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I went to the emergency dentist, but now what? :(



Nov 2, 2020
French/German border
I got sick of waiting for my appointment on November 25th and went to the emergency dentist. He surprised me by actually being nice, gentle and patient which I am not used to from a dentist. I had an x-ray of my whole mouth and smaller ones of several teeth and unfortunately, I have two quite big cavities that should be filled sooner rather than later. Now I should be glad that no root canals and extractions are needed but I just thought "there go my chances of being knocked out for my dental work".
It is so hard to find places that do GA, IV sedation and laughing gas here. I live in a somewhat rural region and do not drive. We do have decent bussing and a train network, but I don't like the idea of using either because of covid and having to wear a mask the entire time when going to the dentist makes it hard for me to breathe. But making someone drive me doesn't feel right either (I feel like with most it will just be "Well, just go to the dentist here and don't be childish"). And what if I end up not liking the dentist? I'd feel like having to just push through and settle to avoid needing to take public transport or ask someone to drive me more often to check out OTHER places. But settling ALWAYS made my phobia worse. But I don't want it to take so long that my teeth end up needing root canals or have to be pulled out.
It was so disheartening to FINALLY meet a friendly dentist who has an office without a TV in the waiting room or above the chair (I know many people like the TVs, but they annoy me) who seemed willing to see me...but offers NOTHING but the nasty shot in your gums and the useless numbing cream. I thought about bribing myself with something to just get it done but there is nothing I would really want and realistically be able to get. And because they are on different sides of my mouth, they'd probably make me come back twice which I don't know if I could make myself do it TWO times. But pretty much your whole mouth being numb and spending all the extra time in the chair to do two at once feels like too much as well.
The place where I have an appointment is a fancy type of practice with a ton of dentists, and I already know that they do have the annoying TVs. I'm calling tomorrow to see if they have options other than just sitting there fully aware. If they don't, I will probably just cancel as I have my diagnosis and x-ray and they couldn't offer me anything I couldn't get from the emergency dentist.
This just sucks. I hate myself for having this phobia and being a useless non-driver, I hate my country for being so backwards when the US and UK have sedation dentistry available at every corner, I hate that I live more rurally.
I just feel stuck and like letting all of my teeth rot out of my mouth instead of dealing with this.
You seem to have done OK with the emergency dentist. Would you be willing to give him a chance to fix a tooth? Or would that not be possible for you? Would there be an option for your GP to prescribe something to calm you down while you are at the dentist?

For the TVs, you can simply ask them to turn it off.

I know it’s difficult and easier said then done, but try having positive thoughts, it will help you.
You seem to have done OK with the emergency dentist. Would you be willing to give him a chance to fix a tooth? Or would that not be possible for you? Would there be an option for your GP to prescribe something to calm you down while you are at the dentist?

For the TVs, you can simply ask them to turn it off.

I know it’s difficult and easier said then done, but try having positive thoughts, it will help you.
I second every word.
You seem to have done OK with the emergency dentist. Would you be willing to give him a chance to fix a tooth? Or would that not be possible for you? Would there be an option for your GP to prescribe something to calm you down while you are at the dentist?

For the TVs, you can simply ask them to turn it off.

I know it’s difficult and easier said then done, but try having positive thoughts, it will help you.

I am considering it as he really was the nicest dentist I have ever met and actually bothered to talk to me about past experiences (he looked shocked even with his mask on). The others never really wanted to hear it even at just x-ray and check appointments. I once wrote someone a letter which I am sure was never read etc. etc. I know it would be good in I no longer have to worry about them and I could get it over with before Christmas, but I'm scared because there are two not exactly small cavities and I don't know if I could make myself do it twice. It seems like it would be very painful. Every time I had teeth filled the shots hurt a lot and it was scary. I liked being fully sedated/knocked out because it never hurt and wasn't as scary and if you had several issues you could just get it all done at once.

