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Dental work - Again!

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facingthefears

Junior member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
7
Location
England UK
I'm Lisa - UK England!

I've had a lot of dental work throughout my teenage years! lots of extractions, braces etc, I've also suffered with mental health issues for a large portion of my life, which unfortunately has lead me to neglect my teeth. I've tried to get a handle on it before but end up going to get some issues fixed, something becomes a higher priority and I end up back in a cycle but decided this was the year to sort it all! I had planned a deep clean (Periodontal Treatment) numerous fillings, 2 root canals and a wisdom tooth extraction - lovely!

My main issues with the dentist? The fear of pain, severe pain and the fear of something going wrong that will leave me in further pain. I tend to be able to force myself to go, and sit in very severe anxiety until the procedure is over awaiting every little piece of pain I can notice.

I recently invested in a Philips Sonicare toothbrush - has changed the game for me really, the oral b vibration is too sensory overload for me (waiting autism/ADHD diagnosis) and the Sonicare has definitely changed things for me the vibration is so much different, and its all down to personal preference personally I love it!

anyway..

today I finished my periodontal treatment, this was my 3rd session. my first session they did a above gum line clean, she was very gentle with me, anytime anything stopped she asked me to raise my hand and she left that area alone until she could numb me in further sessions. My 2nd session I did the left hand side of my mouth, top and bottom, the water machine, unbothered by it, no problems unless you're a little bit sensitive in areas, and then they give you some more numbing and off you go! The scaler... you get used to it after a while but the feeling and the sensation and the noise.. is not nice, its not horrific but I'd definitely take some headphones to drown out the noise. 3rd session today pretty much the same, but on the other side. So now I'm all cleaned up and ready to keep my gum health to a good standard. 3 months check up has been booked in to make sure we're all happy and everything looks good.

If you haven't been to the dentist for a while and they tell you that you need a deep clean, obviously the dentist is very a nice experience for people like us who are scared but its definitely not as bad as you think.

Fillings I'm okay with, however. The Root Canals, I am absolutely terrified for. I'm terrified they will hurt, I'm terrified that I'll have a really sharp stab of pain and not want to continue. I'm terrified I won't want to have the other root canal done if this one hurts. So, any advice on root canals would be lovely.

Just on the start of my journey, I'm with DenPlan via my work, they also provide counselling over the phone to dental phobia patients, this is something I will definitely be looking at once I get up to my root canal work.
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
Hi there. I had a root canal as a kid, courtesy of a bad tooth break. That was nearly 30 yrs ago. I survived it. Local anesthesia only. Today I have root canal scheduled. I am totally terrified, like you, of pain. Thankfully anesthesia has improved in the last 30 years. That's what I keep telling myself. Dentistry has advanced light years since I had a root canal 30 years ago. I have reached a point of being resigned to the fact it is necessary. They've got a terrible name, someone should rebrand it as something else. But they are meant to help us keep our teeth. I tell myself I need to get the tooth taxidermied, somehow it sounds better. I remind myself the consequences of not doing one are larger. I also have done the time math. It should take 2 hrs start to finish from walking in the door to being checked out that I'm calm enough to drive home. We have 24 in a day. 168 in a week. It is 1/84th of my week. I try to surround myself with reassurances that I can do this and the anxiety lies. The most important thing to remember is our anxiety and fear lie to us. We are capable of raising our hand in the procedure to say PAIN!!! As capable of thinking then worst, we must also be capable of remembering we are in control. We can ask for more anesthesia. We can ask what our options are to mitigate the fear and anxiety. We can also think of how far we have come and that while this is a terrifying step, it is still one step closer to having a healthier set of teeth.

I've been told repeatedly that after the initial drilling like a filling it is actually exceedingly quiet because of the used of hand files and tools. Since you are alright with fillings you could try to imagine it is just that, a filling.
 
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facingthefears

Junior member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
7
Location
England UK
Hi Marinam! I've definitely heard the same about the silence after the filling, I think because unfortunately I've seen what they are doing on videos which doesn't help. I think when I'm in the chair it will be a lot different, as I won't be able to see what they are doing and that it would probably be more like a longer filling than anything else! Then onto the wisdom tooth but all one step at a time.

I definitely agree it's a requirement, it needs doing if I want to keep the teeth, its definitely sprung me into action to start making an effort to look after them as I really don't want to keep having to go through this. Hopefully I can write a response to this eventually next year saying it was all a breeze! then onto cosmetics which I am looking forward to! ;D
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
Oh yes YouTube and Google are definitely not our friends when it comes to our curiosity sometimes. But I think the unknown is more anxiety inducing. I'm literally sitting in my car in the lot of my dentist office waiting for them to open. It's starting to be my "thing" that I show up extra early and freak out in the car. I tell myself if I can sit in the car and not decide to drive away then I can do the next step. Like the anxiety and fear I've built a little ritual I go through to prepare. I find nice loud music to drown out the noises and sit.
 
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facingthefears

Junior member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
7
Location
England UK
Guess I should update on this! :)

I started my root canal treatments! 3rd session in and we've cleaned out a canal, 3/4 through one other canal, unfortunately I still have nerve tissue in the 3rd canal so we're trying to kill that off with medicine between appointments.

It definitely was not as scary as I thought, like a long filling to get down to the nerve (absolutely no pain! just like a normal filling) then a few files into the canals.

The two that aren't finished, as there is some nerve tissue inside them the lower the file gets into the canal the pain slowly starts to build as if someone is pinching my gum, but I raise my hand at the first sight of any pain and she stops, she said we will continue to put medicine in the tooth until the nerve dies off and we can finish the root canal. I have another root canal on the top arch of my mouth (Again molar) she said this one should be a little easier as the top is easier to numb and feels numb whereas I could find that the lower molars don't 'feel' numb although they are as the needle will have done its job, and some of it is in our heads! She said she trusts me when I say it hurts and she will not continue if I feel uncomfortable. She's a really good dentist, makes me feel very comfortable.

A few fillings after this that need doing, and these seem like nothing compared to these root canals. I do however have an extraction, my dentist has seen how I have been with my root canal and she said I may be more comfortable going for IV sedation to have my extraction (its a wisdom tooth) as it will make the experience a little easier on me. Once I've had the injections for the most part I've been fine, however I am a 'control freak' as I like to put it and I am looking for any sign of pain, so maybe this is a better idea? anyone tried IV and could explain what it is like? I'm worried it will make me feel sick if its a room spinning type feeling or a drunk feeling?

Cleaning has been done and finished and a check up due on the 17th Feb, so thats one down!

Bottom RC - Started
Top RC - Not Started
Fillings (3) - Not Started
Extraction - Not Done
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
672
Location
US
Wonderful!

Well done. Keep us posted.
 
Kml1998

Kml1998

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2021
Messages
153
Location
England
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