• Dental Phobia Support

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Would Appreciate Some Advice Please

L

LK

0
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
3
First post and a silly problem, so please be kind.

A bit of history: never had any dental fears until 2 years ago. Not afraid of needles, drills, or physicians of any sort. I have 8 crowns (every molar in my head wears a hat ;D), all done under local anesthesia, no problem. As I had mild-to-moderate gum disease I see my dentist every three months for cleaning and re-evaluation. I’m diligent about home dental care.

Two years ago I gradually began experiencing anxiety during my routine visits. Not sure why—no traumatic experiences, even as a kid, and I have a GREAT dentist. Out of the blue I developed an abscess in #14, aka Pesky. Mild as abscesses go I guess, barely showed up on X-ray, and of course was scheduled for a root canal. I was very nervous but went in for the procedure, was prepped and numbed…and just as the endodontist began to drill I totally freaked out, shaking, crying, the whole nine yards. It was one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life. I finally had Pesky’s root canal done a week later under conscious sedation. Ever since then I’ve been very fearful about each dental visit: I’ll need a filling, or another root canal, or that despite my efforts I’m going to lose all my teeth (as both my parents did). My fear is not the procedure itself, but of intense, untreatable pain I can’t escape from.

My newest fear: flying. I have read it’s possible for air pockets trapped in decay, loose fillings, etc to expand during flying and cause extreme pain and even tooth damage. I'm scheduled to go on a business trip next week (2 hour flight time each way) and I’m scared there’s some microscopic hidden crack that will cause me agony during the flight. In addition, I've also planned a trip to the UK (9+ hours flight time) in the next few months. As much as I’ve dreamed of this trip, I’m morbidly terrified of pain and not being able to do anything about it. My dentist says barotrauma is extremely uncommon, but I’m still petrified.

I’m scheduled for my next cleaning/X-rays next Thursday (a few hours before I leave!). I do have some discomfort in two of my crowned teeth—what if the dentist finds something *really* wrong and then I have to fly? What tests could I have done to make sure my teeth won’t hurt when I fly? And is there anything I can do if they do hurt?
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,759
Hi LK:welcome:,

as your dentist explained, the risk of barotrauma is very small. If you had a raging infection (which would show up on the xrays and you'd be in a lot of pain anyway), then flying can increase this pain especially during take-off. However, it doesn't sound as if you have an acute abscess and hopefully, your dentist will be able to reassure you. If you're still worried, you can re-post your question on the "Your dentistry questions answered" forum, where you can get a qualified opinion from actual dentists :).

Have a fantastic holiday/vacation/holidation :party:!!
 
L

LK

0
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
3
Thanks for the response, LetsConnect, and the reassurance!

I think I will repost in the other forum just to see what feedback I may get.

LK
 
L

Lulu

0
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
7
Location
USA
LK wrote: My newest fear: flying. I have read it’s possible for air pockets trapped in decay, loose fillings, etc to expand during flying and cause extreme pain and even tooth damage. I'm scheduled to go on a business trip next week (2 hour flight time each way) and I’m scared there’s some microscopic hidden crack that will cause me agony during the flight. In addition, I've also planned a trip to the UK (9+ hours flight time) in the next few months. As much as I’ve dreamed of this trip, I’m morbidly terrified of pain and not being able to do anything about it. My dentist says barotrauma is extremely uncommon, but I’m still petrified.


LK (and others), so sorry I didn't see this thread first before I posted something almost identical in the "Dental Worries; Panicky Now" thread. I am terrified by the prospect of having some sort of problem with pre-exisiting gum/teeth issues when traveling to the UK next week. I keep worrying that I have or have had an abscess and there's an infection and air pocket. I also grind my teeth so I worry there's a crack somewhere as well. I'm terrified by what I have read about barodontalgia.
 
G

Geraint

0
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
448
LK have you tried speaking to your dentist about your concerns/ fears ? Although I have thankfully never had a root canal treatment, if i need any treatment that involves drilling I always take a cd walkman / mp3 player with me with a relaxation cd I find this drowns out the noise and helps me relax. Hope all goes well, Keep in touch.
 
liberated

liberated

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Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
139
Location
Czech Republic
Hi. Just to reassure you. I had a long absence from the dental care in the past as well and during that time I took several flights. Four of them were very long - 23 hours each (11 hours, about 1 hour break and then another 12 hours). At the time of those flights I had a couple of decays (two of them fairly deep) and I had never experienced any dental related discomfort during the flight.

I probably should add that my teeth didn't hurt before my trips. So if you don't have any pain now, you'll probably be ok.

Hope this helps and I wish you good luck not only for your trip, but also for getting your teeth sorted. :)
 
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