Severe dental fear.

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iiwolfyrii

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Aug 29, 2016
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I've been meaning to go to the dentist for a few years now. I've continously delayed it over the years but now on the 7th of September I have my first appointment.

I scared to death, even contemplating suicide because I'm worried sick that he's gonna to embarrass and shame me. I need roughly 3 filling and 1 extraction. I know I have no one else to blame but myself for neglecting my oral health.

I suffering from chronic anxiety and this cause me to have panic attacks just thinking about my appointment. I honestly don't know what to do, I'm really eager for this to be over. I often obsess over my gums when they feel different mainly on the roots of my back teeth about once a month I get lumps on the roots which causes me to rub my gums constantly causing them to bleed and getting cuts on my cheeks too

If anyone has gone advice on how to stay calm towards the build up to my appointment. I feel my dentist if going to be shocked even though my teeth are okay, just a few filling.

Thank you for reading :(
 
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ScaredyCat22

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Nov 14, 2014
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1,342
I have to go soon too, my appointment is the 1st and I am worried sick, but please do not contemplate suicide.
I can not tell you how to master the fear or anxiety because I share it as well. I just want you to know you are not alone, and that if you do go to your appointment they are meant only to help you and not to shame you. If they say anything rude or to embarrass you then you should get up and walk out. They are meant to provide a service, and if they can not do so in a professional and respectful manner then they simply can not have you as a patient. I am not going to tell you there is no such thing as a bad dentist, because unfortunately there is, but that does not mean there isn't some good ones out there too, and the most important thing is to find one you trust. Just because your appointment is coming up does not mean you have to let this dentist do anything other than look, and tell you what he thinks needs doing. If you do not like the dentist you do not have to get the work done there.
 
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ScaredyCat22

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Nov 14, 2014
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Just a thought, but do you have anyone who could go with you to your appointment? sometimes it helps to not go alone.
 
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ImScared

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Mar 21, 2013
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also me with the suicide thing, this isnt easy for us. i dont have anybody do go with me either. i made 2 phone calls... they both work. i wish i had just brushed and stuff. i hope everything works out for you... and i also.
 
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Scarlett88

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Aug 16, 2016
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117
You made an appointment!! You are doing so well!!!

All those thoughts, emberassment, shame etc. Don't punish yourself! What is in the past is in the past.You don't owe anything to anyone and no one has the right to judge you. So don't worry about what others think. Put everything behind you and now you are on a path of healing! It will be just better. You will get those fillings over with and then you don't have to see the doc for some time ;)
Just think it really really is the best time now, what happened happened now you will be healed and you can prevent for something way more scarier to happen. So all in all it will just be better!!!

And just don't think about the appointment till you get there. Just carry on as if nothing would come up and if you can take someone with you whom you trust.
 
shelzmike

shelzmike

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Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
78
I can relate somewhat. Same old story here - I have had anxiety and panic attacks, agoraphobia to a point, etc. for 15 years+ now. Have a dental fear for sure and horribly bad teeth. Have had far far too many abscesses than I like to remember, and I think 4 or 5 extractions at the height of pain, which by that point my fear was usurped by the pain.

I'm gonna reiterate what so many have said before - the anticipation and worry, anxiety, etc. are 99% of the time FAR WORSE than the actual experience really is. This has been true for me in every instance. I always avoided the dentist/oral surgeon for as long as I could every....single...time. But then when I finally did it, I ALWAYS thought to myself afterward, wow that wasn't bad at all. This illustrates how strong the anticipatory fear is - for me, even though I have went through this cycle several times, I STILL avoid them and get nervous and anxious every single time.

The thing is, at least that I have found, most people with an already existing anxiety disorder are not so much afraid of the dentists specifically, it is just a manifestation of the "regular" anticipatory anxiety - no different than those of us who get panicky in any other trigger situation. If you can separate that and realize that you have made it all this way, through all the triggers, panic attacks, and anxiety it may help you realize that this is not much different.

I could say "don't worry" butt that would be stupid...bc you will. I do, and many others do. However, what I can say is that it won't be nearly as bad as your imagination would have you believe it will be. It's not gonna be fun, but you can do certain things to possibly make it better.

First, if you have some sort of tranquilizer you are already prescribed, such as alprazolam, valium, ativan, etc. use it to help ease some of the tension. Then, what I do before I go to the dentist (on the day of), is I will take maybe 1.5 the total amount I usually need to take to calm down (which usually isn't that much for me - I suppose this ratio would vary greatly if you already take a large dose for whatever reason. I only take .25mg of alprazolam, so .5 or even .75 is fine for me. If you don't have a script for this, it is not uncommon at all for the dentist or your physician to give you a few to help you though. No shame in that game at all! Important to note though - be sure to tell them exactly what you have taken in case they want to give you more, don't want to get overloaded and loopy :)

I also try to joke with the dentist and employees from the time I get there. Not rudely so, but lighten the mood if at all possible. Oh, one more thing...TELL THEM immediately that you have anxiety and panic disorder and have a pretty big fear of the dentist and are very nervous right now. Just letting them know means you don't have to try to hide it and is somewhat of a relief in and of itself.

As far as the shaming...it's just not gonna happen. I have thought that as well in the past and while I am embarrassed by the state of my teeth, I can't really do anything about the past and am here now, clearly doing something about it. Trust me, as bad as you think that it is...they have most definitely seen much much worse.

Good luck to you...don't back out because it is for your own good, it won't be as bad as you think. Look at it this way - at least you aren't going to jail, getting lost in the woods, or something far worse than the dentist. Oh, and I will leave you with this - you are not a captive - if at any time, you can get up and leave and walk right out the door should you so choose. This helps me feel more in control and I have never actually done it because even my irrational, anxious mind, knows that would be really a not smart thing to do, but the option is always there.

Mike
 
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