• Dental Phobia Support

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Still can't make the call.. Fear of root canal/IV questions! :(

C

cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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If you take a probiotic while on an antibiotic, it helps keep the good bacteria in your gut. My doctor told me to maintain probiotics throughout this whole ordeal, especially while on antibiotics. It can also lessen the side effects of antibiotics. Just remember to take them at least two hours apart, or the antibiotic will counteract the probiotic.

My deep fillings were much worse than the root canals. They use a stronger anesthetic for root canals. I had the exact same train of thought as you, that it would be much worse, but was completely surprised when she told me she was into the pulp already.

As far as extraction vs root canal, that is a personal choice. I don't want to sway you on that, but my molar root canal failed and I did have the tooth extracted. However, my tooth had some really twisted roots and two were fused, so the endodontist warned me it might fail. I really wanted to save the tooth at the time. I had another molar that needed a root canal, but had a crack. Again, it had twisty roots, but the crack was the deciding factor for me. I had just had the other one fail, and couldn't afford to pay for another root canal so I decided to have it extracted. Honestly, though, the extraction healing process was much worse and lengthier than the root canal for me.

The root canal on my front tooth was a breeze. I didn't even have nitrous (it was at my dentist and they don't offer it). It had to be done right away due to the abscess, but was not painful at all either.
so beforehand they can kind of number crunch your success rate of said root canal? I don't wanna be told "yes you need this root canal" and then it fail and i need extraction, at that point, I'd rather the dentist be honest about my options and rate of success. Is there a way for them to see how twisted your roots might be before they do this? I also have a fear of them opening up my tooth and realizing its more complex than they thought or something goes wrong. I just want an easy pain free procedure. Jeez lol.. My girlfriend and sister just scold me for being this way.
 
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MountainMama

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so beforehand they can kind of number crunch your success rate of said root canal? I don't wanna be told "yes you need this root canal" and then it fail and i need extraction, at that point, I'd rather the dentist be honest about my options and rate of success. Is there a way for them to see how twisted your roots might be before they do this? I also have a fear of them opening up my tooth and realizing its more complex than they thought or something goes wrong. I just want an easy pain free procedure. Jeez lol.. My girlfriend and sister just scold me for being this way.

They honestly can't give you a number of accuracy, but they can tell you if you have factors that will make it more difficult. When you have the consult, the endodontist will take an x ray and use that to determine if a root canal can be done. My endodontist said that if the success chance is low, she often just recommends the tooth be extracted. Cracks that are on the crown of the tooth can be seen, but cracks in the root cannot. They usually do a test for cracks, where they have you bite on a piece of plastic to see if it hurts when you bite and release.
 
C

cjswitch88

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They honestly can't give you a number of accuracy, but they can tell you if you have factors that will make it more difficult. When you have the consult, the endodontist will take an x ray and use that to determine if a root canal can be done. My endodontist said that if the success chance is low, she often just recommends the tooth be extracted. Cracks that are on the crown of the tooth can be seen, but cracks in the root cannot. They usually do a test for cracks, where they have you bite on a piece of plastic to see if it hurts when you bite and release.
Biting on BREAD hurts my infected tooth right now... I can't bear to let a dentist touch my mouth and tooth with metal or plastics... I guess I'll do it if they have to, but I can already tell them its going to hurt... BAD... It started when I bit into a hotdog at my brothers babies gender reveal, just the bread felt like it cracked my tooth and INSTANT nerve pain that lasted for 30 minutes.. I was so miserable. I don't clench, but even bottom-tooth contant with this top tooth causes stabbing nerve pain to my head. This situation is still what makes me scared about getting it done, since this tooth is so messed up and painful, I assume even with anesthetic it'll be painful. I am not worried about shots, or post-op pain, which can be managed. I don't want to go through an hour of mental torture once I'm in the chair and the procedure has begun. Thinking about paying over a thousand dollars for that sucks..
 
C

cjswitch88

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They honestly can't give you a number of accuracy, but they can tell you if you have factors that will make it more difficult. When you have the consult, the endodontist will take an x ray and use that to determine if a root canal can be done. My endodontist said that if the success chance is low, she often just recommends the tooth be extracted. Cracks that are on the crown of the tooth can be seen, but cracks in the root cannot. They usually do a test for cracks, where they have you bite on a piece of plastic to see if it hurts when you bite and release.
they did determine I could go through with a canal, so I guess that means I have chance at a good success rate? I NEED to make this call monday... My gum tissue around this tooth feels like its just dying, its so sore and sensitive almost like I put sand paper to it, which is what my toothbrush feels when brushing the affected area now..
 
