• Dental Phobia Support

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Scared to death to get dental work! Help!

J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Hello... I'm new to this. I have a dental appt scheduled for Friday. I have a bridge that needs to be cut off and a tooth under it extracted. I also may need to have the next tooth extracted. This bridge has been in my mouth for a couple of decades and has given me problems off an on for the past 10-years. It became infected last December, they gave me antibiotics it cleared up but I had health issues that prevented me from getting it treated. It's June now and the tooth under my bridge became abscessed again... they gave me another round of antibiotics but I was allergic to the meds given and they have now given me four antibiotics! The fourth one has not made me sick. I've been sent home twice between the first of May and now as the Dentist said he didn't want to work on my teeth when they were infected. Well now I'm petrified because although my tooth doesn't hurt like it did it is still feeling weird and the Dentist said that if there's any infection I won't get numb. Then he said I was a candidate for sedation but I cannot afford that. I'm really worried that the pain is going to be bad. I'm also worried because this could be my third tooth pulled on the left bottom side so I'll only have about 10 teeth on the bottom. I'm not ready for dentures but cannot afford implants. I've been to over a dozen dentists and the fees to fix all of my teeth are over 50k. I'm sad, scared and ready to give up. I'm a fairly attractive woman for my age and I do not want to do the dentures thing. Not liking this at all and I already have dental anxiety. Long, Long story. Car accident at 17 messed my teeth up and all of my work is failing. ?
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,240
Hi Joselyn :welcome:,

sorry to read about your situation and glad you finally got antibiotics that haven't made you sick. I am also glad to read that you are tackling things despite your dental anxiety - the most people struggle to even see one dentist so having been over to over a dozen and having made several attempts to get rid of the infection sounds quite brave!
Now to your worry about not getting numb if a tooth is infected. I have heard this before BUT if you take a look at our can't get numb section, you will find out that even infected teeth can be numbed. There is also a recent thread about this that might give you some peace, take a look here. By the way, people who suffer from severe dental anxiety are known for avoiding visits, mostly until a really painful problem occurs and such a problem most often is an infected tooth that needs treatment immediately. IV sedation is something that allows you to get treatment if your anxiety makes it impossible for you to get it otherwise. It is not a substitution for being well numbed.
I see your worry about losing the tooth and having it replaced and also the struggle with costs and I would say that everything can seem scary and impossible if you focus on too much at once. It sounds like the most urgent thing to take care of is that one particular tooth so it might be the best thing to only focus on that for now. You will have plenty time to think of how and whether to replace the teeth later, so if you can, try not to focus on that too much for now. You are going very well so far and it would be a pitty if you gave up so if any thought makes you feel this way, let it go and just focus on the next step. Or vent here. Or both. Writing helps..

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,978
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi Joselyn,

Welcome to this forum. If you feel less pain from that area because of the antibiotics, that means that the inflammation and also with it the infection are lessened. Of course you may still feel something “unordinary” from there, but the fact there is a decrease means that the scale of the infection should be a problem for the anesthesia.
Besides that, It’s the dentist’s responsibility to provide you with a pain free treatment. If you feel trust and confidence in your dentist, that will help you tremendously with the anxiety involving the dental procedure.
Dentures are usually not considered the ideal solution for adding teeth but they are certainly legitimate ones. In most cases they provide a very esthetic solution. Sometimes it can be challenging but that is also true to implants and bridges. Please don’t rule out the option of dentures, certainly not because of an esthetic reason.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Messages
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Of course you may still feel something “unordinary” from there, but the fact there is a decrease means that the scale of the infection should be a problem for the anesthesia.

@Dr. Daniel you mean it shouldn't be a problem, don't you?
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,587
Sorry to hear about your trouble with your bridge. I have had a lot of dental issues this past year that came out of nowhere, and had to have three molars removed. I already had my wisdom teeth and a set of premolars out for orthodontics when I was a kid, so I currently only have 9 teeth on the bottom. I am getting two implants, but it is definitely a financial strain, so I understand that. I had one done in February and am getting another done later this year. I am thankful that I didn't have to pay everything up front. I paid for the extraction and bone grafting at that visit, then five months later paid for the implant, which was the most expensive part. Then in another four months, I will pay for the crown. That gives me some time to budget and save a little.

