• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
25 hrs before my appointment.

I'm in panic mode. How familiar.

I'm afraid of the pain. Yes I know anesthesia, but that doesn't make the anxiety of it go away. A prime example of how my anxiety likes to lie to me.

I'm afraid I won't be able to keep my mouth open for 2 hours. Come on there's bound to be a bite block.

I'm afraid of the dental dam thingy. Wait doesn't she have a vaculux isolation machine? I've even had it it used on me. And hello chemicals?

Come on brain. The anxiety lies. I can do this. It's just one more step. People have root canals all the time. I had one as a kid and I survived and that one took 5 hours! I was awake just local anesthetic. Dentistry has advanced in 26 yrs.

Come on brain. Don't let the anxiety troll win. Fear is fine. But be brave. Crying is fine, but be brave. I can do this. I am safe there. I am going to be cared for there. There is no safe and healthy alternative. If I don't do this it will get worse. It has consequences. I can do this because I have to do this.
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
Just over an hour before my appointment.
I remembered to eat this time. Sure it was at 4:30 am because I woke up filled with anxiety and fear again. But at least I managed to eat. Right?
 
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facingthefears

Junior member
Joined
Nov 8, 2022
Messages
7
Location
England UK
@APhobicQueen I love this comment about the shame part its really relatable for me! at least we're doing something about it now and then we'll be all fine and dandy after its done!
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
Update. We couldn't do the root canal. I just couldn't get numb. Gel, shots, nothing. It all magically evaporated in a matter of minutes. So we will try tomorrow with the regular dentist. I'm in tears, but I feel relieved that she didn't have me tough it out. There's an infection which might be causing the anesthesia block. We left what is essentially a small cavity on the tooth to see if I feel anything or if it's just in my head. I felt so horrible as if I had wasted their time but they seemed really understanding. I feel like I've failed myself but what can I do, nothing seemed to numb me. Genuinely.
 
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M

mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
I can't go forward. I must go forward. I will go forward.

I'm so afraid it'll hurt like today when I go back tomorrow. I'm also afraid of what will happen if I don't do it. What do I do. With the cavity I've tried to figure out if I feel something or if it's in my mind and I'm anticipating feeling something. Warmish, coldish, nothing. So what exactly was going on this morning? I dialed my old hospital and asked if an anesthesiologist who had documented that I sometimes get strange with anesthesia was still around. She was. She asked me if I had started to eat more fruits or maybe changed any vitamins. I had. She suggested that the additional vitamin C might have made the anesthesia harder to stick. She suggested munching on some TUMS as there seems to be some link between munching on TUMS and getting anesthesia to work better. I'm going to try that. I can't cope with crunching them down so I'll crush them and make a little paste I can just swallow. Maybe it wasn't just my anxiety after all. Maybe there were real mechanical factors for why I couldn't get numb. Of course my anxiety didn't help, but apparently being too healthy doesn't help either.

I feel awful still about the appointment. Like I failed every one there especially myself. But it was painful. Not just mildly painful, really painful. It wasn't the partner dentists fault. She tried so hard. She was so patient. She catered to my random needs but it just wasn't working. Why am I so hard on myself about this. Time and time again I've been told it should be painless so why am I blaming myself for feeling pain.

I can't go forward. My anxiety is so high and I'm just afraid.

I must go forward. I am able to say stop it hurts and they listen. There is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a work in progress and sometimes progress comes to a halt and we have to rethink the approach.

I will go forward. I am in control. There is nothing to be ashamed of. With each appointment we learn something about me. They never tried to make me feel shame. I was just told the risks of running away from it. Risks I already knew. They didn't shame me, they were educating me. They didn't attack me or make me feel bad, I've chosen to think this is something to feel bad over. Why would they want to work on me in pain? They stopped work. They didn't huff and puff. They rescheduled me for tomorrow.

I feel bad I'm having my dentist come in but really she might have a better technique. This is not something to feel guilt over. She could have easily said no you have to do it now, but she didn't. No conscionable doctor would force someone to go through a procedure that is inflicting pain. They want to figure out what is going on.

I am still safe. I am still cared for. I don't know why I couldn't get numb. Maybe it's the vitamins, maybe it's the anxiety, but I've got a hole that needs tending to and an infection that needs dealing with. I don't want the alternative.

I will go forward. We will find a solution.

I will go forward. The alternative is not acceptable to me anymore.

I am able to ask for more anesthesia. I am able to say stop. I can control my thoughts and tell myself until I really believe it that it will be ok. I can do this. I must do this. I will do this. I will cry. I will panic. I will be afraid. But I cannot and will not run away anymore. We will find a solution but running away is not going to be one of them.
 
