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2nd try at root canal this morning...can't bear dental dam can't swallow feel like I'm suffocating

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CathBut

Junior member
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
2
2nd try at root canal this morning...can't bear dental dam can't swallow feel like I'm suffocating

Hi,
I hope I'm posting correctly. I went in for the second time this morning for a root canal and left in tears. The first time I had no idea they would be using a dental dam because I had never experienced that before! So I left before they ever started.
This will be my third one. A traumatic one as a child, an okay one WITHOUT a dam and now, with this gd dental dam! I've never had to use one before.
This morning I went in on Valium and still freaked out because I could not swallow. I started panicking and felt like I was suffocating! I couldn't figure out how to swallow with that contraption on. I took the day off work and everything. I felt so humiliated.
Now I will go back next week paying for IV sedation. My question is, will I be so out that I won't notice I can't swallow??? I'm fine with shots. I'm fine with the drilling but not that Medieval torture device. Thank you!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,094
Re: 2nd try at root canal this morning...can't bear dental dam can't swallow feel like I'm suffocati

Dear CathBut,

I am sorry to read about your ordeal, the dental dam is really a huge one so I understand your struggle. I also get the difficulty of being surprised with the thing - I needed 7 months of preparation to get myself ready to face it!

A rubber dam is challenging and looks totally scary and uncomfortable. What it doesn't do is making someone unable to swallow or breathe. You can get plenty of oxygen through your nose, as during any other procedure and you can still swallow. Swallowing with a rubber dam is even easier than without it as there is no water from the drill in your mouth so you can swallow any time you wish. What I think might be the actual challenge for you is to swallow with your mouth opened. Mike Gow, a brilliant dentist who is also here on the forum asks his patients to exercise swallowing with mouth opened as a preparation for the dental dam placement so it sounds like this is quite a challenge for a lot of people.

To your question about iv sedation: you shouldn't be able to remember anything. It might be good to talk to your dentist about this before you start so that they can make sure to take extra good care of you.

You already have scheduled iv so I guess it's not necessary for you to make friends with the dental dam for now, but here is a link of an faq that might be helpful if you should ever face it again in the future: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/showthread.php?6931-Dental-dams

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
C

CathBut

Junior member
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
2
Re: 2nd try at root canal this morning...can't bear dental dam can't swallow feel like I'm suffocati

Hello,
Thank you for your reply. The main issue I have with this medieval torture device is that I can't swallow and then I feel like I'm suffocating which leads to straight out panic. What I'm wondering and would like to pose to the dental community is why do you take a procedure that is considered scary already and turn it into a nightmare situation where people feel trapped and scared. I could not relax even on valium. Now I have to spend $1200 to pay for an anesthesiologist to get through this. Last time I had a root canal not even 10 years ago, it was NO BIG DEAL. But I wasn't smothered by a sheet of plastic either. Sigh... come on. Let's have some advances to make patients MORE comfortable not freaking out and panicking.:scared:
 
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