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Cavity fillings anyone?

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anxietyattack

Junior member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
5
Hi there! Brand new to the forum and just found this site today. I am not knew to dentistry and have actually enjoyed the routine procedures for the most part. I don't love my dentist or going to the office though! I stumbled upon this forum while searching cavities-one of the most routine procedures and I'm freaking out over it, more so than I was when it was time to remove my wisdom teeth!!!
I don't have a fear of needles but I do have a fear of pain. I get needles often for various medical things and have enough basic medical and common sense knowledge to know that the less fleshy an area is, the more a needle hurts. And the needle I saw today was huge. That's right, I was at the dentist today for a filling and then I freaked out, walked out and drove home feeling like a huge idiot.
I had a full blown panic attack when I had to get my wisdom teeth out, I sat in the chair for the longest time and just before my dentist started, I freaked out really bad and made a mess of the place. I had no idea what happened, I blacked out but apparently. I had to be taken to the hospital to be fully unconscious in seconds to have them out. Obviously, that can't be done for a cavity so that's where the fear and anxiety sets in.
I've spent the better portion of today, searching the internet for stories, videos and whatever I could find in order to have my questions answered, fears appeased and to even see if there were any other options. Not a lot of luck to say the least.
Every time I see the doc its a different story so I'm really not sure what exactly is going on. Supposedly I have very tiny cavities both in diameter and depth. They don't hurt at all and I can't feel them with my tongue. What worries me the most is that 1-2 of them are BETWEEN teeth. They can't be seen or felt so how on earth are they supposed to be filled without destroying the tooth or the teeth around it!? I'm a very paranoid and anxious person (can't you tell? lol!) I pride myself on my teeth simply because they are part of my defense if necessary. I don't want to have missing or weak teeth to destroy my eating habits or by potential bite!
I can go on and on about my fears and background but this is already super long. I was hoping that someone or several people might be able to walk me through their experiences, link me to detailed videos explaining the process or what my options might be based on your experiences or what is available. Any help at all will be greatly appreciated! I just ask that any responses given could have layman's terms in them so I can understand it a bit better. I was reading one response on another thread and I couldn't understand all the technical terms and doctor speak:redface: :giggle:
 
M

mbc350

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
39
Location
USA
Hello, and welcome to the forum! I've never experienced a high level of anxiety like what you described, but I've felt mildly nervous each time I've gone to the dentist. In reality, the procedures aren't bad at all. It's just that we build up the fear in our minds and imagine it to be worse than it is. It's important to visit a dentist who cares about their patients and can understand & address their fears. As far as fillings go, I've had them done before, and again, it's not that bad. I don't like needles, but the injections weren't painful (just a small pinch). If you want, I can describe injections in further detail as I've done on a couple of other posts. You're in good company here, and we'll gladly help you along. God bless. :)
 
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anxietyattack

Junior member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
5
Yes please do! I was looking for any types of experiences in regards to cavity fillings. The injection is where I went off. Just because of the pain I knew I would feel. I wasn't even numb yet when he tried to stick it in my mouth! In reality the injection would only take a few seconds so I know I am over reacting in that respect but it's still not a pleasant thought at all.
 
carole

carole

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
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Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,599
Location
UK
Hi I have been in your position of being terrified, a couple of years ago I was scared of everything to do with the dentist and treatments I even feared a check up. I went shaking, I couldn't breath or talk, I don't know how I even managed to get there. I felt so bad I was sure I was going to pass out. I couldn't sit still from all the shaking, my poor dentist must have been more afraid than I was.

He asked me what I was most afraid of and I said everything, he tackled everything one by one and had an answer for everything.

They have a gel called topical that they can rub on your gums where you are going to be injected and this numbs the gum, when they then inject you don't feel it at all. I no longer need the gel and I never feel the injections the slower they do the injection the better my dentist puts the needle in and count really slowly down to 1 from 10. If they do this you won't feel it at all not even a pinch.

I have never seen the needle and don't want to, I don't want to see any tools because I would be out of there. I have gone from being a total basket case when going to see the dentist to now not being bothered at all. That is until my dentist leaves and I have to find another. But after having said that I have seen three to four dentist this last 2 years and they have all been very good and I have not felt injections of anything. I have had two rct's and one of them was re-treated which is quite a process, I have also has a tooth removed the teeth that had the rct's have been crowned all done with no pain at all.