Sadly, I don't think that medication would work. I tried one and it did nothing. I remember everything and was no calmer, but I started freaking out when it started wearing off as I had shaky hands and felt kind of weepy. It's hard to explain, but not a great experience. With another one, I took it when I was supposed to, fell asleep, woke up saying that a rooster was coming out of my head (apparently) and by the time I went to the dentist it had completely worn off. I can still check if there is something else that might work for me, but medication wise I don't have high hopes. But I am open to trying ones I did not try before.

To give a bit of background. Usually when I noticed a problem or had a toothache, I would make myself go and if it was just one thing, get it treated with a local to "get it over with" and never go back because I wasn't pleased with any of the dentists (and they often seemed to be annoyed with me) and then so exhausted from the drama that I didn't look for anyone just to keep up with checkups. While I didn't settle for the worst of them (expect for one time), I DID settle. Whenever there was something bigger (wisdom teeth, needing an infected tooth with twisted roots out) I went to hospitals or a clinic/place that specialised in sedation dentistry. But the two main ones are off the table (I was kicked out of one for having a panic attack and told that I could not be treated there even when sedated. The other made my fillings too high then said they didn't and to go home when I came back in) and the hospitals will not take you on for sedation or GA for fillings. I had to beg them to fill two teeth while they were already in there taking out the infected tooth.

I did talk to the emergency dentist about options, but he is pretty new here and did explain that things such as laughing gas and sedation are very expensive so you are probably looking at the bigger practices which will be further away. I do like that he did not pressure me to do one thing or another but I feel like my options are very limited. He would treat me but with a local ONLY as that is all that is available. I am just frustrated by the lack of options for patients like me. The ones who are willing to let their teeth get really bad in between can get full sedation every 5 to 10 years but I can't do that.

I once went to a dentist with TVs over the chair and the dentist claimed that it could not be turned off and I was supposed to just close my eyes. I do watch TV (well, Netflix, I am spoiled and refuse to watch commercial breaks or record and then fast forward them) but in waiting rooms and especially treatment rooms, it does bother me for some reason. I already do not like it at my GPs (they have one in the waiting room) but tolerate it because I'm not really nervous at the GPs and I'm satisfied with pretty much everything else there. GPs, of course, do not tend to ever put them in treatment/exam rooms.

I did cancel the appointment with the other dentist on the 25th. I called the local dental association (I believe that's what it's called in English) and one of the doctor's at this practice is listed as working with all of things/techniques but when I called the place again, they said that no, they just use locals, no sedation, no GA, nothing. Oh well. No need to go see them for x-rays and an exam I just had, then.
Hi there,

this is a very difficult situation. The point is this: having sedation or GA is a way to treat your teeth without treating your anxiety. It is great if you need immediate treatment and do not have choices, but relying on it as a single option makes your options for getting treatment very limited, like what is happening now. Some people are able to get treated under GA once and then get back to exams every 6 months and all is well, which is great, but if this becomes the only option it's not very good long term.

Another thing that is not as good as some nervous patients believe is forcing yourself to get over with it. I was surprised how many people want it that way but really, it just makes things worse. Dental phobia is a pretty simple thing: every time you have a bad experience (pain, distress, a dentist you don't like etc.), your phobia grows a bit and you will struggle more next time. Every time you have a good experience (a dentist who finally understands you, having a pain-free treatment, feeling in charge, taking it slowly), your phobia becomes less. So while I understand that you are not sure you would be able to get through the treatment twice, it may actually be something that helps your fears to get a little bit less, provided your first experience will be a good one.

You mentioned that it seems like it would be very painful. I was wondering what makes it seem that way. Because the treatment itself shouldn't be painful. If it's the numbing that worries you, then having a chat with the dentist that seems to care may be a good thing to do. You can talk about what can be done to make it easier for you. You can also agree on a stop signal you can use to stop the dentist if you don't feel comfortable. There are so many techniques aimed at making the numbing more comfortable, maybe your dentist could figure something out.

I see a lot of hopelessness and the complexity of your situation and with your experiences it is understandable. You still have choices and it's up to you how you would like to go about the treatment, but as mentioned above, it sounds to me like there is finally a dentist that may help you.. not by knocking you out or drug you but actually by giving you control and the feeling of being listened to and taken care of well.

