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Really needing support, new person here. Please help.

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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
Hi everyone. I’m in agony over my fear of the dentist. I’m 35 and have never been to one. In December I had a tooth infection and took antibiotics. A month later took another round. For 5 months I battled this toothache/infection. The tooth broke and i very scared went to a dentist. I had a panic attack and he gave me a different antibiotic that did work. However, I have cavities that are bothering me when I eat and I have to eat very carefully. I hate eating and I’m in constant fear that another infection or pain will come back. I’m petrified of the dentist. I’ve never been numbed so I’m scared of that, and having teeth pulled, holding my mouth open. All of it. It paralyzes me. I live in constant fear. And I want to try nitrous gas kind of, but have read that’s bad for people with pre-existing panic and anxiety disorders which I have. Any advice on that too??
Please help. I don’t even know what a normal life is anymore.
 
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Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
139
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
hello! I think I just replied to your question about nitrous and pre-existing anxiety on another thread. I just had nitrous for the first time today and I'm a very anxious person and it did help. It took me about 10 minutes to actually calm down though. I was hyper focused on my body and how I felt, and was somewhat freaked out about feeling weird or out of control. At some point I shifted my focus towards breathing in and out through my nose, slow and deep, and I definitely relaxed and felt good.

Congratulations on coming here- I think you'll find the support amazing and see that you're not alone.

Have you found a dentist that you like and that you feel comfortable telling all of your fears too? Sometimes just letting it all out helps and the right dentist will not judge you or make you feel ashamed.

Please keep us updated! I would love to hear your success story one day xx
 
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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
Thank you!! To find a really good dentist that deals with phobia I’d have to go 2 hours away. The one I went to here last month was nice, but I think i freaked them out with my panic. I feel like I might have to do sedation.

I’m so stressed out. I barely slept last night. I just want to get this done and over with.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,942
Hi Somer1982,

sorry to hear about your situation. Reading your post the question for me wouldn't be about the specific kind of sedation you should use but about dealing with your dental anxiety in general.

While sedation is a good option to make you deal with treatment, it's something that only works once and short term and will have no effect on your overall dental anxiety (if there is no positive memory of a treatment then your brain cannot learn that a treatment is ok - it will only learn that sedation is ok). You will need to see a dentist regularly (everyone does) even after all your fillings are done so it's not about how to get over it once but about how to make you able to deal with treatment and with dental visits in general.
Even with sedation on your side, you still will have to be able to call your practice and make an appointment, be able to get there for your appointment and after the procedure is done, it anything doesn't feel right in your mouth, you should have enough confidence to get back to your dentist and have it looked at. You can get sedated for big things and it is a help but you will still need a practice that makes you feel welcomed, comfortable and confident to come back.

So no matter if you want to get sedated or not, the first step is to find a dentist that makes you feel accepted and is able to deal with you. There are a lot of practices that are willing to chat to you via email or phone to get to know you and also that offer an appointment only for a chat for you to get to know them and the environment. It might be a good idea to do this first so that they can put you at ease and build some trust. If this goes well, you might want to make an appointment for an exam. While I understand that you do not have much time now and need treatment, smaller steps are the best way to beat dental anxiety. Every time you have made a good experience in a dental practice, your fear gets a bit less. I can only encourage you to look up practices and find one you feel might be good and be able to deal with you.

There is no way around a good dentist, there really isn't. You certainly would manage to get through a treatment with sedation even with a dentist you do not feel comfortable with, but is it worth it if it makes you avoid any further dental visits and in few years you are back to square one?

Here is a link to the 'what can help' section here on the site. It might help you to get a picture about the different approaches when it comes to dealing with dental phobia: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/

All the best wishes, keep us posted and hopefully you find a good way to get your treatment soon.
 
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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
Thank you for your reply.
I’m aware that the dental anxiety needs to be dealt with, but when I’ve already tried to see the dentist and have this tooth pulled and couldn’t go through with it, what other choice do I have?
There’s a sedation option for this very reason.
I’ll have to figure it out on my own. All I know is, I need work done and right now this is the only option as I tried without and panicked. I don’t have many option in my area for phobic patients. I’m not sure what else to do?
 
