How to handle panic attacks from sound of drill?

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KivaG

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Joined
May 25, 2016
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2
I am 70 yo, 100 lbs., female and beyond phobic. It's the sound of the instruments, not pain. Headphones with music turned way up, benzos x 2, nitrous on full blast and many shots of novocaine doesn't touch the panic. As soon as I hear that instrument I practically jump out of the chair and run! Despite my size, I blow through all meds in seconds.
Two of my upper implants failed after 6 months and I am going in on Wednesday to have them replaced. My dentist has assured me that the failure was not due to inadequate bone, etc. I had anesthesia for all of my extractions and implants. But I wont be having it for the removal of the two that failed and placement of the two new ones. Dentist and staff are awesome, understanding and assure me that with all of the above, I will be fine. I trust them, they do great work. This is just one of those things, but I've been panicked for a week since we set this appointment.

Is there anything I can do to block, stop, soften the sound of that drill [bone conduction sound]?
KivaG
 
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geos

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Dec 22, 2011
Messages
502
Would it be an idea to get used to the sound outside of the dental environment? Since the sound would be hear due to the bone conduction, I don't know if there's a way to not hear it.
 
K

KivaG

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May 25, 2016
Messages
2
That's what I figured, but I keep looking for that magic bullet, short of IV sedation. I have been told that ear buds/head phones actually make it worse. Dentist has offered RX Ativan to calm me in advance, but adrenaline from flight response makes RX's work about as well as aspirin. I live in Washington State and have a valid Medical Marijuana card for PTSD. Dentist has no objections, but....Any thoughts?
 
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Mugz

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Jul 21, 2014
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1,050
That's what I figured, but I keep looking for that magic bullet, short of IV sedation. I have been told that ear buds/head phones actually make it worse. Dentist has offered RX Ativan to calm me in advance, but adrenaline from flight response makes RX's work about as well as aspirin. I live in Washington State and have a valid Medical Marijuana card for PTSD. Dentist has no objections, but....Any thoughts?

There used to be a Dental Fears Clinic as part of the University of WA in Seattle. I’ll spare you the backstory but there was a psychologist there who specifically worked with patients during appointments working towards desensitization with the drill and various other triggers. It may be worth your time to google. I totally relate to every part of your post, by the way. It is terrible. I wish you every success with your upcoming appointment.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sep 18, 2017
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3,277
Hi KivaG,

Sorry to read about your situation, it sounds like this is a huge roadblock for you and like you tried a lot of things to beat it already. Glad you have a lovely dental team though.

When it comes to triggers that seem too hard to overcome, you always have two options: to treat it short term with sedation or to get help from a mental care professional. If you tried nitrous and benzos and had no success then the next possibility might be iv sedation.

If you wish to find a way to overcome this long term and without having to get sedated, then finding a mental care profesionall would be the best way to approach it. If the sound of the drill is your only trigger, you might benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy. One of the techniques of it is desensitization. You can read more about this here and it can be used to sounds as well.

There is a sound track that cancels the noise of the drill here on the page if you would like to give it a try. I once tried it in the treatment room, but our speakers weren‘t loud enough for the music to be hearable so it might work better with headphones if you want to give it a try. What doesn‘t work well are noise cancelling headphones. We hear things happening in the mouth louder and the sounds around us distract from that a bit so if there are no sounds around us (because they get blocked by the noise cancelling headphones), the actual treatments sounds get exaggerated. Normal ear buds should work fine, many people use it as a distraction for the treatment.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
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