All the best wishes and keep us updated
Whenever I had treatment done while awake, it WAS painful. The shots hurt especially but a few things I felt like I wasn't numb enough. I once did say something but was told that "yes, it is working". Often I am too afraid to say anything because they won't believe me anyway. None of them had a stop sigh and I don't think that they would have stopped. Until I found this forum I didn't even know that was a thing because every dentist I have been to (even the ones that seemed alright at the check and x-ray appointment) kept going until they were done. Apart from the physical aspects, I felt gross and kind of violated. I keep making myself forget until I have a dental problem again, then it all comes back. I am thinking about starting a journal here to write it all down and then hopefully fine peace and forget a bit.

I know that the "getting it over with" is not really what you are supposed to do but every dental issue of mine has involved seeing several dentists, some being downright awful and after every one my anxiety would get worse and sometimes feel like it is taking over my whole life. I feared long term consequences in my every day life, like losing my job and ruining relationships if it went on too long. I didn't want to keep living that way, either. So I tended to find someone who wasn't completely awful and just get the work done so it would be over and I could finally stop neglecting my work and private responsibilities because of my teeth.

I think it has something to do with how we were raised, too, and might in cultural in part. Here, it seems like everyone hates the dentist but you just have to go and get it over it. I figured that it was normal to not be really happy with your dentist because even my mother (non-phobic) admitted that she would look for something better if he was her GP, hairdresser or any other kind of professional.

Once I went to someone who uses nitrous and advertised it everywhere. The first appointment was actually treatment as I sent them the x-rays and everything from elsewhere. The nitrous came in so quickly, I did not even remember the dentist. When I came back the next time, everyone was really unsympathetic and it seemed like I was annoying them. The assistant actually tried to push me down to keep me in the chair. So I have to admit that dentists that use these methods heavily are probably not interested in dealing with patients like me when not sedated in some way.

I am overwhelmed by looking around for dentists reasonably close to me that offer sedation or GA. I had to stop because I saw some names of dentists I had very bad experiences with (the majority of which does not offer sedation but somehow shows up in the search results anyway) and actually read a ton of positive reviews for them which made me wonder if I am completely nuts, if I'm just imagining the bad experiences, if it really was THAT bad, if I am maybe just so awful, so much worse than any other person who claims to have a dental phobia etc. etc.

I thought about just calling the emergency dentist and ask when I could see him to have them filled and about the things you mentioned. He did say that anyone can come to see him if they wish to, including "horrible" people like me (not his words, mine). I did talk to my friend, who is not as phobic as I am but does have dental anxiety and non stop issues with her teeth since she started having kids--she thinks that I should give him a chance as he sounds like he has the potential to be great.

Now I know what you guys will PROBABLY say but I'll still ask...would it be really bad if I considered going back to one of the sedation places where I had a bad experience? One was when I was 18 (I am now 30) so nobody there would remember me and I'd be so heavily sedated that I'd not remember anything but the consultation.

Sorry that this is so long. This is just really overwhelming for me. Ideally, I would keep this emergency dentist for checks, x-rays and cleanings, keep up with going every six months but get referred for sedation every time I need any actual work done. Not possible I know but it feels too hard to do this again, especially two times. At least I am taking my time to really think this through rather than rushing into something like before, which I feel is some progress.
You have mentioned a few important points and this perfectly illustrates how things are interconnected in dental anxiety: your past dental experiences created a standard for you. If you never have been offered a stop signal or weren't even believed when you said it hurt, you start to believe that this is simply how things are... and that leads to another problem: you put up with whatever comes and do not even think that you have a saying.

The truth is that a dentist acts upon your request and with your consent. Whenever you are not happy with how things go, you can take your consent back and they have to stop. They HAVE to. It's your health, your teeth and your well-being and you decide. And this idea is so new for the most nervous patients, that they need to learn to have preferences and boundaries first. It takes courage to raise your hand and say "I am not numb, please solve this before you go on" or "I need a short break, please put the chair up for a minute for me" or "I want to be able to stop you at any time, let's agree on a stop sign". And it's about not being used to that but also about self-confidence that many people don't have in that situation (or even in most situations in life, depending on past experiences). Oh and not to forget shame, because it just really sucks to be the difficult patient, so better not trying to do any problems, right?