Enarete

Enarete

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It sounds like your picture about how dentists work is not too accurate. You clearly have a lot of pain so the aim of your dentist will be to assess the state of the tooth in a way that will be as gentle as possible. It's not a big deal to hold the dental mirror in a way that it doesn't touch the tooth.
Your dentist also had studied for a long time to know whether anesthetic will work in the state the tooth currently is in or whether any precautions should be met, for example prescribing you something to calm the tooth down and make it able to get the treatment. Even a root canal treatment gets done in several visits and the first stage of it is to put a medicine into the tooth and let it calm down during a week or so for the nerve to stop being painful.
I understand that you expect suffering during any procedure and you will certainly have past experiences that make you feel this way, but the secret is this: dentists nowadays want to do a good job and dentistry is a fine art so they can only work accurately if the patient is comfortable and compliant. Nobody will want to treat you while you suffer of feel uncomfortable, that would be traumatic not only for you but for your dental team as well.
It might be the best not to lose yourself in trying to mentally micro manage and find out every detail about a root canal treatment and possible complications or success rates before you get to the dentist. The main question for now would be what treatment your tooth needs right now as its situation might have changed since the last time. Your dentist will want to assess the state of the tooth anew and see which treatment options you have now.

All the best wishes and keeping my fingers crossed for you to get help soon.
 
M

MountainMama

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they did determine I could go through with a canal, so I guess that means I have chance at a good success rate? I NEED to make this call monday... My gum tissue around this tooth feels like its just dying, its so sore and sensitive almost like I put sand paper to it, which is what my toothbrush feels when brushing the affected area now..

If your tooth is that painful, the endodontist won't put you through all those biting tests. They will just x ray and go from there. I don't know what kind of evaluation your dentist did to determine the success of a root canal, but if they recommended it, they must have thought the tooth could be saved. Those would be some questions to ask the endodontist.

Even if the tooth is painful now, it won't be when they numb you. By the time I had my root canal, my tooth had the same issue you described, where I couldn't even make contact with the bottom molar by accident and it would give me a jolt.

You said you are trying nitrous also, right? That helped a lot for me. My root canal was two appointments...she said she wanted to spend more time since my roots were so twisty. The first time the nitrous was titrated perfectly. The second time it was a little high at first, and I felt slightly nauseous, but had prearranged a signal to give a thumbs down to the endodontist to turn it down, and then it was fine. I would make sure you have prearranged signals for nitrous and for any pain. That will help you feel in control and calmer.
 
T

Terrifiedofteeth

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It sounds like your picture about how dentists work is not too accurate. You clearly have a lot of pain so the aim of your dentist will be to assess the state of the tooth in a way that will be as gentle as possible. It's not a big deal to hold the dental mirror in a way that it doesn't touch the tooth.
Your dentist also had studied for a long time to know whether anesthetic will work in the state the tooth currently is in or whether any precautions should be met, for example prescribing you something to calm the tooth down and make it able to get the treatment. Even a root canal treatment gets done in several visits and the first stage of it is to put a medicine into the tooth and let it calm down during a week or so for the nerve to stop being painful.
I understand that you expect suffering during any procedure and you will certainly have past experiences that make you feel this way, but the secret is this: dentists nowadays want to do a good job and dentistry is a fine art so they can only work accurately if the patient is comfortable and compliant. Nobody will want to treat you while you suffer of feel uncomfortable, that would be traumatic not only for you but for your dental team as well.
It might be the best not to lose yourself in trying to mentally micro manage and find out every detail about a root canal treatment and possible complications or success rates before you get to the dentist. The main question for now would be what treatment your tooth needs right now as its situation might have changed since the last time. Your dentist will want to assess the state of the tooth anew and see which treatment options you have now.

All the best wishes and keeping my fingers crossed for you to get help soon.


