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After waiting so long...disappointment

  • Thread starter HelenaHandbasket
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HelenaHandbasket

Junior member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
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Hi there...I found this forum today after a difficult dental visit.

After years...I don't know how many, but more than 5...I had finally worked up the courage to go in for a cleaning. My last cleaning back then had been so stressful that they literally had to stop the procedure halfway through because of my fear; I probably left fingernail marks in the arms of the chair. But I always knew I'd have to go back someday. This year I turned 40, and I told myself that it was time to grow up. If I couldn't see the dentist at my age, there was a problem.

So today I went in. I had a lot of trouble working up to it, but I felt pretty calm once I finally sat in the chair. The x-rays were ok, not too troubling. I have one cavity...but apparently, there are more serious problems. The hygenist confirmed that I have a lot of bone loss. She didn't feel that they could do the amount of cleaning I needed, and is recommending I go to a periodontist. The bone has receeded a lot and they need to really get in there and clean up so it doesn't happen any more.

So after all that mental preparation, I wasn't able to have anything except x-rays done...I have to take more time off work (which isn't easy) for 2 to 4 perio visits, which will involve shots (agh!). And I don't know what else.

The hygenist there says they will prescribe Ativan for me, but I'm still worried. I don't know what to expect from this kind of periodontal deep cleaning. When she told me this, I started crying...I just wanted it to be over, but now I have so much more ahead of me. Looking up Ativan, I found this forum, and reading through here started me crying again...and this from someone who's 40! I'm disappointed, fearful, miserable...I wish it was already over. And I'm very angry at myself for having let it get this bad.

Any thoughts on what to expect would be great. Any things I can do to get past this fear...I feel like a little kid and I'm ashamed. I'm not normally so emotional.

Thanks for any thoughts you have on this.

:shame:
 
Hi,
I am relatively new to this forum. Just wanted to say you are taking that first courageous step. Think of the dental stuff in mini baby steps.

I am a huge phobic. It took my over 2 years to get an appointment made despite my hubby getting angry at me. I had the appt last June and then it took me until this past month to get the initial work done. I had a sedation onThursday and had 6 teeth pulled out and a deep cleaning.

I still have other steps like just going back on Wednesday for a re-check. I have gone thru the chest pains, etc.... I have not heard of Atvian but hopefuly it puts you in a deep state of relaxtion.

By the way I am a 42 year old kid as well and have been deeply ashamed at how bad I let this get because of my fears. Hang in there. :)
 
Hi Squiggles, and thanks for the response. Glad I'm not the only one.

I've read a bit about sedation and I don't like the idea...for one thing, it seems like it would cost a lot more, and I do doubt that insurance covers it (though I guess it's worth checking out). Also, it seems so extreme; I don't like the idea of going under anesthetic if it's not necessary. I do wish I could just be knocked out safely and have everything done at once...but I think I'm going to have to give it a try with happy drugs and willpower. Ergh. The Ativan (not sure I'm spelling that correctly) is supposedly something like Valium. I'm a little unsure, because in the past I'd had nitrous oxide and it didn't affect me much at all. I often wonder if my years of college-age drug use made me resistant to mind-altering substances. :)

Thanks for the encouragement, though. I can really use it. Best of luck with your continuing treatment.
 
The reason the nitrous oxide didn't work was that you were in the middle of a panic attack and your body kicked in with extra adrenalin. this happened to me when I was 22. They then had to knock me out to put in two crowns. That was over 35 years ago.

if you are that phobic, don't hesitate to use sedation. They'll knock you out, do the work and you won't feel a thing.

wishing you well.
melody
 
Hi :welcome:

HelenaHandbasket said:
I probably left fingernail marks in the arms of the chair.

I think we've all done that at some point, so you're definitely not alone ;).

HelenaHandbasket said:
I'm disappointed, fearful, miserable...I wish it was already over. And I'm very angry at myself for having let it get this bad.

Please don't feel disappointed, angry or ashamed. The point is that you're trying to do something about things now - and that's all that matters.

I know it's really hard but feeling bad and kicking yourself because "I should have gone sooner" or "I shouldn't be like this" won't help you - it only makes things worse (I should know - I've spent most of my life doing the same thing until very recently). Instead, congratulate yourself for having taken the first step :).

HelenaHandbasket said:
I've read a bit about sedation and I don't like the idea...for one thing, it seems like it would cost a lot more, and I do doubt that insurance covers it (though I guess it's worth checking out). Also, it seems so extreme; I don't like the idea of going under anesthetic if it's not necessary. I do wish I could just be knocked out safely and have everything done at once...but I think I'm going to have to give it a try with happy drugs and willpower.

There are lots of things that can be done to help - depending on what you want (i.e. are you wanting to try and deal with the fear or would you rather get all the work over and done with and not know anything about it) and what your fears are. There's some really good info on sedation and psychological methods of dealing with anxiety on this website but it doesn't seem to be available at the moment (the website's having a revamp and will be relaunched soon).

The more psychological (no drugs) ways to help reduce or overcome fears include de-sensitisation, hypnosis, relaxation techniques and also simply talking through your fears with your dentist and coming up with a plan of how to deal with things at a pace you feel comfortable with. There are more things but I can't remember them all right now (I've got a terrible memory :redface:).

There are also various sedation options as well including IV, oral and inhalation sedation. As melody said, the amount of adrenaline you've got pumping round your body can sometimes affect how well the sedation does or doesn't work so maybe that could be why the nitrous oxide didn't work so well for you on that occasion (just a guess :)). Sedation does work well for the majority of people though.
 
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