• Dental Phobia Support

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I've allowed this Phobia to rule me for too long

Echo... :)

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Hi all, just got back from my second visit to the dentist today. I went this morning only for them not to be expecting me until next week. What a weird feeling, to be disappointed I couldn't be seen today. Luckily I had the written appointment card in my pocket, that they gave me last week, that said I was due in at 11am today, so they made me an appointment for 2pm this afternoon, as the mistake was theirs not mine.

Well the appointment went well, I told the dentist at the beginning that I was so pleased with what she did last week, I've had no ache or pain from any of the covered teeth. I also said that I was still extremely nervous but she was making it so much easier for me. She said she was pleased with the progress and was happy to carry on going slowly, so that I can build up the experiences over time, to be able to cope with more things.

Again she asked what I wanted to do this week, I asked to finish off the temporary coverings on the lower teeth on the other side, but I did want the top one with a big hole to be done soon too. She responded by saying that maybe she could have a look at that after getting the lower ones done, if we had time.

Once settled in the chair I calmed myself down then told her she could start. This is such a small but nice thing she allows me to do, I don't feel pressure to 'just get on with it'. She soon got my lower teeth covered up safely just like the other side. That is such a relief, I had one abscess down there that started this all off, I didn't want another one, with the coverings on those teeth I should be much less likely to have another.

Then she asked If I wanted the top tooth looked at. Now this tooth has lost a filling and the front edge has broken off, I get food caught in it at every meal, I regularly have to swill some water around to clean it out, but there is never any pain from it. I know though that its just a matter of time before it does cause me trouble.

Anyway I agree and she starts wiping it clean and drying it. For the first time ever I feel a slight tinge and raise my hand. She stops immediately as she said she would. This is the first time I've had to stop her. All I wanted to do was let her know it was a bit sensitive when she was cleaning it and I couldn't do that with her fingers in my mouth. I talked to her about how it felt and then let her carry on. She didn't mind the interruption at all. As I had felt something she put some antiseptic in the tooth before applying the sealing filler, just to make sure she wasn't trapping any bacteria under it.

That was it, I was done in the chair for today, all my vulnerable teeth are now sealed up, including the top one I thought I would have to wait another week to be done.

We talked afterwards and I'm going back next week for an untra-sonic de-scale, plus a bit of a polish. This will introduce water and suction into my mouth, to allow me to get used to it before I start having drilling and stuff.

At the moment I have some pretty thick tartar, scale, whatever you want to call it, on many of my front teeth. To have this gone would boost my confidence so much when I'm cleaning my teeth, I might also start to feel less conscious of opening my mouth when talking to people. I have a holiday booked in two weeks time, to not have to worry about what the front of my mouth looks like when I'm on holiday is going to be great.

I can't believe how happy I feel this afternoon, I've had more done that I expected, plus next time I'm going to see a difference every time I look in a mirror.:giggle:
Oh I just re-read what I wrote and realised that I didn't acknowledge the fact that my wife changed her plans today so that she could come with me. This realy did help. I wrote a few days ago how low I was feeling and after I spoke to my wife that night, she re-arranged things so that she could support me. For his I'm really grateful. Having someone there in the waiting room when I come out is another thing that is different from my childhood dentistry visits, it all helps to change my appointments from a negative to a positive experience.
Wow another successful appointment under your belt! Well done you! :cheers:
I love reading your journal, and seeing how far you've come - you've done a lot in such a short space of time.

You're taking the same sort of "build up tolerance" line as I have - first we got me in the office, then she took a look, then we did the clean for the same reasons as you. I feel I should give you a heads-up that the ultrasonic scaler might buzz your tongue - I'm not trying to scare you coz it's really absolutely fine! - it made me jump out the chair, but it really doesn't hurt AT ALL. It was just unexpected for me, so I hope if you're expecting it you can keep yourself calm if you do get the buzz. It tickled more than anything! :) I hope I've worded that ok!
Yup, the dentist has warned me about the buzzing feeling. As far as I'm concerned it is something new for me so I have no bad memories of it. Removing scale in the past, for me, was tugging with a metal pick, I often thought the tooth was going to be pulled out, its got to be better than that.

