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My teeth - 'medicine' phobia and periodontal battle

carole

carole

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It is odd, I wonder why. :hmm:
 
carole

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No her fear doesn't Jaylah, it was her usually very good and gentle dentist being a bit ham fisted that caused the problem. She will have the numbing stuff now with no problem or worry. I think it was a slip on her dentists behalf.
 
Carys

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Hi Guys, no the gel is fine now, well now I've had it a few times....before I had it it wouldn't have been. Stomach really churning this morning, feel more anxious than I thought I would. Speak later guys.
 
Carys

Carys

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Okey Dokey. So.......firstly this morning I had the temporary pre-molar worked on. After discussion we decided to keep it in place for some more months, not because any problem is anticipated with the rct, but because of the invisalign future work. So, he smoothed the biting surface and double treated it with some sort of shiny sealant stuff, that smelt like nail varnish. It now feels silky smooth and I can cope with it for some time longer.

Then he moved on to having a quick check of the gums at the top and seeing if there was any plaque reforming - there wasn't !!!! Hurrah. After that, due to my concern about the gum line around the temporary crown on the incisor, which is quite dark in colour, he decided to reshape and smooth it around the gumline and really clean well under the gum to enure there was no periodontal pocket forming there, put some more composite in and ensure nothing can penetrate under the gum. So he got a strip of something white and started 'packing out' all around the edge of the tooth and pushing this white stuff under the gumline to ensure that the gum was pushed away from the tooth and that a few mms of the root area were showing for shaping and cleaning. He said I would feel 'pressure' but I felt pain. He then offered to numb the tooth and I said 'no thanks'...I SAID NO THANKS !!! What a complete prawn cocktail !!! So, yes, it blinkin hurt as he shoved the white strip up and under the gums, but I have nobody to blame but myself. Anyhow, that white strip was in place whilst he did all the messing around with the temp crown and I now have the worlds most gorgeous temporary crown, all shiny and nicely shaped lol with some added special varnish gloss stuff (as used on the on temporary overlay).

Then, the main part of the show - checking and charting the periodontal pockets on all lower teeth. I said 'last time this really hurt you know, and I am just giving you a heads up that I might swear and, and, well.....' I started blathering a bit and verbally working around the issue. He looked all crest-fallen and (after firstly asking what 'a heads up' meant ? lol) said 'so, what are you saying ?' I said I was kind of saying that 'could you be as gentle as possible'. He said that had been as much as he could, but there was lots of inflammation last time and he did need to apply a certain amount of pressure. I just laughed and said 'ok, well, just warning you....' the dental nurse was laughing at this point. I then added 'could you also try to say the right things for the chart this time too' (I did say it in a joking way, and laughed, the dental nurse said it was an incredibly complex chart and they would do their best) By this time I am feeling mean, as he is so sweet and caring and I am feeling like I have hurt his feelings as I am somewhat loud and 'out there'.

He thought that the checking would be better than last time anyway as my gums looked in better condition. AND THEY WERE !!! Already I have reduced the periodontal pockets, rather than 5s in lots of places before on the top, and I know I also had lots of 5s on the bottom too as he had done a preliminary check on one of my first visits, there was only one 5, 2 x 4s, and all the rest were 2s and 3 s ! It is paying off all the effort with the cleaning regime. He commented that it seemed 'not too bad at all' and I could concur that there wasn't the pain like I had the last time. It was basically fine and I was SO delighted to hear the 2s being said !!!!:jump: Unfortunately I did start a panic attack half way through the checking, even though it wasn't hurting I felt a wave of hot adrenaline and my heart start racing and I had an overwhelming desire to run. I calmly said, can I sit up I am having a panic attack. The dentist said 'that's fine, I'll just leave you on your own for a few minutes' and went to do something at the worktop. I sat up for a few minutes and once I knew that I could escape if I wanted to, I felt ok, and carried on again. The dental nurse and dentist both said that my panic attacks seemed very controlled and calm in how they occurred, I explained that it didn't feel that way inside, but I was so used to the pattern of them and how to deal with them that I was able to be rational about them and had good coping strategies. The nurse laughed and said 'I bet you dont get much sympathy for them when you are so calm about them' and they both commented again on how matter of fact I was about saying 'I'm just having a panic attack, would you mind if I sat up please ?'

