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Fear of Deep Cleaning… and my journey to overcoming it!!



Junior member
Sep 11, 2022
Hi everyone!

I am a 22 year old girl who just found out earlier today that periodontal disease. I have always had a hard time taking really good care of my teeth because of depression and ADHD (sensory issues) and because of anxiety I haven’t been to the dentist in at least 5 years, but I never thought it was that bad. It seems to really only be affecting one tooth which is super rare, but that’s because I am in the mild early stages and so it hasn’t really spread yet.

I went into the dentist thinking I had bad gingivitis. I had gingivitis when I was a kid and they just gave me a topical gel to put on it after I brushed my teeth and it was no big deal, I was praying that was the case this time. But when they told me it was full blown gum disease and I needed a deep cleaning my heart sank. At first I thought, “okay, we’ll how bad can a cleaning be right?!” until the hygienist told me I had to be numbed… with shots. Because they were gonna be UNDER my gums. I immediately burst into tears. She told me she was so sorry for scaring me (not her fault as she had no idea I have anxiety around the dentist) but I continued to have a panic attack in the chair. The idea of injections in my mouth has always scared me to death (I just got used to shots and blood draws after years of fear) and always hoped I would avoid it happening to me. I was angry with myself for letting it get to this point, but I was also angry at myself for being anxious about it. I spent the whole night tonight talking to my boyfriend about how I had to be put fully under (IV sedation) or it wasn’t happening. I read too many articles online (don’t do this lol) and was racking my brain about how I was gonna pay for sedation since I figured my health insurance wouldn’t cover it. I frankly have been a complete mess all night.

Then I found this forum.

I searched “deep cleaning” and read basically every story that even mentions deep cleaning. And story after story was told that it truly isn’t a big deal. How they barely felt anything, and that it’s way worse in your head than the actual thing. How a couple hours after the procedure they were eating a cheeseburger and fries with little to no discomfort. How the shots were less painful than normal shots in the arm. I went down a rabbit whole for hours and found so many of them that were so helpful. I suddenly started to feel like I could handle this. I’ll bring my phone and headphones, listen to a podcast, hold my bf’s hand, and that I’d be okay.

They gave me Valium to help with my anxiety, which I originally though wasn’t going to be enough, but it’s made me feel even better because most of the stories I read that said it was no big deal didn’t have Valium! The one story I read that did said she was so out of it and relaxed that she didn’t even really realize the doctor was there! So if people without any form of oral sedation say it’s no big deal, then I surely can handle it with Valium on my side, right??

I don’t have an appointment at the moment as it is 1am on a Saturday and I can’t schedule till at least Monday, but I think my plan is to try and do it in one appointment instead of two. I really would prefer to just get it over with than have to come back and do it again. And of course I will have my Valium to help me be as out of it as possible lol.

My plan is to keep you guys updated here on how it goes. But I want to be a success story that other people in my position can look at and feel better, the same way the community helped me. I screenshotted my favorite success story that I read to help quickly calm me down when I feel nervous, but I’m ready for this to be over with and be able to come back and tell you it was no big deal lol! Talk to you soon!!
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