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Author Topic: My ongoing dentistry struggle...  (Read 5661 times)

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Charmaine

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My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« on: October 23, 2006, 08:00:16 PM »

Perhaps y'all will remember from the old forum that I was trying hypnosis to deal with upcoming periodontal treatment. Well, today was my first treatment and while I think hypnotherapy helped with me making less far less anxious, it didn't help with the excrutiating pain of putting needles in my mouth -- my main fear in going to dentists.

The periodontist is a nice guy, but he admits I probably need a longer period for the nitrous to kick in. He wants me to take Valium before my next visit so I won't "mind" so much about the pain -- he can't actually do anything about the pain of the needles themselves, he say. But I wasn't anxious when I walked in -- the hypnotherapy and some 5-HTP were enough.

The trouble started when I was breathing in the nitrous and they lowered the chair I was in in order so my head was almost lower than my chest, to get the right angle for the shot -- first I noticed that my ears clogged up a bit. Like when one climbs to a higher altitude -- I mentioned it, and the guy remarked that doesn't happen -- like I was imagining it. It cleared up but then I started having trouble breathing, only the periodontist and his assistant didn't seem to notice. I was breathing hard and my chest started to hurt. I said that  I couldn't get a good breath. The periodontist said I was getting so much nitrous, so much oxygen, I should be fine -- like he was only reassuring me that nothing was really happening. And I said, NO, I REALLY couldn't breathe well.

They raised the head of the chair and gave me a bit more oxygen and I started to breathe easier immediately. Afterwards, the guy said some people he's treated have said they felt like they were choking because they couldn't swallow in that position. I said that was not my problem -- my chest HURT and I felt like something heavy was sitting on my chest, preventing me from getting a deep breath. He didn't say anything.
 
I'm no hypochondriac (I rarely even have a cold), but i's crap like this that keeps me away from dentists' offices. I didn't make an appointment for the next session. I need to think about this.

Anyone else experience something like this under nitous? :-\
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CathyJ

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 08:34:21 PM »

I don't have that reaction, but I get really nauseous from even small amounts of nitrous oxide.  Not everyone can tolerate the stuff.

Cathy
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Susan August

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 08:43:53 PM »

Charmaine,

Your note thru up lots of 'red flags' for me.  A couple of suggestions:

1.  find a new dentist who is more responsive to your needs.  sounds like anxiety was 'doing you in', but anxiety is a real phenomena, not something to be ignored...it won't just 'go away'

2.  my dentist numbs my gums topically before inserting the needle

3.  my uncle, who is an oral surgeon who just retired, has invented a special needle that vibrates and causes less pain.  i can try to find out about it and see who in your area uses it, if you'd like....some dentists say that they don't need the needle because they don't 'hurt' their patients  ::)  those are probably the ones you need to watch out for!

sorry for the abysmal punctuation...just not in a grammatical mood tonite, i guess.

Susan
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Susan August

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 08:47:08 PM »

Ah, found the Vibraject web page, complete with reference to Uncle Norm!

http://www.vibraject.com/

Susan
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Joyce S

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 08:59:49 PM »

Charmaine,

Your note thru up lots of 'red flags' for me.  A couple of suggestions:

1.  find a new dentist who is more responsive to your needs.  sounds like anxiety was 'doing you in', but anxiety is a real phenomena, not something to be ignored...it won't just 'go away'

2.  my dentist numbs my gums topically before inserting the needle

3.  my uncle, who is an oral surgeon who just retired, has invented a special needle that vibrates and causes less pain.  i can try to find out about it and see who in your area uses it, if you'd like....some dentists say that they don't need the needle because they don't 'hurt' their patients  ::)  those are probably the ones you need to watch out for!

sorry for the abysmal punctuation...just not in a grammatical mood tonite, i guess.

Susan

I agree 100% with Susan 100%. Whether your complaints were "in your head" or not, everyone in that office should have respected and responded immediately to your concerns.

My dentist uses a topical gel before using the needle. He also would stick his thumb between my cheek and gum and shake it (low-tech version of the special needle). It definitely worked for me. Rarely in my 20 years with him have I actually felt the needle prick. He said he discovered it in dentistry school; his very first patient complimented him on the painless injection and he realized it was because he was so nervous he was shaking!

Joyce S
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Charmaine

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2006, 11:30:36 PM »

Thanks for the info, Susan, very interesting! Whenever I inquire around here for any different method/technique/procedure I get the standard, "The doctor is very gentle," (I'm sure he tries to be. Not the point.) and "Oh, yes, we use nitrous oxide!" (Like it was just invented.).

I have never heard of the vribrating needle and no one has ever mentioned it. In my web meanderings I came across "laser dentistry," which is not, as I vaguely knew, just about teeth whitening. It is also used in gum treatments. I'm going to be looking into alternate treatments -- I am so damn tired of putting up with whatever is convenient for the dentist to use.
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ella

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006, 12:24:38 PM »

My dentists use a gel first, then insert a drop or two of the novacaine and let that set, may come and do another drop or two, (or not) but by then, the gum has relaxed enough and when they insert the rest of the novacaine, there is little to no pain.

It is possible to give shots with very minimal pain, and I have been having it done since about 1975, after having gone through a platoon of sadists from the netherworld.
Best wishes with this--it's not fun. And this week I get a cap and a filling done.