As I laid back down I said 'well, as long as you've seen people having worse panics, then I feel better'. The nurse said that they certainly had, and one person, not long ago, had got up during the procedure, said they couldn't carry and on and left very quickly without another word. So, guys out there worried about panic attacks at the dentist.....I've had a few now....and they've seen it all before !!! I suspect panic attacks are part and parcel of the surgery and do you know what, I don't feel so embarrased about it happening as I did last time...I think it is probably natural when you have so many emotional and psychological triggers pushed at a dentist visit to get wibbly.

So, an hour and 10 mins later we are done....AND...the best bit of all: I don't need to see him again until my check up in 6 months time !!!! I have the hygenist in a couple of weeks and probably another time after that, before I see him again, but no more major dental stuff bar the cleaning for 6 months. I gave lots of praise and thanks at the end before I leave, as there was lots of humour, sensitivity and empathy going on during the appointment from both of them :) Now, here is my thought, will I be better returning to the dentist after a 6 month break or more nervous again ? I have got into a pattern of regular visits and this has to some extent reduced anxiety, I just hope I manage to retain those more positive thoughts and memories of successful experiences for a whole 6 months.
 
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carole

carole

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Glad to hear it went better, you will have to see what happens within the 6 months until you next go. I would imagine they will remember you so you will probably be fine. To think how afraid of the medicine not the treatment you were, you have had a really good turn around.

CONGRATULATIONS :jump: :jump: :jump: on only needing 6 monthly visits now. It amazes me how we can with a bit of effort get out gums back to health in quite a short amount of time. GOOD FOR YOU. :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump:
 
Carys

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ONGRATULATIONS :jump: :jump: :jump: on only needing 6 monthly visits now. It amazes me how we can with a bit of effort get out gums back to health in quite a short amount of time. GOOD FOR YOU. :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump:

Thanks Carole. :) I now feel like I did when I was an ex-smoker of a few months, I couldn't imagine ever going back to a time of smoking and felt repulsed by cigarettes....only now I am obsessive about my oral cleaning regime and can't imagine ever going back to the way things were. Things have changed, my habits have changed and they must and will stay that way !! I am so desperate for the hygenist to give me positive comments too, and really really want to do my invisalign as soon as possible, so the motivation is there.
 
Carys

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Hurrahdy doo dah ! I've just have another visit to the hygienist this afternoon, 2 months since the last one. I explained to her my cleaning regime and told her I could realistically do no more, and that I had religiously stuck to it. She said she could see massive improvements, and gave me loads of praise. She said as the inflammation on the gums was basically gone, and they were back to a nice healthy light pink, she would do a manual clean with the scraping tool thingy; as the shrinking of the gums had led to more bits of tartar being accessible. Soooooooo, she did that and there was no pain at all from the gums, she confirmed that there had also been no bleeding this time and this meant that I must have worked very hard on my cleaning as periodontal pockets which had active areas of disease would be painful and would bleed. I am to go back in 3 months time, and MUST keep up the regime (of course) and then she will continue to remove anything else that starts showing further down. If that makes sense ? (She said about tackling the problem from the top down) So, all good, and feeling rather chuffed :)
 
carole

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CONGRATULATIONS :jump::jump::jump: I am glad your gums are good now. This proves that the waterpik works, I got fed up with mine, because I thought if I am flossing and using interdental brushes and the waterpik is just a fancy, I couldn't be bothered. My dentist didn't seem too impressed when I said I had one.
I may well start again now, as this proves to me, no doubt about it, they work with bells on. Good for you Carys for being so persistent, it has paid off big time. I am really chuffed for you as well. :jump:
 
Carys

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My dentist didn't seem too impressed when I said I had one.

Ah now, funny you should bring that up ! I asked her what her opinion was and she said that they were 'ok for removing food particles' but the work that had made the improvement was the flossing, interdental brush head, longer more effective brushing and those tepe brushes. Basically, everything else had made the improvement and the waterpik was kind of 'ok' but not doing anything major. She said that some people find them useful when they have complex things, like bridges and lots of crowns and so on, to remove food particles, but for most people the brushing and flossing will do the work. Infact she told me to not bother using it if I was finding it was taking up more time than I had....but I said that I quite liked it anyway and had spent £45 on it so was going to carry on till it 'died'. So, there we go, the opinion of my hygenist....I felt a bit disappointed by that really.

So..... what you said here....

