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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    I have a great (and yes I know irrational, but until u lived in my head, ya just don't know! ) 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.)

  2. #22

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    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.
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  3. #23
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    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.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    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. 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..) 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.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    Dr Mike
    I don't have an irrational fear of dentists, I have an irrational fear of doctors who go by their first name. I hate that.

  6. #26
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    The nitrous works for me. I actually look forward to it.

  7. #27
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    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

  8. #28
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    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.

  9. #29
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    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 :-)

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    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 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 [but not hard-hitting house] music works well for me, especially if I'm under Nitrous Oxide ). 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 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.

    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 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.
    Last edited by Cyn; 07-09-2011 at 06:26 AM.

  11. #31

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    Finding a good dentist makes all the difference. I go to a fantastic dental practice where everyone, down to the receptionist, is totally awesome, friendly, and sweet. I found this dentist by reading through reviews on yelp, many of which included praises on his demeanor. I really suggest looking through online reviews in addition to asking people you know for recommendations.

    I didn't go for a few years when I was a teen because I was scared. That had to change pretty quickly when I got this monster toothache and needed an emergency appointment.

    Now I luuurve it. I get to kick back and watch TV while someone pokes around in my mouth a little bit. I haven't had my wisdom teeth out, but I have had a root canal, an extraction, crowns, and numerous fillings... my teeth suck. The worst was the extraction because my jaw got really sore during the process. I was terrified before the root canal but it was one of the easiest procedures I've had, just a light pressure at one point. I've had fillings that were worse.

    If you have a fear of the dentist look extensively until you find someone you're comfortable with. Book an appointment to discuss everything, including sedation, prior to getting anything done. Write any questions you might have in a notebook and bring it with you to the appointment. Whatever you do, DO NOT IGNORE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR TEETH. They won't just go away. You don't want to be pacing your apartment at 3 in the morning howling in pain like I was, trust me. Good luck!

  12. #32
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    Strangely I enjoy going to the dentist. I don't even have to take any kind of numbing injections when I get my fillings done or replace. My biggest complaint is that 95% of the time it's the dental hygienist that works on my teeth instead of my cute dentist himself I also hate it when they try to push procedures onto you to make extra money, but I've learned to refuse them. For example, I always decline the flouride rinse that they always try to give me but never tell me beforehand that it'll cost an extra $20 when I walk out the door.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    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.
    I must have been completely knocked out when I had my wisdom teeth out (two cut and two pulled) because I don't remember anything but going to sleep and waking up with my mouth packed full of cotton. When I had the IV "sedation", I could turn my head or "open wider" when asked, but that's all I remember.

    And, yes, I do look forward to the nitrous to get my teeth cleaned. It's a good escape for awhile. And it's just enough that I don't have any side effects as soon as they take the mask off. My cousin has panic attacks from a bad dental experience, but nitrous does not work on her.

  14. #34
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    I live in a small town, but we have three very good dentists. I'd probably be happy with any of them. I chose my dentist because of the hygienist; she was amazing. My sister, on the other hand, goes to one of the other dentists and always complains about how rough her hygienist is. Sadly, my hygienist has since retired. The new one is okay, but I don't think I'd ever find one to equal her predecessor.

    My niece is a dental hygienist, and when she was in school she needed people to practice on, so several in my family volunteered. It's amazing how much more thorough the cleaning process is when it's being graded. It was wonderful, but I know that in the average dental office the hygienists don't have that much time to devote to each patient.

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    I hate it when the dentist keeps trying to carry on a conversation while working in your mouth. Last time my dentist kept telling the randomest stories, randomly punctuated by "you understand?? you understand??" I don't think she realized that I couldn't respond with two hands and multiple tools in my mouth

  16. #36
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    As someone who cannot stand needles, IVs, things of that nature, I wouldn't do it, but I have a very sympathetic, gentle dentist. I love her and have been seeing her for ten years. I'm cool with her giving me tons of shots of anaesthetic in my mouth, but I flip out if I have to get a shot or blood drawn. Go figure.

    Definitely get recommendations and look around!

  17. #37
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    I used to loathe going to the dentist when I was young b/c the dentist was too cheap not to use novacaine on me, even though he was digging deeper than normal into my gums to clean them out. My gums were in bad shape (had my 1st cleaning when I was around 12, plus I was prone to bad gums b/c I was cursed with gum disease, so I have to keep my mouth clean all the time). My last cleaning before I went to college was when I was 15. So for almost 10 years I didn't go to the dentist and 10 years of not getting them cleaned made my front bottom teeth look like it had gum plastered around the gumline. My parents saw that and said it was time to get my teeth cleaned. I was fearing intense pain of removing 10 years of gunk from my mouth. But this time the dentist was different, as our family moved while I was in college. When the new dentist saw my mouth he said that I had to have the cleaning done in 2 sessions. This dentist gave me 4 shots of novocaine during the deep cleaning and I did not feel pain at all. Since then, I vowed to keep my mouth clean as possible by brushing after every meal, flossing, using water pick whenever possible, even at work. It still hurts a little when I get my bi-annual cleaning, but not as much as before (I guess having gum disease, I need to keep it super clean, because a normal person with my brushing regimen should feel no pain when getting their teeth cleaned). Now I don't fear the dentist anymore.

  18. #38

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    I had a dentist who tortured me. He said he didn't believe in giving children and teen novacaine because we probably didn't need it. (!!!!!) I have soft teeth and had a lot of cavities. As an adolescent, I would have 10-12 fillings every year, and it was agony, but I didn't know that novacaine even existed. It was really awful when he blew that cold air into the newly drilled cavity. I kept telling my mother that he hurt me, but she never did anything about it. It was, literally, torture. Now I find out that novacaine was more expensive, and I don't know if my parents ordered him not to give me any or not. All I know was that I subsequently developed a dental phobia that has taken until the age of 57 to get over.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikey View Post
    I don't have an irrational fear of dentists, I have an irrational fear of doctors who go by their first name. I hate that.


    I know, that sort of thing usually annoys me. . . but he was really good. Now that some 15 years have passed and he's older he may very well have dropped that shtick.

  20. #40
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    I had sedation dentistry as a teenager because I have very sensitive teeth and novocaine didn't work well. It was great. Novocaine works better now (or they just know how to put it in the right place better than they used to) so now I just deal with it.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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