Ella
who really hopes her dentist remembers the procedure!
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Ingrid

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 01:43:47 PM »

Yup, sounds like a bad anxiety attack. Valium is not a bad idea.

As for the shots: I seem to feel more pain these days than I used to, in spite of the gel and the dentist's massaging my gum. Can't say I like the shots.  But it's a matter of bearing up, because it doesn't take that long.

Ingrid
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Charmaine

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 02:22:56 PM »

The periodontist used a topical (they always use a topical) before doing the shots. I honestly didn't have a problem with anxiety until I had difficulty breathing (because of the position I was in, I think, with the reduced oxygen), and it wasn't just panic -- I could barely inflate my lungs and was struggling for breath. Neither the periodontist or his assistant noticed any change in my breathing, but it was dramatic enough they should have asked if I was OK.

I also noticed I was NOT relaxed enough "not to care" when the shots came. I've had nitrous before and this did not feel like I was dopey enough. 

I wish I could just suck it up, Ingrid, but I can't.  I've got a pretty high threshold of pain in just about anything else I can think of but there are too many highly sensitive nerve endings in the mouth for everyone to react the same way. For me, it might as well be  needles under my nails, it's that bad.

Each visit is supposed to address just one quadrant of my mouth -- I can't bear the idea of going back for 3 more sessions.  :o

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Susan August

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2006, 04:02:33 PM »

Around where I live, there are dentists who specialize in people who 'hate' the dentist.  Does your area have this? 
We actually have advertising targeted at this market!  I even got a mailer this week about it.  Not sure that helps you in any way, but just thought to mention that there really is a serious need in this area.

Susan
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Charmaine

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2006, 04:22:14 PM »

There are plenty of dentists in my area who advertise that they "specialize" with nervous or phobic patients. I think i've called them all. When asked what "special" things they do for folks like me they chirp that "Doctor is very gentle," and "We use nitrous oxide."

Does he/she employ hypnosis or have a hypotherapist on hand? No.

Any other special tools, techniques or methods? "We use nitrous oxide!"

I mean, anything ELSE, like headphones, music, video, aromatherapy...?

"We use nitrous oxide. And doctor is very gentle."

It, is excuse the expression, like pulling teeth to find a dental pro who does anything different. I dunno if it's laziness, stubborness, financial considerations or what, but what I'm always getting is a strong desire to "reassure" me into simply lying back and letting them do whatever it is they do with as little resistance as possible for me. Take a Valium. Suck it up. Don't ask for more. 
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dhparker

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 04:29:39 PM »

Charmaine, nobody's mentioned this, so I will.  I wouldn't step foot in that office ever again.  Probably you already know whether or not your heart's in good condition, but heaviness and pain in the chest and difficulty breathing can be classic symptoms of heart attack as well as panic attack.  As medical people, I hope they know that.  Whether your problem was a panic attack or a heart attack or whatever, they should have listened to you and immediately done whatever it took to made sure your heart was ok.

Anyway, glad you survived it and hope you will find a better way or better people to deal with!

Ingrid

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 05:06:30 PM »

Yeah, maybe a new dentist would be better.  They weren't very considerate. Also, have they thought of showing movies?  Tell the next dentist that you get breathing problems when they put you back too far.  It's not necessary for the shot and probably not crucial for the other work. But the shot really doesn't last long and it makes the rest painless. Do you have the same problems for the cleaning sessions? They tend to last longer than dental work.

Ingrid
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penny

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 05:17:57 PM »

Charmaine, your doctor really doesn't seem like a match made in heaven for you.

Isn't it possible to have  more complete sedatation - I'm not sure what the term is in English, but I mean like what they do during surgery. (general anasthesia maybe?) I know it's not something you'd do normally, but if you're that sensitive, maybe it's possible.

Because I can really symphasize with putting off the next appointment if you suffer so!

Penny
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Charmaine

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Re: My ongoing dentistry struggle...
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 07:04:01 PM »

Thanks, folks for sympathy and suggestions.

DH, I think my heart is fine. I wasn't feeling panic or anxiety until I had struggled to get a breath for several minutes and it wasn't getting easier. As soon as I was raised up and had a bit more oxygen, I was fine, and my chest pain vanished. I think I was just in an awkward position for breathing, especially with a face mask and more limited oxygen. 

Ingrid, I know one shot doesn't last long - but for me, it's quite intense. And I had four just for one qradrant of the mouth. The first was so bad I was squirming. By the second, I managed to say, "If I'm supposed to be relaxed by now. I'M NOT." By the third, I was in tears and moaning, and I was really writhing by the time 4 went in.

They did not give me any more nitrous. They did not offer me any sympathy or ask me if I needed to have a moment to recover myself. The most I got was an almost grudging acknowledgement from the doc afterward that he should have let the nitrous take longer to take effect. And that people have different thresholds to this type of pain and to nitrous. And next time I should take a Valium. That was that.

Penny, they never do complete sedation for this type of dentistry, only "conscious sedation," which is nitrous oxide.  I've had complete sedation for the removal of impacted wisdom teeth with no problem. But it's not an option for this type of thing.

I'm not going back to that office. I don't think there is such a thing as totally painfree dentistry, and I can put up with anything else except needles in my mouth without serious mitigation. Somebody, somewhere must have something better to offer, and I will keep looking.

 




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