I had a panic attack at the dentist's office...

L

LeeLeePie

Junior member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
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1
Hey everyone, I'm new to posting. I've been looking on this site for quite some time now, however and finally decided I needed to post, so here goes...

I am 31 years old, and after 17 very long years, I finally went to a dentist. Several bad experiences, absolute fear and dental insurance kept me away. I finally have a job with insurance and have known I needed to have my teeth looked at for some time now. But did I go? Of course not. Not until I broke a tooth that was visible when I smiled (I already had two broken molars).Even then, I didn't go right away. It took an infection and excruciating pain.

Last month, I went to my first appointment, found out everything it would take to fix all of this mess in my face. I just knew I needed dentures. None of my teeth would be able to be saved. It had to be that bad. But it wasn't. Absolutely unbelievable!

I needed a bunch of fillings and 1 root canal/crown. I was on cloud nine. I hurried to schedule my root canal because I wanted to not have to have my teeth even more than I already did. I was terrified, but I actually made it through the root canal with no problems. I didn't feel anything. So far everything was great. I scheduled an appointment for the crown placement and 3 fillings.
That appointment was 3 days ago. And it's where things went wrong. I made it through the fillings without any issues, and he was able to make the crown in office. The dentist left the room, telling me all that was left was to glue it in.

I was elated. For a while. Then 30 minutes had passed. No one came in the room. It felt like I didn't even exist.

That's when I started to panic.

I started crying, but trying to stop myself. It only got worse. 45 minutes passed and I lost it. Truly. The walls felt like they were having in on me. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't stop crying. It was a nightmare. I called someone who got me to be able to go to the desk where I proceed to tell her "I need to get the f*** out of here, I'm freaking out." She offered for me to go outside, but I couldn't. I was afraid I might not come back, and I'd be stuck with a ground down chunk of a tooth.

She came back to check on me and was very kind, letting me know the crown was just cooling off (hence the amount of time) and he would be in soon. Within minutes he was there, getting it glued in and calming me down as best he could. I apologized for losing it (still hyperventilating) and made another appointment for 3 fillings on November 1st.

The problem I'm facing now is that I'm terrified the dentist and his entire staff probably hates me and thinks I'm an a**hole. Its making me even more stressed out than I would have been, already. I don't know what to do. How am I even going to show my face to them again? I'm mortified...
 
carole

carole

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Hi :welcome:to the forum.

I think you have done really well :jump: They won't think any the worse of you for having a panic attack, they sound as if they dealt with it really well and they made you a return appointment there and then before you left. If they didn't want to see you again they wouldn't have made the appointment.

A lot of people get really anxious especially in the situation you were in being left wondering what was happening. I once had the start of a panic attack mid rct, the dentist just stopped what he was doing and told me to take a few minutes. He kept talking to me about all sorts of rubbish but it did the trick and he was soon able to continue.

They are used to things like this happening, it is how they deal with it that can either help us or make us worse. I wouldn't worry. Just look at what you have done so far, I think you should give yourself a big pat on the back :star::butterfly:
 
Last edited:
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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LeeLeepie,

I agree with Carole... I think you did amazing.. you showed up after years.. had quite a bit of work done... and did great. i can so identify with it just hitting you as you wait. and i think they should totally understand too, espeically knowing it had been a while and you were really tackling this head on. I know also how those thought come in thinking the staff and dentist think of you. As my dentist said to me yesterday we are our own worst judges.. its still hard.. and anxiety producing just processing it all. We are here for you! :)
 
L

LittleLynnie

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Nov 22, 2016
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298
I don't think that they would even remotely hate you or think that you're an a**hole. I would imagine that they feel sorry for you and guilty about having left you alone for so long!

I also think that you're doing a great job and being incredibly brave!

:jump:
 
tigerstripedred

tigerstripedred

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Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
329
My very 1st appointment with my current dentist I sobbed uncontrollably in the chair...before she introduced herself and continued for probably an hour or longer...This was the day I realized all those little freak outs I called panics were not a full blown panic attack. Like you I thought they must hate me and think I am ridiculous fill in the blanks here with any other negative judgement thing.
She never treated me differently...if anything it may have made an already very kind and understanding person even more empathetic. I brought it up once after we had started on the work I needed and I had gotten to know and trust her. I still feel bad about the whole thing...even though she said I shouldn't apologize and tried to assure me she has seen many panic attacks as bad or worse .

I am sure you are not the first or last to have one in their office. Also I am kind of surprised they did not have a staff member checking on you from time to while you were waiting. I think that was a mistake on a staff members part or something took longer with the other patients that threw off their routine. (This happened once to me when the other doc did my root canal and left me with the dental dam still in my mouth waiting on my dentist to finish the crown prep. She didn't know I had the dam still in and got stuck. I was a mess and a half and I'm pretty sure time literally froze while I was waiting. She felt awful even though it really wasn't anyone's fault.

The only think the staff is thinking is that they feel bad they did not check on you before the panic set in and probably even worse that you had had to find someone yourself.
 

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