Saturday, July 02, 2011

Poster recounts trauma of being strapped down

Dental Fear Central

Well, I've not been to the dentist in about 5 or so years. I don't remember the last time, to be honest.
I have always had a huge fear of dentists, but my biggest trauma was being held down for cleanings and fillings as a child every 6 months. Even though I was cooperative, I would be strapped down. Being an abuse victim, this scares me to death. My other fear is the pain, as I am on long-term opiate therapy for chronic pain (my spine is just totally obliterated) stemming from an accident and cancer.
I know I have many problems with my teeth, and it is humiliating to go to the dentist. I have a lot of decay at the gum line, I know I have periodontal/gum disease, and I have many cavities I can feel, esp along the molar gum line on the lower jaw. I also have one tooth that cracked off halfway but that never has hurt. I have been eating Motrin like candy for a month, putting this off. Just thinking about calling a dentist made me go into panic mode. But finally I cannot take this lower jaw pain anymore. I know I have impacted wisdom teeth and several huge cavities on that side that hurts. The Motrin doesn't help at all anymore, and although most would probably think that with my narcotics I wouldn't feel pain...I do. It doesn't touch the tooth pain whatsoever.
I don't even know what the cause of my jaw pain is...the whole right lower side hurts. I have TMJ problems from an accident in which I hit my lower jaw on the steering wheel as well. So many problems!!!
Besides the fear of the dentist, my "rationalization" for so long has been that I don't have the money to get these fixed. I know it truly doesn't make sense, was my excuse. For what little income I do manage to get, through selling things and whatnot, goes toward my two young kids. I avoided the dentist for so long because I had such a hard time finding a dentist that would accept payment plans, etc. My mom had to help me call places. Finally I found one yesterday, and I am hoping they will be able to help me. It is there that I will be going this morning.
Sorry for the length of this post. I have not slept all night, partly from the pain of my jaw, but mostly from sheer terror. I am also extremely worried about the pain, as I cannot just get narcotics from anybody. They all must come from my pain management doc, but he is not in the office until Monday. So that just adds one more level of fear on me. I hope and pray the dentist is kind and gentle, cause otherwise I may lose it!
I really appreciate finding that there is a forum out there for people who fear the dentist as much as I do. One of my friends goes to a sleep dentist, and gets knocked out for everything. She has a bad needle phobia as well. I don't' care about needles, I just fear the dentist in general! lol I wish I could afford the thousands of dollars it cost to see a sleep dentist. I will be happy just to be able to eat again and not suck down a bottle of Motrin like candy.
The worst part is, I feel like such a hypocrite for being so adamant about my kids brushing and flossing and seeing the dentist. When I haven't gone for ages. I had so much trouble as a child with teeth problems that I am always telling my kids "You don't want to have teeth like mine!".
I apologize for the long, rambling post. It sure feels good to know I will be understood here, though. My family thinks I'm crazy for avoiding the dentist. To them, quote "I should just get over it." That's their answer to everything. Suck it up and go.
Thanks for listening.