Post # 1
True fact- I am TERRIFIED of the dentist. Not just the dentist, actually, but teeth in general… enough that when I lost teeth as a kid I would cry not eat for days to keep the teeth from falling out. It’s irrational and I know it. But it is what it is.
Because of this, I have not been to the dentist in a really long time. Like…really long. Well over a decade. Even googling dentists literally makes me nauseous and I start to sweat…this is a hardcore phobic response. However, my teeth are not doin so great. I am blessed that they actually look great-not stained, they’re all in-tact vistually, but they’re starting to chip a lot and today I actually think I lost a sizable piece of one of them (which caused me to dry heave in the bathroom at work, but thats another story.)
I think my only option at this point is sedation dentisty…and I’ll probably have to have my husband make an appointment and bring me because I can totally see myself having a legit panic attack on the way.
I know there are a few types of sedation dentistry- does anyone have experience? I dont even know if I’m going to be able to make it into the office without some sort of mental numbing agent to be totally honest… this is so embarrassing. I feel like a little kid. Even just typing this is making my palms sweat…
Am I insane? Has anyone overcome this kind of hardcore phobia? Has anyone here opted for sedation dentistry?
Post # 3
omg even googling this is making me want to run and hide. I am such a huge loser.
Post # 4
@bkrocks13: I have been put to sleep at the dentist before, but only when I got my wisdom teeth out (and now that I think about it, he was an oral surgeon). I think oral health is really important so if being put out is the only way you’ll go, then I say do it.
I am afraid of really stupid things, so I would never judge someone else for their fears. Good for you for trying to overcome it and find it a solution. Some people just don’t go and then they get all kinds of oral health problems.
Post # 5
I highly recommend it! I am also petrified of the dentist, but I was forced to find one I can trust when my mouth start falling apart 3 years ago after MANY years of not going to the dentist. My dentist will sedate me to my heart’s content to make me comfortable which has made going tolerable.
I honestly can say though that however you can, you need to work up the nerve to go. My years of dental neglect have cost me a fortune to repair. Like, I’ve spent 20K in the past 3 years. I could kick myself for letting it get to this point. Prevention is so much easier and cheaper than fixing what’s done.
Post # 6
@peasantsong: i just vommed in my mouth a little. this is also one of the reasons im scared to go- the cost. I’m in a position thankfully that we can afford whatever it is (if its normal..dropping 20k at one time is not happening ha) but im so fucking scared of having to invest so much of my new families money because Ive been too big of a pussy to go for 10+ years. Theres so much shame involved in this stuff!
Did your insurance cover any of the sedation stuff or did you have to pay for it all out of pocket? I do have dental insurance.
Post # 7
I had some kind of conscious sedation. I remember nothing from the needle going in my arm! Once it came out i was fine but a teeny bit woozy. It was expensive and nit covered by ny insurance but well worth it for me
Post # 8
@bkrocks13: no I don’t have dental insurance and it would be practically useless to me if I did. It doesn’t cover the things that were wrong with me and the caps were ridiculous compared to how much I needed to spend. I got a care credit card with a high credit limit and I pay for an annual discount plan that discounts the services through my dental office. My care credit card is the true life saver. I understand completely why you’re embarrassed, trust me. I have had to deal with that shame for the past 3 years as I’ve had teeth pulled, implants placed, temporary bridges, bone grafting, gum grafting, braces, and so much more! But honestly, the shame now is replaced with pride and happiness that I am taking care of my health and preventing even more problems in the future. I’ve got it bad but it really could be worse. Going when I did prevented it from getting worse. Now I have to go every 4 months for maintenance cleanings and that is definitely cheaper and less traumatizing than all the other stuff I’ve had to do!
Post # 9
@bkrocks13: I also had some horrible experiences when I was younger and put off going for a decade. I went in June finally and I am SO much happier and my teeth look awesome. I did not do any type of sedation. To prep myself I spent a lot of time on the dental fear forums. Then I shopped around for dentists.
Dentistry has changed quite a bit. It should not hurt and a good dentist will not make you feel ashamed. I had an exam and xrays and I had 2 cavities and some gum issues so I scheduled an appointment to get that taken care of. I will not lie. I rescheduled the damn appointment probably 5 times.