As far as getting numb while infection is present, that is somewhat of a myth. I had a huge abscess on a tooth, and my dentist at the time said the same thing. She prescribed me antibiotics, which helped reduce inflammation but did not take away all the infection. I have difficulty getting numb anyway, so I was terrified, but she was able to numb the area with no trouble at all, just a few extra shots, which is normal for me anyway. I still had a lot of infection present at the time.

I hopr it goes well for you!
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,978
Location
The Hague , Holland
@Dr. Daniel you mean it shouldn't be a problem, don't you?
Unfortunately I cannot say that. It is safe to say that the infection is lessened but not more than that. I will give an example: the tooth is broken and has a sharp edge that irritates the gum, this a sensation that is not caused by bacteria hence antibiotics won’t do much.
As far as reaching an effective numbing, once the infection is lessened (after antibiotics) it is possible to have an effective anesthesia, that was my message.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
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Messages
3,240
Unfortunately I cannot say that. It is safe to say that the infection is lessened but not more than that. I will give an example: the tooth is broken and has a sharp edge that irritates the gum, this a sensation that is not caused by bacteria hence antibiotics won’t do much.
As far as reaching an effective numbing, once the infection is lessened (after antibiotics) it is possible to have an effective anesthesia, that was my message.

Aaaah, ok. Thank you very much! :)
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Hi Joselyn,

Welcome to this forum. If you feel less pain from that area because of the antibiotics, that means that the inflammation and also with it the infection are lessened. Of course you may still feel something “unordinary” from there, but the fact there is a decrease means that the scale of the infection should be a problem for the anesthesia.
Besides that, It’s the dentist’s responsibility to provide you with a pain free treatment. If you feel trust and confidence in your dentist, that will help you tremendously with the anxiety involving the dental procedure.
Dentures are usually not considered the ideal solution for adding teeth but they are certainly legitimate ones. In most cases they provide a very esthetic solution. Sometimes it can be challenging but that is also true to implants and bridges. Please don’t rule out the option of dentures, certainly not because of an esthetic reason.

Thank you so much for your response and encouragement. At this point after all the dentists I have been to through the years along with bad experiences and ill treatment I tend to not trust dentists as a whole. I could spend hours explaining to you what has happened to me through the years but it would take too long. Put it this way... if I found a dentist who could help me with these overwhelming dental issues while being kind and compassionate... I would be extremely grateful. As far as today's procedure the Dentist has kind of scared me off. I've been there twice to have the bridge worked on and he has sent me away after I shared that I was afraid. This makes me question his reasoning.... does he know something that I don't know? Does he not think he can do the work without causing me extreme pain? I'm just not comfortable but at this point and after four rounds of antibiotics the work needs to be done. So basically whether it hurts or not I'm going to have to somehow endure it as I cannot afford to pay $2,000 for sedation dentistry on two teeth like he suggested. I don't have that kind of money and my teeth as a whole need work ASAP so I have to choose the most cost efficient route. Thank you again for the encouraging word about dentures. I do not want them because of gum shrinkage, facial structure changes, etc but I might not have a choice.
 
Last edited:
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,978
Location
The Hague , Holland
Thank you so much for your response and encouragement. At this point after all the dentists I have been to through the years along with bad experiences and ill treatment I tend to not trust dentists as a whole. I could spend hours explaining to you what has happened to me through the years but it would take too long. Put it this way... if I found a dentist who could help me with these overwhelming dental issues while being kind and compassionate... I would be extremely grateful. As far as today's procedure the Dentist has kind of scared me off. I've been there twice to have the bridge worked on and he has sent me away after I shared that I was afraid. This makes me question his reasoning.... does he know something that I don't know? Does he not think he can do the work without causing me extreme pain? I'm just not comfortable but at this point and after four rounds of antibiotics the work needs to be done. So basically whether it hurts or not I'm going to have to somehow endure it as I cannot afford to pay $2,000 for sedation dentistry on two teeth like he suggested. I don't have that kind of money and my teeth as a whole need work ASAP so I have to choose the most cost efficient route. Thank you again for the encouraging word about dentures. I do not want them because of gum shrinkage, facial structure changes, etc but I might not have a choice.
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with dentists. Surely like in any profession, some are good in their craft and some are not. It takes time to find the right dentist and decently takes more time to build a trustful relationship with them.
Please allow me to introduce you with two videos I made about how to search for a dentist who is good with anxious patients, before meeting the dentist in person:

