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numbers123
07-07-2011, 11:10 PM
dental hygienists can be very good - mine certainly is. So not all assistants are bad or mean. If your dentist doesn't have a good hygienist - talk to him/her about it.

skipaway
07-07-2011, 11:11 PM
I also had laughing gas (what IS the name of that stuff? I know it...) .

Nitrous Oxide.

jamesy
07-07-2011, 11:26 PM
dental hygienists can be very good - mine certainly is. So not all assistants are bad or mean. If your dentist doesn't have a good hygienist - talk to him/her about it.
Yes. Your dentist--and by extension their hygienists--should be people you are comfortable with and whom you can trust. Dentists see patients with fears every day, so being honest about concerns/phobias/fears hopefully will give the dentist more knowledge to help. If you get a dentist who seems dismissive or not very understanding then it may be time to run. :scream:

Holley Calmes
07-07-2011, 11:36 PM
Nitrous Oxide.

Of course...visions of Steve Martin are dancing in my head...

LilJen
07-08-2011, 12:32 AM
ABSOLUTELY get recommendations. And if you don't like the dentist or the hygienists, say so, or go somewhere else. For years I loathed the dentist because afterward I felt like my gums had been beaten up. What helped? (1) I got a good dentist with fabulously thorough but GENTLE hygienists and (2) I got a Sonicare.

wrt (2) I had been brushing wayyyyy too hard for years with a conventional toothbrush, which caused my gums to recede. Was looking at the prospect of grafting (eek). Sonicare (suggested by the awesome Dr Mike) cured that problem and I've never looked back.

Take the time to get recommendations and talk to the dentist and his/her staff extensively. Their demeanor should clue you in to how seriously they'll take your phobia.

BTW, Dr Mike had a "patient of the month" in his newsletter, and after we told him about brushing our puppy's teeth he HAD to have a pic. . . and printed it!

Definitely a good idea to take care of this sooner rather than later--you might think it's just your teeth and gums, but bad dental health can harm the rest of your body as well (I know; I read this crap all the time as an editor!).

Good luck!

Susan1
07-08-2011, 12:35 AM
I have a great (and yes I know irrational, but until u lived in my head, ya just don't know! :yikes:) fear of going to the dentist. Embarrassing to admit, but I haven't been to a dentist in about 12 years because of it. I saw an ad in my local area for a dentist who advertises he uses IV Sedation for dentistry procedures, mainly because of the fears people have of going to the dentist. Has anyone done this? Anyone here a dentist or dental assistant and have an opinion about it?

I had IV sedation to have crowns done at my previous dentist several times. My current dentist doesn't have it, but they give me so much nitrous that I am practically unconscious. Can't drive myself home afterward. Mine is not just fear. I also have fibromyalgia which makes everything extra sensitive. And I have a small mouth, which means my nerve endings are closer together. I have to have a small amount of nitrous just to have my teeth cleaned.

I don't know if you have dental insurance or not, but make sure IV sedation is covered in cases of "fear". My plan specifically states that that is not covered. I couldn't even have it for a root canal, which is the worst thing I've ever been through in my life, because it was not "surgery". Sorry, I'm not helping your fear here. You really should not put off going to the dentist because things will just get worse. And get all the drugs you can! LOL (I replied to the original post. Looking forward to reading the rest of the comments.)

~tapdancer~
07-08-2011, 01:42 AM
I had IV sedation for wisdom teeth extractions. But not for any other dental procedure I have had, including other extractions. The IV sedation is like "twilight sleep", you are vaguely aware of something going on but honestly you don't care. I recommend it if you are having a really painful procedure and it is covered by your insurance. Like Susan1 said, some insurance will not cover for that if it isn't surgical.

AragornElessar
07-08-2011, 02:11 AM
I have and it's a God Send for me, as freezing/nerve blocks/locals just do not work on me anymore. Now, it is part of the Family History on Dad's side, as his Mom had the same problem. However, it worked just fine until my kidneys shut down in the early 90's. Whether or not that was the *trigger*, we just don't know, but ever since...It just doesn't work.

My Dentist is one of the nicest guys in the World and I don't know or want to know what kind of shape my teeth would be in now w/out him and his offering of IV Sedation. It's covered under the Disablity Pension here in Ontario, so thankfully that's not a problem. He has a rotating group of nurses who start the IV, give the meds and also monitor that everything goes the way it should.