The build up tollerance is going hand in hand with build up trust, but there is also a build up of communication between us. I do feel we are working as a team, doing this together.

It does look like I've done a lot in a short space of time, but I really did have two moments during therapy when I just sat back and thought - wow, that is why I feel like this, I then realised that I can stop these feelings by just thinking differently. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very nervous, but as long as the dentist will allow me to work how I want it to go, then I really believe I can get through the apointments.
This is just an update over how my teeth are getting on.

Well after having the dressings on the teeth over the past two weeks it still feels strange to feel almost full size teeth in places where only bits have been for so long. I know they are only temporary coverings but at least my teeth are not getting smaller anymore. Not having food caught in the big hole at the back anymore is brilliant, I'm still trying to get out of the habit of checking that tooth with my tounge after each meal.

A couple of the teeth had clove tasting antiseptic stuff put in the holes before the dressing was put over the top. Both times I have had the taste of cloves in my mouth for four days afterwards, its OK at the start, but its not my favourite taste and I'm glad when its gone. Once the taste has gone though I've felt a bit of tenderness on those teeth for a few more days. The first time I thought that something was wrong and the dressings were failing, but I think its just that I'm not protecting those teeth so much when I eat anymore. The first side is now fine at all times, its been nearly two weeks since they were covered. The second side was a bit tender the past couple of days but its also settling down now.

One thing I hate is for my upper and lower teeth to touch, yeah I'm weird. Since the second side of my mouth had been temporary dressed, I've had loads of instances when I've touched my teeth together, it makes me jump every time.

I've caught a bit of a chest infection and am feeling pretty rough at the moment. As soon as I lay down I start coughing. Last night after I finally managed to get to sleep I woke up clenching my mouth shut really hard, I think this clenching at night is how I broke most of my teeth in the past. The clenching last night had made my lower teeth really ache one side, so much that I thought the abcess was returning. Luckly this morning all the aching has gone and a look in the mirror shows no damage.

Tomorrow I'm getting the cleaning done, I'm still looking forward to it. I find it very strange that I can now feel this way about the dentist.
For the second night in a row I've woken up clenching my teeth, the bottom tooth is now quite tender to touch. I'm starting to think the abcess is on its way back :cry:

I had an appointment this morning for the de-scale which went really well. She started by showing me the tool and touched it to my finger so I could get a handle on the sensation. She ran through how it works and the fact that it will expose some parts of my teeth to my mouth again that have been covered up by scale for years, so I should expect a bit of sensitivity to cold things for a few days, but a sensitive toothpaste will help.

Once I was settled in the chair she started with the front bottom where the scaling is really thick. It wasn't a bad sensation at all, I could hardly feel a thing. A couple of times she went between two teeth and I had a high-pitched buzz in my head, a bit like a mosquito, but it didn't last very long each time and was bearable. I was then given the oppotunity to stop if I had had enough, but this cleaning I want done so we carried on, after all it wasn't unplesant compared to how I used to be de-scaled. Even having the inside of my teeth cleaned was OK, that is where I really had issues when it was done before. Overall she did my mouth in four sections, after each one I was given a rest and allowed to compose myself, plus I was given the chance to say enough, but I felt no need to stop. I kept thinking this was actually what I wanted to have done today.

I mentioned the clenching and the fear I had that the abcess was back before we started. Now that the temporary coverings are on my teeth I've been less careful on protecting my teeth when I eat, resulting with my teeth touching a lot more than I've allowed then to do in years, I thought that it was the temporary coverings touching. The back tooth is very sensitive now, it feels like pressing on a brused fingernail when I rub on it, so its not the tooth that hurts, but underneath it.

With the de-scale done she checked out my bite and the back tooth. Big releif when she that there is no sign of infection or the abcess returning, phew! Its not the temp coverings touching but my actual teeth. Because I haven't allow my teeth to touch for so long its allowed then to move where they want to, so there is no even pressure throughout my mouth and these back teeth touch first. With the two nights of clenching I've probably caused a bruse under the bottom tooth that touches first.

