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Fear of numbness

tastyavocados

tastyavocados

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Hello everyone. I'm another terrified person that is afraid of the numbness due to my panic attacks. And I need some help or guidance to my journey.
Today I had an appointment with my dentist for a tooth extraction and I can't find the strength to go and do it. I'm willing to go and I really really want to go and fix my teeth and feel fresh, with a clean mouth.. but my fear of the panic attack slowly crawbling up stops me in my tracks. I'm not afraid of the pain, I'm not afraid of the dentist, I'm not afraid of my tooth getting pulled out, I'm not afraid of the tools, I'm not afraid of the actual needle but I'm afraid of the feeling of being numb. I HATE it. I'm the type of person that I would much more prefer the excruciating pain, rather than the numbness because it makes me feel less in control of my body and it reminds me of the panic attacks.
This is my first time going to the dentist. I have done some research and from what I've seen the left side of my throat is going to be numb too.. Which seems too much for me. (The tooth with the cavity is on the bottom, on the last row of my mouth, close to my wisdom tooth)
The only good thing about it is that I haven't experienced a panic attack for 2 years now, I copped with it by myself without getting a treatment for it and I feel strong. But I don't know how I will react when I feel the numbness of the anesthetic when I'm sitting on the chair. Will my mind JUMP on the panic mode and the feeling? How will my body react?
My last panic attack 2 years ago was so severe that it got to the point where I would feel like fainting and my sight would get dark & I would be out of breath.

What should I do? My odds for having a panic attack are 40% (likely to happen) / 60% (not happen at all). As I mentionted I feel strong but I don't know how my mind & body will react at that moment when the drug kicks in. The dentist told me that the anesthetic will have an affect for atleast 4 hours or so even after the appointment and that seems.. overwhelming and too much for me.
Do you have any tips on what drugs my dentist can use so my numbness is not so severe? Should I mention him the drugs by myself? I don't want him to feel offended or anything... He might aswell use whatever feels more practical to him, since he's the doctor and knows better but.. Ugh I don't know what to do really.
Another question I would like to ask, should I use my earbuds and listen to music so it relaxes me? I thought that it might calm down my nerves but I don't how how practical is going to be with the dentist since we both have to be a part of this and I need to listen to his instructions during the operation. I don't want anything to go wrong.

Sorry if I made any grammatical errors in this. :)
 
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Gordon

Gordon

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Earbuds are fine, as long as you have an agreed signal for when the dentist needs to talk to you.
There are ways to get a smaller area of your mouth numb than using a standard injection technique, e.g. the Wand. Would your dentist be able to use something like that instead?
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Earbuds are fine, as long as you have an agreed signal for when the dentist needs to talk to you.
There are ways to get a smaller area of your mouth numb than using a standard injection technique, e.g. the Wand. Would your dentist be able to use something like that instead?
I am not sure whether the wand is suitable since it gives the same numbing effect.
I would suggest searching for a dentist who uses quicksleeper or single tooth anesthesia (STA). Then the neighboring tissues are not effected.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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The Wand does have a STA mode (any recent models, anyway)...
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Even the original ones could be used that way.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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I always wear ear buds for procedures and it has never been an issue. I either leave the ear bud out on the side the dentist is working or I just do not blast the ear buds so I can still hear her if she’s talking to me. It just helps to give my brain something else to selectively attend to and distract me. Even though I can still hear some or most of the sounds, they do not have my full attention and that actually helps me immensely.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Dear tastyavocados,

if I got you right, you had an appointment today but ended up cancelling? Anyway, hope I'm not too late with my reply.

In my experience, getting triggered by the feeling of numbness is one of the not-so-easy things to overcome as you can't control it. Once the anesthetic is there, it's there and you can't change it. However, again, according to my experience, it can be overcome.