To your question whether it would be really wrong if you went to one of the sedation places, you had a bad experience in the past? I'm afraid that you are the only person who can answer this and it is all about what makes you want to do that, what do you think may or may not happen if you did and where would you like to go from there? It's all about reasons and choices.

Feel free to start a journal here. Writing can help to get all the emotions out and it also helps to get some clarity. The journal here was life saving for me few years back as I was tackling my anxiety.
Well...it was a stupid thought if I am being honest. Looking at it now it feels like "what were you thinking?". I'd just at least LIKE there to be a somewhat realistic option for sedation if I should need it (even if I end up not using it) but it looks like there isn't. I saw a picture of the sedation dentist on their website and kind of shivered :(. I cannot or at least should not go to anyone I have been before (excluding the emergency dentist). If I did not like someone enough to go back to before, I know in my heart that I shouldn't settle for them because they have sedation now.

The emergency dentist named two big cities that are just swarming with covid. I didn't look for places there because it gave me a nope nope nope feeling right from the start. The thought of the recovery/"wake up" room really bothers me this time too. I'm looking at medication again and trying to gather my courage. Maybe it could work if I had medication that at least helps a bit because just nothing seems impossible. Though I said that I could never go to an emergency dentist, especially if I never heard of him from people I know and didn't find much out about him online. But I did it. I kept telling myself that if I got a bad feeling about the dentist or if he was rude, I'd just walk out and wait for the appointment on the 25th. Now I'm glad I didn't because I was comfortable with this dentist. My religious grandmother would probably say that God has sent me this dentist. If only I didn't feel like puking just thinking about getting a shot and having my teeth drilled.

But my point was (I am too long winded!) I had the appointment on the 25th to fall back on if this didn't work out. Having just one option (local with any dentist) is so much scarier. Well meaning non phobics are not helping, either. Today I got-- Just sit there, close your eyes and when you feel pain just squeeze one of your hands hard with the other to get tension off your jaw...it is really that kind of stuff that landed me in this cycle of forcing myself to go through treatment, avoiding and rinse and repeat. I've done that and apart from some pain, it also left me feeling gross. I'd come home from the dentist and take very long baths, wash my hair, wash the stuffie I take with me in my bag. I don't know if anyone else does this but I have been doing it for over ten years.
Small update.

One of the first two dentists I called before going to the emergency dentists pointed me towards a place that supposedly has a nitrous machine. I did not ask, she brought this up saying that someone went there with a child and got an appointment rather quickly. Well, I called there and they said, "No, we don't have a nitrous machine". I figured that much but I tried.

I spoke to a medical professional who said to ask the dentist what they use for numbing before giving recommendations as they have to go together. She also pointed out that many dentists are not willing to do this which made me mad because if you can't get sedation and dentists will not allow you to take medication but you cannot handle treatment without, what in the world are you supposed to do? Wait 30 more years, have extensive damage and then be told that you should have came sooner?

Well, now I obviously just have to wait until the weekend is over before I can do anything. Let's hope that the dentist agrees to the medication thing and something that at least calms me some is available.

Note to self, stop talking to non phobic friends about this. A friend told me today to just "just close your eyes and bear it" and about how her husband needs more invasive work done. Well, I'm not your husband. The whole "other people have it worse" thing always makes me want to scream. Someone always has it worse and I feel that always being told this invalidates my feelings. What feels like the end of the world to one person is nothing to another.
I spoke to a medical professional who said to ask the dentist what they use for numbing before giving recommendations as they have to go together. She also pointed out that many dentists are not willing to do this which made me mad

So someone voiced their opinion / experience and it made you mad. I‘m wondering whether it was more a sense of helplessness or feeling like losing another option. However, it‘s good to be careful before taking other people‘s feelings/experiences etc. I was wondering how many dentists did she ask and what kinds of dentists were they.. because honestly, you are the patient and wanting to know what medication they will be using is a thing of patient‘s rights. Of course you are not only allowed to aks but they have to tell you. Not pointing out any law here, just common sense. You are also allowed to ask for ingredients in a bakery at any time, are you? Btw. finding an anesthetic that fits your needs and is compatible with any other medication you need is a common sense too. Your emergency dentist sounds like he really cares so my feel is they will do their best to accomodate their needs. Also a phobic patient like you, allowing someone to provide them treatment without sedation, for the first time, that‘s a huge gift of trust. I am not a dentist but in any context I would move mountains to look after anyone who would provide me with that trust... any caring person would.