I going back again next week so that she can check out the bottom tooth again, just to make sure there is no infection or abcess before I go on holiday. I've also agreed to have a tiny filling done on one of my top teeth, this will involve a LA but the whole thing should be fairly quick to get me used to the process. I know I need a lot more work, but I'm still doing baby steps and I will get through all this.

I left with shakey legs this morning and I hate the feeling of individual teeth against my tounge at the front, but I suppose that is how they are meant to feel. The sensitivity I was warned about hasn't appeared. The best thing though is looking at my teeth in a mirror now, OMG what a difference, it looks 1000 times better, 26+ years of scale removed, I am so pleased with the result.
I love reading about the success of your appointments!! Well done you! I can relate to that feeling of individual teeth the back of my bottom teeth still feel weird on my tounge and I had mine cleaned over a month ago. The end of my tounge gets quite sore where I rub it over my teeth alot too!
Agreed on the weird individual tooth feeling! I hated that at first, but I've got used to it now.

I'm pleased you kept going, and it's good to hear the new attitude to dentistry... "I want to do this" is the phrase that marks a turning point for all of us! I felt exactly the same way when I had my cleaning done, there were points at which I wanted to run, but the feeling of "I am actually doing this" overrode that!

Anyway, a huge huge well done on another appointment to notch on your dental belt :) xx
This is sounding like a success story in progress, and you seem to be progressing well ! This journal has been my bedtime story of hope, and inspiration for tomorrow's appointment, for myself. Thank you for sharing your story, you have motivated me to do the same. I will be starting my journal thread, after I make it through tomorrow's exam. I know, it seems like nothing, compared to what you have already made it through, but it seems huge to me right now. With your story, and a couple of others I read today bouncing around in my head, I will have more happy thoughts, to drive the bad ones back into their 'box'. This last being advice found in these forums, during my readings. You, and so many others here have already been such beacons of hope, in my darkness of anxiety, that I will be only too glad to share my experiences, so yet more folks can find hope here, like I did.
Thank You !
Thanks for the replies, they do help, I didn't think anyone would be interested in my story.

I'm really quite surprised how I'm coping with all these visits to the dentist, after all I've done my best to avoid them for so long. Those sessions I paid for with the anexiety therapist have literally changed my life, I cannot get over the change in my thought process. Sometimes I think about things that I might like to have done, for instance a couple of teeth are pushed out of line and I wonder how easy it would be to have them straightend up again. Yes, thats me thinking about a cosmetic change, I don't get how these thoughts don't freak me out anymore. As a teenager I was terrified that I was going to be made to have a brace, now the thought of having one doesn't scare me, just the cost does that now! :o

After the de-scale last week, I had quite a bit of discomfort from the top tooth with a big temporary filling in it, it took 4 days to calm down but its fine now. I kept looking at my teeth in a mirror when I got home, hardly believing that they were mine, no unsightly scale building up anymore, its been such a boost. I didn't want to drink a cup of coffee when I got home, until after I had cleaned my teeth, putting some protective flouride on the bare tooth surfaces first. I do have a slight problem though, having the new feeling of individual teeth against my tounge makes my mind think I have food in my mouth, causing it to keep producing saliva. Dribbling is so not a good look.:drool:

The lower teeth that I had hurt by clenching two nights running have also finally calmed down. I'm sure that I had caused a bruse under one of them, making it lift the tooth up slightly, really putting my bite out. This caused me pain every time I came close to shutting my mouth as that tooth got pressed first. Its all settled down though and my normal rubbish bite is back, teeth touch evenly around my mouth now with no pain.

This afternoon (4:30) I'm going in for the first bit of repair work - yay! I'm going to have a LA and a small hole filled properly in one of my front upper teeth. Part of me wants to have more done once I have the LA, but then part of me knows that it is sensible to carry on going slowly, after all I haven't had a filling in about 30 years and never with a fast drill, so I'm not totally sure what to expect. I do have faith in my dentist though, I know that she will not rush me and she has already said that I can forget the past experiences as she wants it to be better for me, I believe her. Obviously I'm nervous about what will happen, I have a fluttery stomach and I'm a little bit light-headded, but overall I'm quite calm about it.
You sound like you've really got your 'dental head' on right now which is fantastic! If you feel like you could do more, ask if there's any other work the dentist can do in that area before hand, then ask her to check with you once that first hole is sorted if you want to carry on? That way you're in control, but you have the option there to get more done.

