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letting some stupid teeth ruin my happiness

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thisisme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
354
Oh Spider! You are so brave and I’m so proud of you for getting through your cleaning. Like you, I have a cleaning scheduled this month and the anxiety is starting to kick in. I would rather go to my ortho every single day than visit the dentist every six months.

You overcame so much to get to the office and get through your appointment. You should be very proud of yourself.

P. S. I hope your husband is feeling better!
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
146
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Thank you! If only we could bottle up our calmness and feelings of success at the end of each appointment and save it for the next time when the anxiety creeps back in! My husband is finally starting to feel better! I allowed him out of quarentine today, lol
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
146
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I’ve been so busy lately, and tried to post the day before my cleaning appointment, but ran out of time. So I’ve saved everything and will post it now!


Thursday (cleaning appointment is on Friday morning)

Well it’s that time again, the dreaded 6 month cleaning. 6 months ago I had a really hard time leading up to the cleaning. Lots of anxiety and doom and gloom thoughts and I almost cancelled the appointment from the parking lot. This time, the thoughts have been creeping in but so far I’ve been doing a great job at squashing them down and “changing the subject” in my head. This is the most I’ve allowed myself to think about my appointment, but I think documenting it is a good idea. Typically, I play through various scenarios, but I’m not allowing myself to do that. It may sound odd, but whenever the thought “oooooh noooo I have my appointment Friday” creeps into my thoughts, I tell myself “there are bigger things in the world” and then I change the subject in my head.

That being said, my mental health is always better in the summer vs the fall/early winter, so I hope this strategy continues to work year round.


Current day (Saturday)

It’s over! I made it and I didn’t freak out too badly at all. I never allowed my brain to dwell on it, but my body certainly knew what was about to happen, so I spent the entire morning in the bathroom having stress poo’s, (TMI) lol! I was a bit worried that during the drive to town I would have to make an emergency stop on the side of the road.

It went as well as one could expect a cleaning to go. The office was very quiet, no “dentist noises”, no weird clinical smells. I saw the same hygienist which is nice as she knows that I'm a bit crazy and always nervous. I do have the start of decay between 2 teeth- they’ve been “watching” it for awhile. It hasn’t worsened and the dentist gave me some fluoride to try at home, to see if I can reverse some of the decay. Typically I panic when the dentist examines my mouth at the end of the cleaning. In a past life, I would actually fail to open my mouth properly, and squirm around to keep the dentist from having a proper look, lol. But I was good and held my mouth open and let him look at everything.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,021
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Sounds like a great appointment and victory over the fear and anxiety!! :jump: :love: :perfect:
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
146
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I see it's been a year since I posted here. The entire week I've been worried and all morning I was worried. For the past few months, I would occasionally think about how I was having a cleaning at the end of June, and worry. I was dreading summer. It's really terrible how much of my life is spent worrying about the dentist.

All the normal scenarios played through my head... what if I have to puke and have diarrhea at the same time while I'm there? What if I use their bathroom and cannot leave because I'm so sick? What if I feel unwell during the cleaning? What if I have a panic attack in the waiting room? What if I catch a disease and it ruins my vacation next week? Will I beable to tell the difference between anxiety and the start of a stomach virus?

I've been listening to meditation/awareness type videos for a few months, so I tried hard to "be in the present moment" but my anxiety always seems to win.

So I got there and the hygeniest didnt waste any time for small talk, which I really needed to distract my mind. I decided that I definitely didnt want to be there anymore, plus it was kinda warm and I didnt like anything about the place!
I told the hygeniest that I may not stay for long as I'm a mess. She was like "okay" and then went on with the normal questions! First she took my bp which was crazy high, and I said "yep, I'm not doing good, that's why I'm not staying for long" Then she asked if anyone at home had "the virus" and I said "no, well.... my daughter has been unwell with a bad tummy, which I suppose could be covid symptom, hmmmm" Which is true, but I know for sure it's not "the virus" that they care about, it's more of a gallbladder thing shes been dealing with. I told her about my daughter's tummy hoping she'd kick me out! She asked if I tested her for covid and I said all snarky "no and I'm not going to, we don't test!".... pause.... (me hoping that my very poor attitude about covid would get me kicked out....) But nope, crap, she did not make me go home!

I realized I was acting like a bratty child so I tried being quiet for a few minutes. She said it was time to update xrays and I said "how many?" She said 8. I said "I may not do all 8, that's almost too much." Eeek, bratty child again!

