I talked quite often about my dental phobia on my blog. Over the last months there was partial success but it´s not always easy as I also suffer from agoraphobia and anxiety attacks but this is another story, but worth to mention as both diseases make something like a dental visit quite difficult. I have my agoraphobia under control since some years now and it was not even clear if it is agoraphobia or social anxiety as it is hard to say but what ever it is, I could fight it back and this makes me very happy. However, the intensity of a dental visit can easily bring anxiety attacks back so that I still have to work on it in this area and at the same time on my dental phobia.
My dental phobia didn´t mean that I never went to a dentist. I did but I used some tricks such as paying for the luxury of general anesthetic for example. While a general anesthetic has been a solution in those cases, I simply wanted to try it without as I could save a lot of money. In the past I had success with some minor treatments but last week I called my dentist and got an appointment for today as I needed restoration. To be honest, I got pretty much weak in the knees when I was in the waiting room. I thought all the time if it wouldn´t be a better idea to cancel my idea and to go home. A moment later I thought that it won´t take that much time and that I laughed after my last appointments too. I stayed.
I few minutes later they called me and I thought “Damn, this is real… I am really here.. Am I crazy?” and thought again that a general anesthetic might have been a better idea. In the dentist chair I got the feeling that it is now too late to be a quitter. I was more afraid to quit all that than being afraid to let them see how nervous I am.
One good thing about this dental practice is that the whole team is very friendly and when they notice that you go nuts, they are anyhow able to calm you. I think this is an art in itself because I am really nervous on a dentist chair and I know that not every dentist team is great and patient at this point. But they are and I do think that this is a sign that they are very qualified. There was not much more time to think about it because they convinced me anyhow that all this is not as bad as I think.
I had the first tools in my mouth and the dental assistant said that they now will remove dental calculus. Not sure but it took them 5 minutes or so and I think this was not so bad. In fact, this did calm me even more. Then I got the local anaesthesia. I got two of them but they used some anesthesia pads earlier so that the injection didn´t even hurt much. I was excited that my whole face was numb after just one minute. They used lidocaine and I´d say that this kind of stuff has improved over the years. Really, I had to laugh because the local anaesthesia impact was pure dynamite as I couldn´t even feel my nose anymore after a minute. I couldn´t even stop myself to tell the dentist how excited I am about this stuff and that I wasn´t that impressed ten years ago, which is why I probably disliked to visit dentists. He had to laugh and said “Drugs get improved with time too, right”.
Finally they started with the restoration under local anaesthesia and I didn´t feel any pain. I just thought that the noises were strange and I really disliked the noise when he did scrape on my tooth with one of his tools. I didn´t have a problem with the drill sounds but the scraping sound was pretty annoying and got me bad goosebumps. But they always told me what they do and I just can say it again, they did calm me down on this way. I really must say that I found my favorite dentist. The whole team is super great.
After the treatment I leaved the chair and was so excited and happy that I did give them all a handshake. Not sure why I did this but it showed how I felt. For me, this was the last big triumph over the dental phobia because the treatment was more difficult than the minor treatments before. But I was brave and when I showed my feelings, I had the impression that they felt good too as if they would think “Yet again, we did our job great”. This is what I saw in their faces.
I mean if I would be dentist, the biggest achievement would be for me to even show a patient with dental phobia that all this is not too bad. I still have two other appointments in front of me and I am not sure if I am too excited because todays triumph but I can say they were able to bolster me up. I could imagine that I am less afraid next week when I have to meet them again.
This is not only important for me because I can save money on this way, it´s also important because I really want to fight this kind of anxiety. I can´t always ask for general anesthetic and I also don´t want to anymore in the future. This is why I say that I did a great step today. It´s strange, there is no other way to end this article here, I am still totally excited.