Trust me that the high speed drill is fantastic, you barely notice it going. It's the low speed I hate, the rattling unnerves me. But high-speed plus water and suction is the best of a bad lot when it comes to dentistry!

It really seems you've found a fab dentist who can look after you completely while you're in there, and that's just the best thing you can ask for! I hope your appt goes really well for you :) you will fly through this just like everything else you've got through! xx
Hope all goes well this afternoon x
I did it! :yay:

I'm sitting here with a numb top lip and a filled tooth. :yay:

As usual we started off with a quick chat over last weeks treatment, how I found it and how the weeks been before discussing todays treatment. I spoke of my thoughts of getting more done in the area while it was numb but the dentist didn't want to push me too much and set me back. She wants me to go at a gentle pace so that we can do everything I need to have done.

She went through what we were going to do and found that I was expecting completly the wrong tooth to be worked on, I wasn't even the right side of the mouth. I thought it was the right side because that had a black line next to the gum but she told me that was just staining.

So once relaxed in the chair she put some numbing gel on my gum using a cotton wool roll, in fact she left it there while she took a color-match to my teeth. I said I didn't want to see the injection, so she told me when she was about to do it to allow me to close my eyes. Guess what, I didn't feel a thing when I was injected, I was stunned.

While she waited for the numbing to take effect she asked if I wanted her to have a go at polishing the stain off, well I han't got anything else to do so I said yes. She used a couple of polishing tools which just rubbed the teeth, no pain at all and hardly any pushing. She said it was looking better.

She asked if I was numb, I didn't think I was so she told me to have a feel with my finger, OK I was wrong, I was numb. Then she said that she would start to prepare the area for the filling and that there was going to be water and suction just like the cleaning last week. She also assured me she would stop if I raised my hand and told me to do it if I felt anything at all. I felt nothing, she was so gentle. A couple of times I felt I had a lot of water in my mouth, but that was the worst part of it.

She soon said that the preperations were done, really? that quick? Next came some gel to help the filling stick, after the excess was washed off she started filling the tooth. A bit of filler was added after which she used a light to set hard, (I'm guessing ultra-violet light). She filled it with a few layers of stuff, each followed by the blue light to harden. My jaw was stareting to ache after a while but I stuck it out. Then she just polished the filling to shape.

That was it - done! :)

I asked about the back tooth that gave me pain last week, she assured me that there was nothing going on back there, no sign of infection.

She told me to look in the mirror on the wall. Oh wow, the dark lines at the gumline on loads of my upper teeth have gone, plus I had to look really hard to see the filling that I had just had. I can't believe how much this is making me happier with my smile, for years I have said I don't care about a good smile and here I am feeling like the cat that got the cream, now that I am without all the staining and scale.

For next time I had a choice of more front fillings, like todays, on my lower front teeth or one at the back. I opted for the back one next as that is an open hole at the moment, the front ones have temporary coverings on them so aren't as urgent.

I'm off on holiday next week and it does make a difference that my teeth are looking cleaner and healthier than they have in years, I don't feel I have to hide my mouth so much as before.

Today was a big milestone, so far I've been examined, I've had the raw teeth temporarly covered up to protect them a bit, I've had the ugly scale removed and today I've started the repair process. One step at a a time, I will get there.
I've just read back what I've written and reaziled that the dentist at no time said the words 'drill' or 'injection' or even 'hole', she only said that she was going to use a tool to prepare the tooth. She really is working with me to keep me calm throughout all this by avoiding language that could trigger me off.

Good, sensitive dentists are out there.
Def another session to be proud of, well done you!! :yay:
Way to go! So proud of you getting that done, you've now got another good experience to add to your fear-fighting weaponry :jump:xx
That was huge robot, wtg!
Thanks for the support guys, it does help me to feel good about getting through each session.