Hi,
I’m new to this forum and have been reading posts and I find your reply helpful. I am terrified of anything teeth/dentist related. I’ve always been anxious, especially at the dentist. I have full blown panic attacks where I can’t breathe and I end up sobbing and hyperventilating. About 6 months ago I started getting daily headaches as 230pm due to jaw pain. I ended up seeing a tmj specialist. He was fabulous and the ONLY thing we did was get impressions. I full on panicked, gagged, and threw up all while sobbing uncontrollably and had a massive panic attack. I warned them that was going to happen and I have no control over it. They were super nice about it but it was embarrassing and so stressful, which I was anticipating.

Let me interject that I am a mental health professional so I know all about anxiety and have tried everything from medication to deep breathing to meditation. The full gammot. At this point the only way I can do anything dental related is to have someone make the appointment for me and drive me there and hold my hand the whole time and just know that I will have a panic attack.

I had the HORRIBLE experience last night of breaking a tooth. My filling came out and I have been experiencing panic attacks every hour since. My friend is going to schedule me an appointment sometime this week but the ONLY way I can think this working out is if they knock me out. I can’t even think about any of this without hyperventilating and crying.

Your response reminded me that this is all in my head, I know, and that my dentist will do the best work they can do. What best work can I do to be a good patient? I have to get this taken care of, I know, and I don’t think I can do it without being knocked out. And even then, I’ve never done it that way and I have this feeling that even if I get knocked out it won’t be enough and I’ll wake up in the middle of a procedure. I’m not trying to exaggerate, when I was younger I broke my leg and I woke up too early and remember the surgeon freaking out saying I was supposed to be out. The tube was still in my throat and everything.

So my fears are not unfounded, and I am trying to be realistic and practical in knowing that I have to take care of this, however, I am having a rough time managing my anxiety and panic right now. Any help or reminders are appreciated.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi,
I’m new to this forum and have been reading posts and I find your reply helpful. I am terrified of anything teeth/dentist related. I’ve always been anxious, especially at the dentist. I have full blown panic attacks where I can’t breathe and I end up sobbing and hyperventilating. About 6 months ago I started getting daily headaches as 230pm due to jaw pain. I ended up seeing a tmj specialist. He was fabulous and the ONLY thing we did was get impressions. I full on panicked, gagged, and threw up all while sobbing uncontrollably and had a massive panic attack. I warned them that was going to happen and I have no control over it. They were super nice about it but it was embarrassing and so stressful, which I was anticipating.

Let me interject that I am a mental health professional so I know all about anxiety and have tried everything from medication to deep breathing to meditation. The full gammot. At this point the only way I can do anything dental related is to have someone make the appointment for me and drive me there and hold my hand the whole time and just know that I will have a panic attack.

I had the HORRIBLE experience last night of breaking a tooth. My filling came out and I have been experiencing panic attacks every hour since. My friend is going to schedule me an appointment sometime this week but the ONLY way I can think this working out is if they knock me out. I can’t even think about any of this without hyperventilating and crying.

Your response reminded me that this is all in my head, I know, and that my dentist will do the best work they can do. What best work can I do to be a good patient? I have to get this taken care of, I know, and I don’t think I can do it without being knocked out. And even then, I’ve never done it that way and I have this feeling that even if I get knocked out it won’t be enough and I’ll wake up in the middle of a procedure. I’m not trying to exaggerate, when I was younger I broke my leg and I woke up too early and remember the surgeon freaking out saying I was supposed to be out. The tube was still in my throat and everything.

So my fears are not unfounded, and I am trying to be realistic and practical in knowing that I have to take care of this, however, I am having a rough time managing my anxiety and panic right now. Any help or reminders are appreciated.

Hi Terrifiedofteeth :welcome:,

sorry to read about your difficult situation. Fighting a phobia is one thing but having to do so while a problem is present just makes things worse. I also understand your fear of waking up too early, as this is what happened to you.

I am glad you managed to attend your tmj appointment (hopefully you got your guard by now and got rid of the pain) and glad to read your dental team treated you kindly and with understanding. I get the sense of embarrassment and the amount of stress you were in, but hopefully you see what an achievement it is and had celebrated it.