But my point was (I am too long winded!) I had the appointment on the 25th to fall back on if this didn't work out. Having just one option (local with any dentist) is so much scarier.

It looks like the most of your thoughts and anxieties are circulating about the idea of not having other options. I am not sure what it is about for you, but I could imagine that it feels like being trapped.. so I was wondering whether you are really that trapped? If you cancelled an appointment for the 25th then you surely can re-schedule again if you don‘t like your emergency dentist?

Note to self, stop talking to non phobic friends about this. A friend told me today to just "just close your eyes and bear it" and about how her husband needs more invasive work done

Yeah, for some reasons, people who are not phobic can be a pain if you are severely phobic. Or better to say there are some people who are not very sensitive and jump into simple quick fix solutions or comparisions. I think it‘s because we feel sorry and sad about people who are suffering so on a certain level we believe that if we manage to solve the problem, it will help and we attempt to solve it by an advice. It is good that you noticed what makes yo ufeel better or worse and made plans according to that.

Just sit there, close your eyes and when you feel pain just squeeze one of your hands hard with the other to get tension off your jaw...

What a damaging answer. And you can try to imagine how the person‘s who gave you the advice experiences at the dentist are. The part I dislike the most is the implication of „If it hurts, you have to just deal with it on your own.“ The fact is, that if it hurts, something is going on and your dentist would be glad if you let them know so that they can make sure you will be comfortable.

May I ask you what it is that worries you about the shot? And about the recovery / wake up room?
Also, it sounds like you need no root canals and extractions, only fillings. Have you established any plan with your dentist about how to go about things? Would you do one tooth at a time or quadrants or half / half? I know you mentioned having to go twice, but wasn‘t sure how many teeth need to get filled..
I ended up looking around some more and found a clinic that isn't all that super far away that offers oral Midazolam and laughing gas (which you can have in combination, apparently). The first appointment they gave me was in December. I called back to ask how much the wait for the work would be (because if it was in January, Christmas would be ruined) and she said that SOMEONE just cancelled on Thursday, would I be able to come in at that time. Um YES!

Now I have two options again. My mum bought me a stuffed dog (yes, I still love stuffies) as a "dentist support dog". He is super cute and apparently brought me luck. I better stuff in him in bag when I go to the dentist. The appointment on Thursday is only a consultation but I'm still reasonably nervous. Wish me luck?

My grandmother upset me again. Instead of being happy for me, she said, "And what if you don't like the dentist again?". God, why does she have to be like this? Why can't she be happy for me?

As for the wake up room, it's mostly covid related. I'm also worried that I'd have to wear a mask the entire time in the wake up room. I wouldn't know for sure how I'd handle that as it changes every day even in my normal life. Some days I do fine with the mask and barely feel it, the next it is nearly unbearable.

The shots are just extremely painful. Once it even felt like it was going through my whole jaw, plus they do not always work. The numbness is almost very uncomfortable. I can't explain it, I'm just greatly bothered by how it feels and I found that when GA or sedation was done, I wasn't as bothered by it. It was like I wasn't as numb by the time I came to.

If I did it at the regular dentists, I would do one tooth at the time but there aren't super small fillings. I'd probably do better with extractions because there is no drilling with that. I struggle a lot with sitting through the drilling. Even when it didn't exactly hurt, it kind of almost hurt and felt like it was drilling all the way in my head.
Well, this appointment did not go very well.

