• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Terrified of upcoming dental appt!! HELP!



Junior member
Jul 11, 2014
Central Coast of California
Ok, I can get thru a regular cleaning just fine, still nervous, but I have a GREAT hygienist! The first hygienist I have had where I needed NO Novocaine! She discovered an old filling I had on #19 and there is some decay to be taken care of. The filling was done about 20 years ago, I was 28 then. The dentist there has a great reputation, been told he's one of the best in the area and very gentle. I have been researching all sorts of sites on what can go wrong with the anesthetic, everything from permanent nerve damage, to choking and swelling, almost dying to anaphylaxis shock. Then the use of epinephrine, that can make your heart race outta your chest! This is FREAKING ME OUT! I am already nervous as hell, then the ten min of my heart racing even more scares the crap outta me! Almost to the point I would rather deal with the tooth falling out! maybe not! I read about some people who had their entire life changed for the worse just because of a simple routine dental appt. Like getting a filling redone, a root canal (OK! NOT simple, but still!) or a crown. I LOVE my life, I don't want to risk altering it! I was having mild panic attacks for a while due to stress at work and other issues, but have learned to use mind over matter so to speak to control them. If I feel ANY numbness in my nose, throat or worse, swelling in my throat, I will totally freak out! Any suggestions or ideas? How common are symptoms and reactions to the antesthetic that's applied with the swab and then the Lidocaine shot? :scared::o:(
Hello and welcome.:)

Firstly; you are amongst friends here, most of us have (and still do) suffered some kind of dental anxiety/phobia and its quite natural.

I'm sure our friendly dentists on here will be able to give you the statistics with regard to Local Anaesthetic issues but I'm sure they are extremely rare indeed, you stand much more chance of getting run over crossing the road than any of the stuff you have read about elsewhere.

Concerning the Epi, if you prefer not to have it; many dentists can use an anaesthetic that does not contain this (I've never had a non Epi Local but understand it works fine and is shorter acting than the stuff with Epi).

Like with most of these things its our minds working overtime that is usually worse than the actual procedure:scared:, If you talk to your dentist and explain your concerns upfront he will be able to help to ease your worry, after all we are the customer and the customer is always right ;)

To put it in context for me, I've had a number of Local Anaesthetics over the last 40 odd years but not a single bad reaction.

Hope all goes well, good luck:clover::clover: I'm sure it will be fine.

Kind regards
Thanks for the support! Yeah, I guess my head is in a world of it's own and I do exaggerate things like this and they usually end up totally different than what I expected. The biggest issue with the meds is the heart racing, can I go into a full blown heart attack when I have a healthy heart?? And I read if they do use the stuff without epi, they have to give more injections, which I would think would mean more chances of hitting a nerve, and is it worth that risk?? Maybe I should just go with the epi stuff. And then the swelling of the throat/nose areas. I hope that isn't very common! I wish I could just have that needle in me that puts ya to sleep for a couple of hours (like what I had when I had four wisdom teeth removed) I woke up and it felt like I had 8 hours of great sleep! :) I don't trust the sleeping pill they give you, I think it would still leave the chance to you waking up during the procedure. The IV stuff they used really knocked me out! I was talking to the assistant, blah, blah, ;D:jump:blah next thing I know, I was out like a light!
Hello Trouts

if it's the LA you are scared of, then I am your woman because that's always been my big fear too.

Firstly, if you are worried about adrenaline in the shots, you can request to have some without it. This won't affect your heart in the slightest, can't make it beat faster etc because it goes nowhere near it.

It's unheard of to be allergic to modern LA's. Really. Most dentists will say it's a theoretical possibility rather than anything they have ever experienced in their years of practice. And, if you happen to be the first recorded case of this (unlikely!), then at best you might get hives or something.

in terms of making your throat swell, impossible. The LA stays local to where they've injected it and doesn't spread all over your face and throat....and even if it did, it's just affecting the nerves that control feeling, not other tissue.

You'll probably only be numb for a few hours....less if you ask for LA without the epi.

I am not minimising your fear in the slightest - believe me, I completely understand it. It was the one thing that prevented me going to the dentist for years. But I managed to get through three fillings the other day and the LA didn't affect me one iota.

It will be 100 times easier than you think. And you have my personal guarantee on that!
Just to add, if you are worried about swelling, take a mirror with you. A dentist once got me numbed up then held a mirror up for me to look and see that, even though my lips & mouth felt puffy, in fact they weren't at all. I think feeling numb tricks our minds into assuming there's swelling when really there isn't!
Do they have to shove water down your throat during a filling procedure? I vaguely remember the dentist having to do that, I have a BAD gag reflex! :o
No. The drill they use to get the decay out has a water attachment to clear out the debris as they go. That's why the dental nurse has the sucker...to suck it all away.

If you tell them that the thought of water dripping down your throat makes you anxious then they can be extra careful to keep your mouth dry.

Distraction is a big help, I have found. Can you take an iPod or something with you?
Thanks to everyone for such great support here! I am concerned as well about the dry mouth/throat thing, can't remember if I will be able to still swallow or not during that feeling. Does it last long after the filling is done? I also notice when I brush my teeth, depending what side I am brushing on, I can feel some sinus pressure (VERY slight) in my nose. Something I am worried about when they put the anesthetic on that part of the gum, will I feel a lot of numbness in my nose? THAT will drive me nuts!

Similar threads