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My teeth - 'medicine' phobia and periodontal battle

Carys

Carys

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Ok, so I've posted a few times, but thought I would start a thread where I can add posts as things happen. I am doing this partly for cathartic reasons, and partly because someone in the future may find it of some minor assistance in their own battle.

I last visited my dental practice 1.5 years ago, in pain with the gum around a rear wisdom tooth. He looked and informed me that the 'hole' I was sure I could see was only the dentine of the root showing, as the gum had receeded. I was given anti-biotics for a gum infection around the tooth and had a full cleaning job, with any gumline plaque removed etc. Prior to this my visits had been sporadic, I was scared to go incase they told me I needed anything done, but occasionally went to the hygenist for a session and once went with a tooth that was giving pain and needed a filling. My fear, through all of these last 15 years years has been that I will react to the local anaesthic (listed as a 'common fear' on the links above). Before this fear set in I had had local injections, when front crowns were done and for a filling, there had never been a reaction at all ! I am terrified of ALL medication, not just anything related to the dentist, and have even avoided paracetamol entirely for 12 years.

Every time I went to my dental practice the dentist had left and another appeared, so this hardly made for consistency. Over all these years, it was not suggested that I had any xrays, and a few observational check-ups were done. I am not dental phobic in the sense that I have none of the other fears listed above in the menu bar, pain does not concern me that much, but I am terrified of medications, and an allergy to anything the dentist uses - right from the cement to the mouth wash. I am also terrified about a reaction between a medication I take and the local anaesthetic. The bottom line is, I think I will die if I have that injection, anaphylaxis is my deepest fear !

4 weeks ago I snapped off one front crown (it didn't fall off, it broke on the tooth core) which had already been BADLY and incorrectly pinned (I have since found out). I went back desperate to have it just cemented back on and was told by the (next new) dentist at the practice that nothing was possible and an implant was needed. However, he did manage to cement it back on at a very jaunty angle !!! He didn't instill confidence and I left feeling panicked. I cancelled my follow-up appointment and started looking elsewhere for another practice.

I found another practice. I was honest with the dentist I met about my phobia. He took ages to explain things to me, he said he felt that we probably did have other options before the implant and was happy to try them. I didn't mention the wisdom tooth, as I was terrified that he would look at it and tell me it needed to come out. I left feeling reassured by my experience, and made a follow-up appointment for the crown to be removed, an assessement made and a temporary crown fitted - and hurrah - no local jab needed. In the following week the pain from the 'not a hole' wisdom tooth became bad, so I went back to see the dentist. In the week leading up to this appointment I was in a terrible state; coudln't eat, felt sick, was having panic attacks, insomnia and very low mood. He took one look and said it did indeed have a LARGE cavity and needed removing (cheers pervious dentist) as it was too late to fill. He then did some more xrays and found more 'hidden' cavities elsewhere !!!! EXACTLY the news I did not want, it would definitely mean a local for the removal of the wisdom and probably for other work required.

We talked at length about my phobia, he was kind but at a loss about how to progress with the phobia. I asked on this forum, and I asked him, about if people had reactions to the aneasethics...and he repeated what this forum tells you - very very very rare, almost none existent. I asked him if it would be possible, to try and break the fear, to have a teensy weensy amount in a gum to get myself used to it and see what happened. He has agreed to this, and has even said that he will keep the emergency kit (epi pen and such like) out on the side for my appointment. He really is a nice man.

So, here I am. My appointment is this Friday, for some work on the front crown. I don't need a local for this, but at my own suggestion I am going to 'try a bit', as I know very soon I need it for the removal of the wisdom tooth. He even agreed that I could have the adrenaline free version, as I had a fear of this accidentally causing a panic attack (and goodness knows,they need no encouragement at the moment !) I feel - and this is no exaggeration - as if I have signed my own terrible fate, that is how strong it feels. I have tried to rationalise, read all the positive things I can, and whilst my head tells me one thing, my heart comes back with 'something bad is going to happen though'. I have periods where I feel resigned to the impending situation, and then I switch quickly over to internal hysteria.

