IV Sedation worries...

pinyonjay2

pinyonjay2

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
29
Hi everyone,

I've posted a few times before in 2013, so it's been a few years since my last posts. My life has been relatively free of dental woes until a few months ago, when I cracked a filling on my lower back molar (#19). It was a *very* small crack, so at first I wasn't worried about it. Due to my phobia I avoided going to the dentist for it, and the cracked part became more and more loose until it came out when I was flossing.

(Bit of a long story ahead...)

Finally I went to the dentist today for my regular cleaning and x-rays. That experience was fine, I don't have much anxiety with cleanings or x-rays. I figured the news was bad, but it was worse than I thought- not only does the entire amalgam filling need to be drilled out and replaced, but I also have a small cavity in the tooth next to it. :( I suspected I was going to get one there sooner or later, since they have been watching it for further decay for several years now.

The news I was hoping for was that I'd need only two really small fillings at the most- a repair on the amalgam and then a small one in the tooth beside it. But no, this is pretty bad news to me... :(

Over the years my dental phobia has gotten worse, especially since my last filling in 2009 or so, and then my bad experience at the ortho getting my top retainer removed...(If you search my posts you can find that one).

I've always had extremely bad phobia when it comes to the numbing shot as well as drilling of any kind, so that's the real source of my fear. However, I've also noticed that it's worse when laying down as I have vertigo, and although that isn't a big deal in this case since my dentist said he could have me semi-reclined when doing the filling...well, it's also that the filling is so far back in my mouth. That really spikes my anxiety because of my horrendous fear of choking and a bit of a gag reflex I have. On top of all that, I worry about them drilling out the amalgam and mercury exposure. :o Or even simply inhaling or choking on the bits of filling...

Another thing I have thought about lately, is that the mere environment of the dentist terrifies me, at times. The sights and smells, although they don't bother me *too* much if it's just a mere cleaning. I went as far as to look into at-home dentistry, but sadly, there is nobody in my area that would do that yet.

So my only option is IV sedation, which I had back in June 2004 when I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. That went amazingly well, even though I was crying in fear beforehand, after it was all done I had no bad side effects whatsoever, except for being a bit excessively tired, but that may have been due to the antibiotics they put me on.

However a few things have changed since then and I want to ask for some reassurance...

1. My BMI has increased since then from 32 to 37. I'm not going to have time to lose a lot of weight before the procedure which I want to get done in October. I heard higher BMI puts you at increased risk of bad effects, so I'm definitely freaking out about that.

2. I read that bad interactions can occur when you also take anti-depressants. I was on them back in 2004 too, but I still worry...

3. The cost. Even with insurance there's a chance this whole ordeal could cost up to $1,000! I hope they can accept a payment plan, how have others here dealt with huge dental bills?

I've almost convinced myself I'm going to die, and it's really hard to shake this fear no matter what I tell myself. It does help tremendously I've done this before but I'm worried my BMI is too high...


(Also no nitrous for me, I HATE how it made me feel it really made me feel dizzy and nauseated, I also felt disconnected, and the trauma of a past dentist when I was a child forcing the mask on me has caused me to never EVER want it again... :cry: )

If anyone can help that would be so nice...

Btw I will get an initial appointment to discuss these concerns and more with the anesthesiologist.
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
142
Hello! I wanted to offer encouragement. I know how overwhelming the anxiety can be. In regards to cost- have you considered getting the smallest cavity repaired to see if you can do it awake? If you're not ready for that, I totally understand. I always have SO much anxiety in the weeks/days leading up to an appointment and it seems like you're the same way. Once I get myself into that chair, I tend to do a bit better (although I'm still super tense), but the worry before is definitely the most paralyzing part for me. Cleanings worry me too, lol. Let us know when you book your appointment!
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

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Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
197
As for you BMI, I think it has less to do with your weight and more to do with any related (or non-related) health issues. I’m overweight, I have no idea what my BMI is, and I ain’t gonna tell my weight :cool:. I’ve had my appendix removed in July, and my dental work done two weeks ago. I’ve had no issues with either. You will need to be medically cleared for sedation. For me this wasn’t much because I had all this done for my appendicitis operation, so all that info transferred. The minimum is usually a chest x-ray, blood work and clearance for sedation from your regular doctor, oh and a review of your medications. They don’t want anything to happen to you while you’re sedated, so they gather info in preparation beforehand. As for the cost, well... my total will be over $10,000 but my dentist has thankfully been working with us on that. His office has allowed us to pay as we go, and not demand payment up front. My insurance will only cover $1500, and it’s been a bit of a scramble to cover the costs, with the majority of the expense being the sedation and extractions. But things have been working out, and I’m hopeful that we’ll get through this.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,252
Hi pinyonjay2,

sorry to read about your worries, it sounds like the needed treatment caught you off guard and the news are worse than you thought.

