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Coping with emergency dental work. Any advice please?



Feb 15, 2013
Two weeks ago, a tooth with a deep filling - lower right molar - that had been sorta twitchy decided to blow up on me.

I mean, I didn't actually blow up. But two weeks ago Thursday, I knew something was not right with the tooth. So I applied manual pressure to the guns around it to massage any potential abscess. I was probably massaging pretty firmly - I don't really know what I was thinking. I was panicking.

I woke up the next morning to a swollen jaw and a big lump on the gum on the tooth in question.

I quickly dissisociated a bit and managed to call an emergency dental appointment number I got from public health and managed to call the office. It was 9 am and my appointment was for 11 am that same morning.

Now partly cuz of my disassociation - the only way my brain and emotions could function - I have PTSD - and partly cuz it was an emergency appointment, I didn't get to meet the dentist before hand and I don't even know her name.
she started off to do the first part of a root canal on the molar. I first panicked and wanted the tooth removed cuz I was afraid I couldn't cope getting a root canal but my partner who came with me managed to talk me into it.

Now I don't mean to upset or deter anyone but I have to tell the truth. When she drilled in to open up the tooth to remove the root, it really hurt. I think it was because of the acidic atmosphere of the infection. Anyway, instinctively, I reached over and tried to push her hand away. I
I apologized later for touching her while she was coconctrating.

Im trying to be ok with everything even tho I am still in a fair bit of pain when I bite down and my tooth feels really high up from my gums. This makes me think that an infection is still active.

I'm supposed to come back in 2 weeks for them to finish the root canal. But I think I need to be seen sooner.

What I need advice on is : how do you cope in emergency situations?

How do you cope when you don't get to choose your dentist cuz it's an emergency walk - in appointment? I don't even know my dentist's name.

Does anyone have any advice?
My fear of dentistry is that my teeth won't be functionable, that I have to have good teeth or my life will fall apart. So for me seeing an emergency dentist is not a problem, but I understand how it could be for many people with a dental phobia.

My tips would be:

Tell yourself this dentist is qualified and will have experience working with emergencies. They will have seen everything in their role as an Emergency dentist, abcesses, knocked out teeth, broken jaws.......everything.

You have to tell yourself you are doing everything in your own power to get the best result for your teeth. It is an emergency, but that doesn't mean you can't book an appointment to see your own dentist as soon as possible.

I went through this six weeks ago, Dislodged a tooth and had two more hit. I saw the emergency dentist within three hours, he splinted the tooth and I was on my way. The very next day I got an appointment with my own dentist. He remarked that the Emergency dentist had done an excellent job, and saved me much pain.

It's difficult, but these dentists have the experience and the know how to deal with any emergency.

I went to my nice family doctor and got a prescription for another round of anti biotics and more ibuprophine.

It felt safer to see her, but I know I do have to return to this emergency dentist for the appointment in two weeks to finish the root canal.

But I know I have to work up my bravery.
The trouble is now, now that the anti biotics are working and the swelling is down with the pain.

My little coyote brain has been thinking that maybe I'm fine just like this. It's not like the cavity is gaping open, it has a temp filling. But I'm not in pain and am able to cope like this - ass long as nothing stirs me up like another dental visit.

Shouldn't we just let sleeping dogs lay?
If you leave it, it will come back. I know it's difficult but it's better to get it seen to now, then go through a whole lot more pain.

Abscesses will return unfortunately. The best thing you can do is go through with the procedure.

I say this knowing I may need two root canals soon after a blow to the face. I have no feeling in either of them so no problem, right?

Nope, if I leave them they could abscess and need my tooth removed. I don't want that.

Best get it seen to and then not have to worry about the pain coming back :)
As OCDGuy has already said the infection will come back, it hasn't gone anywhere the antibiotics only calm it down enough so that you will be numb next time. If you feel anything tell the dentist and they can give you more stuff. If you are not numb she should pack it and put another temp filling in. If you leave the tooth now it will give you pain and then you could end up if you leave it long enough having to have the tooth extracted. You have already done the hard bit by having the first part done. The second bit is much the same as the first but it should be without the pain. Ask the dentist her name and tell her you are worried because of the pain you felt last time.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover: :butterfly:

Be careful who you let work on you. Get an endodontist to finish the root canal given that she gave you a crap first appointment. Was the pain continuous?

For future reference find a DENTIST YOU LIKE AND TRUST and then you can call on them in emergency rather than a stranger.
Thank you everyone for your honest advice.

I know denial can be a hallmark of fear so the fact you could all be honest means a lot to me - you're all good people and I can sense everyone here wants to be and is helpful.

There is a lot of trust here.

I just wish I had the same trust in dentists.

My biggest problem right now is nightmares.

David has to wake me up cuz ill be thrashing and calling out.

He tries to be understanding but it's hard when I'm being "irrational" - but I don't think my fear is irrational at all, I am genuinely afraid.

How do I communicate this?
Does anyone have any advice?
It's 1 am and I can't sleep or relax. I've had nightmares around dentists or injury to my mouth.

Does the phobia ever stop?

Does it ever get any easier?
Well this morning, we got up to take Krystal for what she thot would the last appointment needed on this root canal.

After a horrible night before and a slightly better morning cuz I took the Ativan I was prescribed.

David I get there -not late cuz I was crying and carrying on or gripping to doorframes like trying to give a cat a bath.

We arrive and are told this is just a preliminary consult and they did not like the way the gum around the tooth looked. Declared more evidence of infection (in one small area, the gum was just a bit puffy) and told me i would have to wait another 3 weeks (on top of waiting for the original four weeks just passed).

I understand the importance of infection control in these cases where an overlooked infection could cause root canal hell down the road.

But if this was such a concern - infection control- why wasn't offered any infection messages by giving me a scrip for the infection in my mouth?

What happens if without antibiotics, I arrive this appointment, I'm told I have to wait again cuz of the same infection they stopped 3 weeks ago and did nothing

I understand that a lot of my projections here are based on my fear, phobia, wanting to be free from harm and just wanting to get the damn thing over

sp I can be. Honest and admit that I was pretty in stern here and my written assessment of things but it's more difficult for professional staff but themselves in their clients point of view

im just trying to make sense of this whole shit show. I knew it was gonna be brutal and I had a hyped up sense on what was going on cuz in that one time split second, I thought I could go through with it but that was not meant to be.
It's 1 am and I can't sleep or relax. I've had nightmares around dentists or injury to my mouth.

Does the phobia ever stop?

Does it ever get any easier?

Yes, it does get easier. It really does. Once I trusted my dentist, and I knew she wasn't going to kill me, do things I wasn't ready to do, or have me be in pain (and she'd notice when I was trying to be stoic and go without more injections) I stopped being in a total panic the entire time. I stopped having a rigid body and leaving stinking because I was dripping with sweat. I was still nervous, I still didn't like it, but I was out of panic mode.

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