We don't use doctor/dentist speak on here it is all layperson speak, and very non threatening, procedures are explained in a very nervous/phobic friendly way so as not to alarm us. This forum played a big part in me overcoming my fears. The tabs at the top of the page will explain procedures if you fancy having a read but there are plenty of people on here that have had experiences of all sorts of different treatments so we can come to know what to expect.

We also have some dentist that come on here and they are very patient friendly and will explain things so we can understand. We are very good at offering support in bucket loads.

Good luck to you, I hope you can manage to return and get your little fillings done before they develop into bigger jobs. Explain to the dentist what it is that worries you most and they will be able to help you stop being worried. Ask about the topical gel they should have some it is brilliant. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::butterfly:
 
M

mbc350

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
39
Location
USA
Hey, anxietyattack,

I think carole did an excellent job of helping to minimize your fears about injections. It certainly sounds like she has a lot of experience and knows what she's talking about b/c she's gotten used to them. I haven't had such extensive dental work, in fact, no cavities in over a decade b/c I take esp. good care of my teeth (including fluoride every night), but I've had injections in the past. I would definitely go w/ her advice and take her words to heart. Sorry I didn't get to reply to your last post before she did, but that's okay; we're all in this together, so I want to give her credit & acknowledge her contribution. However, if you still want me to provide my perspective on how injections work (as I already briefly mentioned to you based on other posts), it's entirely up to you. It would merely supplement what carole already stated.
 
A

anxietyattack

Junior member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
5
Carloe did a great job in explaining everything! I'd like to hear more about people's experiences with the needle. I'm used to needles and they don't bother me, I have to get bloodwork done often. It's the pain that I dont like. Medical classes and experience has told me that the more fleshy an area is, the less pain while the less fleshy an area, the more pain and general uncomfortableness can be felt. This is where the needlexGums come in....it's just tooth and a thinish layer of mucous membranes that will hurt profusely!
I had the numbing gel but I was NOT numb before that needle was headed to my gums. The numbess that I did feel later on still did not seem like enough as I could still feel pain.
 
M

mbc350

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
39
Location
USA
Carloe did a great job in explaining everything! I'd like to hear more about people's experiences with the needle. I'm used to needles and they don't bother me, I have to get bloodwork done often. It's the pain that I dont like. Medical classes and experience has told me that the more fleshy an area is, the less pain while the less fleshy an area, the more pain and general uncomfortableness can be felt. This is where the needlexGums come in....it's just tooth and a thinish layer of mucous membranes that will hurt profusely!
I had the numbing gel but I was NOT numb before that needle was headed to my gums. The numbess that I did feel later on still did not seem like enough as I could still feel pain.

Once again, allow me to offer my condolences and to say that I'm very sorry you had a bad experience, albeit involuntary, which wasn't your intention, of course. It can be difficult to enter the dental environment again after such an scary reaction (although it didn't sound like you were attributing the blame to the dentist per se). However, believe me, dental phobias can be overcome. It may not be easy, but it can be done, and you can re-establish your trust in dental professionals because there are many of them who genuinely care about their patients.

As far as your comments on pain sensations from injections in comparing oral vs. non-oral areas of the body, I've actually discovered quite the opposite of what you described; i.e., for me, dental injections have tended to be less uncomfortable than, say, those in the arm (as in tetanus immunizations). While it is true that there are anatomical differences between the gums and "other" flesh, the mouth seems to be designed in such a way that fortunately injections can be done relatively painlessly. In fact, the soft, porous structure of the oral tissues facilitates the smooth diffusion of topical gel as well as the local anesthetic proper in a non-time-consuming way. In other words, you can achieve profound numbness in your mouth in a quick amount of time. Strictly from a normal layman's standpoint (w/o technical dental knowledge & expertise), it would appear that oral injections will be painful and difficult to endure, but it's actually quite the opposite. As long as a skilled & competent dentist is performing the job appropriately (applying numbing gel, using thin needles, keeping the tissues taut, and most importantly, injecting slowly), there should be very little discomfort. Therefore, I would respectfully disagree w/ your assertion that they "will hurt profusely"
:). Pain perception can be a tricky concept b/c I don't think it's an exact science, and not everyone's experiences are exactly the same; but overall, receiving oral anesthesia doesn't have to be unpleasant.