As I also have very touchy veins thanks to all of the various medical "adventures" I've had over the years, he also gives me a prescription for a "happy" pill to take an hour before the appointment along w/my antibiotics to help me relax. Which it does, but it still doesn't help getting that blasted thing in and started. As soon as that gets over and done w/, the blood pressure cuff and pulse oxymeter are put on me and after a couple of sets of readings, I get sent off to dreamland.

The majority of the time, I don't remember anything until wake up either at my Sister's or in the van on the way home. Which can be very confusing at times, but considering the alternative, it's not that big a thing. I usually have something to eat not too long after I wake up and it's obvious that I'm w/it, woozy, but w/it. I do take it fairly easy for the rest of the day though and can also have a wee bit of an "anesthetic" hangover the next day. That doesn't always happen, but when it does, that's another day where I just take it very easy.

It really has been a God Send for me and, as I said, I really don't want to think about what kind of shape my teeth would be in if IV Dental Sedation wasn't available to me. Good luck on making a decision to go through w/this option or not. :)

Anita18
07-08-2011, 03:04 AM
dental hygienists can be very good - mine certainly is. So not all assistants are bad or mean. If your dentist doesn't have a good hygienist - talk to him/her about it.
Yelp is a godsend for this exact reason! You can read reviews of dentists now before walking into one! I had bad dentists as a kid, my hygienists would even complain of migraines while working in my mouth. :yikes: Luckily in HS I've had nice dentists but the dentist I have now is even better because she takes the time to explain why my teeth are the way they are and what I can do to counteract. Unfortunately I was NOT blessed with good tooth genes, I really have to come in every 6 months for a cleaning, so I'd better be comfortable with my dentist!

I did have IV sedation when I had my wisdom teeth extracted, because they were extremely impacted. It was glorious, although the IV itself was not glorious because they stuck me 5 times in both arms before they finally went to the gas to knock me out and then find a vein without hurting me. (I woke up with 13 holes in both my arms..) :lol: But one minute I was breathing in the gas, and the next minute they were telling me I was done! My mind was completely clear, but when I turned to get out of the chair, I immediately fell over. :rofl:

mikey
07-08-2011, 03:27 AM
Dr MikeI don't have an irrational fear of dentists, I have an irrational fear of doctors who go by their first name. I hate that.

Grannyfan
07-08-2011, 04:04 AM
The nitrous works for me. I actually look forward to it. :)

Castlerock
07-08-2011, 05:09 PM
I swear by it!!!

I have had it done 4 times for root canals and crowns. I have a bad gag reflex and this totally helps with that. I "fall asleep" and then wake up sometime on the way home and all is well!! The only issue is my benefit plan doesn't cover it, but it is well worth the agony/stress of going to the dentist.

I find it interesting that my fear of the dentist gets worse as I get older. Although now for teeth cleaning, I have the hygenist do it manually with a pick because I keep gagging on the water cleaning. They tend not to suction enough so I asked to hold the suction thingy myself. I don't even take my kids to the dentist - DH does that - since I don't want them to get my fear :)

PDilemma
07-08-2011, 05:26 PM
I had something like 10 years of orthodontia and never had a problem with that. It is the dentist. My fear is almost completely confined to cleanings. I panic. I typically have asthma problems while having the cleaning and have nausea before I go. I had all four wisdom teeth pulled separately without any fear. And I went to the orthodontist once or twice a month for ten years and never had any fear.

When I was in elementary school, we had a dentist who became extremely ill and should have shut down his practice while recovering and did not. He became less than competent. Not knowing the situation, my mother took us for regular appointments. He had no hygienist at the time. He basically massacred my gums, left them bleeding, poked the pick into my cheek and my lip, and managed to knock brackets off my braces. The entire experience was a painful ordeal. I have had an irrational fear of the dentist ever since.

I also have allergies and take antihistamines which dries out your mouth. I always went to the dentist in summer as a student and then a teacher. Then I was nagged to death by hygienists for not brushing or flossing well enough. When I was a college student, one read me the riot act that I would never get a job or marry because I didn't take care of my gums well enough and people care about that, and that it indicated irresponsibility that she was certain was reflected in my grades in college. Someone who is already fearful of having a pick shoved into their lips or cheek with the ill dentist doesn't need that additional crap poured on them. My dentist (that I have not been to for five years due to fear of a new hygienist) who is a family friend immediately- the first time he saw me in his office- noted that my gums are dry that time of year not for lack of brushing or flossing/gum disease but due to the antihistamines.

