Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Confronting fear...

I have a very, very deep seated fear of going to the dentist. It is never pleasant. I had childhood braces for the better par of ten years. I had four impacted and infected wisdom teeth, after which I had four cases of dry socket... and horrible TMJ issues that kept me out of work for another resulting three weeks. I have a HUGE issue with having peoples fingers in my mouth ( the idea itself gives me shivers ), and the scraping, whizzing, buzzing, showering you with mint flavored grit and mouthwash just does me right in.

And so I haven't gone to the dentist in many years.

When Alex told me several weeks ago that he was making appointments, I began to have panic attacks. My teeth never hurt but there was some plaque buildup that I could see - I knew it wouldn't be good. I've had two pregnancies where my teeth had a daily stomach acid bath... many days several times. It had been YEARS since I'd gone... I couldn't do it... I just couldn't force myself to go. I convinced him - once - to delay the trip by another week. After that, though, there were no more excuses.

Then the nightmares began. And the panic attacks. And the constant humour to prepare me for the worst. Tooth pulling. Picking scraping scaling probing with the tiny axe blade in sensitive gums. Root canals minus anesthetic.

Having all of my teeth pulled under sedation and being fitted with dentures sounded wonderfully attractive. I checked the calendar. One day.... Crap. Stomach flu? Fall down the stairs? What, what what could I do get out of going? Feign a migraine? " Forget " and be out of cell phone contact?

But I didn't. I even got in the car. I stared through the window, making jokes about not going in and just staying in the car. Alex got out and took my keys. The heat inside the car rose to a sweltering 40* instantly. I thought to myself.... heat stroke would be a good one... But I got out of the car, blinking back hysteria and walked into the dentist.

I could go into details about the embarrassment of telling the dentist it had been just shy of nine years. I could tell you how they took Alex back first, and I almost bolted out the door. I could say how I started to cry and hyperventilate, and actually wondered if I was going to pass out. I could say how horrible it was to hear my name, hear " Eight years? Oh dear... " and how the only way I got through it was texting a friend, and a music remake to drown out the polishing drill.

But what it really comes down to is... I still hate the dentist. And because I was a pansy and didn't go... I have lots and lots of work to be done.


I wonder if they can prescribe Valium for dentist fear?


Patyrish said...

Ugh I have the same fear. Last time I went they had to pull a wisdom tooth and GOOD LORD I thought I was going to D-I-E!

i feel for you.

I take a xanax before I go now.

RissaRoo said...

Oh're not alone! It was more like 11 years when I finally went. Here in the states, they do have "sedation dentistry". Of course, you'd have to take a loan out or something in order to afford it...

I have to get 4 wisdom teeth out, and I've know that for several years now. I keep putting it of these days I guess I'll ask hubby to knock me out and drag me in. That's about the only way it's going to happen!