• Dental Phobia Support

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Beyond terrified

A

AmandaW01

Junior member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Essex
Hi, I'm new here. I've always had a phobia of dentists and needles, but now it's far far worse. I ended up going a few months back, she said I needed 4 molars extracting, I was crying and shaking so hard the light was shaking too and the whole chair. She referred me for sedation - my husband deals with it, I never know when the appointment is until an hour or so beforehand (I've literally bolted and driven to the other side of the country before). Anyway, they said they couldn't, I was too severe with my anxiety and I'd need a general. So husband let slip an appointment is booked and from our shifts I know it's tomorrow. Apparently it's yet another consultation, consultations are actually worse than procedures for me as they say what they need to do. I haven't slept for 3 days, I'm vomitting, crying, I wish I could die and escape all this. My absolute biggest fear is extraction - I also have a phobia of gums and as a child would be hysterical when teeth fell out. If I see or feel a gap I have a full blown panic attack. I know it's all so ridiculous really, nobody seems to understand how bad the terror is. I've also got TMJ disorder and trigeminal neuralgia and absolutely terrified of GA as I've had it before for a procedure and was in agony for months afterwards. Can anybody relate? Or can anyone advise how to get through tomorrow and then the wait for the actual treatment?
 
M

MAS0220

Junior member
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
11
Location
San Diego
I am sorry you’re going through this. However, I’m glad to hear you are not doing this alone and your husband is with you every step of the way. That’s amazing. It’s hard to put aside fears (especially when it’s full blown phobia/panic attacks). I know sometimes it’s also hard to ask of others when we depend on them for so much already, but perhaps talking to your husband and asking him just to hold you, read to you, talk to you about anything (ie: future vacations/“bucket list” items to do together/etc. ), meditate with you, etc. would help? Or perhaps finding a “support person” or an emotional support animal... I depend on my mother for so much for such things. So much so, I drive 7hours back home to go to the dentist. Because I cannot rely on my husband for such things (and my dog only helps when he wants to). If you’re having pain/feeling physical discomfort, I found icing it can be beneficial (even if you don’t feel like you “need” ice) as numbing it gets me out of a panic cycle of thinking about it. Then I totally immerse myself in some random thing (like picking out the best calcium supplements- reading reviews, comparing prices, etc). The more random the task, the better. I really hope you are feeling better by now. You are in a good place right now, so many people on this board can probably offer better advice than me and I hope they will.
 
H

Hellotherefriend112

Junior member
Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Berkshire
@AmandaW01 have u had it done, how did it go?
 
A

AmandaW01

Junior member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Essex
@Hellotherefriend112 hi, well I got there, my husband had to stop me trying to get out of the car on the motorway and I bolted twice when we were there. But, the dentist said he could see there's work needing doing, and he has the x-rays from the other dentist, but he needs his own x-rays so I need to go back next week for x-rays, then they're booking yet another consultation for 6-8 weeks time when he'll discuss what needs doing, but he can see some are past saving. So instead of one appointment I've got to have 3... I've absolutely no idea what the point of yesterday was beyond create yet more trauma. I was physically sick twice and nearly collapsed - so much to go through just to get in the room, then they say oh, yeah, well we need this. Why didn't they arrange the appointment at a time they can do the x-rays (apparently that's only on 3 days) or sort the appointment so the x-ray was done first (or accept the x-rays they'd got from 3 months ago). They obviously have absolutely no concept of the trauma true phobia creates, and consider it to be that we just don't like going much.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,244
Hi Amanda,

your post moved me so much I have been reflecting upon your situation for the past few days, wondering how to respond. There is so much hopelessness and desperation in it and I can't even imagine how difficult things must be for you now. One thing that made me think a lot was your frustration about your dentist not having no concept of the trauma true phobia creates. Reading that I was wondering what would have helped you in your last visit. How would the dentist have to react for you to feel that things are easier?

When it comes to dealing with phobia ( or trauma), it is so vitally important to take things slowly and go at a pace that is bearable. I'm afraid that anything else will make things worse and worse. If even a consultation is difficult, or even knowing when your appointment would be seems not possible, then taking it even more slowly may be a good idea. If someone is not even able to walk past a dental practice, then trying to walk into one can be too much of a stretch.

I was wondering whether you are happy with your practice and whether you and your dentist are trying to treat your teeth only or also the anxiety. A dentist who is willing to plan small gentle steps over a long period of time may be a good approach. Some dentists also have training in CBT or know other methods how to help people deal with severe phobias. Does such an approach sound like something you could imagine?

All the best wishes and keep us posted about how your further appointments went :grouphug:
 
B

Beccab213

Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
54
Location
USA
@AmandaW01
Hi Amanda,
My heart truly breaks for you with all this dental-anxiety. I have been where you are and the fear can be paralyzing. I come to bring you some good news, it can get better. I needed an extraction almost 3 years ago. Leading up to the procedure, I couldn’t eat, sleep, or relax. I was blessed to find a periodontist with a heart of gold and the patience of a saint. I was upfront and honest about my fears at my consultation. He listened and I mean, really listened. We got through it together by making a plan to handle my anxiety. He prescribed medication (Valium) to take the night before and that morning. We agreed on a hand signal when I needed a break. I listened to guided meditation on my headphones. I must tell you, it was quite quick. He did numbing, extraction, sinus lift, bone grafting, and first-stage implant loading in under 45 minutes. I felt some pressure but didn’t even realize when the tooth was extracted. I kept waiting and bracing for a dramatic moment that never came. It was so empowering. I left the dental office feeling like I did something amazing and in retrospect, I really did.

I have also had GA for 6 root canals. What I will say about that is how nice the experience was. You drift off to sleep quite peacefully, the medication they administer helps you feel very relaxed (like after a few cocktails). When you wake up, it’s all done. You rest for a bit in recovery and go home to enjoy some soup and ice cream.

I know it’s hard and I still have dental anxiety, but it’s getting easier. My advice is to be honest with your care team and know that you will get through it.
I’m sending you good thoughts and prayers.
You got this!
 

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