Having to face my absolute worst fear...help!

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Junebug05
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 12/27/2008 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I went to the dentist on Monday because I have a tooth that is bothering me.  They took x-rays of the hurting tooth and found out it was fine, but my wisdom teeth do not look very good and could be causing problems with my other teeth and have to be taken out.  My panic shot through the roof.  This is literally my number one worst fear and has been since I was a teenager.  I am beyond terrified and honestly cannot even wrap my brain around how I'm going to do this.  I'm not sleeping or eating much as my anxiety is high and my stomach is in a knot.  I haven't even called for my consultation appt. yet and I'm already over the edge.  I'm scared to do it awake and scared to be put under, scared of any meds they give me before and after, basically scared of every second of it.
 
Any advice, positive stories about teeth pulling (NO horror stories please), prayers, kind thoughts, anything would be greatly appreciated.  

Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/27/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I went through this same situation a few years ago and everything worked out great JuneBug :) You will be okay. There is so much relief when it is finished before you know it! And I paid the extra money to put me under so I would just sleep through it. . . And I did :) I was really relaxed and okay when it was done :)

I told my dentist and the assistants that I have Health Anxiety issues and they were really good at making me feel calm and collected. They talked me through all the prep and when I was done I was all happy. . . I strongly recommend to anyone with Health Anxiety to let the people around you know so you won't feel embarrassed or scared. Almost 100 percent of the people I've let know about me have been more than wonderful and helpful :)

Good luck! You will do just fine.
Much Love, Hugs, Peace and Comfort!!!
Your Bro,
Sam
   
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
 
Not a medical professional.  Seek your physician's advice
before making changes to your meds or lifestyle :)


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 12/27/2008 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
June,
I'm terrified of sedation/anesthesia, too, but getting my wisdom teeth removed was really no big deal. The top two were impacted, so they did give me sedation (N20) prior to the procedure. I was a bit nervous about that part, but the oral surgeon was super nice & agreed to start me at a pediatric dose of the sedation. As it turned out, I was out like a light before she even gave me the whole dose. As a result, I don't remember any of the procedure.

Usually, people are not very understanding & overdose me (not related to dental work), but the oral surgeon was super cool & I was up and about 10-15 minutes after she finished. I didn't feel nauseous or anything! I think you just need to spend some time talking with your oral surgeon. The nice thing is that s/he will do the whole procedure including sedation/anesthesia from start to finish. Your surgeon can probably even share the treatment plan with you ahead of time.

Some dentists & oral surgeons will offer to write for one or two Valium to take the night before & morning of the procedure if their patients think it would help them relax. Maybe that would be an option for you. I think you might feel better if you at least talked to them about what they would even do. Right now there are way too many "what if's" to manage & anyone would be overwhelmed. Either you will be sedated or you won't, so there's no reason to be worrying about both situations. Either you will get meds before/after the procedure or won't, but not both. Try to pin down exactly what will happen so you can limit the number of things to feel anxious about & deal with how to get past those specific issues.

I will be praying for you -- esp. that you could get some rest tonight b/c everything seems better after a good night's sleep. ;)

take care,
frances

Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/27/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   
JuneBug, the dentist is my worst fear, also! I hate going. I would rather be in labor than go to the dentist! First thing, I would get a second opinion on the wisdom teeth. I've heard dentists take them out when it is not necessary. They weren't bothering you before you went in. So, get the second opinion. If you do need them removed, you could have 2 taken out at a time if that would help. Sometimes removing 4 at once is too much for some people. I had my wisdom teeth removed many years ago and I was eating pizza that night.
I am afraid of the sedation thing like you mentioned. But with dentists they always seem to know how much to give you and you're not groggy after. Personally, I'd rather be awake through it all. But remember to get the 2nd opinion. Then go from there. I've had many teeth removed. It was always a piece of cake. My fear before going was always the worst part. Let us know what happens!

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/27/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Junebug, i feel your pain and your fear. i cant hack the dentist either. but i found a great one who actually specialises in people with 'dentaphobia'. he removed my wisdom teeth in the chair. he gave me plenty of gas so i was in my happy place! tongue and the discomfort afterwards was settled by pain meds. its better to get it over and done with- speak to your Pdoc and see if you can take a small dose of Valium etc beforehand to settle your nerves-

all the best, keep us posted and hang in there- we are here for you.

