Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Streak Ended

It has been at least 15 years since I went to the dentist. Yes I just admitted that.

I have a phobia about them. Caused by large needles that never really numbed my mouth anyway where they were supposed to, sadistic hygenists that made it a game to see how painful teeth cleaning could be, and a few cavities filled incorrectly made me avoid the office like the plague.

Mention teeth around me and I panic, the sound of a drill makes my teeth ache, and going into the dentists office makes me sick.

Luckily I have been blessed with pretty good teeth. I don't get cavities easily, I didn't need braces, and I don't suffer pain easily.

But on Saturday I was woken up by someone apparently hammering my tooth on the inside trying to crack it's way out. This tooth was one incorrectly filled a long time ago that has always caused me problems. The past 2 days I've lived in pain, from mild to severe depending on the moment. So today I did it. I went in. Mainly because the thought of an infection made cringe, what would be worse than the dentist? A dentist appt morphing into a doctor's appt.

To make a long panic attack filled visit short, I once again kind of anyway lucked out. There is a crack and a cavity beneath the filling that needs to be fixed. But the pain is being caused more by the broken tooth behind it that is pressuring it. So I need to have that one extracted, and then the filling taken care of. I realize this means 2 more appointments, but really, I am happy there was no infection, no root canal needed and it seems like a quick fix. There are also no more cavities lurking and the dentist didn't give me a hard time over not coming in.

There is a major stigma really over dental phobia. I wonder why? It's a realistically horrific experience, the lack of control, the pain, the stress and the fact that the sounds and smells are easily identifiable. Why do we look down on people who have a phobia of this, but don't say anything about people who fear bridges or won't eat their peas? Weird on a lot of levels. I admit I have a phobia, and I admit that it's not a healthy one. But it's no less real than other phobias. I can talk in front of 250 people, go on TV, confront someone in public. I can not go to the dentist without mentally talking myself through each step and thinking it's the lesser of 2 evils. It may be wierd, but it's reality.

Now to get up the courage to call the oral surgeon. Ugh.

1 comment:

  1. I never had a phobia of the dentist while I was a child. Then I got a horrible dentist when I needed my wisdom teeth pulled. He threatened to break my jaw two days before Thanksgiving.

    I now need extensive dental work. It's the lack of finances that prevents now, besides my fear of the abuse. I don't want to give them my hard earned money and be abused like previous. That would just send me over the top.