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My year long story



Junior member
Dec 23, 2017
Hey folks just wanted to share my story a year on, I'm Chris, 34 year old male and have had dental, hospital and doctor phobia for about 25 years. It all started when I was referred for a excess gum growth to be removed when I was a child, long story short I wasn't sufficiently numb before the initial incision was made resulted in my fear/phobia.

Having been lurking on these forums for years on and off, this time last year I decided to reach out and emailed local dentists in my area about registering and treating nervous/phobic patients, believe it or not a few didn't even bother to reply so after hearing from my local dentist in the small village I live in I decided to book a check-up and registration appointment. Having not been to the dentist in over 13 years I knew it wasn't going to be everything's fine you don't need any work lol. I had a broken lower wisdom tooth and a shattered upper molar along with a few cavities and major scale needing done.

First appointment met young dentist not long qualified which instead of making me nervous kind of made me settle a little knowing he would have been trained in the most modern methods of dentistry using modern techniques and equipment. Just a check up he said explaining what he was going to do and look for, after 5 minutes and a couple of x rays he had a clear picture of what work was needed. He couldn't believe I hadn't been to the dentist in over 13 years and that my teeth were on the whole in good order, he had expected a lot worse and more decay even commenting on the fact I must have a low sugar diet. The work was planned out and he explained the lower wisdom would be referred to hospital for removal and I'd be better having both removed since there was decay in the right and the left was broken. He explained that the work would be done in 1/4s of the mouth to minimise discomfort and that it would be done over however long I wanted and was comfortable with to which I said I'm here now after 13 years let's just get on with it and booked the following week. After 10 continuous weeks of work all my work was complete and just the hospital referral remained.

I decided rather than waiting 6 months for my check ups I would go every 3 months thus not letting my fear get its foot back in the door. Now 9 months on I've not needed any work done, my consultation for surgical extraction of wisdom teeth came through (waiting list is over a year just now). Had my consultation a full x ray was done the surgeon commented on my teeth as not being easy Chris, these are about as hard as they come and id have to be under GA for the procedure. The wisdom teeth were through the gum but the roots were going back at a 90 degree angle with all the ends of the roots curled in different directions and to top it off the ends were in close proximity to the nerves well my world collapsed, I automatically went back to that surgery I had as a kid, I've never been put to sleep before and my hospital/dentist/doctor phobia was in full effect :(

I signed the consent forms and disclaimer forms and awaited my appointment date, low and behold pre-op appointment came in post the following week, I attended the pre-op, lovely nurse had worked in the local hospital since the day it opened assured me everything's would be fine this was just some questions and measurements height, weight, blood pressure (which I knew was through the roof with anxiety) everything went fine until it was blood pressure yup it was a "little high" and she was sorry but I would need further tests just to make sure it was just "white coat syndrome" next up ECG, full set of bloods take all of which I hadn't had done before. Everything was fine but they would need my blood pressure re checked at my doctors (I'm like come on I have anxiaty about hospitals, doctors and dentists I hardly think it's going to be ok all of a sudden at my doctors lol). Anyway onto my doctors make an appointment (takes me a month the pluck up the courage to make one) doctors inform me since I moved house I need to register with my local doctors surgery as I wasn't in the catchment area for my old doctors. Great more stress having to register and move doctors surgery, anyway registered at new doctors made appointment with nurse to have BP checked, lovely nurse told her what the problem was and my fear/phobia/anxiety etc. She took a few BP readings and talked to me about my work and explained she had similar interest as her father was a engineer etc etc, told me my BP was elevated but not as high as it hadn't been at the hospital and that the anethisist would be ok with the BP reading. Letter stamped, reading recorded and hospital informed.

A few weeks later appointment through for surgery at hospital under GA (19th Dec) great, week before Christmas but I had been through so much and came so far I wasn't going to dance and be put back a year. Fast forward to 19th d day, arrive at hospital 7.50am, filled in the form and was dually shouted at 8.15am. Nurse took me to changing area told me to put gown etc on and take a seat in the patient area. 10 minutes later she came and got me went through all my details, took my BP (elevated surprise surprise), temperature etc and told me to wait in the patient area again. Only waited 5 minutes and the dental surgeon came and got me took me to consultation room explained what he was going to do (he was one of 2 surgeons carrying out the surgery) , the aftermath, the recovery, things to expect etc, informed me I was first on the list so wouldn't need be waiting long. Back to the patient area literally sat down and the second surgeon called me, introduced herself and explained what would be happening like her fellow surgeon had said. Back to the patient area waited a few minutes and the anaesthesiologist called me explaining her role and what she would be doing. Back to the waiting area sitting watching crap morning tv for 10 when the nurse came and got me once again through all my details and took me to theatre (OR in US) first thing I thought wow there's a lot of people and equipment in here, my mind couldn't process it all, nurse yapping away anaesthesiologist putting the IV in and placing oxygen mask over my face none of the count back from 10, as soon as she administered the drug I felt it going to work sort on tingles dizzy what I assume fainting to be like. Next thing I remember coming too in the recovery room 1 with mask on my face, same nurse by my side asking how I was (surprisingly ok, extremely numb but could tell what was going on around me, cold and shivery but warm blanket the nurse got sorted that out straight away). Transferred to recovery 2 left for a little while, obviously asked how I was, surgeons and anaesthesiologist all came to see how I was explained everything went ok, wisdom teeth are fully out with no fragments left in jaw bone etc. Little while later observations taken, pulse, BP, temp etc etc. Medication issued and told I could get my clothes on and ready for discharge. Got changed and IV removed from back of my hand told my lift was there.

4 days post OP now and all going ok, numbness gone, no pain that can't be suppressed with pain killers, swelling is the biggest problem/pain and can barely open my mouth around a inch between teeth. Liquids only so far trying to give it as best chance I can to heal. I've got dissolvable stitches in so trying to stay clear of them. Regular salt water rinsing and chlorexhidine mouth wash rinsing also trying to keep things clean in there, staying clear or stitching/surgical area just now and using baby tooth brush and flossing to keep rest of mouth clean. Awful taste/smell from the healing which would drive you insane and being Christmas time to turkey dinner for me this year and I love my food at this time of year lol. But on the other hand I've had all the dental work that was planned in January done and can look forward to the new year new me idea.

Apologies for the long drawn out post but I came to understand my fear/phobia was a lot to do with the unknown and what happens so I've painted a picture so anyone wondering or worrying what's going to happen has some sort of understanding. I'm based in the UK so will vary from country to country I'd expect. I hope my post helps other either with fear/phobia or worries with the unknown as to what to expect. Thank you all for your posts and taking the time to read this lengthy one, if anyone has questions or queries about anything then please post up I'll do my best to answer.