To be honest, for years, I had pretty much the same mindset as you in which I was terrified of dental injections due to the excessive & irrational fear of pain based on imperfect recall of those memories in the dental chair (which I made out to be worse than they really were w/o even realizing my flawed thinking process); but after reading various posts in this forum and doing my own research, those fears have been dispelled for the most part, and I can look forward to future visits w/ confidence. I would encourage you to continue browsing on here and asking questions as necessary. Don't ever think you're being a bother because you're not. We would much rather you "pester" us w/ your concerns than for you to suffer in silence and try to overcome this on your own. If you think of something else to ask later that you forgot to include formerly, don't be afraid to post it on this forum. You can even take time to rant & vent your emotions as you've done, which is healthy to do instead of keeping them bottled up inside. No one is here to judge or condemn you but rather to sympathize w/ you and assist you on your journey. It can take some time to overcome our fears, but by focusing on the facts & thinking positively (instead of subjectively relying on inaccurate negative concepts), we can make tremendous progress and share our success stories. Ultimately, you have to make the decision to face your fears head-on, but we'll be right behind you cheering you on b/c others have gone on ahead of you :jump:.

P.S. I included my thoughts on dental injections (designed either for a general audience or individuals) in the attachment below instead of posting them on here directly, so you may read at your convenience. (It's in Word 2003 format, so if you have trouble accessing it, let me know.) Coincidentally, you may have already seen it in one of my other posts on another thread. (By the way, I hope you weren't referring to that one when you originally stated you read "one response on another thread" but "couldn't understand all the technical terms and doctor speak." If so, I apologize for sounding so confusing & verbose, even though I'm a patient and not a dentist. If you need me to paraphrase it better, just tell me, and I'll be more than happy to "translate" it :).) Before you get into the document, take a few deep breaths and try to equip yourself w/ an open mind before delving into the text, which is lengthy but nevertheless very helpful. Also, please note this disclaimer (which is only to provide you w/ fair warning, not to put any subliminal thoughts into your head): keep in mind that only if you start to feel nervous or anxious (which may not necessarily happen) while perusing the details, you may want to stop and relax for a few minutes before continuing further. I say that b/c ironically, even though you're reading for information & encouragement, initially it may seem to have the opposite effect psychologically b/c you're so used to thinking of dental injections in unfavorable terms, so it's important to be persistent and to persevere while you recondition your mind to see dental injections in a more positive & objective light. Be patient w/ yourself and take it all one step at a time, acknowledging each amount of improvement you make (however slight it may be) and congratulating yourself on your gradual progress.
 

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L

lawlcano

Member
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
41
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
I'm a couple of days late but I thought I'd contribute my experiences here.

Carole also posted to my original thread on the forum, she's very helpful and friendly! Hi Carole! :)

I recently went to the dentist for the first time in 17 years. I'm 32 and haven't been since I was 15. I'm lucky and my teeth have apparently held up better than some others' I've read about. After 17 years I need 9 fillings. Most in the front, and 3 of them not to fix anything structural, but because certain areas have started to darken and look decayed. I also have one tooth (a molar) broken off, luckily not enough has come off, so they can fill it, too.

But my reason for posting here is to alleviate some of your fears. I haven't been to the dentist since I was 15, but in those 15 years I had pretty bad oral hygiene. As a result, I had a LOT of fillings when I was a kid/teen. I have a LOT of previous experience with the needle, and I can tell you that even as a child I had NO problem with it. You feel almost no pain, at MOST a small pinch. Like Carole said, they numb the surface first via numbing gel, then go in with the needle. By the time they give the shot, you should ideally feel next to nothing! (I had varying degrees of feeling over all my fillings....from feeling absolutely nothing to feeling a tiny pinch. Nothing worse than a small pinch ever happened).

You're gonna be fine! I go in for my 2nd of 2 cleanings later today! Next week I start my 3 appointments' worth of fillings... 3 per session if I'm doing the math right! :p I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about the procedure after not having it done in 17 years! But ya know, I keep thinking of it like this:

I had so many fillings as a kid, but I don't have ONE traumatic or lasting memory of getting it all done. I have different vague memories of lying there in the chair being bored while they filled the cavity. But nothing that stands out. I can't picture any of it specifically, so it can't have been all that bad! And one day, your fillings too shall be nothing more than a vague memory. Hang in there, you'll be fine!
 
carole

carole

Well-known member
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Jan 5, 2012
Messages
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UK
Hi lawlcano I hope you are feeling okay today, Good luck for your appointment later on :clover::clover::clover::clover::clover: and your future appointments to have your 9 filings :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::butterfly:
 
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