• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone with an extreme fear of the dentist or dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a general dental forum! You can find a list of them here.

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How do people overcome the fear?

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m2hwb41

Junior member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
5
I had a molar split into two pieces a few weeks ago, and have been to three different dentists, trying to get it extracted. (I live in the US.) I have gone to the same general dentist for almost 30 years, and I don't have any problem having regular cleanings, but when I went to the first oral surgeon to have the tooth extracted, I was alone in the little operating room, and left in a panic before the doctor came into the room. The second dentist advertised "sedation dentistry," so he gave me 10 mg. of Vallium to take the night before the procedure. When I arrived at his office, they gave me more oral drugs, and had me sit in the chair for an hour, waiting for them to take effect. My blood pressure soared and I started shaking. He gave me more oral meds, and they didn't do anything. After a second hour, he gave me some nitrous oxide. I didn't feel any different, and my blood pressure and pulse stayed sky-high and the shaking continued. He wouldn't go on with the extraction, and referred me a an oral surgeon that does IV sedation. I was so terrified of the needle going into my arm and being pumped full of drugs that I started shaking in the waiting room. They took me back to the operating room, and I was so afraid of all of the tools and equipment they had laying out that I literally ran out of there. (I am not exaggerating when I say that the operating room looked like something out of a 1950's horror movie---having all of the tools laying out in the open like that didn't look very sanitary to me, and all of the furnishings, etc. were dated and worn. I think that I would have been concerned even if I didn't have a phobia---it just didn't look very clean or professional. It didn't look like someone had laid out the equipment they would need to work on me---it was a disorganized pile and looked like someone just didn't bother to put things away.) How do people overcome this phobia? I've always had a problem, but I went through three hours of Mohs surgery last summer for skin cancer, and was totally awake for all of it, and I think that made my phobia MUCH worse. Right now, I've given up and am thinking that I will wait until the tooth absolutely has to come out---it was infected but dentist #2 gave me some antibiotics. Since the tooth is totally broken in two, the infection was draining into my mouth (gross, I know), but I think that minimized the pain.
 
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plasticinsanity

Junior member
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
10
Urg, sorry to hear about your bad experiences (especially the IV sedation place!)

I've had a total of 6 teeth extracted - 1 was at my regular dentist, and the other 5 were after I had a nervous breakdown and had to be put under with the IV. The other 5 came out after the abscess had already made itself known, so the antibiotics kicked in to get rid of the pain and I was eager to make sure it didn't come back lol. My anxiety has decreased just enough that I can go back to my regular dentist to get fillings done, but it's still there. For 2 years I seriously considered yanking them all out lol

Can you go back to the "sedation" (2nd) place for just a consultation, as sort of a meet-and-greet? Another option, is seeking out another dental office and advise them up front of your dental anxiety, and to set up a consultation first. I could be wrong, but it sounds like your first time meeting was the day of the procedure. You can set up a 2nd consultation if you need to - write down any concerns you have (as odd as they may sound) so you can have the dentist reassure you. You're paying for this as I imagine, so you have the right to make sure everything is completely done to your satisfaction (this is my mantra I've been going by since going back to the dentist in December lol)
 
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m2hwb41

Junior member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
5
I did go to the sedation dentist twice. The first time, he x-rayed the tooth and we talked about the sedation, etc. I told him that I have an anxiety issue and that it's pretty bad, but I think everyone tells their dentist that, even the people who don't have an actual phobia. As I was leaving there after the sedation failure, his assistant told me that their sedation has only failed on one other patient. (I am tempted to call them and ask them where that guy ended up going to get his work done.) The sedation dentist called dentist #3 (the dude from "The Little Shop of Horrors") and talked to that doctor personally to arrange the referral. The way it works here is that once you have been given a referral to another doctor, the referring doctor is done with you---there is no going back for that particular issue. That is part of why I am so upset about my experience at dentist #3's---the referring dentist talked to him about my anxiety, my mom talked to them on the phone before the appointment about my anxiety, I spoke to them twice on the phone before the appointment about my anxiety, and my mom drove me there, so on the day of the appointment, she talked to the receptionist about it face-to-face while I was filling in all of their paperwork. So, they immediately took me back to their little operating room and left me there alone with the IV stand, tools, etc. laying around and told me to sit in the dental chair while I waited for the doctor. They had prescribed 30 mg. of Valium before the appointment, but they told me not to take it because I wouldn't be allowed to sign the consent form if I was under the influence. In my experience, if I wait until I am shaking and the anxiety is out of control before I take the anti-anxiety meds, they don't do any good. I think that these places are set up to manage "anxiety" in patients that don't actually *have* anxiety---if you are a true phobic and feel that panic, etc. that we feel, they don't know what to do with you.
 
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sheilablackston

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
69
i have horrible fear each time at dentist but i dont use sedation i hae many health problems the only way to beat fear is face is head on ive had 6 teeth puled so far yes i was horrified but no sedation
 
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Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
783
Location
United Kingdom
I still have the fear everytime I visit the dentist, try to find a dentist you like.
 
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m2hwb41

Junior member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
5
i have horrible fear each time at dentist but i dont use sedation i hae many health problems the only way to beat fear is face is head on ive had 6 teeth puled so far yes i was horrified but no sedation

Did you have local anesthesia, or did you just gut it out? When I went to the sedation dentist, my blood pressure hovered around 150/90 and my pulse stayed over 80 beats a minute for the whole two hours I sat in his chair. He said that a local anesthetic wouldn't have been effective to control the pain.
 
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