Jasmar
07-09-2011, 04:42 AM
I had IV sedation when I was 19, too (also for wisdom teeth). I didn't know they were going to put me out, so it was a little freaky, but also appreciated. However, in the months and years after the extraction, I began to have little memory fragments come back about the procedure - about the pulling and cracking, as someone upthread mentioned. That was super, hyper disturbing to me. I think that, phobia and all, I'd rather be completely asleep. But that probably isn't an option unless you're a zillionaire and can go to the hospital for your work. (I know I can't!)

I do have dissociative disorder issues from severe trauma in childhood, which I've been told could contribute to why I began to remember the procedure in bits and pieces. Most people obviously don't have to deal with that :-)

Cyn
07-09-2011, 06:02 AM
I had IV sedation when I was 19, too (also for wisdom teeth). I didn't know they were going to put me out, so it was a little freaky, but also appreciated. However, in the months and years after the extraction, I began to have little memory fragments come back about the procedure - about the pulling and cracking, as someone upthread mentioned. That was super, hyper disturbing to me. I think that, phobia and all, I'd rather be completely asleep. But that probably isn't an option unless you're a zillionaire and can go to the hospital for your work. (I know I can't!)

I do have dissociative disorder issues from severe trauma in childhood, which I've been told could contribute to why I began to remember the procedure in bits and pieces. Most people obviously don't have to deal with that :-)

I was the one who posted upthread about being aware of certain parts of the oral surgery - I'm so sorry that you went through something similar. That experience, having already been extremely wary and in the beginning stage of having a :yikes: phobia of dentists, kicked mine into hyperdrive.

My advice to everyone here is to please, please, please do not make the same mistake that I and many others who have posted did by avoiding going to the dentist for regular cleanings/exams. Because of that, I have had and am still having to pay dearly (both physically and financially) due to avoiding those bi-annual visits during which smaller problems that could have been easily fixed instead became irreversible damage requiring major dental work far more involved, painful, and expensive.

Check around with people and get opinions. Interview dentists before agreeing to become their patient, making sure (politely) he or she understands that they are working for and on you and that is more important than how they may personally feel about it. If an assistant or hygienist is inept, let the dentist know so any problems can be addressed.

As for overcoming fears, get a friend or a loved one sit with you (if it's allowed) and hold your hand/offer comfort and reassurance. Get the laughing gas. Get the iPod/earbuds with music you find to be relaxing and soothing (Pink Floyd DSOM or any really good trance music works well for me, especially if I'm under Nitrous Oxide :inavoid: ). Get a happy pill like Valium or Halcyon. If that isn't enough, get the IV sedation (if that's what it takes). Try a frying pan to the head :P once you're settled in --- whatever it takes to get your butt in that dentist's chair sooner rather than later.

ETA: I looked up "dental fear" on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odontophobia).

I found part of this paragraph, with the bolded, and especially the underlined portion, especially interesting:


Dental fear refers to the fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care. A severe form of this fear (specific phobia) is variously called dental phobia, odontophobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia, or dental anxiety. However, it has been suggested that the term "dental phobia" is often a misnomer, as [B]many people with this condition do not feel their fears to be excessive or unreasonable and resemble individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by previous traumatic dental experiences.

Also interesting:


Direct experience is the most common way people develop dental fears. Most people report that their dental fear began after a traumatic, difficult, and/or painful dental experience.[10] However, painful or traumatic dental experiences alone do not explain why people develop dental phobia. The perceived manner of the dentist is an important variable. Dentists who were considered "impersonal", "uncaring", "uninterested" or "cold" were found to result in high dental fear in students, even in the absence of painful experiences, whereas some students who had had painful experiences failed to develop dental fear if they perceived their dentist as caring and warm.

From the Wiki entry, I also found the link to the following website:

http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/. The main areas covered on this site include:


1. A Dental Phobia Support Forum – the most active web-wide. Get support from fellow (ex-)phobics or ask our friendly dentists!

2. The Common Fears section explains some of the most common dental phobias and fears and provides tips for dealing with each of them.

3. The What Can Help section contains:

----- A. A step-by-step guide to how you might get to the stage where you can search for a dentist and make an appointment,
----- B. The low-down on both psychological ways of tackling dental phobia and dental sedation, and
----- C. Information on technological innovations which can help with overcoming dental fears.

4. The Tips for Dentists section provides useful resources and information for dentists and other professionals who are interested in dental anxiety and helping people overcome their fears.

5. The Dental FAQ section (formerly “Dentistry for Dummies”) explains how to care for your teeth, how common dental procedures work, and gives useful DIY dentistry tips.

6. The Links section provides links to useful dental phobia and dentistry resources elsewhere on the web.

Hopefully the above site can be of benefit to those of us who suffer from this phobia.