• Dental Phobia Support

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The beginning of my journey and my fears

@Anne2021thanks for the tip! No one actually told me that, but intuitively I've been trying to introduce as little disturbance to the sites as possible. Little sips, eating food that can essentially be swallowed whole, and being unbelievably careful while brushing is all part of my short term plan. Not to mention the things the post-op pamphlet did say.

I'm still kind of shocked at myself for actually going through with this to be honest.

But my strategy of just going head first at my dental issues seems to be working. It's kind of like when your dad throws you in the deep end of the pool to learn to swim, except I'm throwing myself.
@adendum4567 No problem.

I think I know what you mean about being shocked at yourself for going through with it. I had no choice in December because my tooth became painful and urgently so. Yet, it was different this time. Maybe because I knew I had no choice? I just did it. I also advocated for myself at the oral surgeon's office and asked for someone to stay in the room when the local anesthetic was kicking in because they leave the room and that's usually when I panic. Someone stayed with me and chatted and it was very different. I was scared, but knowing I had to do it made it different somehow.

I have a lot of bad stuff ahead of me - losing two more molars and maybe two more on top of that (if they can be saved, it would be a crown and replacing another crown), as well as at least three fillings, and then partial dentures. I am so scared, but I don't think I can avoid any longer, and I am feeling that sense that I will have to just dive in head first as well. (An apt metaphor for me because I have a long-standing phobia and avoidance of water as well, due to an incident that happened when I was about five years old).

I guess 2023 will be the year of dental work for me.
A quick update for today. Tomorrow marks a week since my extraction. I'm a little sore I suppose, but not even bad enough that I had to take the ibuprofen that they gave me at the oral surgeon's office.

The swelling is minimal, but my biggest problem is sleeping. I've been told I need to sleep on my back, head elevated and I just can't do it. I'm a side sleeper. And when I sleep on my side I do get discomfort where the procedure was done.

I've been really tired this week as a result, and my job demands a lot of mental energy (I won't say exactly what I do but it's very similar to engineering)

But judging from my progress so far I don't think I have too much longer before I'll feel better. I have a periodontal maintenance appointment in March. It was originally supposed to be a week from now but I thought that might be too soon after extraction. I kind of regret moving it because now I have to wait practically six weeks.

Sorry for rambling, this was just kind of steam of consciousness. But thanks for reading.
@adendum4567 i loved your thread. It was honest and I related so much to that constant need to “word vomit” just to get it out of your head. (I always word vomit so I don’t mean that in a bad way AT all!!) I have to make an appointment soon-first one…in decades and I’m embarrassed and terrified and al the other bad feelings. Hearing you truth has been so helpful. You rock!!! I hope you know how awesome you are for taking the bull by the horns and doing all of this!
@Anxiousasallheck_ thanks so much for your support. I'm here if you need to talk to someone who, only six weekish ago, was dreading their first appointment in decades as well. It's getting a lot easier every time I walk into the dentist's office. If you can believe it, I think I may actually be looking forward to my perio cleaning!
@adendum4567 I'm just catching up on your posts after being away for a bit and it looks like you have been hard at work on improving your oral health! whereas this forum was my lifeline while trying to get the nerve up to make my first appointment, I found it hard to visit here in between my recent deep cleaning appts. Reading stories here was causing too much worry, all the what ifs, and I wanted to keep my teeth off my mind whenever I was out of the chair.
But I'm caught up and have to say it must have taken much courage for you to go through with your extractions! I hope you're very proud of yourself for diving into that and I'm sure you are looking forward to the day where this is all a distant memory. I think that day will be here before you know it!
Thanks for being an inspiration, I know I'll be revisiting this thread when summer rolls around and I'm prepping for my own extractions. Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the best!
First update in weeks! I needed some recovery time from the extractions and then I got COVID for the first time. So I had to move back my periodontal cleaning twice, which I was really wanting to do!

I finally had the cleaning today and it was great. Almost completely pain free and my teeth are whiter and shinier than I ever remember them being.

I'm not going to pretend they are perfectly white, but hopefully after subsequent cleaning they'll continue to improve. But they look pretty good color wise now!

I still need work to straighten my teeth but my next follow up is in June.

For right now--I'm happy!
Long time between updates! Dental work is becoming a lot easier to face. I've found an oral surgeon who is top notch and a dentist with whom I've built some trust with.

Since my last update I've had multiple cleanings, which I actually look forward to. I've had a filling where the (now gone) bottom wisdom tooth was pressing into the tooth adjacent.

And just today I've had the last two wisdom teeth out... The tops! I must say the tops are a lot easier than the bottoms. I think I'm even going to be able to work tomorrow.

Next on the agenda is something like invsalign to straighten my teeth. It's hard to believe I've had this all done in less than a year after what I'm estimating was 30 years without a dentist.

And I'm quite fortunate that crooked bottom teeth and an overbite is all I have to show for those years of not seeing a dentist.