I am not too sure where are you at with your fears and your decision to get sedation. You mentioned mentioned being fine with cleanings and x-rays and it sounds like you have a dentist who is willing to find solutions. You also mentioned numbing shots and drilling being your original fears, but it looks like the more you think/write about it, the more fears and worries came up until you found out the only way to go for the treatment is sedation. So I was wondering whether the idea about sedation came during the writing as a result of feeling overwhelmed by all the fears or whether it is something you considered before.

If your preference is sedation, then the best thing would be not to worry about things too early. You will have an appointment for assessment and things like BMI and medication will play a role in it so after this appointment you will get your answers and surely suggestions to deal with any difficulties.

If for any reason sedation won't be available, there surely will be different options. If you cope with cleanings well, then I am very confident you would be able to handle a filling in the worst case. A cleaning makes bad noises and vibrations, there is a lot of water involved which are the same things you would have to deal with during a filling. Agreeing on a stop signal or agreeing to breaks set in advance can help too to make you feel more in control. Those are just suggestions to illustrate that even if sedation wouldn't be possible for any reasons, there are still ways to get the treatment.

Putting it together, remember that you are in control and there are always some options. Getting an appointment with an anesthesiologist is a good thing and I am sure you will get clarity about all the things that worry you. The best thing might be to wait what they say and then go from there.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
pinyonjay2

pinyonjay2

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
29
Well, so I have an update to all this. After thinking about it more, I decided to not go with the IV sedation after all, and I have an appointment for the two fillings on the 24th of October at noon. :scared:

It's rather late here, so I'll be posting more about my decision to do this in another thread in the future along with more questions that came up. :D (Naturally!)
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Thanks for the update, look forward to read about the background of your decision. Glad you scheduled, will be thinking of you on the 24th :clover:
 
N

NETWizz

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Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
104
I had a couple fillings replaced In the past month. I used to get terribly anxious, but you know what helps? Facing your fears for me. I used to feel my heart racing before getting numbed and event felt light-headed and momentarily nauseous. Each time it was easier. One thing to do is face your fear in small increments. For example go get a flu shot. I have gotten to the point any needle 1” or shorter doesn’t bother me at all. After you are numb and they start, you will know that it will be alright when you feel no pain. You will have probably not have a numb tongue depending on which tooth they numb. My dentist numbed a back mOLED a couple years ago without a block, but he is great. I will say lower molers in the far back ovens often need block anesthesia, but even if they do it is fine.

All that said, the pain level you will experience will not be more than 2 out of 10 for the worst of it. The needle for me feels slightly pinchy and achey then there is some weird pressure and a mild burning, but it doesn’t feel hot but rather a little cold. Then it’s over, and over 3 minutes the tooth go to sleep. The hardest part is holding your mouth Open so long, and once your dentist dries the tooth and packs material around it to keep it dry, you MUST keep your tongue away completely and let the dentist work priming, etching, bonding etc. If it is dry and placed Perfectly the bonding will be so strong pulling the filling out would take enough force to extract the tooth. With a modern product it will be beautiful, and you probably won’t have any sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet, but if you do in 48 hours it should be gone. A great dentist will smooth everything and polish it to a brilliant shine. Contact points will be nicem so food doesn’t get caught, gum won’t stick, and it will be flossible easily.

Trust me... you can do it if you face your fears, and you are going to feel better with that hole in your tooth filled. It will also be easier next time. In my opinion sedation only increases risk and cost. You would probably feel great when you leave in sedated and can enjoy the rest of your day keep some cash, and face your fears head on.

If you must sedate go ahead, but the anxiety you are feeling is 15 times worse than what you will experience in that dental chair. Going in for sedation you will feel the same anxiety until sedated. I think once you are numbed and know everything is going to be pain-free, you will be able to not only tolerate it but relax a bit. Bring some music, so you don’t have to hear noise, and shut your eyes like you are going to sleep mot watching the parts that make you anxious. For tons of people not looking at a needle makes it easier.

please let us know how it goes
 

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