I thought if I am flossing and using interdental brushes and the waterpik is just a fancy, I couldn't be bothered

....seems to be true.
 
carole

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That was pretty much the same reaction I got from my dentist with out the words, he just kinda said they are okay, but don't replace the need to floss etc... I do enjoy it when I do it but it is not often, I do however floss like a maniac and have the interdental brushes, so hopefully I will have improvement when I go back. There was some within 3 months when I had asked him in Dec.

So Gordon has been proved right, he said some years ago he didn't rate them because people think that if they use these they think they don't have to floss. He called them and expensive toy, I think. It's on here somewhere I will have to see if I can find it.
 
kitkat

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Re: My teeth - 'medicine' phobia COMMENTS WELCOME

Well, no I guess the fact that it was being done and causing pain wasn't, but the fact that I have those pockets to start with is my fault. Having never had this mapping thing done before I didn't know that it could be done with minimal discomfort, this nearly sent me through the ceiling with jabs. I can generally cope fairly well with pain too.

I know that I am incredibly late on this but just wanted to tell you I can relate to this experience. A hygienist performed the "measuring" for a periodontal probing chart thing once with me after a routine cleaning without numbing and it is one of "those procedures" that had a very negative impact on me and will always stick with me. I was young at the time maybe...11 or so? It was very painful as you described except we did tops and bottoms in one sitting...Longest. Appointment. Ever! To this day, I'm pretty freaked out about any procedures up around my gums...scaling or otherwise. Thank goodness that ultrasonic scaler was introduced to the dental setting shortly after as a tool used generally in place of traditional manual scaling procedures. As far as I know, I have not had this done since but perhaps I have had it done but was not aware in the hands of someone more skilled??? If I were formally told this would be done again my reaction would probably be :o :cry:. I always have this fear that it will come up during a traditional cleaning/check-up appointment one day as it did that first time but I've been lucky so far. That happened at my old dental office though and I may be more willing to try it again in the gentler hands of my current dentist but I'd still be very apprehensive about it.
 
Carys

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It's been a while since I was here, but thought I should add a quick update to my journal. The strong proactive hygiene regime has a continued to pay off big time, last visit to the hygienist a couple of months ago went really well. She told me that I was back to total oral health. She even used the phrase 'they are incredibly clean, even right at the back'. I must admit to feeling very proud ! She had nothing to do in terms of cleaning, but did a quick pocket check, all around the 2 mark, and therefore she said she was happy to see me in 4 months due to the fact that I had kept up the cleaning regime for an extended period.

I have had a few more long appointments starting work on the crowned front incisor ( still has a temporary crown, which is due to be changed this coming week, for a different temporary crown) I have had the old RCT removed (1 1/2 hours as was complicated by old cement that would not come out and a central silver pin, he had to work slowly using small amount of drilling and vibrations to break up the cement) new RC placed and next week the tiny remaining piece of tooth is being built up to accommodate a post for another newly made temporary crown. It has been 3 weeks since the rct was done and it seems to have taken perfectly, with the fragile tooth stump remaining strong. Then, I am ready to start invisalign, hurrah, as it will have been nearly a year since the hygienist stated I needed to sort the perio. problems out. I did both of the last two appointments without numbing, and I will say that it did hurt only at one point, and that was when he was doing the root measuring. The metal thing he used seems to poke out of the end of the root into the tissue . It was very short-lived though, the sharp pain, and nothing else he did caused any discomfort at all. He knows that I like to try and avoid injections, so offered to do both appointments without.....but clearly he was interested to hear how it was feeling and asked questions now and again , like 'does it just feel like pressure, or more', does the drilling affect you ? I am no longer scared of the injections, well not as I was anyway at the start of this journal...BUT.....I still rather do without if I can as I find them the most traumatic part of the visit and seem to trigger anxiety in a way that nothing else does. Just a throw-back to my old feelings I guess !?
 
Carys

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Another thought....something that has been important to my successful dental year ( it sure feels that way to me, as i feel I've achieved a lot and got further than I could have hoped this time last year !) is keeping up the 'run' of appointments, both to the dentist and hygienist. Not only does it mean you don't have a chance to build up fear for months and months, as you are experiencing going there so regularly, but also it gives the impetus to keep up oral care as you know someone will be checking in a couple of months. I have now completely ingrained my flossing, interdental brushing, normal brushing and so on with my daily routine. It does not feel right without doing it ! So, don't leave it too long between appointments, get to see the dental staff as often as you can. I know that can go against what your mind tells you to do, which is to avoid...but familiarity does make things easier.
 
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