You already got some technical gadget ideas about this from Gordon, Daniel and Letsconnect. I am a big fan of desensitization (which means gradually getting used to things at a pace you are able to cope with) so here are some ideas that I found helpful: (sorry, this post is really huge, but I couldn't help myself)

1) Having the right dentist. It's important to talk about this with your dentist. He/she has to know what the feeling of numbness can cause and that this issue needs some attention. He/she should also be flexible to try some things out with you. It sounds like you do not want to bother your dentist much, but this is an important topic and it's about your mental health so it deserves the attention.

2.) Making sure anything else is as stress free for you as possible. Dealing with the particularly stressful things is easier if you make sure to be as comfortable as possible before and after the thing that worries you. So if you, for example, get stressed by anything else than 'just' the numbing, it's good to split things so that you do not have too many triggers at once in one visit. It might be, for example, wise not to opt for a numbing and an extraction straight away, but to make a session with just being numbed up. It might also be a good idea to have a profound chat with your dentist about anything you need to know about the numbing sensation (which parts will feel numb, how long, what can be done to make it easier for you etc.)

3.) Practice at home. There are lozenges against sore throat on the market that have numbing effect. Why not trying one out to just explore how numbness in your mouth feels? Should you become uncomfortable, you can just spit it out an rinse and the weird feeling will pass. I did this a lot in the past to prepare myself for a numbing session with my dentist.

4.) Starting with a small amount of anesthetic, for you to find out how it feels. My dentist suggested placing a very small amount of anesthetic (about 10% of the usual amount) for me to get used to the feeling. We had a good chat before that, he explained to me how it works, we had a good chat after that and made sure I wouldn't get overwhelmed. It was hard anyway, but this was to be expected as we prepared this step for quite a time. The good thing was that I had no issues whatsoever on our second trial and during the actual treatment either.

I am aware that not all of these advice can be applicable for you and it hugely depends on your dentist's skills and willingness to help. It's also about whether you are looking for something quick to just make you able to get through the extraction without a panic attack or whether you look for a solution that makes you in general able to cope with feeing numb. In any case I can only encourage you to chat about this with your dentist.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Tastyavocados,

I so understand the fear of throat going numb, this is one of my big fears as well, numbness is really a weird feeling. I cannot stand the thought of it. You certainly got alot of good advice, and I love Enaretes advice about desensitization and what her dentist did , just taking it slow little bit at a time to get you used to idea. What I can encourage you is that I recently just a few months ago had a bottom left tooth out #20. My dentist did a block shot, which I was afraid of since it was my first lower work in years!. I was frightened.. and it was a new dentist too. He had done really well with the top so I was hopeful but very scared. I can tell you it wasn't near as bad as I imagined it , He came and gave me a 2nd shot to make sure it was fully numb which I didn't feel at all. Half my tongue felt numb and part of my lower jaw. but.... my throat did not feel numb at all..and that is what I was most worried about , the throat, I also wonder if sitting up might be possible more upright to give more feeling of control and less panic? not sure if that is possible. My dentist always lets me have the suction thing too in hand while they are waiting few minutes after giving the shot so I can get any saliva mixed with anesthetic left out. That really helps me .

I encourage you to tell them your very specific fears about this so they can use every resource and dental skill and compassion and competence to help you make sure of this. It is important you feel comfortable your dentist will listen to your concerns and respect your needs .

You have alot of support here with people with similar and same fears. This is a huge one! I hope they can make it doable for you.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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You may also be able to experiment with over the counter topical numbing agents to get a sense of what the numbness may feel like. Aside from throat lozenges there is also orajel and anbesol. These do not last very long nor are they very strong and only numb very superficially so it would be a safe trial run that you are more in control of. I also do not like the idea of a numb throat ..I do not think that I’ve ever had a numb throat due to dental injections but that’s not to say it couldn’t happen. I have had my tongue and lip go numb but I have a bigger fear of pain so I find the numbing sensation a source of comfort.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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The Wand does have a STA mode (any recent models, anyway)...
As far as I know, colleagues of mine who use the wand do not use it in the sulcus.
I myself use the quicksleeper and even though it has an intersulcular mode (starting with their first model), the company advises not to use this mode. I strongly believe it applies also for the wand.
 