Maz XX


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOD, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Georgie Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 12/28/2008 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Had my wisdom teeth surgically removed many years ago, they used "twilight sleep" anesthesia and that went very well.  They gave me pain pills but I only had about a half an hour of stinging pain after the anesthesia wore off.  Never needed the pain pills.  All in all, very easy.
Georgie Girl


ocean1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 12/28/2008 5:01 AM (GMT -7)   
The dentist chair is my absolute worst fear as well.  I faced the same thing as you a few years back.  I met with a few different oral surgeons before having my wisdom teeth removed and explained to them my fears and chose the one I felt most comfortable and confident with.  He used "twilight anesthesia" and I was done in 1 hour and home an hour later.  I used pain pills for a day or two and then was fine.  It was the procedure itself that I feared most and with the anesthesia I remember nothing and am glad now I did it.  I hope all goes well for you.
Diane
LET US BE GRATEFUL TO PEOPLE WHO MAKE US HAPPY. 
THEY ARE THE CHARMING GARDENERS WHO MAKE OUR SOULS BLOSSOM.

Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.  Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.


MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 12/28/2008 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I had my wisdom teeth removed several years ago (all 4 were horizontally impacted), and it really was not bad at all. While I will never say surgery is fun, I do feel much better afterwards.


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...


racer x
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
The dentist, well we all know the anx that comes from that, but to make it a little easier dont forget your dentist is on your side and is there to help you, hope you are feeling better soon, Racer x

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/28/2008 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey there,  :-)

You will be fine as I have had several teeth removed but they always sent me to the  Oral surgeon and with a little bit of IV sedation and the use of injecting long acting novacaine once I have fallen asleep it seems impossible when you hear them say it is all done.

They did not even give me pain pills to take home and I did not need them. I actually went home and just jumped on the coudh and dosed off for a couple of hours, waking up feeling just fine.

It is the fear of the unknown that gets you every time........or the known of feeling afraid.

I am a whimp and any dental work, I use the nitrous oxide and drift through it.  I am awake but I just ignore the goings on and watch the TV or often shut my eyes and take a little mini nap.

I have no dental insurance but the price of the nitrous is worth using it.

You are not alone and you will be ok.  Just practice your deep breathing on your way into the office.

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/28/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I am in the process right now of getting 4 new crowns. I hate the dentist too. But I take my Xanax beforehand and seem to breeze right thru it. Hoep that helps.

Hugs,
gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 12/28/2008 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Junebug,

I had my wisdom teeth removed ages ago when I was just 11-12 years old. They hadn't even come in yet, I had a *very* small mouth, and back in those days, novocaine was the only option. I didn't mind a bit - the worst part was the little prick of the injection. And it even had to be done in two sessions.

The point is, I had them removed in a pretty primitive setting, and even getting to them was quite a chore for the dentist, yet it went just fine. You have lots more options now, an easier task for the dentist (I hope), and lots of great advice here. You will be anxious, but you will succeed in getting this important health task done in spite of that, and you'll feel better about yourself for making it through.

Good luck. We'll all be with you every step of the way. Just take those baby steps, and smack anticipatory anxiety onto its fanny whenever it tries to get at you!

percycat

Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 12/28/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much for replying, it's nice to hear good stories about getting teeth pulled, as all I've heard until now is how awful it is.  I especially appreciate knowing how it will feel when I wake up, if I decide to be sedated...for some reason I worry about feeling funky, yet another fear.  
 
I know I have to have them removed, one is broken, which I've known for over a year, just had it confirmed at my appt. on Monday and the rest I've been told by two dentists are not going to last.  Honestly, I want to get it over with, as it's always been such a big fear and once they are out I never have to be afraid of it again...what relief that will be!  I have to call tomorrow for the consultation appt. and hopefully will get them removed very soon after as being anxious like this every minute is worse than the short amount of time I'll spend being panicky while waiting to get into the chair. 
 
