Tag Archives: dental anxiety

Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

I’m going to honest and just admit I avoid the dentist. I had a filling fall out. I avoided the dentist. Then I needed a root canal treatment. I did get that, but it was rather traumatic. So, I didn’t go back for the crown. Now my tooth was hurting so badly that I had to go to a dentist again. Though I did go to a different dentist. He told me the tooth is too far gone and needs to be removed. However, he said it’s extensive enough that I may consider an oral surgeon because he’d have to cut through both gum and bone. I like the idea of it not costing as much going to the local dentist, but wonder if it’s not safe and that’s why he mentioned an oral surgeon.

Patty

Dear Patty,

Someone asleep from dental sedation

I hate it when dentists say stuff like this. It makes patients uneasy. They wonder if they’re being unsafe choosing the more financially feasible option for them. I don’t know if your dentist phrased it that way because he’s uncomfortable with the procedure and he was trying to steer you another direction or if he’s perfectly comfortable doing it and just giving you non-opinioned options.

I’d ask your dentist a few questions before making a decision:

  • How comfortable does he feel with the procedure?
  • Has he done this type of extraction before?
  • What type of sedation does he offer?
  • What are the roots like? Straight and tapered or twisted with knobs?

The Importance of a Sedation Dentist for You

Based on what you’ve described of your oral hygiene habits, you have dental anxiety. It’s not uncommon. However, it wreaks havoc on your oral health, as you’ve discovered. If you were comfortable going to the dentist when your filling first came out, you wouldn’t be facing this difficult extraction and then facing pricey tooth replacement options.

Dental Sedation will change your life. However, at your level of anxiety (and especially for your extraction procedure), you will need something stronger than just nitrous oxide. You will need oral conscious sedation. This is strong enough to allow you to sleep through the procedure.

You will be able to have stress-free dental appointments from now on and even get all your teeth back in shape.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Can an Emergency Dentist Help with an Excruciating Canker Sore?

I’ve had what I think is a canker sore for a week. It’s excruciating. I don’t know why I get these. I wasn’t able to eat last night. Can an emergency dentist help me?

Melinda B.

Dear Melinda,

A Man in pain and in need of an emergency dentist

Because you get them all the time, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see a doctor or dentist to find out why. Sometimes what we think are canker sores are actually a virus or cancer in disguise. That being said, I don’t think an emergency dental visit is necessary. Though I will add it concerns me that you can’t eat at the moment.

Have you tried any over-the-counter remedies? There are gels and pads you can put on them to try and numb them out. The pads are hard to keep on because of the moist nature of our mouths. You can also try some salt water rinses.

Canker Sores tend to run themselves out in about 10-14 days, so it looks like your almost there. If it goes much beyond that a dentist visit is in order.

If you get regular cleanings and check-ups from your dentist they should be screening you for oral cancers, so I wouldn’t be too concerned if they hadn’t mentioned anything.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies

If you’re someone who avoids the dentist, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot. Our mouths are loaded with bacteria so doing what we can to keep them clean and healthy with preventative care could help stave off some of these sores.

I do understand that many people have a phobia when it comes to going to the dentist. If this is you, don’t feel bad. Many Americans share your feelings. There is a way to have anxiety-free appointments these days.

Ask your dentist about sleep dentistry. It will enable you to get the oral health care you need, while resting comfortably in a chair. Most people use the time for a nap. Though I will warn you you’ll feel groggy throughout the day and will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Why Can’t My Dentist Get Me Numb?

I need serious help. At this moment, I’m living off of extremely strong painkillers. My dentist had to send me home with them because he doesn’t know what to do. He tried on five different appointments to get me numb. But, after at least seven shots and some kind of paste on my gums he still couldn’t get me numb enough to do my root canal. What gives? I’m miserable and my dentist feels horrible. He’s even refunded my money.

Scott T.

Dear Scott,

Gilbert Sedation Dentist

What a difficult experience. I’m sure you’re in tons of pain, so I will make this quick. I know exactly what is going on here, because a colleague of mine (and a dentist himself) had the same problem whenever he went in for treatment.

Believe it or not, this dentist suffered from dental anxiety. Between you and me, I think it was frightening for him not to be in charge of the procedure.

What many dentists don’t realize is that dental anxiety and Novocain (along with other numbing medications) are not a good mix. The anxiety ups your metabolism which in turn burns off the numbing agent. The higher the anxiety, the faster it burns it out.

