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Severe Dental Phobia Due to Allergy



Junior member
Apr 18, 2016
I have a life threatening allergy to lidocaine. I understand that this is extremely rare and that the type of reaction I had is very rare.

But, I've had the misfortune of it happening to me. Over a decade ago, I had an anaphylactic reaction to a lidocaine injection at the dentist. I had had lidocaine prior and not reacted. This was out of the blue and I ended up in the hospital after the dentist let me out of his office and I was young and didn't understand what was going on.

Please, anyone reading this understand that this is EXTREMELY rare. I am always told it is basically unheard of.
I carry the note with me from my allergy testing which confirmed the allergic reaction because so few people believe that it could be true and I also have to wear a medical alert bracelet. I am allergic to actual lidocaine, not a preservative or anything.

I get my dental work without painkillers as much as possible. I am so terrified of medicine and especially injections at the dentist that I have no fear of pain at all during dental work, it's actually preferable to medicine to me. Anything that resembles a syringe or any type of substance introduced to my mouth during dental work sends me into an absolute panic. To the point that I sometimes rip the air sucker out of my mouth in a flight or flight response or take a deep breath in because I feel like I'm suffocating from panic and then choke on my own saliva in the chair.

If I need painkiller, I get carbocaine. But, I cannot at all handle it when painkiller is needed. I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette. I fear that one day, out of the blue, I will start reacting to carbocaine the way I did with lidocaine.

I had work done recently to place a crown. I couldn't sleep well at all for three days- the day before, the day of the work and the day after. I would wake up screaming in the night and half awake think that my face was ballooning up in an allergic reaction or feeling like I couldn't breathe from an allergic reaction. In reality I was fine, but mentally, I wasn't in a good place due to the extreme terror of my dental appointment.

It's getting to the point where I don't know how I can keep going in for dental work. I have fragile teeth, so I have to go to the dentist quite often. I am buying time until a baby tooth that never fell out needs to be pulled, so I know I will have to have that done at some point and it will involve a lot of painkiller. I don't even know how I dragged myself in for the cap procedure recently. I am starting to think I should maybe just have all my teeth extracted so I never have to go to a dentist again, but my dentist would never agree to this.

I want to seek help for this problem. The allergy experience not only makes me afraid of dentists but all medical settings, doctors and procedures and I have been putting off surgeries and things that are recommended for me for years due to it. I wonder if therapy can even help me though because nothing can change the fact that my body did this out of the blue and the terror I have that it could happen again without warning, but I feel I need to at least try to get help because this kind of fear is not sustainable. If you read down to here, thank you.
Hi, i completely understand how you are feeling. I had an anaphylactic shock a few years ago to a food and since then have had anxiety about all the extra precautions you need to take.
I understand too your anxiety with the dental work-completely normal that you would feel this way under the circumstances. Have you considered having dental work done under GA? Maybe this would be a solution for you?
Hi thetoothscary,

It sounds like the core is the allergic reaction you had.
Local anaesthesia is meant mainly for the patient's comfort. Many dental treatments are doable without an injection (conditioned that the patient is motivated to do so).
A tooth extraction has to be done with local anaesthesia as you said. I think the best way to do it is with an oral surgeon, preferably in a hospital set-up (not necessarily with general anaesthesia) so that even in case of extreme emergency you know you are in good capable hands.
By the way, it is possible to run some tests in order to no for certain whether an analgesic solution provokes an allergic reaction.

All the best,
If you have a diagnosed anaphylactic reaction to the LA then I cannot see any benefit to put yourself through another severe allergic reaction. Really, it would not be any different in a hospital setting than in a dental office, because you will have the exact same reaction. The best thing to do would be to speak to the oral surgeon and go from there. Think really carefully about your decision.
I wish you all the best, I'm truly sorry you have this severe allergy, I know How troubling it is.

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