As someone with anxiety induced gagging, I made some huge steps lately.

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bowloforanges

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Jun 25, 2019
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As a child I fought tooth and nail at the dentist because I've always had a poor gag reflex (just smelling a strong smell, even a pleasant one, or brushing my teeth past the canines induce it). I also have it as a side effect of anxiety, when I get too anxious I gag uncontrollably. Never had great experiences with dentists either as a child, so, I never went from probably the age of 12-on.

I finally the past couple months made the first appt at the dentist in years, I did tons of research before hand and found a dentist who has an amazing team. They are so great with working with patients who have bad dental anxiety. They are patient, kind, and actually take me seriously, and are great at distracting/calming anxious people.
I cried in their office my first appt because it's the first time I have ever felt like I wasn't a burden to the dentists. They took their time with the x-rays, even going so far as to not use the bite wing holder, and use the smaller one for children's mouths, and let me push the button to take the photo to help distract. We got through it. Then during my cleaning, every time the hyginist could tell I was getting anxious he would quickly pull the tools away and distract me, mainly by asking me if I knew the song that was playing, we played "name that tune" the whole cleaning and I was able to get a cleaning without nitrous!

Now on to the gagging. For fillings, they can't even stick the gauze in there to apply the topical stuff before they numb me without me gagging. We have since learned that nitrous helps with that, it completely gets rid of my gag reflex and also calms me down. So for all of my fillings I will need we do that. I know this is a jumbled post, and I'm new here, but I just wanna share that if you can make that first appt somewhere, and find a team that is good with you, then it gets easier every time. I won't lie, I still get anxiety attacks and gagging attacks on the way in, I am pale and shaking when I go back, but they are either quick to distract/calm me or quick to the nitrous. I dread it less and less each time though.

Also, not once have they made me feel shamed or embarrassed about the state of my teeth, and said I did the hard part already by just coming in to make that first appt. Hopefully this story helps someone maybe. Don't give up hope! I almost did! I've now had the x-rays, cleaning, five filings, and just had oral surgery (sedation) to remove wisdom teeth and some molars. I still have a long way to go and many more appts to make, but I've finally found a place that treats me well and tolerates a "difficult" patient.

TL:DR-
-Nitrous helps gag reflex. I don't eat before and don't get nauseous after
-I found a caring dentistry with an A+ staff who is great with anxious patients
-They never make me feel bad about the state of my teeth
-I have a long way to go but it gets easier, taking the first step was hard, and I did extensive research beforehand to find a dental staff that works well with me.
-If the first place you go gives bad vibes, go elsewhere, you aren't committed to them.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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From the subject line, I knew this would be a great post.

Then I saw that you were willing to be authentic and honest enough to cry inside the practice: I thought to myself “Yep, this person is going to make it”. I just knew it.

I knew that because crying, like righteous anger, is the most authentic any of us are going to be: if you are willing to cry, that shows that you really care about dental care, and bettering yourself.

You didn’t know it, but once you cried, got it all out and hung in there, that you were already a success. You couldn’t fail.

Pretty soon dental anxiety is going to be afraid of you!
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Thank you so much for sharing your success story! So many people are struggling with that first step and this will no doubt offer encouragement! If you’d like, you can leave a recommendation of your dental office in the dentist recommendations section. It sounds like you have found a real gem in your dentist office. Good luck with the rest of your journey!
 
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bowloforanges

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Jun 25, 2019
Messages
4
From the subject line, I knew this would be a great post.

Then I saw that you were willing to be authentic and honest enough to cry inside the practice: I thought to myself “Yep, this person is going to make it”. I just knew it.

I knew that because crying, like righteous anger, is the most authentic any of us are going to be: if you are willing to cry, that shows that you really care about dental care, and bettering yourself.

You didn’t know it, but once you cried, got it all out and hung in there, that you were already a success. You couldn’t fail.

Pretty soon dental anxiety is going to be afraid of you!
Thank you! I'm looking forward to the day I can go into the office with all the anxiety. That first day I cried, and shook, from anxiety, being scared, and from just having to hear him name every single tooth that had multiple cavities because I knew my teeth were bad, but it was hard to hear. He just sat down and said "I can see how upset you are, and it's been a tough visit for you, but you took the first step in coming in, and we want to help you. Are you okay enough to discuss a care plan now? Or would you rather wait till your next visit to discuss this, It's okay if you want to wait, I know you've put yourself through alot today."
I've never had such reassuring words from any dentist before. The asst. also said "I'm really sorry if I upset you in any way or did anything wrong, let me know if I did so I can improve." I assured her that she is the only dental asst. that has ever treated me this well and gone out of her way to be nice and patient and helpful.
 
B

bowloforanges

Junior member
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
4
Thank you so much for sharing your success story! So many people are struggling with that first step and this will no doubt offer encouragement! If you’d like, you can leave a recommendation of your dental office in the dentist recommendations section. It sounds like you have found a real gem in your dentist office. Good luck with the rest of your journey!
Oh, I'll look for it and add it! I just wish I'd of found this fourm sooner, because it would have helped me so much with that first step, but hopefully this will help someone. I'm happy to be a member of this community now!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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bowloforanges,

I just love this!!! Beautiful testimony! You are doing amazing and so is your dental team. they seem great with distraction and ways to help anxious patients in such real compassionate ways. This is great to hear!! So happy for you!!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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What a nice story, this will be a huge encouragement for many others who are at the beginning of their journey. Sounds like your have found the perfect dental team. :)
 
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