There’s a simple solution. You need dental sedation. You’ll simply take a pill before your appointment which will completely relax you. Be aware that it relaxes you so much, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment along with someone to stay with you until you’re steady on your feet again.

Whenever a patient with dental fear uses sedation, it enables the numbing medication to do its job. You’ll experience a stress-free, pain-free root canal treatment.

Best of luck to you. Dental emergencies are the worst.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

What I Do? The Emergency Dentist Perforated My Sinus

I’m in massive pain and I no longer trust the dentist I went to see. I had a molar that was killing me. I went to see an emergency dentist. He said my mouth was in pretty bad shape and he couldn’t tell which molar was the problem. He suggested I have both extracted. I was in so much pain I would have agreed to have my jaw removed at that point. There didn’t seem to be any problem taking out the molars and I went home feeling a smidge better, but still in pain. I thought it was just healing from the procedure. A few days later, I started feeling weird pops and growing achy. I called their office. Not only did they not tell me that anything went wrong during the procedure, but they just suggested I take a decongestant. Not much longer I developed a fever. They called in an antibiotic for me, but I insisted on coming in for them to look. They complied. It wasn’t until I go there that they mentioned my sinus was perforated during the extraction. I was really upset I wasn’t given that information. It seems kind of important to know I now have a hole where I shouldn’t have one. They even pulled some bone fragments out of the area. The problem I’ve got is I’ve finished the antibiotics and I still feel horrible and still have a fever. As I said at the beginning, I don’t trust this dentist anymore. What do you recommend?

Peggy A.

Dear Peggy,

Gilbert Emergency Dentist

There were some serious mistakes made here, so I don’t blame you for not trusting this practice any more. In the first place, while perforations do happen, there are very specific and important protocols which should have been taken. At the very least, he should have told you in order to warn you not to do things like blow your nose, which could derail any healing process.

Then, the incompetence of not clueing into the possibility that you had an infection when you called the first time is beyond me. Plus, it sounds like he placed you on the wrong antibiotics. You should have been significantly better within two days.

This needs to be addressed. First, talk to your doctor about what’s going on. He can get you on the correct antibiotic and arrange for you to have an emergency ENT (Ear, nose, and throat) appointment. They should get you on the road to recovery soon.

I’m guessing the reason you went to an emergency dentist to begin with is because you don’t have a regular dentist whom you see. Generally, that happens when a patient has dental anxiety. If that’s you, I wanted to give you some hope. When you start looking for another dentist, I’d like to suggest you try someone who uses dental sedation. This can give you a pain-free, stress-free appointment. I think it will help you feel comfortable going more regularly.

One of the best thing about most sedation dentists is they don’t judge or lecture. They’re used to working with fearful patients and are very compassionate.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt. Roper.

Can I Still Get Dental Sedation If I Take Anxiety Meds?

I’m on two medications. One for depression and one for anxiety. I want to get sedation when I have my dental procedure done but I’m worried they won’t let me. Can you tell me what sedation medications they use so I can make sure it’s fine with my medication? I’m afraid if I tell them about the meds they’ll send me away.

Lisa W.

Dear Lisa,

Dental Sedation

The problem with your request is two-fold. One, every dentist uses different sedation medication so there would be no way to know whether or you’d be checking the right medication. Second, your dosages make a difference as to how much the dentist can give you. I know you’re worried about being sent packing, but that won’t happen.

Dentists who deal with anxious patients are used to patients on multiple medications. The only thing you’ll need to do is schedule a consultation with your dentist so he or she can make sure whatever they use will work well with what you’re taking.

If what they use would interfere they will either change what they use or make arrangements with another dentist who prefers the other medicine to work with you.

Dental anxiety is common and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed by it, but what you’re doing is brave. You’re facing your fears to get the treatment you need. That puts you ahead of many patients who can’t do that and then end up with a dental emergency.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Can You Die From Dental Sedation?

I keep reading these stories about patients who’ve died during sedation. It’s starting to freak me out. I’m  scheduled to get my wisdom teeth extracted and planned on using sedation to make this go easier. I’m an anxious patient even when I just go in for cleanings. Now, I’m a wreck and not sure what to do. Can I die from this?

Laura M. – Alabama

Laura,

Let me put your mind at ease. While there are risks with any procedure, it is extraordinarily rare for patients to die from dental sedation. And, most of the time when they do, it’s usually those patients who were put under anesthesia.

It’s more likely the type of sedation you’ll get is oral conscious sedation. This doesn’t lower your respiratory functions the way anesthesia does. You’ll be conscious, but completely relaxed. This allows the numbing medication to do its job giving you a pain-free experience.