I mean, every day people do this, you don't see people dropping at the dentist....it doesn't happen. I know this, but I guess that is what phobias are all about, they aren't rational. They sure are a pain in the backside though !!!

I will post here as things progress. Take care all. :D
 
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brit

brit

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia

Ok, so I've posted a few times, but thought I would start a thread where I can add posts as things happen. I am doing this partly for cathartic reasons, and partly because someone in the future may find it of some minor assistance in their own battle.

I have moved this to Journals as that is what I think it is, based on your criteria. You can also keep a separate thread in Support if you wish. I see your other started threads are in Dentistry Questions.
 
brit

brit

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We talked at length about my phobia, he was kind but at a loss about how to progress with the phobia. I asked on this forum, and I asked him, about if people had reactions to the aneasethics...and he repeated what this forum tells you - very very very rare, almost none existent. I asked him if it would be possible, to try and break the fear, to have a teensy weensy amount in a gum to get myself used to it and see what happened. He has agreed to this, and has even said that he will keep the emergency kit (epi pen and such like) out on the side for my appointment. He really is a nice man.

You've got a gem there! Here's hoping by continuing to discuss and build trust that you eventually overcome this without having to resort to the 'talking therapies'.
I recommend that you try a bit of the standard version (without epi is building in another layer of anxiety to move on from it) and I promise you you will be fine.
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

You are right, of course, about the 'another layer of anxiety'.

The only thing is, as I suffer from (sometimes very bad) panic attacks and then PVCS (and take an SNRI med), IF the adrenaline was to affect me in any way then that might be the end of my journey. I'm not concerned about an allergy to the adrenaline stuff actually, as having read here I know it is a natural body chemical, but I have so much of it coursing around that if I was to start the heart racing thing and some adrenaline was added to it then it could send me into hysteria ?!
 
Carys

Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

This morning (with about 36 hours until the D-day appointment) I emailed the practice.

I asked two questions, one was if there were any contra-indications with the medication I take. Secondly I asked which non-epi. local anaesthetic they were planning to use. I also made mention of the fact (again, as had done so in person anway, but as a reminder) of my panic attacks and the fact that I suffer from benign PVCS and of course my phobia about medications.

I emailed as I have a tendency on the day, due to anxiety, for my brain to go to mush. I also wanted to be sure that they understood the situation. I have a lovely reply from the dentists dental nurse, telling me she had checked for contra-indications, all fine. She said a few other things, but added at the end....

We hope these answers ease your concern a little and wish you to know we will always endevour to answer any questions you have.

So, there we go, a really nice reply and they are trying very hard to help me through this. I just hope I have the strength tomorrow to 'allow' the injection. All this getting worked up about a teensy weensy 2 second needle, I am cross with myself actually for allowing myself to get like this.

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brit

brit

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

I just hope I have the strength tomorrow to 'allow' the injection. All this getting worked up about a teensy weensy 2 second needle, I am cross with myself actually for allowing myself to get like this. [/COLOR]
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Is needle phobia/pain an issue for you at all around needles? The thing is most medical needles involve a quick sting or a little scratch in skilled hands. Dental injections are however much cooler and much easier to do totally painlessly (honestly - have had loads recently from a specialist and from my general dentist) but the dentist has to use the right techniques. In general topical anaesthetic and slow delivery will give the most predictably comfortable result.
So don't get it out of proportion. It is not a big deal if the dentist has the right attitude to your comfort as I am sure yours does.


I would also advise you to eat something beforehand and just try to relax.
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Thanks Brit, for your thoughtful response. I am hoping, of course, that it is good delivery of the anaesthetic, but actually I am not needle phobic. It is simply what comes out of the needle I am phobic about....:giggle:....so a needle with nothing in it would be fine LOL !! Isn't that daft. Logically therefore, if I've ever needed blood tests done I am fine and generally watch, as that is just my blood coming out.

