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Tooth Troubles & Dentist Anxiety

Posted Feb 12 2013 12:22pm
Why is it the moment I plop my bottom into a dentist’s chair I’m instantly reduced to infant status?

I guess my fear could be the related to the dentist I went to when I was about 15 who argued about whether or not I could feel him drilling into my tooth during a root canal. Or it might have to do with paying through the nose for sedation dentistry, when my teeth went to pot after the birth of my daughter, only to find out later the work was done incorrectly. Whatever the reason, couple it with my anxiety and all I know is I’m a hot mess when it comes to going to the dentist!

  dentist

~Photo courtesy of my husband who seemed to find my whole dentist ordeal humorous~

So what brought me to this dentist chair?

Well…

I feel the need to give you a little back story into my experiences with the dentist prior to this one so here goes…

After I had my darling daughter my teeth were not in great shape and a friend, knowing my fear of the dentist, recommended sedation dentistry!

Sedation dentistry… Do they do that?

Apparently they do!

Being asleep, while having everything done all at once, sounded…

AWESOME!

However, as my mother would say “it wasn’t cheap” and shortcuts aren’t always the best option.

My fears outweighed my rational and I put out a small fortune for this comfort.

A few years later I started noticing problems with my teeth, the spacing between my molars, the distance between the crown enamel and my gums, and finally a crown came loose and I inadvertently swallowed it.

Our financial situation had changed and we weren’t able to lay out the money we had previously, which led to a very shitty experience that didn’t pan out to well (there are a few puns here but you won’t get them unless you click the previous link). In short they couldn’t replace the crown and I couldn’t afford what they wanted to do because we simply did not have the money.

I was left feeling very insecure about my smile and to make things worse another tooth had started to go bad on the other side of my mouth. I went to see the orthodontist who pulled my wisdom teeth to see about getting the missing crown tooth pulled and a fake tooth put in to replace it. He said he could do it, but recommended I see another dentist first and I reluctantly made the appointment.

I was feeling pretty good on the day of my appointment, my anxiety was low and I felt confident, but that changed the moment I arrived and signed in. I could feel myself starting to get anxious and that fight or flight feeling associated with anxiety slowly started to creep up on me. By the time I was brought back to the chair I was having a  complete blubbering mess in the throws of a full blown panic attack! The dentist and his staff were really sweet and understanding, but I was already more than embarrassed.  These were people I’d never met, who’d just witnessed me have a panic attack and cry like a baby, what were they going to think of me? I wanted out of there as fast I my feet could carry me! I made a call to my husband who quickly came to my rescue.

There office called several times asking if I’d like to come back in and get the work started?  I was so embarrassed by it all I felt like I didn’t want to go to any dentist ever again.

Well that theory was all well and good until a crown came loose last week!

Arrrrggghhh!

For fear of swallowing another crown I decided to give the previous dentist another go.  After all, it wasn’t their fault I freaked out, they were more than nice and had been really understanding during my panic attack.

This time I took my husband with me, who enjoyed making me laugh and taking oh so flattering pictures like this one of me getting an impression.

IMG_20130212_101555 (1)

You know they gave me a novacaine shot that made me smile like a stroke victim and kiddie sized glasses that make my head look like an oversized potato, but I was doing it and you know what…

It wasn’t too bad!

I think having my hubby there to make me giggle and distract me, in those moments when they’re not in the room, really helped keep me out of my own head (if that makes sense)! I ended up having the crown redone and I’ve set up another appointment to get the rest of my work done.

If I could offer up what I’ve learned through this process it would be to get second opinions, see a few different dentists before you make a decision!  Sedation dentistry was great, I won’t lie, but it was also short lived bliss because the work wasn’t done well!  Find out what the office does in the event you should have problems and how long they will cover your dental work!

Me… I’m really looking forward to being able to smile again and say goodbye to that insecurity and my irrational fear of dentists!


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