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My tooth just broke and I'm not sure I'm healthy enough to see a dentist.

Q

Quiet

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
2
I've had teeth trouble for years now because any time I went to go to the dentist to get fillings I would have mysterious "panic attacks" in the chair even when I felt fine right up until after the injection. Last time I went was 2 years ago and they gave me anaesthetic and started drilling, and I just began shaking uncontrollably and they had to stop. They put a temporary filling on and I never went back.

This january I got diagnosed with Addison's disease, my body doesn't make enough cortisol so whenever I go through a stressful situation I get sick and could go into shock and die. I know I'm supposed to take extra medicine now but I still haven't been back to the dentist because of my horrible experience last time. It felt like I was dying, and now I know that it could have happened if they'd kept going because I would have gone into adrenal crisis. I've already had people mishandle my illness and not take me seriously so now I genuinely do have anxiety about the dentist, not just a physiological reaction.

My tooth just broke. The temporary filling fell out ages ago and I've been doing my best to keep it clean, but I guess a broken tooth can only last so long. Combined with the oral steroids and all the side effects that brings it was probably only a matter of time. The inside is brown and decayed and I'm not in pain but I'm very distressed. They already wanted to remove another one of my teeth on the other side because it had fallen apart before and we'd established that I wasn't "calm" enough to make it through a root canal. That one is more filling than tooth, it's basically just the roots with a temporary filling sitting on top at this point and keeps getting infected. If they remove molars from both sides of my mouth I'm worried I won't be able to chew at all anymore. I can't afford private care or implants or caps or anything like that, I can barely afford the NHS charge and because of my illness my teeth are just getting worse. I feel so hopeless. I feel like I've ruined my life. On top of all this I can feel that the enamel on my front teeth is wearing down and they don't look or feel healthy anymore but I'm so scared that if I go to the dentist they'll actually kill me. I heard that the anaesthetic can trigger an adrenal crisis so I'm scared they'll use it and I'll just die. I have an emergency injection kit but I've never had to use it before and I'm scared to inject myself. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to help myself in that state.

I'm so worried that they're going to tell me they just need to pull them all because I can't afford the private treatment. If that happens I think I'd rather just leave them to rot.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
833
Location
UK
Re: My tooth just broke and I'm not sure I'm healthy enough to see a dentist.

This is something you should talk to your doctor or endocrinologist about. According to the NHS page about Addison's disease, your doctor/endocrinologist can give you an adjusted dose of medication for things like dental procedures. They may also be able to refer you to a special care dentistry unit at a dental hospital or similar, or may know of dentists with experience treating people with Addison's disease. You can also request a chat with a dentist beforehand to explain the situation and see if you feel comfortable with them being able to handle anything that could go wrong. Dentists do treat patients with conditions that complicate dental work, so it's not going to be impossible for you to get treatment.

I'm sorry you're going through this. The dentist isn't fun at the best of times, let alone with a health condition that complicates things. Remember though, your diagnosis is very recent. In time you will feel more confident navigating healthcare with it, and getting to know your own triggers. Looking for support groups for people with Addison's disease, both online and offline, may help too. They may have good resources for you.

Hang in there :hug4:
 
Q

Quiet

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
2
Re: My tooth just broke and I'm not sure I'm healthy enough to see a dentist.

I've had so much trouble getting in contact with my endocrinologist. That's a whole separate issue at this point. I only see her once every few months and only for a few minutes at a time. Her secretary is supposed to be there to answer any questions I have but often doesn't answer me when I call. I suppose that makes it sound like I'm calling a lot, don't get me wrong I'm not hassling them over tiny problems... but they won't respond to me about important things, like when my doctor wouldn't give me my emergency injection kit or increase the dose on my prescription because they didn't believe me because the letters got lost in the post. No one is talking to me so I'm just on my own and now all the dental troubles on top of this make me feel so hopeless. Even going into the office to talk with a dentist is scary because of the amount of times I've been into offices speaking to people and begging for them to take me seriously only to be ignored. There's so many layers to this anxiety now because of everything that's happened to me and I have this (I would say not unfounded) fear that they're just going to dismiss my concerns and do things the way they want to do it, not the way that's best for me and my health.

To top it off I live in a small town where there are only two or three dental practices and because of my illnesses limiting my mobility and the fact that I can't drive can't branch out further afield to get more specialist care. My options right now are to go back to the people who refused to treat me or to just wait until things get worse.
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
755
Location
UK
Re: My tooth just broke and I'm not sure I'm healthy enough to see a dentist.

Hi -

So sorry to hear that, that's a rotten situation to be stuck in!

I don't know much about Addisons, but I do have diabetes so I understand what it is like to be diagnosed with a chronic condition that can affect everything like that, how much of a shock it is and how scary it can be to deal with managing it! Hugs :XXLhug:

In my experience, by far the best placed people to help in this sort of situation are condition-specific patient groups. They will have plenty of people who have been through this sort of thing, and will know exactly how to handle it - you can find people with years of experience managing addisons, who have been there themselves. I asked an online friend who has Addisons and she recommends Addisons UK - she says the forum is members only, but that's where she learned everything she knows (a lot!) and it's the best source of reliable info. Hopefully they can help you with the Addisons side of things.



For the dental side of things, one thing I can tell you is that all UK dentists follow very strict rules that require them to have up to date training in first aid - they will be trained in how to handle emergencies like an adrenal crisis - so you won't be dealing with it on your own, they will be there to take care of you and can administer an emergency injection if needed. I'm sure you would do this anyway, but make sure they are aware of your Addisons diagnosis, that really should change how they handle things.


You haven't ruined your life :XXLhug: - none of this is your fault, none of it at all x There will be a way through this, and hopefully between us and other patients at somewhere like Addisons UK, we can help you find it.
 
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