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NervousUSA

NervousUSA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Messages
155
Location
USA
@mariyam I'm so sorry, that sounds so stressful! You didn't fail anybody. The body just does things we can't control. Don't feel bad about asking for anything you need, it is your job to advocate for yourself. Maybe you could ask if you can get in a certain position that will help? I just had a couple extractions last week and had trouble getting numb, and the dentist was able to get me numb by changing the position of the chair and having me tilt my head a certain way.
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
@NervousUSA thanks so much. I'm scraping up all the courage I can find mentally to go through with the appointment, I feel guilt over my regular dentist having to come but her partner was also just beside herself unsure how to proceed. The only one who was ready for anything to happen was the dental assistant who gently reminded me that even though I don't want to go through it (now) I also didn't want to wait until it got worse. Which yes is a good reminder and I didn't particularly mind her saying it but it didn't help the situation much. While I appreciate that level of human transparency because faking it till you make it isn't an ideal, it also made whatever remaining local anesthetic definitely evaporate and I wanted to run out the door. I wonder if she had just never had that happen to anyone or if her own nerves made her want to hit the breaks also when she saw my very visible panic and distress.
I'm trying to focus on that today is a new day. I didn't take any vitamins yesterday and even went to the extent of taking some TUMS. I tried to get sleep.
It feels like yesterday sent me 10,000 steps back in terms of panic management.
 
NervousUSA

NervousUSA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Messages
155
Location
USA
@mariyam I would try not to worry about having the regular dentist come in, it's nothing to feel guilty about, you tried with the partner, it didn't work, and it isn't your fault. I would say put yourself first, and worry about your needs more than how the dentist or dental staff feel. You can do this, and you will find a solution and make it work!
 
M

mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
Update. We redid the tests for the tooth. It's alive! No wonder it was agony when she tried to drill. I'm going to catch up on 2 days worth of sleep now.
 
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mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
I'm still reeling from the last month. I'm still freaking out over a wiggly tooth. The dentist says to stop thinking about it and to definitely leave it alone. It happens. Deep cleaning takes out the tartar that shouldn't have been there and was moving the teeth and holding/masking it in place. It should tighten. Stay on top of healthy physically and orally. Like braces but in reverse. Just leave them alone. Keep them clean. Rinse after I eat. Wait to brush at least 30 min. Just stay hydrated. Basically all the things perfectly normal people do that I neglected to do efficiently. Floss. Don't go crazy with the floss and brushing and rinsing.

But how can I not? It's all I'm thinking about now. Come on brain. Why can't I celebrate what I've done so far. Maybe I need more sleep or at least real(ish) food.

I can finally using the left side of my mouth. I'm still hesitant to use the right with the wisdom teeth extraction still healing and I don't know how to chew with no wisdom teeth. How do you chew?! Everything now gets diced up small and easy to gently chew and swallow. It's not a lot but it's a lot more than where I was 2 weeks ago. I need to remember that. 2 weeks ago I couldn't even imagine eating anything not liquid.

Small steps. It's ok. I'm ok. I can do this because I am already doing it. I'm doing the things I didn't think I could ever do this time last year and the year before and the years before that. I'm eating! I'm actually eating. 2 weeks ago I would break down and cry at just thinking of eating and chewing. I'm able to take the retainer out, without a mirror and just feel it. And I can do it without shaking like an autumn leaf in the middle of a storm. I am able to do so much. It's ok if I still can't do a lot of things but that just means I get to keep going on this journey.
 
M

mariyam

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
98
Location
California
The list of MUST DO
-regular deep cleanings next cleaning in February
-fillings they are small so don't wait until they get bigger
-wisdom tooth, she doesn't WANT to take it, I saw the x-ray, she NEEDS to take it or I can wait until it really hurts the molar next to it

-root canal, the tooth is dead, I've known this, it's likely caused the NEXT listed issue, why keep the diseased root, THEY HAVE ANESTHESIA, THIS IS 2022, SHE HAS REVIEWS THAT RAVE ABOUT HER PAINLESSNESS, YOU SURVIVED THE DEEP CLEANING WITH JUST THE SWISHY NUMBING STUFF! ITS ALIVE! IT'S REALLY ALIVE!
-the failed root canal. It's been there for 26 yrs. 26! It's loose! Wishing it to not be loose won't do anything. I need it extracted. I hate that word. It makes me feel, hollow, helpless, completely vulnerable.
-I need a bone graft. You can't NOT have bone where there should be. I need a post and implant. Everyone gets implants , they're like the new thing! How many offices have I driven past that have banners for implants? Surely if those people survived, I can to? Right? PLUS she's already there, doing all the things she has to do. They have anesthesia!


The maybe in the future
-braces, I have gaps, it offsets my bite, but I don't NEED them.

Now I need to let my body heal. I need to be healthy so it can heal. Then there's the impressions for the implant and whatever goes with that.
I have to keep up with my cleanings. These are routine things. Cleanings help us. They help keep the mouth healthy.

My teeth still feel alien to me. But not so terrifying anymore.
 
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