I have an appt. with the psych who gives me my meds tomorrow afternoon, so I'll be able to talk to him about taking extra xanax until my appt. day arrives and on the day of the procedure...do they sell xanax in five gallon buckets? tongue    I'm hoping that once I go to the consultation that I'll feel better about the whole thing.  I'm trying to keep in my mind that it will be amazing relief when this is over and sometimes I do really well, then it all comes crashing in on me again and I freak out. 
 
Thank you all for being here for me, I so need the kind words right now...I'm sure I'll be back as the day approaches...yikes!
 
 

paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 12/28/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I had 2 wisdom teeth pulled out when I was 15, under general anesthesia and 2 pulled out when I was about 22, under local anesthesia. Neither experience was horrible, but I would recommend local anesthesia. There's always a slight risk that something could go wrong with general and I didn't like the feeling of not having full control over my body when I woke up from general. I remember drooling and feeling kind of sick and numb. The local was really no biggy. Your mouth will be numbed up really well, you won't feel a thing when they are removing your wisdom teeth. Afterwards, your mouth will be a little numb and you might need to take otc pain relievers for a few days, but that's all. If you are feeling really anxious about it, the dentist can give you a mild sedative before performing the surgery and you can have a friend or family member drive you home. I get really anxious whenever I have to have any type of medical prodedure performed, but I've always managed to get through it without a sedative. I find it helps to tell my doc right away about my fears and that I feel panicky

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 12/28/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have dental phobia and have most of my life thanks to having an awful dentist when I was a kid.

Last summer I had to have major work done as I only go when my teeth bother me, so the dentist sent me to a specialist who does sleep dentistry. I was scared to be put out completely, but everything was fine! 2+ hours of dental work done and I was out cold for all of it!

Try not to stress about this, everything will be fine. Thousands of people have this done and all have turned out okay.


Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Red09 said...
I have dental phobia and have most of my life thanks to having an awful dentist when I was a kid.

Last summer I had to have major work done as I only go when my teeth bother me, so the dentist sent me to a specialist who does sleep dentistry. I was scared to be put out completely, but everything was fine! 2+ hours of dental work done and I was out cold for all of it!

Try not to stress about this, everything will be fine. Thousands of people have this done and all have turned out okay.

sleep dentistry? that sounds awesome! i must ask my dentist what the go is- i always demand happy gas and he knows im panicky and he does his best to calm me.
Maz XX
 
the fear of it is worse than the actual procedure.
            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD, Sinusitis, IBS,  Allergies, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Isn't sleep dentistry like being put under for oral surgery? If so that is what I had done and it was great like previously stated :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace and Comfort!!!
Your Bro,
Sam
   
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
 
Not a medical professional.  Seek your physician's advice
before making changes to your meds or lifestyle :)


Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 12/31/2008 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I just came back to this to re-read all the encouragement from everyone, today is my consultation appt. at 11:30 this morning.  I had a pretty bad panic attack last night over it, but took an extra xanax and went to bed.  This morning I'm okay, stomach in a knot, shaking, scared, but my pdoc told me to take as much xanax as I needed since I'm only on a .25 mg pill and he knows I won't go over a couple extra cause I'm very cautious with it.  I'm definitely going to take advantage of that.  I'm not sure why I'm so scared of this appt. as it's only for x-rays and to talk things over, but figuring it's because it's one step closer to the big day, which unfortunately is a week from Friday.  I'm terrified of the waiting as I've been very panicky, not sleeping or eating much since I found this out and now to have to go another week and a half knowing that the next appt. is the real deal  and will not be easy for me.  I do much better when I can get things over with quickly. 
 
Please send good thoughts and prayers my way today and over the next week and half...I really do need it right now.  Thanks to everyone who posted here, it really does help to know that others have dealt with this and gotten through it fine.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 12/31/2008 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Thinking good thoughts for you. :-)
I'm sure everything will go perfectly. It sounds like you came up with a good plan to try to keep the anxiety somewhat under control & that's great.

Let us know how it goes today!