And how to know if the dentist is good in treating patients who are afraid of pain, during the check up appointment:

Hope it helps.
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with dentists. Surely like in any profession, some are good in their craft and some are not. It takes time to find the right dentist and decently takes more time to build a trustful relationship with them.
Please allow me to introduce you with two videos I made about how to search for a dentist who is good with anxious patients, before meeting the dentist in person:

And how to know if the dentist is good in treating patients who are afraid of pain, during the check up appointment:

Hope it helps.
Thank you. It's a little too late. I have to get this work done and I'm tired of looking for Dentists. I've been to almost a dozen. Their either nice and too expensive or affordable and rude. I'm VERY frustrated and almost to the point of being sick because I'm so nervous about this upcoming appt. and now after watching the videos I'm REALLY nervous because I'm going to a chain because of affordability. I'm on workers comp, have no insurance and I'm basically in an emergency situation so I do not have weeks, months or even days to do any more research. I just hope I make it out alive and it's not too painful. ?
 
Last edited:
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,978
Location
The Hague , Holland
Thank you. It's a little too late. I have to get this work done and I'm tired of looking for Dentists. I've been to almost a dozen. Their either nice and too expensive or affordable and rude. I'm VERY frustrated and almost to the point of being sick because I'm so nervous about this upcoming appt. and now after watching the videos I'm REALLY nervous because I'm going to a chain because of affordability. I'm on workers comp, have no insurance and I'm basically in an emergency situation so I do not have weeks, months or even days to do any more research. I just hope I make it out alive and it's not too painful. ?
Sorry that this video made you feel worse, that was not my intention.
Please feel free to ask for anything if needed.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,240
Joselyn,

I think I understand the urgency of the treatment and the reasons you can't look for a different dentist at this point. It is ok to get a treatment in a chain once if you have no other choices. What Dr. Daniel's video points out is that a chain very often might not be the very best choice if you are looking for a dentist for life. So once the tooth is out and you have a bit more time and energy to find that trusted dental care professional you want to accompany you for the future, then looking for a small practice might be the best idea, but that is not a topic for now.

There are still plenty of things you can do to make sure the treatment will be as stress free as possible. I get your wish to just get over it and your readiness to toughen it out anyhow, however I think taking care of yourself should still be a priority. Again, a profound anesthesia is the basis of any treatment and it has nothing to do with whether it's a chain and not even whether the dentist is kind or not. They might not be treating you too kindly but still giving you enough anesthetic is a pre-requisit of anything. I can only encourage you to keep a clear communication with the dentist and let him know if you feel you are not numb enough. May I ask you whethter it's an upper or a lower tooth?

Some suggestions that could help you to get through the visit in a acceptable way:

1. If you can, take a family member or a friend with you. Should you feel too scared to let them know you feel uncomfortable, this person can act as your advocate and make sure you will be treated well.

2. Ask your dentist which kind of stop sign he prefers with his patients and test it out at some point.

3. Numbin shouldn't be a problem, even if the tooth feels weird (the most teeth that need to come out feel weird and can still get numbed normally). If you feel any, even a slightest pain, let your dentist know and ask for more anesthetic. Usually there is the possibility to add some anesthetic or use a different way of numbing, so please if anything is not ok, keep on complaining and asking for more local.

4. Do not let anyone talk you into iv sedation. As I mentioned IV sedation has no connection to people who can't get numbed. You still need local anesthetic even under iv so I do not get the point why a dentist would suggest IV just out of worry that the local might not work. It makes no sense. If you struggle to cope, move around, need a break every two minutes or otherwise do not allow the dentist to work or if you wish not to remember anything from the treatment then iv sedation might be an option but dentist saying 'the tooth might be difficult to get numbed, let's do iv sedation' doesn't make sense.

Negative dental experiences might worsen your dental anxiety and prevent you from going in the future so I can only encourage you to take care of yourself as much as you can in this situation. I have seen some removals of infected teeth without antibiotics and also with antibiotics and there was no problem with numbing, some of them just needed more local or a different way of numbing.

