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My Dental Chronicle: The Final Chapter

krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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:perfect::perfect::star::thumbsup!:

Kitkat.. I just loved reading this.. it is lovely and thanks in such specific ways the anxious pts really appreciate on so many levels. This is beautiful and I'm sure she really appreciated it!! Thank you so much for sharing this..
 
kitkat

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:perfect::perfect::star::thumbsup!:

Kitkat.. I just loved reading this.. it is lovely and thanks in such specific ways the anxious pts really appreciate on so many levels. This is beautiful and I'm sure she really appreciated it!! Thank you so much for sharing this..
Yes I wanted to clearly emphasize in detail all of the things that she was doing right for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted her to keep doing those things; second, I wanted her to know that her efforts did not go unnoticed; last, I wanted to encourage her to do the same things with other anxious patients because they worked so well for me. She did really appreciate it. She was very caught off guard by it and seemed very touched. She’s not often someone who is at a loss for words but she was after reading that.
 
kitkat

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Appointment is in 20 days. Tonight, I’m actually feeling completely and totally 100% calm about it...maybe because I was just there and there is less unknown to deal with at the next appointment. Hoping this feeling lasts...we shall see!
 
kitkat

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Part 6: Stupid Anxiety!

I am more accepting and forgiving of my anxiety than I used to be. I used to really hate it and as a result, I’d get angry and frustrated and try to hide it which I think just made it worse. I think I expected my anxiety to just go away some day but I guess it doesn’t always work that way. One particular appointment comes to mind a lot. I went for a filling and everything went perfectly smooth and I was still such an anxious mess and I just kept thinking “what is wrong with me?! Why am I like this?!”. Sometimes, I think just the environment/situation can be a very large trigger even if you have the most amazing dentist and it took me a long time to wrap my head around that.

This appointment felt like the absolute longest appointment...it was for two fillings side by side (I think on the top back teeth). I was still in high school I think ...possibly early college. The local injection was completely painless and I was completely numb ...normally once I know I’m numb I tend to relax a little...but not that day. My anxiety just grew and grew and grew. My dentist made a comment early on that she could tell that I was nervous because my saliva was very thick (apparently thick saliva is a sign of nervousness..I looked it up later and this is real phenomenon that happens when your body goes into fight or flight...who knew?!:dunno:).

I don’t know if I was grimacing or flinching a lot but at one point she stopped drilling to ask me if I felt anything (because I guess I looked like I was in pain even though I wasn’t) I told her no and she could continue. I remember my heart just pounding and breathing really fast and then I started to sweat (which I don’t recall happening before). I kept trying to use self-talk (telling myself I’m fine) to try to talk myself down but it wasn’t working. My dentist noticed that I was sweating and stopped to ask me again if I was ok...I nodded yes. She put her hands on my cheeks and forehead and commented that I felt really warm ...she asked the assistant to turn on a fan (I think she was starting to worry that I might pass out which at that point, was probably a valid concern :(). She tried to reassure me by telling me how far along we were into the procedure. We got to stopping point and she asked if I’d like to take a break before she actually filled the teeth...in hindsight, I should have taken the break but I was stubborn and feeling a bit at war with myself and declined. My shakes returned as she started to fill the teeth and she told her assistant to hand me a little squeezy ball (like s stress ball) to give my hands something to do and take my mind off things which may have helped slightly. After she finished filling the teeth she acknowledged that I had a difficult time. She told me that I was a trooper for getting through it and to go home and pamper myself. I had the absolute worst adrenaline crash afterward. I was exhausted and I had a headache. The interesting thing about that appointment is that there was no trigger, no pain, nothing went wrong, my dentist was lovely throughout and yet my anxiety was just raging and there was nothing my dentist or I could do to get it under control. Some days, you just have to survive the appointment and that has to be good enough.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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kitkat
You have my utmost sympathy. Sounds like quite an ordeal there.
Anxiety is a menace indeed! Needs no invitation nor triggering.
You did so well to continue and complete the appointment.
I hope you do pamper yourself. It really is well earned. :)
 
kitkat

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kitkat
You have my utmost sympathy. Sounds like quite an ordeal there.
Anxiety is a menace indeed! Needs no invitation nor triggering.
You did so well to continue and complete the appointment.
I hope you do pamper yourself. It really is well earned. :)
Luckily this appointment was far in the past ...many, many years back. I’ve just been reflecting on past appointments that have stuck with me over the years and writing about them.
 
