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Old 01-06-2016, 07:08 PM
 
Location: san gabriel valley
633 posts, read 510,051 times
Reputation: 1005

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I have had it since I was a toddler and I still do....I literally have had to force myself to go to the dentist only because I want to keep my teeth...my body never reacts well to the numbing stuff it always wears off so I have experienced painful experiences and those instruments always creep me out like they are being to rough and will knock my teeth out or something...some dentists are very rough and don't care that you are nervous....I now am trying to force myself to go again because I been putting it off for about a year now..for some reason the dentist scares me more than any doctor...not to mention the prices are insane....the cost of dental work alone can make a person anxious and panic.so I know how you feel believe me....
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:58 PM
 
Location: OHIO
2,511 posts, read 1,299,456 times
Reputation: 5797
Oh I have terrible dental anxiety, but I also have emetophobia (the fear of vomiting) so that kinda trigger my dental fears (I hate gagging/things in my mouth/etc)
I have hyperventilated to the point they couldn't even work on me. I now take valium or xanax before every appointment. If it's something that I can be sedated for, they sedate me.
I feel so awful for my dentist actually because I have to be the worst patient ever. He's my cousin and he's a two hour drive from me, but I trust nobody else. He's GREAT, it's 100% my problem. Find a dentist who listens to, knows your needs, and can work with you. Mine knows he can't have a whole bunch of crap in my mouth. He knows I don't like the suction, so he lets ME hold it and gives me a chance to use it as needed instead of having someone just hold it in there. I don't like the bite blocks, so he has me hold my own mouth open, giving me break to shut and swallow like I like to. It takes time, but he knows it's what helps keep me calm and lets him get the work done.
I have bad teeth genetics so going is important and can't be avoided. I go regularly and still require a lot of work. I go because I want to keep my teeth
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
19,420 posts, read 5,235,615 times
Reputation: 5863
Things that didn't bother me before, do now...I get nitrous, even for cleanings...
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:45 AM
 
5,128 posts, read 6,188,073 times
Reputation: 8396
Never been afraid of dentists, and never understood the anxiety until this past week.

I had been having minor tooth pain and nerve tingling going on, but hadn't made it to the dentist yet.

Then the other Friday, I developed horrific pain on a dime. This went on for quite a while, and then stopped. All day Saturday and Sunday, it was like someone kept turning a "Pain Dial" up and down from 0 to 100. I'd have a couple of hours of unbearable pain, and then it would stop, only to start up again hours later. I left a message for my dentist to call me. To my relief, they set an appointment for Monday.

That Monday, the pain was minimal, but I described what I had gone through and I knew it would start up again. The dental tech tried to get an x-ray, but she was so rough that it hurt too much and we never got a full image. She admitted that she had once made the dentist's own mouth bleed once while doing x-rays on him!

The dentist thought the root was dying underneath a molar crown on my lower left side. He made an appointment for me to get a root canal at an endodontist an hour away over twisty mountain roads for Tuesday of the next week. I was going to have to wait 8 days.

He prescribed Motrin 800 mg. (Ibuprofen) and Amoxicillin. He said the Amoxicillin would do more for the pain once it started working than the Motrin would. Not knowing any better, I put my trust in him that the prescriptions would be adequate for the pain until the root canal could be done.

About 30 minutes after I got home, the pain went to 100 again. I still had not filled my prescriptions, so I had to drive in that condition to the pharmacy where I was told it would take at least 40 minutes or more to fill them. I went to a restaurant because I knew better than to take 800 mg of Motrin on an empty stomach. I was in so much pain that I asked for my tea with no ice and ate something that required little chewing.

Afterward I got my prescriptions and took them in the car, hoping for relief. But there was no relief. I went through the next 12 hours of unrelenting torture, moaning and crying. The Motrin did nothing. The raw pain felt like someone was drilling my tooth and my skull. It radiated across my other teeth so that one minute the pain would focus on a front tooth and then ricochet across to another tooth and the pain was moving all over my mouth constantly. The drilling pain near the molar was it's own separate pain. I also had an ear ache and headache.

The pain was so endless, that I actually typed the words "toothache and suicide" on the Internet. And I'm not a suicidal person normally. I wasn't alone . . . there were many stories of people killing themselves over dental pain. A lady in the U.K. had jumped to her death because she had a cracked tooth with an infection that caused so much pain she couldn't take it anymore. No one investigated the tooth even though they suspected it was cracked. They told her she was crazy.

