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Advice, help and support all needed please!

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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
Im sure everybody feels the same way or we wouldn't be on this site but I want to try to do as much as I can to make my situation as stress free as possible. I live in the UK and was referred as a special patient to a dentist due to severe agoraphobia and anxiety. The consultation lasted over 1.5 hours and I managed pretty well but as usual, due to panic and anxiety, my brain was mush and I didn't ask any of the questions I should have asked. It seems that I will most likely need all of my upper teeth removed and a lot of my lower teeth and it was suggested that this could be done over a number of appointments or all at once via a GA. I must say that the idea of getting it all done at once and being blissfully unaware of anything sounds pretty good to me. The anxiety alone of multiple visits to a dentist seems crazy compared to one main visit to a hospital. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for me or has gone through a similar situation. Just getting out of the house is HUGE for me. What sort of questions should I be asking? Does the treatment involve an overnight stay? Can the doctor prescribe anything to calm me down that is ok to take before I leave the house?
I'm sure I have left out loads that I want to say but I can't stop crying and worrying and I don't even have another appointment yet! Any help would be gratefully received x
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
833
Location
UK
Oh hello, you sound just like me two years ago!

I also had agoraphobia and anxiety. I went two years without going outside hardly ever. It was pretty tough. That first dental appointment was tough too. Good on you for getting through that. :)

I had all my teeth (upper and lower and wisdoms) removed under GA. Now bear in mind you have the choice to get immediate dentures or not. These are temporary dentures they make for you to wear immediately. Your gums take some time to heal and settle into a final shape, so after a few months you can have permanent ones made. It should be your choice to have immediates or not - if you plan on going outside they can be useful, but if not then they aren't necessary. Talk to your dentist about it. If you do plan to have immediates made, you will need at least one appointment (usually more than that) for them to take moulds of your teeth and gums. That's not a very fun process, but isn't painful either.

The treatment should not involve an overnight stay, though you will need someone to drive you home and look after you for a few hours, as is always the case when someone has had general. In my case, I went to the hospital, had the procedure, woke up in recovery wearing immediate dentures and a bit bloody (but I was too sleepy from the anasthetic to care!), then spent another couple of hours in the hospital while they casually monitored my blood pressure etc to make sure I was good to leave. Then a family member drove me home.

I don't know what they can prescribe to people before GA, but definitely ask your doctor! It's not a silly request. They prescribe things for people pre-appointments all the time. :)

If you have any more questions at all, feel free to ask and I (or anyone else) will try to answer best we can. Feel free to use the forum for questions or venting or whatever you want. That's what it's here for :)

You took a huge first step going to that initial appointment. Well done. I know you can get through this. :hug4:
 
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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
Thanks ever so much for your reply. The pain, if any, isn't a problem for me. I would like to wake up with teeth in my mouth and I'm not scared of blood in the slightest. I don't know how long it is going to take for all this to be done, it scares me that if it takes too long, I will just crawl back under my stone and not go through with it. It has been a long 4 or 5 years so far to get where I am and I am so worried that this could put me back down again. I have nobody I can trust to take me either. I went to the appointment with my estranged husband and that was definitely not a good idea. The dentist I saw was lovely and so was the nurse but the nerves got to me badly. My brain just goes completely numb, I can't take in any information and it takes me forever to process even the most simple question. I did come away with what seemed like a brochure full of treatment that I need though which I don't want to look at as it will probably make me worse as it is all in dental speak. I guess I will need to ask around if there is some kind of mental health nurse that can accompany me? I just want someone to take control and look after my best interests really.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
833
Location
UK
I'm sorry to hear that you don't have someone you could take with you. That may be something to ask your doctor or dentist about. I know how it is when you're in that situation and you're very anxious/panicking, and even saying yes or no is a trial, let alone forming entire questions.

What I used to do when I was in dire need, was write out my questions beforehand on a piece of paper. And if my voice deserted me, I would just shove it at the poor professional tasked with dealing with me. I would write "I'm not very good at asking all the questions I need to when I'm on the spot, but here's what I want to know. It would be great if you could answer them for me." and then list them. No doctor or dentist ever seemed bothered by me doing this. Or you can email your doctor/dentist beforehand, giving you time to plan your questions and phrasing.

But it's good that you're not bothered by pain or blood! Not that I experienced much of either. But a lot of people get hung up on that. There are pros and cons to immediate dentures, which we can discuss if you want. Having been through the procedure, I know a lot about it.

I also know what it's like to worry that you'll end up back at the start again when you start a journey like this, but even on the off-chance that does happen, it's not the end of the world either. You'll still have time to have another go. Please don't be afraid of failure. Just take it one thing at a time.

My advice would be to talk to your doctor. You should be able to get some support with this. :)
 
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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
My worry is not going back to the beginning of the teeth trial but what brought me to being in this situation in the first place, without going into details. I would really like to talk to someone that knows a bit more but I don't know how.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
833
Location
UK
If you want to talk to a professional, your doctor is your first port of call. They have the means to connect you with different kinds of professionals from different areas, if that makes sense.
 
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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
My registered doctor will take a month to get an appointment with. My psychologist can't help me with anything other than verbal support apparently. I do have an appointment on Monday with a GP that put the phone down on me when I insisted on help after being literally just released from hospital from taking an overdose. That does not fill me with enthusiasm for support from them. The stigma of taking an overdose along with various mental health issues just makes me feel like a waste of space and I'm being passed from pillar to post. I had been feeling pretty strong up until last Monday and now my head feels like its going to explode.
 
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lancslass

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
20
Where in the UK are you if I was in your town I'd come with you (even though I'm dental phobic as well), I had social anxiety for years and was prescribed propranolol it's a mild sedative that used to calm me down when I was going to college and speaking in front of people.

As for the brain mush thing write down any questions you have before hand and take it with you, I presume you have a mobile phone? If so either you should have recording on it or you can download an app just record the consultation if you know you won't remember put it on the questions list record it so you can listen to it after.

The doctor thing your well within your rights to ask to be seen by another doctor either within your practice or move somewhere else.

Well done for making the first step in your road to a new smile and a new you x
 
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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
I do tend to write notes before I see a doctor. I had no idea before I saw the dentist though. I honestly thought my husband would help me and be there for me regardless of our situation but it turned out not to be. If anyone has any thoughts of what to ask the dentist next time I see them it would be gratefully appreciated. I have only had the first consultation so I'm sure there are lots.
You are all so kind and thank you so much. I have been more than upset about this whole thing way more than I anticipated. Your support means a lot to me xx
 
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lancslass

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
20
Is your hubby phobic as well? I have to undergo heart surgery and my hubby comes to all my hospital appointments (he's hospital phobic as well) but the dentist is one step to far for him so I to go alone do you have anyone to go with you? Your mum or dad, kids, friends etc.

Everytime you go the dentist keep in mind people on this forum are all behind you holding your hand, start a journal so YOU can see how far you have come, start one just to jot down questions.

As for what to ask I haven't got a clue sorry wish I could be more help with that, I'm in the same situation and haven't a clue
 
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Dotty2015

Junior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
7
Thank you for all your advice but I am completely alone other than my husband who doesn't live with me but is supposed to care for me. I can hardly bear to goto visit my psychologist with him and am no way going to visit a dentist with him again. To be told on the way to the dentist that he didn't know where he was going and that he wouldn't go in with me ended it for me. I cannot rely on him again.
 
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