They numbed the CRAP OUT of me. During the appointment if I felt anything I let them know and they numbed me some more. They even numbed me before the shots so I didn’t even feel those. I was there for over 3 hours. It wasn’t fun but not nearly as bad as I was anticipating!!
It was SO worth it and now I will religiously go every 6 months.
PM me if you have any other questions!
Post # 10
@bkrocks13: I kinda thought I was the only one. I am terrified of how much I’m going to spend on my mouth, but I know it’s all for the good when I get to that point.
Post # 11
@bkrocks13: I have! I have an incredible fear of dental work (mine mostly reates to cavities). I frequently go 2-5 years between visits.
Anyway, I get valium for my appointments, and my dentists are basically pediatric nurses. They’re really good at handling adults crying like toddlers. Trust me.
Post # 12
@bkrocks13: I would really recommend you seek the help of a psychologist who specialises in phobias, they may be able to do some CBT with you to retrain your brain into not having quite an extreme response. Sedation dentistry is an option, bit if you can actually try and beat the phobia, you are much better off. Hypnotherapy may also be helpful.
People’s fears of the dentist are much worse than the actual experience. The clinic I work in, we’ve had people so anxious before they go in, like shaking, sweaty palms anxious. But when they come out, they are actually relieved that it was nowhere near as bad as they thought, and some were surprised that it was actually not unpleasant at all! I know this is of little comfort to you right now, as a phobia is an irrational response to a perceived threat – you can’t control it and that is where a psychologist can help.
I tell all of our anxious patients that first off we will do a full checkup – we won’t do anything they don’t want to do. Of course if they want to have a filling done, the dentist will offer it. The key is not pushing patients – ultimately, they have a say in what happens – always remember that.
If you can get help to conquer your fear, you could well be on your way to having regular checkups without the intense fear.
Post # 13
I love sedation dentistry. I had valium and laughing gas the last time I went (I needed a bunch of old fillings repaired, because apparently they crack over time…). If you have any sort of phobia, I highly recommend talking to a dentist about your options, but definitely make sure you go!
Post # 14
@bkrocks13: My partner is the same as you. Even watching dentists on tv makes him feel physically sick, pale and sweaty. Last time he went, he took some valium beforehand. I also went with him and explained to the dentist that he had a serious phobia (he was worried that this would somehow offend them, but I’m sure they get it a lot). They were super understanding and were gentle and slow and even took a break when it got too much for him. Mind you, they didn’t even do any work on him- they were just tapping the teeth etc to find which ones were sore, taking xrays, that sort of thing. If you need any work done, they can give you laughing gas ESPECIALLY if you/your SO mentions your phobia. I looked into it for my SO too and I believe you can take both valium and laughing gas 🙂
ETA: Heck, you can probably call ahead and mention your phobia and feel them out so you find one who is good about it 🙂
Post # 15
- Wedding: April 2016 - Gorse Hill, Surrey, UK
I’ve had gas to be sedated twice and IV sedated once to have a tooth out. The gas sedation does relax you a little, but I think half of this is because you concentrate on your breathing for a good ten minutes before they start any work. Personally it made me feel like I was sinking into a big squishy chair for a while, but soon as I heard the drill i still panicked!
The IV sedation was great though! I was terrified of having the needle in my arm, but once it was in the nurse talked to me for a while and then I remember nothing. Not a single thing until the dentist was explaining to my mum how to look after the extraction (yes I took my mum and my nan to the dentity with me lol). Apparently I tried to talk to them through the whole process as I was still conscious but I have no idea what I said. It was like being put to sleep.
ive since managed to get through some fillings recently without the has sedation by going very slowly and the dentist talking through what she is about to do. Any drilling she did she would count to three and stop so I had time to get used to it bit by bit. I did have a minor panic attack half way through so they stopped till my breathing calmed down, but I was so pleased after that I did it with no gas.
i think if you can find a dentist who understands patients who have a genuine phobia and can help you through it, it will make a world of difference to you. Good luck!