Not slept well all week, but of course last night was terrible with only a couple of hours. Adrenaline is rushing round my system and I am trying to relax, and positively re-enforce myself, but feeling quite pukey and headachey and panicked.
 
brit

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Not slept well all week, but of course last night was terrible with only a couple of hours. Adrenaline is rushing round my system and I am trying to relax, and positively re-enforce myself, but feeling quite pukey and headachey and panicked.

You do realise that in the unlikely event that you had some kind of negative reaction, you would not die from it. It is local aneasthetic not sedation medication.
The only way you can die from local is if you are overdosed and an adult overdose is at least 12 full cartridges - not going to happen.
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

I was just going to click 'thanks', but I wanted to click it lots of times to say BIG THANKS. :DMeans a lots to me you taking the time to respond !

Anaphylaxis is my fear, but then that is my fear about everything...every medication....every insect sting etc.
 
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brit

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Anaphylaxis is my fear, but then that is my fear about everything...every medication....every insect sting etc.

Do you worry that every plane you go on may crash? I mean I go on planes happily but the thought always crosses my mind that it could crash (well they do the safety demo after all lol) but I suppose the difference is that doesn't stop me going on planes.

I reckon planes are more dangerous than most drugs.
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Do you worry that every plane you go on may crash?

Yes ! :giggle: ....the is my other massive phobia....and I'm signing on to a course to try and solve that soon.

I reckon planes are more dangerous than most drugs.

Well, actually that does give it some perspective, cos my plane fear is bigger than my anaphylaxis fear LOL !!!
 
Carys

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...and the complete irony to all of this, is that I have no allergies to anything and never ever had. Nothing, food, meds, environmental chemicals etc., has ever caused me even a minor allergic reaction in my whole 43 years of life. :hmm:
 
Carys

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1 hour and 40 minutes to go ! I keep reminding myself of things that I am going to do after the appointment.

I find that waiting for the appointment is rather like waiting to give birth (bear with me on this one LOL!) Clearly the enormity of the event isn't the same, but when I was pregnant I struggled to think of anything after that looming birth. There was only life before birth and then the birth....it was as if I didn't think I would come out the other side and made no plans for it. So, I am trying to plan things for 'after 3.30pm' like something to take to the post office, what are we having for tea, looking at the weather for the weekend etc. etc.

I am getting really really freaked out now :o((
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

...and so......here I am back again ! I lived :D I did have some topical LA and a small local anaesthetic injection in the front tooth. I DID IT ! I am really really proud right now. After 15 years of avoiding dental anaesthetics I had one.

It was a long appointment, one hour and 20 minutes, and lots of things were done. I will post later on about things that were done and plans for next week's visit !
 
carole

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

I just read your other thread and said,

CONGRATULATIONS :jump: :jump: :jump:

Well done.
 
Carys

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LOL...and have just chased you over here to this thread, from that thread.

Thanks Carole. I have to say it has set my TMJ off on the right hand side, having my mouth open wide for so long. The impressions were done on the top three times (once there was a big air bubble and it wasn't useable) and that has set off the wisdom tooth and molar with a cavity into sensitive pain overdrive. However, even that pain isn't bothering me as much, as I know I can now go to the dentist and have a local injection and have work done to the teeth !!!!!
 
carole

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I am really pleased for you. Dental work is much easier with numb gums (try saying that without getting tongue tied, OH! and if you say it fast numb gums numb gums numb gums :giggle: :giggle:) and much less frightening.

I get dafter as I get older. Good luck with the rest of your treatment, I will keep watching to see how you go on. If you try type numb gums fast a few times you get finger tied as well.

There is really not much hope for me you know, but it's nice to have a bit of fun. All the best.
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Ok, quite a bit to add here today.......