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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
I had a legit panic attack in there. How do you work through that??
 
brit

brit

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Mar 23, 2006
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6,958
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In My Dental Happy Place
I had a legit panic attack in there. How do you work through that??
Had you considered anxiety type medication i.e. oral sedation......many more dentists offer that than intravenous sedation. Going in for 'just a chat' and to get to know the dentist/build trust and to discuss how they can help is probably a better long-term solution but fine to use any type of sedation to get yourself out of pain.
https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/sedation-dentistry/oral-sedation/

Modern dentistry really does not have to be painful (try reading the common fears sections) so assuming technical competence, you just have to find a dentist with a calming manner who you warm to as a person. In the USA it seems to be good advice to avoid the corporate dental chains. You want a dentist who wants to win over your fear and keep you as a long-term regular patient...this is much more likely to be achievable with a practitioner running their own 'dental office'.
 
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Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
139
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Have you ever had a cleaning? Perhaps that would be a good first step to just getting there and keeping your mouth open.

Do you have anxiety about many things in life or just the dentist? I am terribly anxious- I've had agoraphobia to varying degrees, and I have a fear of vomiting and losing control. If you address your overall anxiety, perhaps it could help you deal with the dental fears better. I'm definitely not an expert and I'm only at the beginning of my journey to healing, but I downloaded a meditation app on my phone and try to do that daily, plus I read that some vitamin deficiencies can cause anxiety (B vitamins, magnesium, etc). Might be worth looking into while you work on your dental fears.
 
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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
I’m not scared of it being painful. I’m scared of having a panic attack during the procedure, or after. I’m scared of being numbed and teeth being pulled and just everything.
I’ve read through so much to try and prepare myself and I’m just not finding any peace. Being sedated scares me too. I don’t want to feel out of control.
I’m at a loss.
 
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Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
I think I have, but will check. Thank you very much! ?
 
S

Somer1982

Junior member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Minnesota
Have you ever had a cleaning? Perhaps that would be a good first step to just getting there and keeping your mouth open.

Do you have anxiety about many things in life or just the dentist? I am terribly anxious- I've had agoraphobia to varying degrees, and I have a fear of vomiting and losing control. If you address your overall anxiety, perhaps it could help you deal with the dental fears better. I'm definitely not an expert and I'm only at the beginning of my journey to healing, but I downloaded a meditation app on my phone and try to do that daily, plus I read that some vitamin deficiencies can cause anxiety (B vitamins, magnesium, etc). Might be worth looking into while you work on your dental fears.


I am extremely anxious about other things! Vomiting and losing control are number 1.
I pulled myself out of panic attacks and such and have meditation apps on my phone. I’ve been so caught up in this I’m neglecting everything I should work on more.
 
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Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
139
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I am extremely anxious about other things! Vomiting and losing control are number 1.
I pulled myself out of panic attacks and such and have meditation apps on my phone. I’ve been so caught up in this I’m neglecting everything I should work on more.
I know how that feels. Its a terrible cycle of worry and obsession

I find that the worse part is the build up of anxiety before the appointment. I wonder if you could talk to the dentist about sedation dentistry- like the kind where you take a pill before your appointment. If they could give you an extra pill, you could test it out at home to see how it made you feel. You might respond really well to the medicine.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,934
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Spider I so hear you on the build up of worry and anxiety ahead of time. That is definately a hard part. and Somer, the losing control is a hard one. Once you build up that trust with a dentist it seems to be quite a bit easier. You are doing amazing though Somer, just getting it done.. bravery is fearing and doing it anyways,, but learning how to. and thats what you are doing reaching out to figure out how it will work and wanting to do it for yourself and your teeth. Its hard to walk through sometimes for sure. I've not had sedation for dentistry but I know other procedures I would not do if it weren't for sedation.. so do what works for you . Hope all goes very smoothly at your next visits!
 
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