Extreme fear and anxiety of the chair

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PetrifiedPerson

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Hi guys

I havent been to a dentist in 6 years. Last time I went I wasn't so nervous, but the time before that I had a full blown panic attack and thought I was going to die. That memory lingers in my mind and I have put off going for 6 years.
I can feel at least 4 cavities. One is starting to ache. Even writing this, my heart is racing like crazy and I want to cry.
I made an appointment but I know I'll cancel like I've done every year.
I have some xanax and was hoping that might be ok to take as it slows my heart rate which is the thing stopping me from going. I genuinely want to get them fixed but the physical side isn't letting me.
Any advice?
TIA.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Hi,
Do you have any idea what started the panic attack you had? Sometimes after giving a local anesthesia which contains Adrenaline, some of it goes to the blood circulation causing a full blown sympathetic reaction. Could it be also in your case? Or maybe something else?
 
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PetrifiedPerson

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I'm pretty sure that it's the feeling trapped thing for me. And needles. It's so hard to pinpoint exactly though.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I'm pretty sure that it's the feeling trapped thing for me.
That is unfortunately common when the dentist is pushing towards treatment. It can be due to time-pressure or the dentist's assertiveness to get the treatment done. Luckily, not all dentists are like that and many are willing to invest the extra 2 minutes in explaining and talking with the patient before treatment takes place.
And needles.
There are several reasons why patients might find the injection frightening (fear of pain, needle-phobia, wound-phobia) but it is possible to inject very comfortably, and in order to achieve that the dentist has to invest 2 more minutes and inject s-l-o-w-l-y.

In short, it sounds to me you need a dentist that does not rush the patient and works patiently.
I invite you to watch a video I made about that:
 
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PetrifiedPerson

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Thank you :)
I will check out your video.
I think one bad experience (panic attack) has caused years of fear.
Can I take xanax before my appointment?
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Verified dentist
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Can I take xanax before my appointment?
Generally speaking, I don’t recommend pre medication before a dental treatment. My approach is addressing the core problem directly. In your case you can reach out to the dentist (ideally even meet them in person) and make it clear you don’t want to feel pressured during the treatment.
If you don’t have pain or need for immidiate treatment that can work in your favor because you can choose Whether treatment will take place or not during your firstappointment.
 

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