Anyway, I'm back from a great holiday, the weather was a bit on the cool side some days, but got to see some of the locations where Star Wars was filmed so that pleased the geek in me, lol. One thing that was nice though was not worring about pain in my teeth every time I ate or feeling embassased over the staining of my teeth when talking to strangers, the recient work at the dentists has improved my life more than I could have imagined. A few months ago I couldn't imagine getting my teeth fixed, but I'm so glad I have started the process of beating this phobia, the diference to my outlook on life is huge. :)

I'm back from another trip to the dentist this morning, I've had another LA to fill the top, right wisdom tooth. She said that she wasn't sure how much work the tooth needed, if the decay wasn't too far gone then it would just be filled, but if it was too bad then she would put a temp filling in there until we can work out how to deal with it. Remember I would only allow a visual exam at the start so I expect this, once I'm numb she is free to poke around the tooth properly. I accept this isn't the ideal way to do things but I really can't cope with the metal pick thing.:(

Once again the dentist used the numbing gel first on the gum then gave me the LA. It seemed to take a while to do but I didn't feel a thing. I told her that I found it really good last time to feel with a finger the numb area before she started work, just to reasure me that I wasn't able to feel. So after a few minutes she asked me to check how I was doing, well I tried but it still felt my finger, she said I was feeling the wrong place and touched the right area with her finger, once again she was right, I couldn't feel her touching me, I am believing her more and more. To double check I was OK she just touched the drill to my tooth for a breif second at the start of the work, then stopped to see if I felt it, of course I didn't feel it at all.

She asked me to hold my mouth and head at a slight angle to help her as the tooth was right at the back and access was tight. This was done before she started work, it helped to know how she wanted me to be, rather than just push my mouth around like I've had in the past. This is teamwork in my mind, I'm helping her to help me.

There was a lot more noise in my head this time but I guess thats because she was working a lot closer to my ear. I did feel a twinge at one point but it felt warm not a pain, certainly not enough to ask her to stop. She did stop three times though to let me relax my mouth during the process and didn't restart until I was ready again. I took these breaks to calm my breathing down which helped me.

When she had finished preparing the tooth she asked if I wanted to feel it with my tounge, I laughed and told her that I know what a hole in a tooth felt like, so she was OK to just fill it up again. :giggle:

Filling was done OK, no blue light this time but I was told it would take about 30 minutes to fully harden, so not to eat or have hot drinks during that time. She didn't say it was a temporary filling so I believe its a done job, she certainly didn't say there was any more work to do on that tooth, but I will check next week.

That was it, another one done!:yay:

As I don't have any more open holes its time to start fixing up the temporary covered up teeth properly. I'm back next week to have two fillings on the lower right front teeth.

I left there today with very little of my mouth numb, my cheek ached a bit where she held it back to get access, but other than that no pain. I was expecting a lot of my mouth and face to feel numb today, but its been fine.

As I came out of the treatment room I bumped into my therapist, Bobby. I had time to thank her properly for getting me to a stage where I'm getting treatment, it was all a bit rushed at the end of therapy and although I sent her a thank-you card, it didn't seem enough for the change in my life that she enabled me to make.

I did have one slight downer today, :( while the dentist was filling in my chart on her PC I saw a list of treatments. Now I don't know if they are a general list or a list of work that she has planned for me, but I saw extraction on the list and that scares me, in fact I'm shaking writing this. I really don't want sedation during my treatment, I want to feel in control and be aware but I don't know how I'm going to cope with an extraction. In my heart I know that was a list of my personal treatments needed, but I so want to believe its not. I am growing in confidence with this dentist, she is working with me, a few times since my last appointment I've wondered just how hard it would be to get the retained root out, perhaps I will be able to cope after the rest of the work is done, I do trust her, so far she has told me what to expect and has been spot-on correct every time, she also has been correct about the LA working and even manages to administer that without any pain. I'm going to try and not worry about it though until I know for sure, I still have a lot of things to be put right first, baby steps will get me there though.
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