C

comfortdentist

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I had the wand as one of the original orders many many years ago like 20+. It can be used intrasulcular and intraseptally also. My personal patient feedback is they prefer my hand to the wand.
Both PDL (intrasulcular) and intraseptal injection give very little soft tissue anesthesia. They both are techniques that most dentists might know of but have little experience in delivering. The techniques can give excellent anesthesia but really are technique sensitive.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I had the wand as one of the original orders many many years ago like 20+. It can be used intrasulcular and intraseptally also. My personal patient feedback is they prefer my hand to the wand.
Both PDL (intrasulcular) and intraseptal injection give very little soft tissue anesthesia. They both are techniques that most dentists might know of but have little experience in delivering. The techniques can give excellent anesthesia but really are technique sensitive.
I did not know it can be used intraseptal. How can
I had the wand as one of the original orders many many years ago like 20+. It can be used intrasulcular and intraseptally also. My personal patient feedback is they prefer my hand to the wand.
Both PDL (intrasulcular) and intraseptal injection give very little soft tissue anesthesia. They both are techniques that most dentists might know of but have little experience in delivering. The techniques can give excellent anesthesia but really are technique sensitive.
very interesting. I was not aware that the wand can be intraseptal and actually it surprises me. Maybe I am too used to the quicksleeper and cannot imagine a different way to do that...
 
C

comfortdentist

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@ Dr. Daniel there is another technique where you give some anesthesia to the buccal intercrestal bone and then use the wand tip or a pdl syringe tip to probe the surface and find a surface pore that allows the tip to penetrate and then you give the anesthesia. Again technique sensitive and you will bend and ruin many tips in learning. Just another way to solve the same problem.
 
tastyavocados

tastyavocados

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Thank you all for your help! It really means a lot. I will visit my dentist and talk to him on Friday about this. See what he tells me and what is his solution. I will keep you guys posted to his answer. I want to hear your opinions on this.
 
tastyavocados

tastyavocados

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Hello.. Just a quick update. Came back from the dentist :)
I explained to his assistant and helping hand that I don't want a full anesthesia on my face and she was persistent. But the dentist came in and gave a helping hand and perfomed a few local anesthesia shots on my tooth and gum. A few on the sides and one straight to the cavity close to my roots. He had to keep shooting the anesthesia because I was feeling the pain when he was pulling the roots but my face didn't feel numb at all. I still felt pain and I screamed but it was for atleast 1 minute and only when he started pulling the parts out but it was something that I could handle. The precudure was really quick (it took him like 15-20 minutes) and he was understanding about my panic attack and my fear of numbness.. (versus his assistant which was very bitchy and matter of fact that there's no other way than the big anesthesia) Anyway, he helped me hold his hand while he was removing the tooth. He reassured me that I won't need any medication after the procedure or I won't have any swelling on the area.
The only thing that I'm worried about is that he told me I have two roots, and he told me he removed both of them (he showed them to me too) but when I came back home and showed my sister my mouth she told me that the hole looks kinda odd and different to hers.
I would like to hear some opinion about the hole in my gum from a proffessional dentist here. The pictures below are graphic.

Click for the pictures

The whitish.. part there doesn't feel rough, it feels soft.. like a gum. And it's been 1 and half hour since he removed the tooth, I took an aspirin and it doesn't hurt at all now.. it's like I didn't even have a tooth extraction :grin:.
But what do you think it is? Should I be worried? And if it's just my gum why it's whitish like that? Is it an infection? Thank you for your help.
 
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tastyavocados

tastyavocados

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A quick update again: My gum has kinda healed but today that I woke up it feels like something is bothering me inside my gum.. I don't know if it's just me or if it's a general feeling after tooth extractions but I feel like something is bothering me from inside. Is it normal? Should I visit my dentist again?
 
Gordon

Gordon

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From the photo it looks perfectly normal. Well done on getting through it.
 
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