The emergency dentist took a close look at my mouth and took x-rays, as well as close up x-rays of the problem teeth. He said three fillings but it should be done quickly to avoid one turning into a root canal. Well, this new dentist wanted to replace almost all of my fillings, started talking about a root canal and seemed like find cavities the other dentist did not see all over the place. I thought that she would never stop talking about everything she sees wrong with my teeth. Her suggestion was two or three appointments with oral sedation, and a cleaning with oral sedation or laughing gas. Yeah, that would make her a lot of money to have me pay for the sedation every time. Then at some point she suggested GA sometime in February or March because I was reluctant to make the long journey and pay for so much separate sedations.

So back to the emergency dentist. Cleaning on the 10th of December and surely a ruined Christmas because exactly what I didn't want to happen when this started is happening. I don't know how I will keep my work when I am so distracted and non stop thinking about dentists. I'll have to tell my grandmother that I cannot see her this Christmas because I'd be useless sitting in the corner not talking and feeling like crying because all I think about is the dentist.

It gets worse with every day that goes by especially since I made a horrible mistakes going to this new dentist I ended up not trusting at all and making it all take even longer. People, this is why I usually rush when this kind of thing happens. The wait in between appointments, especially if there are dentists like what I listed above, is so horrible psychologically. I have no joy and cannot concentrate, it is just survival and thinking about the dentist. And nobody gets it it's always, well stop thinking of the dentist, do something else. I CAN'T!! It consumes me to an extend where I wonder if it wouldn't have been better if I would have started full on avoidance. No toothache I had was as bad as the psychological torture of wasting weeks or months of your life being non stop miserable because of dentists.
So sorry to hear that this new dentist didn't work out, it doesn't sound as if she was interested in you as a person at all :( . At least you won't be left wondering whether that clinic might have been a better choice for you (not much of a consolation, I know).

Wishing you all the best for 10th - may the time pass quickly ?
I managed to make an appointment with another dentist who at least has laughing gas (I'd prefer being out and completely sedated but it's better than nothing) on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it is ANOTHER consultation. So we shall see.
I have been irritated about everything.

I dread having to do the teeth charting again. She took forever last time and it makes me want to cry to have to do that again. Why can't they just send that like they do x-rays when it was recently done already? Nobody understands how much this bothers me, it's always "we have to do it for insurance so suck it up". Makes me wish that insurance wasn't a thing just so I could avoid at least THIS part.

I often wonder if there is even any sense in this or if I should have just decided to let my teeth rot away ages ago. At least then I'd be happier now.
Went to the dentist I mentioned (number 3). Just got back and I feel horrible. This is the first time during this dental drama that I just burst into tears.

I started taking anxiety medication (mostly because of the freaking DENTISTS in the first place, though also because of covid) and he says that you cannot get laughing gas if you take them. Suggested GA again. I would have never took it and just suffered more if I had known that it means no laughing gas which was my only option left. But I got the impression that he did not want to work with me anyway.

I do not really want to do GA and it seems so odd that I had two of them suggest it when previously, I had to fight for GA even for extractions. I also cannot travel due to covid, this is non negotiable when my 85 year old grandmother depends on someone who does not attend work "live" helping her. But all they seem to want to do is push GA on me and if something happens to me during it nobody cares. They just want to get rid of me.

I still have the appointment with the emergency dentist on the 10th, for the cleaning. I liked him much better than the others, who seemed to want nothing to do with someone like me. But he has NOTHING. You have to be fully conscious, feel the injection, hear the drill and have time pass at normal speed.
The cleaning appointment is tomorrow and I already started crying again today despite taking anxiety medication.

I feel like just throwing in the towel. I want to cancel Christmas because it will just be sad and I'll be staying at home and crying due to covid and this stupid dental drama. Like every dental drama this is stealing weeks of my life. It's always the same. After every time I think that I learned something but I never do because it's the same again. My greatest fear was having to go to the dentist during covid and it happened.

I was learning Russian and I forgot so much, including things I was studying in summer and fall because I have not done any Russian since this started apart from a few attempts that were abandoned. I'll have to restart my whole textbook and might as well delete my flashcards and start over because I am nearing 1000 reviews because I couldn't even motivate myself to spend 5 minutes reviewing my flashcards or ended up resetting reviews that would have came in 150 to 1 day because of my unfocused mind.