There are two chapters to your story, I can see it's firstly about how could you get your broken tooth treated in a way you can cope with and secondly how to get yourself being able to cope with the topic as such and reach a state of being able to go without getting a panic attack. In the state you are in now it sounds like getting sedation is the way to go. It's awful that your experience with a broken leg prevents you from feeling confident about sedation. It might be the best idea to have a chat with your dentist about this and let him/her explain how they can make sure this won't happen during your procedure. There are many kinds of sedation in dentistry. If they use iv sedation, you won't really be unconscious like during a GA but will be relaxed and won't remember anything. Talk to your doctor about this and let them give you all information you need to feel capable of getting through it.

The second chapter is the long term thing. It's about how to make yourself being able to cope with visits. You mentioned you had tried everything and as you are a mental health professional you will know the best about options. I was just wondering whether finding a kind caring and sensitive dentist willing to work with you and then going in really small steps in terms of systematic desensitization. I however appreciate that finding a dentist that works in this way is not the easiest task either. You know yourself best and you know which things are ok, which are scary and which would trigger a panic attack. Knowing this is good because it shows you what would be the next easiest step (once you have no acute problems and can spend some time solving this issue).

I am a huge fan of systematic desensitization with a patient dentist willing to work with phobic patients because it is what worked for me. It was hard, it took a long time and effort on both sides (mine and my dentist) and I can't say my anxiety vanished, but the difference between myself back then and now is huge. Thinking of my first appointment, it took one month of email contact with my dentist to get there, it took more than half an hour of a chat about my fears and worries and past experiences to even allow an exam and I got a panic attack just from the chair moving. I saw my dentist for a short desensitizing appointment every two to three weeks and it was still a lot of emails in between as I wouldn't be able to talk during initial appointments. We were literally planning and preparing every session and went just at a pace that I was able to deal with to avoid things like me getting out of control mentally, quitting along the way or not being able to remember anything afterwards.

If you look at our advisory board, there are dentists who are experienced with the most severe cases of dental phobia. We have Gordon who worked in dentistry for special needs for many years, we have Mike Gow who works with anything from hypnosis to sedation and treats patients who wasn't able to get treated anywhere else, we have Lincoln who had a new patient consultation in somebody's car once because they weren't able to get to the surgery, we have Fraser Hendrie who designed a New Nervous Patient program and an E-Course to help people get past their fears, we have Dave Carbonell who is a clinical psychologist specialized in treating fear and phobias and wrote a Panic Attacks Workbook and those are just few names. You will also find a lot of success stories here from people who are in a similar situation as you.

So given the fact that there are so many professionals out there who dedicated their work to helping nervous patients, I would like to encourage you to find someone who can work with you at a pace that is comfortable to you and in a way you need, there must be someone in your area as well. There are a lot of articles and posts about how to approach this. You can also start a journal in the Journal section or open a thread in the Support section to help and support.

Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for you to be able to get the tooth treated, do keep us posted
:grouphug:

(and this post is again far longer than I wanted it to be so sorry for that:innocent:)
 
C

cjswitch88

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Messages
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If your tooth is that painful, the endodontist won't put you through all those biting tests. They will just x ray and go from there. I don't know what kind of evaluation your dentist did to determine the success of a root canal, but if they recommended it, they must have thought the tooth could be saved. Those would be some questions to ask the endodontist.

Even if the tooth is painful now, it won't be when they numb you. By the time I had my root canal, my tooth had the same issue you described, where I couldn't even make contact with the bottom molar by accident and it would give me a jolt.

You said you are trying nitrous also, right? That helped a lot for me. My root canal was two appointments...she said she wanted to spend more time since my roots were so twisty. The first time the nitrous was titrated perfectly. The second time it was a little high at first, and I felt slightly nauseous, but had prearranged a signal to give a thumbs down to the endodontist to turn it down, and then it was fine. I would make sure you have prearranged signals for nitrous and for any pain. That will help you feel in control and calmer.
Yes, thanks again for the helpful info! I wanted this done before valentines day and my anniversary but thats in ~2 weeks and this tooth is still infected, and I'm too freaked out to call. Obviously the gf isn't happy with me about my stalling lol... I really feel so weak to this. Some of my friends have had root canals and act like it was nothing at all. Yet I'm over here acting like it's a serious surgical procedure. I really don't think I'd be coherent enough to feel pain on a valium or benzo type drug 1 hour before procedure + nitrous and anesthetic. I use cannabis medically and that also makes me scared of my metabolisms and tolerances with drug affects. I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules about talking about it, but it is a issue I worry about and some dentists here treat me differently for even bringing it up.
 