Once she started I honestly calmed down and felt okay although at one point I complained that I disliked when she scraped my back teeth as they may just pop out!

I do have a small cavity that I will get filled in august. At the end of the cleaning I met the other dentist in the practice (a husband/wife team) and the lady dentist really listened and asked me lots of questions about my fears. So at the end I felt great, I felt heard and understood. So I'm going to see the lady dentist who will drill the tooth and then my favorite chatty assistant who will place the filling. Driving home I felt amazing. All of my physical pain symptoms were gone, all obviously a result of anxiety. I told my brain "remember this!!!" I doubt it will though and I'll be a nervous mess come August.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
89
Location
United Kingdom
@Spider I'm not laughing at you. Purely with you. Trying to get get chucked out for being a bratty child. Hilarious!
But failing... even funnier.
Anyway, well done. I'm so very inspired and , after a hiatus of another nearly 3 years (due to covid but also I flat out refused an appointment because the surgery phoned very early one morning after I'd slept poorly...) Time to get back on that dentist's chair for me. Thanks to your update popping into my email box.

Well done and thanks for this. A great read and well written indeed. But that last update really tickled me pink. Haha. Excellent stuff. :thankyou:
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
146
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
@Ilovemydentistreally
I'm glad you found my story funny 😂 I'm still a bit shocked at how I behaved, I'm not usually like that! That's so funny that the early morning call sparked your inner stubbornness and you refused to make an appointment. Sounds like something I'd do too 😂
Hope all goes well and you get yourself back in the chair soon!!
Thanks for reading :)
 
A

APhobicQueen

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
74
Location
Canada
@Spider I am so glad you posted a new response so I could back-read through your journal because…are you me?

I’m undiagnosed with agoraphobia right now (although diagnosed with other anxiety disorders) and all I can say is your thoughts sounded exactly like mine. The fear of being sick, the fear of leaving your “safe spot” (being your home)…it’s all exactly like me. My agoraphobia is also the kind that leaves me feeling trapped in situations and makes me panic, which includes leaning back in a dentist chair and being in any doctor’s appointments. Reading your journey and seeing how you’ve improved makes me hopeful for my own future (even with the brattiness post :ROFLMAO: I totally understand that. If I’m with someone I might just stomp my feet like a child and demand we go home LOL)

I have so much major dental work I need done (4 extractions + 2 restorations and a full exam in November. I’ll be under GA and after that I have to get a bunch of fillings, and then partial dentures and then have my wisdom teeth out.) And I was wondering how on earth I’d cope with all these appointments (I also will have cleanings every three months) when I just want to stay home in my safe place and not a place that triggers my anxiety/PTSD/agoraphobia. But you’ve really given me a sense of “I can do this!” And I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story on here so people like me could read it. I think feeling less alone is such a huge part of having dental phobia and being able to read someone who had thoughts exactly like I have and who’s gotten through their appointments? It really is the best thing I could ask for.

Good luck in the future! :grouphug:
 
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
146
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
@APhobicQueen thank you so so much for your reply! It's a good feeling that my story could give someone else hope with their own dental journey.
Agoraphobia is a constant struggle and unless a person suffers from it, I think it's really hard to understand how it impacts every aspect of life. My kids ended up being homeschooled for the past 2 years because of schools being closed for a year, and then another year of mandatory masks (I have a special needs child). So I feel the agoraphobia trying to crush me as my "exposures" have lessened so much.
I wish you so much success with your appointment in November and then all of the followups and cleanings! You can do it! I'd love to follow your story if you decide to document everything here in a journal.
 
A

APhobicQueen

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
74
Location
Canada
@Spider You’re welcome! And yes, I feel like anytime I can help someone with my story, I always feel better with my phobia. Like healing others helps us to heal too.

Oh yes! The pandemic just messed with everything agoraphobic related for me. I’d planned to do exposure therapy and get out more, but of course that was shut down. And now just going for a basic haircut feels like life or death. I really do think people don’t understand the bone chilling fear we have when we leave the house. It really does feel like we could die :cry: Truly the worst. I actually have to go to a wedding that’s hours away for an entire weekend, and I have no idea how I’m going to do it. Not only do I have to worry about my teeth, but I have this other anxiety about being so far from home too.

Thank you so much for the luck! I do have a journal on here where I’ve been documenting my experiences since March I think? When I first got my ”diagnosis” so to speak. I just updated earlier today so it should be on the first page, near the top I imagine.
 
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