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Help finding a dentist in CT/telling a loved one??

S

Shoe Lover

Junior member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
12
Location
Connecticut, USA
Hi. I am 25 years old and in need of advice.
I have had dental anxiety since I was a child, mainly due to embarrassment because I had a hygeniest who would pick out every mistake. I had one cavity in fifth grade, and threw the fit of all fits in the parking lot, leaving my very shocked parents to literally carry me in and hold me down, crying and hysterical. While I have no doubt that they were trying to help, the combination of helplessness and later, embarrassment, made it worse.
I went sporadically after that, had braces, and anxiety became full out phobia, complete with many of tale of actually passing out in the waiting room because I started to hyperventilate.
I’ve been blessed by healthy teeth combined with a natural inclination for dairy. That doesn’t seem to help eliminate any anxiety, and over the years I developed a full blown phobia, to the point where I will flip channels over toothpaste commercials, and “have to use the bathroom” if the subject of dental care comes up in conversation.
I last saw a dentist when I was 22; I took valium (10 mg) from a friend, and still had a whopping panic attack just being asked to sit in the chair. I calmed down enough to let the hygeniest start looking at my teeth, but promptly threw up a few minutes later. I doubt anyone missed me after that.
I am currently living with my fiancé, and he doesn’t know. He’s an amazing guy, and very sweet and caring, but I’m still terrified he’s going to think it’s a lot to handle. A few months after we first met, I had a hemangioma (a blood vessel that emerges out of the skin) in my neck, that spontaneously grew huge and ruptured (in a mall the day before Christmas Eve, of all things). He brought me to an ER,(despite protests) held me while I waited, helped with my breathing (I tend to hyperventilate, and babble a lot), held my hand even when the ER attending was doing lord only knows what, and was honestly the most supportive person I have EVER met. He also drove halfway across the state…on Christmas Eve…when it started bleeding again and stayed with me while a plastic surgeon lopped it off. Which was truly hideous, and he didn’t even look mildly disturbed.
The thing is…that was NOTHING compared to the full scale hyperventilating/fainting/vomiting nightmares I’ve had with dentists. I didn’t want to scare him off at the time (we had actually only been dating for six weeks at the time), and figured I would get around to it. He knows everything else about me, every embarrassing secret etc, but I can’t figure out how to explain this.
Like, “You thought I was nuts before? That was nothing!!”
I am not honestly in immediate need of treatment; I think that I have a cavity forming towards the back, and I’m worried that my long dormant wisdom teeth may have decided to make a run for the surface. I would like to deal with my phobia, hence the post, and I think part of that will be ‘fessing up to my guy. I've never told anyone else, and even just posting this is somewhat cathartic.
Which would also help because I think, at this point, I’d like to try either sedation or nitrous or SOMETHING. I don’t want to wait for something horrible to happen…but even the thought of calling to make the appointment sends my heart racing. I’m looking for help finding someone in Connecticut that deals with phobics…there were a few listed in the section, but I was kinda hoping someone might have a personal anecdote.
So…any advice on telling a loved one…or dentists in CT??
 
Cielo

Cielo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
620
Location
Washington
I can't help much with a dentist recommendation, but you've started in the right place here in that section.

As for telling your fiance, I think you might have it easier there than you might think. He sounds like he cares for you very much, and wants what's best for you. He was obviously supportive throughout your other ordeal, I'm sure he'll be just as supportive when he hears about your fears. He sounds to be the nurturing type, and that can SO work in your favor as you get through this.

I would start out asking for his help. Then tell him your fears and let him know how he can help you. Keep him involved as much as you're able to, whether it be making the call for you or just going along with you for support. I'd be willing to bet this guy is at your side the whole time.
 
S

Shoe Lover

Junior member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
12
Location
Connecticut, USA
Thank you Cielo!!

I tried speaking with my fiance last night...I got as far as telling him that I was glad how he was very supportive...and then started panicking about what I was planning to say next. He couldn't figure out why I was getting upset...and I backed down.

I'm going to try again...but does anyone out there have experience with explaining this sort of thing? Like, where to start?? Or advice on how to soften this so it doesn't sound like I'm nuts? I'm afraid he's going to think I'm too much to handle.

Thank you again!!
 
Cielo

Cielo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
620
Location
Washington
Good for you for getting as far as you did!!:jump:

Now you've set the stage. Fiance is probably going to be relieved to hear it's "only" a matter of a dentist phobia. ;)

Blurting such personal things out can be scary, can't it? It's so much easier when those we're close to can just pick these things up, but unfortunately, with the very nature of our phobia, we tend to hide it and everything related to it.

If the "blurting" approach didn't work, you could always try writing everything down in a note or you could even hand him a slip of paper with the URL to this thread.

Just make sure he knows you're not upset with HIM. Your anxiety could inadvertently send signals easily misread, and the longer it takes for you to explain yourself, the more chance you risk of an unfortunate misunderstanding.

I hope you find a solution soon. Imagine the great weight that'll be lifted once you've managed to include your fiance in your treatment plan. :cloud9:
 
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
Hi Cielo,
Fist of all, WELCOME !! You have certainly come to the right place.