Finally after 12 hours, I remembered that we had some leftover Percocet in the house. I left a message with the dentist in the middle of the night, asking if it was okay to take it to make sure there wouldn't be any bad drug interactions. But then I decided to look it up myself because I couldn't wait hours in pain for an answer and it was safe.

I took the Percocet and in 30 minutes the pain was gone. At 8:00 a.m., a woman from the dentist's office called and I told her I had just gone ahead and taken the Percocet. She said "GOOD . . . Maybe you should try to get your endodontist appointment moved up since you're in so much pain."

The endodontist had a cancellation and an opening for Wednesday morning, just one day away. Meanwhile, every time the Percocet started to wear off, the pain would come roaring back, so I kept taking it along with the Motrin. I noticed that night that I felt nauseated whenever I stood up, but as long as I was lying down, I didn't feel it. Most of the time, the Percocet made me sleep, so I was constantly lying down.

I decided to only take half a Percocet six hours before my appointment, in hopes it would control the pain enough, yet wear off enough that I could drive. The next morning I got up very early because I needed to leave by 7:30 a.m. for the long drive. I realized as soon as I got up that I felt like I was going to throw up, even though I had only taken half. I was surprised by this as I'd taken Vicodin before and never felt sick.

I got into the shower and between the dizziness and nausea, I had to hold onto the walls. I kept hoping it would wear off, but by the time I was out of the shower, I knew I couldn't drive. The nausea was only getting worse! So I had to cancel the appointment and ask that they call if someone cancelled for the next day, which was Thursday. They would be closed Friday.

I went to lie down to stop the nausea and eventually fell asleep. I woke later because the pain was back faster than usual only having taken half a Percocet, so I decided to take a whole one since I wasn't going anywhere. I fell asleep immediately.

I woke up again around 2:00 p.m. in a panic. Hard to explain, but I knew I had too much Percoset in my system. What had felt comforting and pain relieving, suddenly felt like I was too drugged and it scared me. I started worrying about when I could get the root canal and put a stop to all this. I called the endodontist and asked if they had had any cancellations and they had not.

I told the receptionist what I'd been through and that I didn't know what do do. The Percocet had become too much, but the Motrin wouldn't control pain. I was between a rock and a hard place. My original appointment was still days away and I didn't know how I was going to endure till then if I couldn't take Percocet. She said there was nothing she could do.

I then called my dentist to get some advice. I was panicking now. He had said the Amoxicillin would do more to stop the pain than anything, but when would that take effect? The receptionist answered and I asked her to give the dentist a message to call me. She said "No, you have to come in to see him." I said I'd just seen him two days ago and that I was in uncontrollable pain and needed to talk to him. She said "No, he doesn't call patients. You have to give us the message and we will relay it to him and call you back." I started to cry. I said "I'm not okay. There are no rules except for what you make and I need to speak with him." After she heard me crying, she put me on hold. I hoped she was getting the dentist.

No such luck. After a long time on hold, she came back and said she'd called the endodontist and her tone was very cold. She said "They said they tried to give you an appointment and you didn't show up. They tried to help you." I was so weak and thanks to the Percocet, it was hard to find the words, so I was crying in frustration.

I said "That's not fair." I told her that I couldn't go because I was going to throw up thanks to the Percocet." She said in a very cold voice, "Well, we would NEVER prescribe Percocet." (This is the same office where the first receptionist was so glad I had taken it.) Then she said "You have to take the Motrin." I said "I AM taking it and it does NOTHING. I was going crazy from the pain and that's why I took the Percocet too. She simply reiterated that I had to take the Motrin and said adding Tylenol would help even more. She was not listening, nor did she care.

I asked if the dentist could prescribe something else for pain. I said I had been able to take Vicodin before with no problems at all. She said "No, there's nothing else we can do." I asked when the Amoxicillin would start helping to control the pain and she said it can take 36 hours, but that it would only do so much. She said "The tooth is bad and you need the root canal." No matter how many times I tried to say I was in a Catch 22 in that Motrin did nothing and the pain was unbearable, but Percocet made me too sick to drive, she kept robotically insisting I had to take the Motrin and there was nothing else.

The coldness and lack of care, the refusal to even consider prescribing something else, combined with the policy that the dentist is too high and mighty to even speak with a patient in pain and distress just floored me.