kitkat

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I am starting to get mild to moderately anxious about my upcoming dental work and it seems like dentistry is following me every where I go! :( I check the mail and I have 2 advertisements from dentist offices (that’s all ...nothing else...just dentist offices) and then my colleagues at work got into a conversation about dental fillings today...and the dentist came up in conversation again just a few days ago too....I keep looking at my calendar to count the days...it will be 10 days after tomorrow and I have A LOT going on at the moment so I already know it’s going to go by too fast. On one hand, I just want to do it and be done with it but on the other hand, I just want to freeze time and never get to that day...it’s a very conflicting feeling.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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Oh dear. When you are trying not to think about stuff but life contrives another plan...
I do sympathize.
It is very tough. 10 days can feel like forever.
Yeah, would be handy if there were pause, fastforward and rewind buttons...
 
krlovesherkids777

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Kitkat..

omg on the dentistry following you everwhere you go.. that is crazy how that happens...aghh.. the time leading up is the worst..
 
kitkat

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Tomorrow is the day...I’m kind of happy to be getting it over with. I have been busy non-stop all day so I haven’t had any time to sit and dwell on the appointment. I’m not that nervous at the moment just because I’ve had no time to think about it. I’m hoping I feel pretty good about it tomorrow morning too. I am going to try my hardest to be honest and open and allow myself to be vulnerable and express how I feel if I‘m feeling very nervous...I’m making it a challenge in my own self-growth to not “brave face” the appointment. I have no reason to “brave face” the appointment but ....old habits die hard! We’ll see! Wish me luck!
 
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Good luck for your appointment Kitkat, we'll all be with you in spirit :clover:
 
S

Scared all the time

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Tomorrow is the day...I’m kind of happy to be getting it over with. I have been busy non-stop all day so I haven’t had any time to sit and dwell on the appointment. I’m not that nervous at the moment just because I’ve had no time to think about it. I’m hoping I feel pretty good about it tomorrow morning too. I am going to try my hardest to be honest and open and allow myself to be vulnerable and express how I feel if I‘m feeling very nervous...I’m making it a challenge in my own self-growth to not “brave face” the appointment. I have no reason to “brave face” the appointment but ....old habits die hard! We’ll see! Wish me luck!
Thinking of you today. Good luck! 🍀🍀
 
kitkat

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So I had my appointment today...Thank you everyone for your support! There were some positive and negative aspects to this appointment...I feel like I’ve recently been pushed into a different “patient category” with my dentist and I’m not sure how to feel about it. I still see glimpses of how she used to be with me when I was very phobic but I definitely feel like I’ve been treated differently during the last two appointments (more as just a regular/non-anxious patient). There are just little key aspects of our routine that are getting omitted (maybe she just doesn’t feel like it’s needed) but I’m kind of struggling with the change.

So for those following my journal, I only needed one filling today (not 2 as previously suspected). I feel okay now...I’m having a little sensitivity in my tooth tonight mostly when I drink liquids and the injection area is a bit sore. Hoping it settles down soon.

So about the appointment...

The office was running behind today so I ended up waiting in the waiting room for 25-30 minutes so that gave me lots of time to get more anxious. My usual assistant collected me from the waiting room which helped to put me at ease. She made a little small talk with me about the Super Bowl and then the dentist came in and jumped into the conversation as well. Next, she told me she would be giving me the anesthesia so that I could “get nice and numb.” I didn’t feel “rushed” but I felt like things initially moved very fast (probably because they were running behind) so I did not get a chance to voice my fears or concerns beforehand as I had originally planned. Things were also just going out of the normal routine which was really throwing me off and it was taking all of my energy to just cope.

So for instance, normally, when my dentist injects, she only reclines the chair slightly (I’m mostly upright) and then she gradually lowers it later. This time, she lowered the chair right away (without warning) so that I was laying completely flat for the injection (maybe even a little past flat-kinda felt like my head was going back towards the floor) which really caught me off guard. She also used a topical numbing spray this time which is out of the ordinary for her. Usually she will ask me first if I want it but this time she jumped right in to use it without really mentioning it (which is fine...if she thinks it will be more comfortable with it than I trust her judgment). Also, she normally gives me some kind of verbal cue that she’s injecting like she’ll say “small pinch” just to let me know right when she’s injecting...this time she didn’t say anything, she just did it. The injection otherwise was fine. I felt some very slight stinging at one point but that was it. There was really no reassuring words during the injection...I don’t think she said anything at all which is unusual. So then she said she’d set a timer and let me get numb, normally they sit me back up while I wait to get numb and this time, SURPRISE! they did not ...so I laid flat for 5 minutes waiting to get numb. At this point, I just put in my headphones because I needed something to distract me...the assistant did sit with me while I got numb and I don’t know what the expression was on my face but she kept asking me over and over again if I was okay and if I was feeling alright so I must have not have looked okay! LOL I just kept telling her I was fine. That would have been a good time to bring up my anxiety but I was so flustered...I just couldn’t at that point.

