I don't know if I've ever explained my fear of dentistry. I take pretty good care of my teeth, overall, but for the last 10 years or so (minus my time at Home Depot) I have been without Dental insurance. So my last dental procedure was getting a filling replaced 11 years ago.
Prior to that, I went to the dentist only if we know there was a problem, so maybe a handful of times in my youth. My first experience that I remember, was getting my first cavity filled when I was 9, and my dental hygiene was about what you'd expect of a 9-year-old.
The Dentist gave a shot to numb up the tooth, waited the appropriate time, and then began drilling. The shot had not properly numbed me up. I cried, and flailed a bit, and he yelled at me. When I explained that the shot didn't work, they gave me another. Waited, and drilled again. I still felt it. That time he told me he was almost done, and finished it up.
So, that comes to mind every time I hear that dental drill. And my anxiety goes through the roof. Today, I count myself lucky, because I had a very understanding staff attending me, and when the first shot didn't properly numb me, and I felt the drill, the dentist apologized, and gave me two or three more shots, in a few different places to really make sure I wouldn't feel it.
It worked, and I was incredibly relieved. This time when I felt the drill, it was more of a sensation of knowing that there was something in my mouth, and I could hear it, but there was no pain. One of the ladies in the office lent me her noise-canceling headphones to help me try to block out the sound of the drill.
From there it was very surreal, and I was only vaguely aware of what was going on, based upon seeing a technician handing tools back and forth to the dentist, though mostly I was staring up at the ceiling, when my view was unobstructed by the dentist's hand and wrist. I'm not sure exactly how long I was in there, because by the time it was over, I was in minor shock.
I did end up taking one of my anti-anxiety pills but I felt shell-shocked and was relieved when, after a stop at the pharmacy for a new script for vicodin, I was able to come home and sleep off the worst of it.
The dentist I saw today was a specialist, and told me that he had done the roots, and put in a temporary filling but I need to see my regular dentist within 30 days. I asked how soon was too soon, and he said I should give my mouth about a week before I go to get the post and crown done with my normal dentist.
I'm going to ask if I can get before and after x-rays from Dr Furman, because I was a bit too stunned to ask for the afters from Dr Bernier. It was interesting to be able to see the work he had done on the x-ray, and how bad the tooth had actually been versus what I could see on the first x-ray, which I had trouble deciphering.
All in all, the procedure itself (once I was properly numbed up) wasn't too bad. There was a bit where I was apparently trying to clench my jaw, and my cheek ended up getting nicked, but the dentist was very apologetic, and I think that was rather my own anxiety getting in the way. I didn't feel it happening at any rate. I think the more painful part, will be adjusting to the difference of how my tooth feels because there is some live nerve left it feels like, and I feel a slight pressure from the work that was done. I don't know how that will or will not change after I've got the post and crown.
Anyway, Monday I will be calling Dr Furman to schedule my followup for the post and crown. I want to get this all finished as quickly as I can, so I don't have to deal with it again any time soon. I take pretty good care of my teeth I think, so if I can just get this sorted, all I should have to worry about is the maintenance cleanings and checkups. :)