The next day, the Amoxicillin must have started doing something because the pain was dialed down. I got another dentist on the phone who referred me to a different endodontist two hours away. Luckily, that endodontist had an opening the same day.

It turned out it was not my crown. It was the back tooth next to it and it is cracked. They did a partial root canal and discovered the crack is so deep the tooth will have to come out. So I have to heal from this and go to an oral surgeon. The whole time I was in the chair at the endodontist, I was shaking uncontrollably. I looked like I was having seizures! I looked down at my body in amazement that it was doing that . . . I couldn't stop.

It's pretty clear that the trauma has affected me. I've never shaken like that at a dentist office. I will make sure that the oral surgeon who extracts the tooth gives me the one narcotic that always works for me, which is Vicodin. I will not leave anything to chance as far as feeling pain. That's what they gave me when they pulled all four wisdom teeth at the same time when I was 20 and it worked great. My mom is the same in that Percocet makes her sick and Vicodin does not, so she has it permanently in her medical records when she has an operation.

This has definitely made me less trustful of dentists and more likely to hammer out what my pain treatment will consist of. So yeah, welcome to a new fear brought on by an uncaring dentist. It's clear that he knew the Motrin wasn't going to do much, but never though of giving me anything else despite knowing the pain was unbearable.

I intend to have my dental records transferred to a new dentist who thinks what happened to me is ridiculous.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:25 PM
 
4,327 posts, read 986,840 times
Reputation: 2780
Thanks for everyone's advice! Everything went well in my last check-up and cleaning. (I survived!) I made sure that I had my albuterol inhaler nearby though, just in case I had an asthma attack. Pain isn't my biggest fear, inability to breathe scares me more.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Colorado
19,420 posts, read 5,235,615 times
Reputation: 5863
Glad things went well for you....bringing your inhaler just in case was a good idea....
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:01 PM
 
2,934 posts, read 4,663,627 times
Reputation: 2815
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayInCA View Post
Thanks for everyone's advice! Everything went well in my last check-up and cleaning. (I survived!) I made sure that I had my albuterol inhaler nearby though, just in case I had an asthma attack. Pain isn't my biggest fear, inability to breathe scares me more.

Just having the rescue inhaler with you must have been comforting.

Glad it went well. Maybe each dental visit will get a little better for you.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:59 PM
 
1,280 posts, read 1,529,545 times
Reputation: 2404
I haven't been to the dentist since the Clinton administration. Today, I bit the bullet and finally went it. The hardest part is driving there and forcing yourself to walk in the front door. I think the physical pain of upcoming procedures will pale in comparison to the psychological torture of forcing oneself to make that first visit.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:51 AM
 
4,327 posts, read 986,840 times
Reputation: 2780
Quote:
Originally Posted by daliowa View Post
Just having the rescue inhaler with you must have been comforting.

Glad it went well. Maybe each dental visit will get a little better for you.

Yes, it did make me feel more comfortable having my inhaler with me during the last visit. My twin brother also has asthma, so I'll let him know about what I discussed with my (new) dentist, and he'll get through it too. It's not easy having asthma at all!
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:14 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny789987 View Post
I haven't been to the dentist since the Clinton administration. Today, I bit the bullet and finally went it. The hardest part is driving there and forcing yourself to walk in the front door. I think the physical pain of upcoming procedures will pale in comparison to the psychological torture of forcing oneself to make that first visit.
My husband had a significant phobia after some pretty traumatic dental mistreatment from a quack dentist when he was a kid. His teeth were pretty nasty when we met and when we decided to get married I told him I wanted to see him smiling and laughing for our wedding (he always smiled with his mouth closed, it was that bad). He agreed to a checkup and just a couple of minor things, and rejected the rest. He didn't go to the dentist after that, for the entire 20 years we'd been married. His mouth was in worse and worse shape, his breath smelled like feces, he was in pain from abscess flareups and plaque and gum recession and rot.

Finally he just couldn't take it anymore, and sucked it up and got ALL his teeth extracted. 22 teeth, all at once. And a temporary denture with the plan of getting implant dentures. The recovery after the extraction took a couple of MONTHS. The first week was the toughest. I felt so bad for him but at the same time relieved he finally got the strength of will to get it done.

Today he has a gorgeous smile, which he feels confidence in showing off. It's completely changed his attitude. He's also no longer afraid of the dentist. He told me that having procedures done to his teeth was what scared him so much. Now that he doesn't have any teeth - there's nothing to be afraid of.
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