If you’re an anxious patient, it will be important you get the medication. Dental anxiety tends to increase your metabolism causing you to burn through the numbing medication.

Talk to your dentist about your concerns. Ask about what type of monitoring they do. You can ask them to have oxygen on hand and monitor your heart, though many sedation dentists do this as a matter of course.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Do My Wisdom Teeth Need an Emergency Dentist?

My wisdom teeth bother me on and off with some swelling. Now it’s a lot worse. In fact, I haven’t been able to eat for two days. I’m miserable.  It’s normally better by now. Do I need to do anything?

Sylvia – Connecticut

Sylvia,

My suspicion is you aren’t under the regular care of a dentist. When there is recurrent pain, such as you described, a dentist generally recommends you have the wisdom teeth removed. Recurring swelling is an indication there’s a problem. Your wisdom teeth can blow up into a serious infection in no time and then you can have a huge problem on your hands. In fact, I think you’re there now.

Tooth infections spread and can become life threatening. I’d like you to see an emergency dentist. They’ll evaluate your wisdom teeth and see if it’s infected.

I’m concerned with the fact that you can’t eat. I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up with your face swollen in a day or so.

Please don’t put this off. If you’re someone who suffers from dental anxiety, I don’t want you to feel cornered or to allow it to keep you from the dentist. There are emergency dentists who offer sedation dentistry. You can get your wisdom teeth examined and even extracted completely pain free.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

 

CEREC Crowns and Teeth Grinding

My husband says I’m just finding excuses because I’m afraid of the dentist, but I think it’s a legitimate concern. I’m scheduled to get a CEREC crown next week. But, the more I think about it, I think it won’t hold up with nighttime grinding the way my normal teeth do. Am I right?

Cecelia M. – North Dakota

Cecelia,

In a way, you’re both right. CEREC crowns will not hold up to nighttime grinding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it. Here’s why. First, you need a crown. Leaving your tooth untreated will cause you serious problems in a very short timespan.

Second, your natural teeth will not bear up under the grinding either. In fact, your grinding is likely what led to you needing a crown to begin with.

Get the CEREC crown, then get fitted for a nightguard to protect all your teeth–real and replacement.

However, all that being said, your dental anxiety can be dealt with too. You don’t have to put yourself through the anxiety. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. It can give you a worry-free and pain-free appointment. Likely, it will change your view of going to the dentist forever.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

My Tooth Lost a Sword Fight

My son and I were playing with his wooden swords. Not only was I soundly defeated, but I believe my front tooth was the biggest loser. I can now wiggle my front tooth. I’m terrified it’s going to fall out. What do I do?

Janelle O. – Massachusetts

Janelle,

Motherhood can be rough sometimes. You’re a cook, a chauffeur, a teacher, a counselor, a nurse, and…..a swordfighter.  Or, in your case….victim.

The first thing I want you to do is stop moving the tooth. If you continue wiggling it, you will increase the likelihood of losing it. It sounds like the ligaments are stretched.  What you don’t want is for them to snap.

I would consider this an emergency dental situation. If you don’t have a regular dentist that can get you in on short notice, do a Google search for “emergency dentist” and go to a decent one in your area.

They’ll need to stabilize your tooth. He may bond it to an adjacent tooth or splint it. There are several methods. If it’s just a minor sprain to the ligament, it should heal on its own.  But, there could be other issues as well when we’re dealing with tooth trauma.

He’ll also need to check that there’s no damage to the pulp of the tooth. If there is, don’t panic. A root canal will take care of that issue.

Bottom line–get seen as quickly as possible. You may also want to invest in some sword fighting lessons as well.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Will Sedation Let Me Get ALL My Dental Work Done?

I hate dentists. Hate them.  I’ve not gone in a while and as a result I need a lot of work.  Here’s the breakdown:

1 tooth pulled, 3 Dental Crowns. 1 Root Canal

Is it possible to get this all done at once?

Drew – Minnesota

Drew,

It sounds like you’ve had some really bad experiences at the dentists. I assuming you know about sedation dentistry and that is why you’re asking if it can get done in one visit.

Depending on the dentist and how much work he’s willing to do at once, it’s possible to get at least most of it done in one sitting. It may take two. Either way, you won’t feel a thing.

Sedation is designed to give you a completely pain free dental experience. You may not even remember the procedures.  You may even find a way to, if not enjoy, at least no longer hate going to the dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.