M

MountainMama

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Can you have your gf call for you and make the appointment? Just take it off your plate all together.
 
C

cjswitch88

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Can you have your gf call for you and make the appointment? Just take it off your plate all together.
I actually made the call myself today, before 5 pm. It's a 30 minute checkup at like 8 am just because I need antibiotics.. I'm really scared this infection is entering my bloodstream, it's been almost half a year that I've let this messed up tooth be this way... I need it done. I'm hoping to get the antibiotics and meet the dentist, and follow up on what I need to get done. The place I called today seems alot more professional than the office I saw in october.. Many options over the phone that werent even available to me at the other- and questions I asked got asnwered
 
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cjswitch88

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on the other hand, IV sedation is 150$ per 15 minutes... thats roughly 1000+ extra added to the root canal bill. Looks like i HAVE to do conscious sedation..
 
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SallyUK

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Well done taking this step!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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I agree with SAlly UK.. really good for taking this step and calling that is huge :).. great job!
 
C

cjswitch88

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I agree with SAlly UK.. really good for taking this step and calling that is huge :).. great job!
idk about you guys but the thought of this small tooth causing my heart or brain damage or death is not worth it.. I feel like the infection is already in other parts of my body... I feel like I let myself down most importantly and that's why this got so bad... I'm getting there though. Thank you!!
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Well done on making the call!

(I’m not sure if you are male or female, but taking probiotics will help prevent thrush which tends to go hand in hand with antibiotics.)
 
C

cjswitch88

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it's foreign to me so still scary, but I gotta get this done or worse will come I assume... I've broken bones before and honestly would rather break a bone to fix this dang tooth... But people who have had dental work and not broken a bone, would not feel the same.. Funny how our minds work.. I wish I could conquer my fear completely. I still feel like I won't be able to stomach up the real operation. But the front desk lady said there may not be opening till late feb-march. That gives me atleast time.. The last guy charged me 250$ for an xray and diagnosis, and wanted to do the root canal in 7 days from the checkup, this office is cheaper and seems to be more compassionate to me, and is offering me time atleast LOL
 
C

cjswitch88

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Well done on making the call!

(I’m not sure if you are male or female, but taking probiotics will help prevent thrush which tends to go hand in hand with antibiotics.)
I am a male, I have a good immune system although with recent health issues i struggle with some type of stomach problem. Seems like ulcers or IBS. I was on probiotics for a couple months before any tooth issues as well. What is the benefit of taking probiotics with antibiotics? Can it mess up the antibiotic strength/cycle? I never have had much stomach issues with antibiotics, yet I haven't had to take many in my life, I got early staph infection in my elbow when I was a kid skateboarding and that's been it for me on antibiotics since. I took 28 high strength amoxicillin without any issue in october.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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I think the general idea is that antibiotics mess with “good bacteria”, and taking probiotics helps counteract that.
 
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MountainMama

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I am a male, I have a good immune system although with recent health issues i struggle with some type of stomach problem. Seems like ulcers or IBS. I was on probiotics for a couple months before any tooth issues as well. What is the benefit of taking probiotics with antibiotics? Can it mess up the antibiotic strength/cycle? I never have had much stomach issues with antibiotics, yet I haven't had to take many in my life, I got early staph infection in my elbow when I was a kid skateboarding akoind that's been it for me on antibiotics since. I took 28 high strength amoxicillin without any issue in october.

Good job making the appointment! I wouldn't worry too much about the infection spreading yet. I had my abscess (on my front tooth) for over a year, possibly two. The endodontist said based on the size of the abscess it had been there at least a year and a half, possibly more than 2 years. It did not even spread to surrounding teeth.
I have a somach ulcer, from taking ibuprofen for so long with all my dental work I had done last summer. I am still trying to wean off Prilosec, but this recent surgery set me back and I had to up my dosage again. If you think it might be a stomach ulcer, do not take ibuprofen! Take tylenol instead. Ibuprofen thins your stomach lining. I wasn't even taking the maximum dosage.

As far as probiotics, it is a good idea to take them with antibiotics, just not at the same time. Take the probiotic at least two hours after the antibotic. The antibiotic wipes out infection, but it also kills healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant side effects like diarrhea. Probiotics replenishes the healthy bacteria and can help prevent the side effects.
 
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