Your fiance sounds like a sweetheart. Sounds like he really loves you. Believe me when I tell you that after everything you have shared together, you can tell him this and he will understand. I have no doubt of this. How do you tell him? I would recommend you tell him just like you told us here. He loves, he will understand.

I know the struggle you feel. Just a few months after I began dating the sweet man who is now my husband, I collaspsed at work one day in unbearable pain. My then boyfriend came immediately to the emergency room at the hospital and was there to hold me together when I was told I had two massive tumors in my body. The tumprs turned out to be enormous fibroids that had destroyed my uterus and were crushing my other organs. I was told I needed an immediate and total hysterectomy to save my life. Through it all, he never left my side.

And yet, I was so ashamed of my dental phobia that I could not bring myself to tell him about it. After everything else we had been through, I was afraid he would think "This woman is really a mess" So I simply did not tell him. Long story short, I did not tell him. Shortly after we were married, he began bugging me about going to the dentist and finally I ran out of excuses and he convinced me to try his nice lady dentist. It was a disaster. I was so completely hysterical, the dentist could do nothing with me. She did, however, recognize acute dental phobia and asked my husband what had happened to me. He was clueless and my reaction confused and frightened him because he had never seen anyone so completely lose it like that. Later that day, when I was able to calm down enough to talk to him about it, he was very supportive and understanding and he felt so bad that he had pressed the issue with me without knowing the overwhelming terror this represented to me.

Tell him. He loves you. He will understand.:)
 
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
OOPS! Post was meant for Shoe Lover, not Cielo. Need to check my glasses. Sorry about that!
 
S

Shoe Lover

Junior member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
12
Location
Connecticut, USA
Hi again!

I wanted to post that I finally told my fiance. I fully admit, it took a spontaneous trip out to see friends...which led to the consumption of a fair quantity of alcohol...to finally tell him on the ride home.

He was very understanding and supportive, and said he had kinda figured this was the case (though not to this extent) because I get some anxiety just going to a doctor's office. He also doesn't think I'm nuts. Whew!! :-*

He also said that he would call for me to make an appointment...which unfortunately sounded like he wanted to do that today. I found a dentist in CT who specializes in phobics...he was listed in the section here, so I went to his website and read up on him. He's 45 minutes away but I think it'll be worth it to see someone who I'm fairly confident will understand what I'm dealing with.

Pity it's not medically wise to have a few drinks before going...:sleepyjuice:

Many thanks for the support!
 
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
Shoe Lover,
:jump::jump::jump:
Good for you! Congrats on tell your fiance. And no, alcholo probably isnt the best choice for anxiety lol!
I have a dentist who also specializes in dental phobia and she is the very first dentist I have ever felt safe with. I think you do great ith the one you have chosen. Also, as you have no doubt read here, there are some very effective medications that help ease the fear. This might be something for you to possibly consider and perhaps discuss with the dentist.

Keep us posted!
:)
 
O

Onyx

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
26
All I can say is I wish my teeth were in the condition of yours. I remember when they were and I was too afraid to go. What could have taken minutes to fix then takes several hour/s visits now.

I wish I could have faced my fears and stopped ignoring my teeth problems. I only go now because I have to. Please don't let yourself get to that point. I have pain every day and every tooth except maybe two need some kind of work done.

I know all of this is easier said than done. And I'm proud you have taken this step. Please know your loved one will not mind at all. He'll probably want to help you. :)

My husband goes with me to every appointment. He's very supportive and great. And I freak out a lot too. I had a seven year old tell me it would be okay one time because I was in the waiting room crying.

I'm determined to get my problems resolved. I'm tired of hurting and I'm tired of not being able to smile. I used to have the most beautiful / big smile. I want to see that girl again.

Don't let the fear continue to control you. Tell your loved one and help put that fear into check. ;)

Wishing you the best.

~~~~~EDIT~~~~~~

I saw that you told him! Good for you! He's a great guy and you have taken a big step. Keep going, don't stop here.
 
Last edited:
Cielo

Cielo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
620
Location
Washington
:yay:Congrats!! That fiance of yours sounds like a keeper.

Let us know how it goes, okay?
 
S

Shoe Lover

Junior member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
12
Location
Connecticut, USA
I finally just called to make an appointment...the phone rang four times, and I swear I got even more scared the longer I waited...and I finally got a message saying they've been on vacation, and will be back tomorrow. I didn't leave a message, because at that point I was already somewhat panicky.

I feel like an idiot. I haven't DONE anything, and I'm still shaking like a leaf, and my heart feels like it's about to pop out of my chest because it's beating so hard. I do want to try again tomorrow, but I'm wondering if I should have a script, or talking points, in case I can't think straight.

Does anyone else feel this sick just making the phone call?
 
F

fatcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
191
Location
In my own crazy little mind
Hi!

Don't feel like an idiot! You have made a big step there! Feel proud!
Having a script or some bullet points written down is a good idea, I do this when I go to the doctors because I often can't think straight and get annoyed when I forget something!
I know how you feel, I often go over what I need to say in my mind a million times before I call, start to feel my heart racing and get sweaty hands. Its horrible but you will feel good once you have done it! Also I HATE leaving messages! I need to call to change my next appointment and keep on putting it off! :rolleyes:

Do try again tomorrow, you have come so far already, dont stop now!!
 
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