So my dentist comes back and asks if I’m feeling numb and says she’s going to get started. Now she ALWAYS says before starting any kind of treatment, “remember if you have any discomfort at all, you let me know, ok?” And then I nod yes and that’s kind of become a thing I depend on her saying to help me calm down and feel in control ...it’s just part of our routine and she’s been saying it at every single appointment for the past 16 YEARS....She didn’t say it today (she didn’t say it at my last appointment either).

Now something extremely helpful that she did do was just prior to drilling, she slowed down to show and tell me exactly what she was doing as she isolated the tooth. She was INCREDIBLY GENTLE in her demeanor with placing the cotton and telling me what and how it was being placed so I wasn’t overwhelmed by my mouth being packed full of stuff.

Then the drilling started...I wasn’t completely numb but it was pretty tolerable most of the time with the exception of a few little zings here and there. It wasn’t enough to make me react outwardly so I kept thinking “should I stop her? Should I just deal with it? It’s not really that bad...it’s probably not going to take that long...”. When it really got more intense and I couldn’t deal with it anymore I finally did speak up and let her know that I was feeling it a little bit but by that time, she had actually finished the drilling (luckily there wasn’t a lot of it).

She did warn me about the pressure sensation with the band/wedge and reassured me through that part which was nice. I really didn’t have any more pain after the drilling. I had sensitivity once or twice to some cold air/water spray during the actual filling process...the filling process felt longer than usual for some reason (maybe because I was just kinda over everything by that point).

There was a moment while we were just waiting for the filling to cure when I think I was just getting claustrophobic because there was a lot of stuff in my mouth and two people hovering over me. I got that sorta trapped/panicky feeling and I always keep my eyes open for treatment but I closed my eyes at that moment to focus on my music and my breathing. I think my dentist noticed this because just a couple seconds after closing my eyes she said to me in a very reassuring tone “we’re almost done honey, you’re doing great.” It also felt like it took awhile to shape the filling afterward and file it down and polish it (but like I said...my patience was running low by that point).

They had me sit in the chair for a few minutes after sitting me up which was good because I was very dizzy from laying so far back for so long.

One thing I noticed this time (I think it’s new-I haven’t noticed it before), my dentist started display at the front desk on the wall where she is hanging up all of her “thank you” cards from patients and I spotted my card up there (the one I gave her 8 yrs ago..still in perfect condition). So it’s nice to know she kept it and cherishes it.

So the appointment was really a mixed bag...there were some really nice parts and some unexpected parts and some less than great parts. Apologies for the long post...if you made it this far, thanks for reading!
 
kitkat

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So today the tooth is pretty sensitive to cold temperatures but doesn’t seem to be bothered by much else...hoping that resolves soon on it’s own! :(
 
kitkat

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Well....I was eating dinner tonight out at a restaurant and apparently there was a hard bone fragment in my burger and I bit right on to it with my newly filled tooth :o . I both felt and heard a very loud CRUNCH :scared: ...I’m not sure if I broke the filling or not :confused:...it was already sensitive so it’s hard to tell based on that...it’s hard to view myself in the mirror but from a certain angle it does look a little irregular...trying to decide if I need to go back and have it looked at...ugh...
 
krlovesherkids777

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Aghh.. oh no... sorry about that crunch.. hope the filling isn't broke and hope its not too sensitive. :grouphug:
 
kitkat

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So...it’s definitely broke...foods now getting trapped in the space where I thought I could see a piece missing...luckily I am off work on Tuesday and Thursday of this week so I will call and see if I can get in on either day.
 
letsconnect

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So sorry to hear this, kitkat :( - hopefully it will be a quick and easy fix :clover:!!

Also sorry to hear about the last appointment not going too well. It sounds as if your dentist simply assumes that you are ok with things now that you've been with her for a long time. And we all know how hard it can be to speak up!

If you think it might help, maybe you could drop her an email explaining how you feel... or let her know that you'd like to have a chat with her at the start of your appointment about this... anyway, big hugs to you :grouphug:
 
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