I force myself to do my work and hope that it's not so awful that I will get fired. I forced myself to do something while in full dentist panic mode then later went back and was appalled by how bad it was. So many people don't have work because of covid and I might end up being one of them because of this dentist bullshit (excuse my language).

I am supposed to get my hair cut the day after the cleaning but I might just not. What's the point if I'm going to stay home all the time. Plus I won't feel like it anyway after being told to come back on January 20th or something ridiculous like that. If they will even have me again after I burst out in tears after being told the obvious, that I have to live through Christmas and New Years like THIS.

Pretending to be "happy" and "normal" is killing me. I can't do it.
So I had the cleaning. It worked out alright. It didn't hurt but I am sore now which sucks because I ate a croissant this morning then nothing else. No more 6 p.m. dentist appointments for me. Mornings are better. Even if I end up not working from home anymore later on, I'd rather take a day off than wake up at 6 a.m. and think of the dentist all day. I hope that my gums will have calmed down by tomorrow so I can eat.

I talked to the dentist and the thing that really worries me is that he said, while he does believe that that a filling will be fine for one of the teeth it could be that it won't be enough. Not great.

I have the first appointment on the 21th but then I still have to go back in January anyway so Christmas and New Years are ruined.

I am over everything--dentists, covid, the holidays, the horribly disgusting cold season, the darkness etc.
Well...the soreness on my bottom lip near the bottom front teeth didn't go away after a night of sleep (I constantly got up to try to eat) and I am VERY unhappy. She said that I could eat an hour after and the waiting was only because of the fluoride, no mention of anything like this. I kept trying to get up and eat but even when I slather it with numbing gel, that one area bugs me too much to eat.

I had trouble keeping my mouth the way I was supposed to while the bottom front teeth were polished (no problem during scaling whatsoever for some reason) and this is the only part that now hurts. I am kicking myself for not saying "Can we just skip these teeth as I am having trouble?" but since it wasn't painful and I didn't want to be rejected and told to get GA by another office for being too difficult, I said nothing. Of course I would have if I'd known. But if I ever get a cleaning again, these teeth are NOT getting polished. I'm not dealing with this again. I already barely ate yesterday because the appointment was late and going to the dentist tends to make me not hungry and now I feel like I should just water fast the whole day so my mouth can be left alone to heal quickly.

I just have terrible bad luck. No favourite junk food after the hairdressers today :cry:.
Hi there,

just wanted to leave a quick note saying well done for the cleaning. Those things are challenging and difficult and not fun. And certainly not very predictable which sucks and adds to the stress. I suspect the hygienist didn‘t anticipated that you would be so much in pain - everyone is different and it doesn‘t have to be painful (even next time it doesn‘t to have to be painful just because it was this time). I am sure she would have warned you if she new.

I know how difficult it is to focus on anything else than the things that are not working out, but may I remind you how awesome it is, what you just did? You had a cleaning! Can you imagine? And you had it completely, didn‘t skip the bottom teeth, you didn‘t have GA. And now tell me, isn‘t it a progress?

Yeah, you have been super unlucky and you are doing the best you can. Dealing with dental fear sucks and I know everything in you hates it and screams and begs you to leave it and stop it and just ignore it. But you are facing it and that‘s the only thing that will help long term. It is exhausting now, but it will get better.

Sending you virtual hugs and again: please be kind to yourself and if you can, don‘t forget to remind yourself how amazingly you had faced your fears. It‘s not fair to just see the negatives, because you will find both: positive AND negative wherever you look at. Reading your very first post, I am super impressed that you did the cleaning. :you-rock:

All the best wishes
Well done going through with the cleaning :respect:!!

Hmm, I don't recall ever reading about something similar on here re. soreness of the bottom lip after a cleaning. Could it be hypersensitivity to an ingredient in the polishing paste? If so, then skipping the polishing or using a different paste would prevent similar reactions in the future... did you ever have a similar reaction before?