Last but not least, it's ok to feel tired of looking for dentists and feeling like there is no hope especially if you tried so hard. After the tooth is out, allow yourself to get some rest and process it all and once you are ready, look around a bit more. I am a firm believer that there is the right dentist for everyone, they are just sometimes a bit harder to find. I looked into our recommendation section, we have few recommendation from Texas there so maybe that will help. Again, nothing for today or tomorrow, but wanted to let you know.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Joselyn,

I think I understand the urgency of the treatment and the reasons you can't look for a different dentist at this point. It is ok to get a treatment in a chain once if you have no other choices. What Dr. Daniel's video points out is that a chain very often might not be the very best choice if you are looking for a dentist for life. So once the tooth is out and you have a bit more time and energy to find that trusted dental care professional you want to accompany you for the future, then looking for a small practice might be the best idea, but that is not a topic for now.

There are still plenty of things you can do to make sure the treatment will be as stress free as possible. I get your wish to just get over it and your readiness to toughen it out anyhow, however I think taking care of yourself should still be a priority. Again, a profound anesthesia is the basis of any treatment and it has nothing to do with whether it's a chain and not even whether the dentist is kind or not. They might not be treating you too kindly but still giving you enough anesthetic is a pre-requisit of anything. I can only encourage you to keep a clear communication with the dentist and let him know if you feel you are not numb enough. May I ask you whethter it's an upper or a lower tooth?

Some suggestions that could help you to get through the visit in a acceptable way:

1. If you can, take a family member or a friend with you. Should you feel too scared to let them know you feel uncomfortable, this person can act as your advocate and make sure you will be treated well.

2. Ask your dentist which kind of stop sign he prefers with his patients and test it out at some point.

3. Numbin shouldn't be a problem, even if the tooth feels weird (the most teeth that need to come out feel weird and can still get numbed normally). If you feel any, even a slightest pain, let your dentist know and ask for more anesthetic. Usually there is the possibility to add some anesthetic or use a different way of numbing, so please if anything is not ok, keep on complaining and asking for more local.

4. Do not let anyone talk you into iv sedation. As I mentioned IV sedation has no connection to people who can't get numbed. You still need local anesthetic even under iv so I do not get the point why a dentist would suggest IV just out of worry that the local might not work. It makes no sense. If you struggle to cope, move around, need a break every two minutes or otherwise do not allow the dentist to work or if you wish not to remember anything from the treatment then iv sedation might be an option but dentist saying 'the tooth might be difficult to get numbed, let's do iv sedation' doesn't make sense.

Negative dental experiences might worsen your dental anxiety and prevent you from going in the future so I can only encourage you to take care of yourself as much as you can in this situation. I have seen some removals of infected teeth without antibiotics and also with antibiotics and there was no problem with numbing, some of them just needed more local or a different way of numbing.

Last but not least, it's ok to feel tired of looking for dentists and feeling like there is no hope especially if you tried so hard. After the tooth is out, allow yourself to get some rest and process it all and once you are ready, look around a bit more. I am a firm believer that there is the right dentist for everyone, they are just sometimes a bit harder to find. I looked into our recommendations section, we have few recommendation from Texas there so maybe that will help. Again, nothing for today or tomorrow, but wanted to let you know.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
Well I was only able to get a couple hours of sleep, I'm exhausted and I'm feeling like I need to cancel. I am so stressed and nervous that I have made myself sick. This is absolutely horrible for me and I've never dreaded something this badly before... not even surgeries... having babies, etc. I don't know why am so scared today but my heart rate is high and I'm petrified. Never been like this before. I truly want to cancel but I know I cannot as I can't keep taking antibiotics. ?
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,240
Well I was only able to get a couple hours of sleep, I'm exhausted and I'm feeling like I need to cancel. I am so stressed and nervous that I have made myself sick. This is absolutely horrible for me and I've never dreaded something this badly before... not even surgeries... having babies, etc. I don't know why am so scared today but my heart rate is high and I'm petrified. Never been like this before. I truly want to cancel but I know I cannot as I can't keep taking antibiotics. ?