I was due an appointment this Friday to have a full set of xrays and check-up. I wasn't worried about this appointment, compared to the last one, EXCEPT that looming on the horizon was that wisdom tooth extraction and root canal work...and this appointment served to remind me of those. However, last Sunday events took over and new plans had to be made.

I developed severe pain the decayed wisdom tooth, like nothing I'd ever felt before. It made me totally unable to function, paracetamol didn't even touch it. Then suddenly a few hours later again it disappeared...most odd. I felt like I had been given a reprieve (excuse for avoidance) and planned that I would just wait until Friday. A few hours later and the pain was back, with vengeance. This continued on and off for 3 days and nights....nights where I hardly slept. Yesterday evening I was sittig with my head in my hands crying, I would have happily ripped out the tooth there and then, I didn't know what ti do with myself.

This morning I knew there was no way I would make it to Friday, action needed taking and fast. I rang the dentist practice and at first ask for an appointment tomorrow - Derrrr, what was I buying time for ? I got off the phone and realised how silly I had been so rang back and ask for the appointment they had originally offered for today, at 2.30 pm. Then I set off for some morning work that I needed to do. As I was driving away from the house the surgery called, could I come instead in one hours time ? (11.30) This was a blessing, as it saved me 3 more hours of panic. Panic, constant sheer terror like nothing I've felt before. I knew there was no option, trapped between the proverbial rock and hard place. I could take no more of the pain, my fear of the pain had become greater than fear of the extraction.

I went. It wasn't the easiest or quickest of extractions and I won't deliver lots of details as it isn't one of those 'wow, it was so easy' things, therefore not that helpful for anyone looking for a majorly encouraging story. It took a long time, 1 and 1/2 hours, but lots of that time was because he could not get me numb. Eventually after jab 4, when I could still feel pain, he moved over to the epi containing lidocaine, that I had been so fearful of, and that worked effectively. He was keen to ensure that nothing broke, as it was a decayed tooth, and it was removed totally intact. He did a lot of prep work, part of that involving drilling off some bits here and there, and he worked very slowly and
carefully. It paid off and although I was cursing it at the time, it was good that he spent so much
time getting things right. I did have a little snivelly cry and I did get obviously panicky once or twice....especially when some of the numbing stuff went down my throat....but I don't think I could have been the worst that they had seen. I had two non-dissolvable stitches (not quite sure where as I can't seem to see them ) and some meddicated wading in the hole. Apparently I didn't bleed enough and he was concerned that if it was a small clot it could get lost etc.

So, here I am 5 hours later. I have a headache from tension and holding my jaw open and a mild
achey feeling in the jaw, not even enough to need painkillers. The most pain I can feel is from the
injection site on the soft palate, which feel like they have a splinter in them. I think I will feel true relief tomorrow, when I can wake up and not feel fear and panic at the start of the day.

Next week, removal of the stitches and then I need that full set of xrays and check up. Think I've done the biggest of the jobs though ! :D
 
carole

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It is confusing you having two threads I have just been on one of the other ones answering your question about the dressing he has put in. Your jaw may ache tomorrow so be prepared with painkillers. You have done the worst now and the numbing stuff didn't harm you, so you are one big step nearer to being done and having a healthy mouth, and trouble free and you know whatever you need doing it will be pain free, and from a fabulous dentist, what a nice man. LUCKY YOU!!!!

Relax and stop stressing. Just because you haven't to stress about your wisdom tooth doesn't mean you need something else to stress about. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Typical get one thing sorted and look for something else to stress about, I even stress about the fact I'm not stressed. I think if I stress and all goes well, if I get cocky about it, what if it goes wrong. The poor dentists they really do have a hard job. There's no hope for some of us. :giggle:
 
Carys

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Sorry, yeah, this was , my journal thread so thought I'd keep it up to date whilst I felt inspired and close to the memories. Lol aye Carole, always need something to stress about...if there isn't something then I can use my imagination to create something lol. Thanks as always my dear.
 
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