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 12/31/2008 9:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a cavity filled with no numbing. I was much more relaxed. Anyway, I always bring music and ear phones with me. This way I can just close my eyes and concentrate on the music. Also, as soon as you sit in the dentist chair, let your dentist know how nervous you are about the whole thing. He/she will take care of you! They're really good about that. Start before the appointment in getting yourself ready and relaxed. There are techniques for this. Try not to worry!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/1/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Junebug I think you should always plan on taking your Xanax about an hour and half before your appt. If after about an hour you are still feeling really anxious maybe take another one so that you go in there calm. I am telling you it really helps me alot, I hate dentists too. My dentist even gives his patients Valium sometimes to calm them down. I know he did that one time for one of my girls. It sure helps. Good luck to you sweetie.
Gail*Nanners*
Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 1/1/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Junebug, I'm hoping that your consultant went smoothly yesterday. Did your dentist answer all your questions? What have you decided to do for anesthesia - novocaine, out cold, or ...?

I hope the details are squared away now. That may make it a little easier for you to kick the panic to the curb - at least in short bits - until your procedure is done. And remember: you won't have any more tooth problems or pain once it's over!

Hugs,
percycat

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 1/1/2009 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Mazfire said...
Red09 said...
I have dental phobia and have most of my life thanks to having an awful dentist when I was a kid.

Last summer I had to have major work done as I only go when my teeth bother me, so the dentist sent me to a specialist who does sleep dentistry. I was scared to be put out completely, but everything was fine! 2+ hours of dental work done and I was out cold for all of it!

Try not to stress about this, everything will be fine. Thousands of people have this done and all have turned out okay.

sleep dentistry? that sounds awesome! i must ask my dentist what the go is- i always demand happy gas and he knows im panicky and he does his best to calm me.
Maz XX
 
the fear of it is worse than the actual procedure.

Because I'm abit clausterphobic as well, they didn't recommend the laughing gas.  Anyway being put out completely was great.  Didn't feel a thing, though I was very nervous and had some anxiety before they put me out.  Afterwards I sported quite a buzz for about 4 hours and that was fun! 
 
Junebug, try not to stress out this week.  I know easier said than done, but try to keep busy, distract yourself if you have anxiety and also do some yoga/meditation, it helps keep you calmer.


Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 1/1/2009 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   

My consultation went okay, doctor walked in pretty cocky and was kind of a jerk to begin with, but I was surprisingly calm and just dealt with him.  So first he says that with my panic issues I should be put under for the procedure.  He asks about my xanax and I told him what my pdoc told me on Monday, that I should take 4 pills before the procedure...I take .25 mg, so that's only 1 mg total.  This dentist looks at me and says there is no way that I can take xanax before he puts me under!  So I tell him that without taking the xanax, I will not make it to the appt.  He just continues (with attitude) going on about my not taking the xanax and how the procedure will go, where I will wake up, etc. and not hearing me at all. 

So I let him finish his little tyraid and I sit up in the chair, look him in the eyes and speak very slowly and say If I don't take my xanax, I will not be here, so all of what you are saying is pointless.  He stops for a second and says again that I can't take any xanax before my appt.  I wanted to smack him.  So I repeat that if I don't take the xanax I will not even make it out of my house, let alone to the dentists office, and that I had to take an extra xanax just to get to the consultation and that after spending two weeks being panicked over this, there is no way I will make it without the xanax! 

You could almost see the lights going on.  Finally he says maybe it would be better if we did this awake...gee you think?  So, we discuss doing it this way and I'm feeling better about it.  I can eat in the morning and take as much xanax as needed.  He also agreed to make the appt. to pull all of them, but he will only novacaine and do one at a time and I can quit whenever I need too.  This was so important to me as thinking of doing all of them at once was so overwhelming, but I can handle thinking about getting just one or two pulled and stopping if I need too.  Just knowing I can stop whenever I want to will allow me to relax enough to be able to get them all pulled.  I can also bring my i-pod which I think will really help...distraction is always good. 

So I'm feeling pretty calm now and good about being able to do it.  I know as the day approaches (friday the 9th), I will probably get more anxious, but will use the xanax as my doctor instructed and just keep breathing.  I'm sure I'll be back posting on this thread more as the time nears, it helps so much to have so much support and advice from all of you who have been through this.

Thank you all so much!


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 1/2/2009 12:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh my goodness, you are so amazing -- I'm jealous! ;)

No seriously, though, you really are an inspiration for me to face my own fears.

Best wishes for next week! Do let us know how it goes.
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