A lot of people find that after they have met the dentist/staff they feel a lot better about going through with treatment once they know that they will be in good hands. It’s hard to mentally commit to any type of treatment/sedation without knowing who will be looking after you. The good thing is that you are in control so if you don’t like the team, you don’t have to return for treatment and can find somebody else.
I guess the judgement scares me, first when I ask my parents for the appointment it's gonna be like a reminder to them that I haven't been forever and once the process starts and I inevitably have panic attacks and stuff in front of them then I know their patience will only last so long. They're not bad parents but I saw it all 6 years ago, they don't know how to deal with it. And when I've had that first appointment and they see how much work I need they'll judge me for it and resent the cost.

Not to mention I will be terrified of actually being there or letting them do anything or finding out myself what needs doing. It's just gonna turn into me having a massive breakdown in front of everyone again.
 
T

Theblurredface

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Europe
Theblurredface,

I agree with Kitkat, take your time , it will happen at the right time, and if you feel more comfortable with sedation , maybe there is a way, or resource for that to happen. or in due time you will feel a peace or a way about telling them or asking for help.

I know I am personally very private with my dental as far as friends and family.. its really hard to tell them , its alot easier to tell someone who I know understands and maybe less threatening like here on DFC.. so do it when you feel its right.
The only way I can get treatment is by telling them though even though I really want to be private about it. And I don't think there's ever gonna be a time where I'm going to feel differently about it. I've been really scared since I was about 8 years old and always thought I would just grow out of it and be fine long before now but it's not the case. I can't keep putting it off with all this pain but I also can't deal with it because I'm too scared
 
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