Sorry to read that. It is wise not to cancel but I know how terrible the anxiety before an appointment can feel..
I hope they will be able to put you at ease once you arrive at the practice. Can you take someone with you? Can you think of anything that would help you to calm down a bit?
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Sorry to read that. It is wise not to cancel but I know how terrible the anxiety before an appointment can feel..
I hope they will be able to put you at ease once you arrive at the practice. Can you take someone with you? Can you think of anything that would help you to calm down a bit?
I can't take anyone... everyone is working and I don't know a lot of people here in Texas. I don't know what to do to calm down... seems like the more I try, the worse it gets. I honestly don't remember being like this with dental work, I've had a lot through the years and it kind of worries me that I am this nervous. I think since the Dentist was hestitant and sent me home twice it made me feel like possibly he doesn't feel comfortable doing the work. He said I was a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Well I cannot do that because of the price and now I'm scared that he knows something that I don't and it's making my fear worse. I need the dentist to be calming and capable. I'm also not sure why they haven't suggested a Xanax or something I could take. I'm very nauseated at the moment and extremely tired. I just want this to go away. I cannot think of anything to do to help me with this dread that I am feeling right now. I just want to run and hide... this is seriously the worst thing I have ever been through. I was supposed to get my teeth extracted last year, was going to get implants and dentures and I cancelled the appt. the day before.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
3,240
This sounds very complicated and I wished you had someone to support you now. I can understand your negative feeling about the dentist, you mentioned earlier that you do not trust them but at the same time do not feel you have any other options and want to get it done.
May I ask why you cancelled the extraction last year? Was it out of anxiety again or something else?
Also you mentioned second time that you feel like the dentist knows something you don't.. can you write a bit more about it?
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
This sounds very complicated and I wished you had someone to support you now. I can understand your negative feeling about the dentist, you mentioned earlier that you do not trust them but at the same time do not feel you have any other options and want to get it done.
May I ask why you cancelled the extraction last year? Was it out of anxiety again or something else?
Also you mentioned second time that you feel like the dentist knows something you don't.. can you write a bit more about it?

Thank you for your help and concern Ok... well I just got off the phone with the dentist office as I needed to talk to them about my fears and concerns. I was very honest with everything and they were very nice. They suggested that I reschedule for Monday and get some rest. They also suggested oral sedation for my anxiety and that I would need someone to come with me. I have asked my son to help me and he said he could go. So right now I'm feeling a little better, however I've never taken halcyon so I hope I do alright on that med and it makes the procedure a little easier. Regarding my appt last year. I cancelled for several reasons. I had medical issues going on, the office that I was having the extractions at was really rude on the day of impressions and they handed me pills that were "unmarked" in a brown envelope which made me very uncomfortable the day before extractions. Also, my anxiety was high as I didn't know a lot about dentures/implants at the time. So I cancelled and educated myself a bit more. As far as the Dentist knowing something I don't know... maybe he has had bad experiences with removing bridges that are infected and he knows this is going to be tough OR he sees that my tooth looks really bad on the X-ray so he is leary to do the work with me awake. I don't know... this could be all unrational fear on my part. I just know I've never felt this anxious about dental work and I've had a lot of work done.
 
Last edited:
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
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Messages
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Glad they were understanding on the phone and helped you to find a solution. Also glad they suggested oral sedation and nobody pushed you into iv.. It's impressive how you go about this - having an open and honest chat with your practice about how you feel about an appointment and letting them know you are anxious, is the only right thing to do, but it also takes a lot of courage... I do not know many who do it. Most often it's cancellations without any preparation or without reasons so that people often end up not going back at all, especially if they do not feel 100% comfortable with the place. So sounds like you are in charge of things, despite your anxiety :respect:

All the best wishes, may you get some rest and keep us posted
 
J

Joselyn

Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Sorry that this video made you feel worse, that was not my intention.
Please feel free to ask for anything if needed.
I know it wasn't and I appreciate your help. Like I said... I have been to literally almost a dozen dentists in the past year and have had way too many Xrays. There just isn't any affordable options in this country for people in my situation. That's why many people go to other countries which I checked into but with my medical conditions I cannot do that. I just wish that dentistry was more affordable. I have always taken very good care of my teeth. Have used a sonicare for decades, flossed and spent thousands of dollars on dental work. It's just that after the car accident my teeth have never been the same and everything is failing. I cannot afford the upkeep as my life's circumstances have changed. I don't have 50K to spend on implants or four on fours, etc. I'm hoping to find a suitable option.
 
L

lena25

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Belgrade
I've visited lots of dental offices this week and many were nice till I asked are they ok with dental anxiety patients and what are the ways to pay the bills. Everything upfront and no matter what happens to you they got their money. I have found a guy who listens. Nothing fancy or flashy on the outside,but kind and professional on the inside. Find yourself a dentist whom answers your calls when it gets though. Easier said then done I know.
 
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