Dental phobia + bad teeth = total disaster - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-17-2007, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, all,

Okay, here it goes, in the midst of a panic attack, I just realized that I not only hate the idea of dentistry, I am irrationally terrified of it. I also have HORRIBLE teeth, after a childhood of no cavities, I started getting them at age 19, and have had 6 fillings almost every time I see a dentist since. I also have 1 crown, and had 2 non-occlusive molars pulled due to decay. I (thankfully) have no amalgam fillings, as I always was nervous about these. I haven't seen a dentist in about 13 months, b/c of pregnancy and the above mentioned fear.

I finally found a dentist who was pretty nice (i.e. I didn't break down in tears in his office), but his billing department was so messed up that we were getting double-billed for services 6 months after the fact. He did do conscious sedation, which was handy in getting the fillings taken care of without having to have multiple appointments.

I need to locate a dentist, as I have 2 visible cavities, as well as probably a mouth full of hidden danger after my calcium-depleting heparin-filled pregnancy.
:

My questions:
1) I am exclusively breast-feeding my 5 month old. How does conscious sedation work in this case? I know the prior dentist I had used Halcion.

2) How do I find a dentist that understands my crazy irrational fear of him or her? I'm almost tempted to persuade a pediatric dentist to see me.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Erin
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Erin,

I would not have conscious sedation in the dental office. The risks of anesthesia are 10 times greater for an severe outcome in the pediatric population. I don't find specific risk comparison for adults, per a quick google. But suffice it to say, that the dentist providing the anesthesia is only one qualified person to provide resuscitation in the event of an emergency. Their knowledge of alternative sedation related to breastfeeding, pharmacological sedation requirements for multiple reconstructions, and their equipment for emergencies is significantly less than in an hospital dental operating room setting.

Personally, for extensive dental care, under general anesthesia (deep sedation such that you can not respond to pain), I would find a dentist who does surgery at the local hospital for safety. Our insurance covered about 80% as major medical.

Have you read in the "Natural Alternatives to Curing Cavities" thread? http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=399989

HTH, Pat

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Old 01-17-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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I had conscious sedation to fix my teeth after avoiding the dentist for 14 years and it was the absolute best thing for me. While under conscious sedation I was never left alone - if the dentist stepped out for a moment there was always a dental assistant present to monitor my vital signs via an oxygen finger monitor and a few other monitors that I don't remember to save my life. I searched online for information regarding conscious and found lists of offices that were certified to offer the sedation in their office. I felt completely safe at all times, had the procedure explained in detail at an earlier visit, and was given detailed information to take home and read beforehand. Conscious sedation is a wonderful option for those of us with a real fear for dentists.
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone had ozone therapy or laser drilling? there is a dentist in the area who does both of these (as well as everything else... a cosmetic dentist), and I'm wondering if there might be an advantage to this... obvious disadvantage is money (but I do have coverage for normal stuff).

I have had an oral benzodiazepene for sedation dentistry (oral, not IV) in a dentist's office before, and it was a much more positive experience than when I've done without. I will keep in mind the risks of over-sedation. In my past experience with medical procedures done at the hospital, my tolerance for sedatives and benzodiazepenes is quite high, so the standard dosage given by my dentist did not cause any respiratory depression or amnesia, just a mild relaxation. However, I agree with you in regards to general anesthesia or IV sedation; I would only do this at a hospital.

Thanks for all who posted already,
erin
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Erin, I would definitely feel ok with oral valium. Good stuff. :As long as nitrous oxide wasn't used additionally. The combo apparently is one of the issues of sedation in the office. AND mandatory pulse oximetry monitoring (oxygen monitoring) during the procedure. I don't know if valium is contraindicated with nursing, but I imagine it is ok since they give it to laboring women, iirc.

Are the teeth hurting? Do you have to have amalgam removed? Do you plan on nursing for at least 6 more months? Personally, I'd give the nutrition stuff a chance, then look into the ozone. I've only heard good things, as long as you don't breathe the ozone, which could kill ya. But, water can kill ya', if you aren't careful. Since that is available, I'd definitely consider that. Except for the out of pocket expense. From what I have read it is not really more convenient to do the ozone since it requires repeated visits. I don't know about laser removal, unless that was the associated "drilling" with ozone. I can't recall. I WOULD NOT have mercury fillings removed while nursing, nor drilled out due to larger cavities. I'd do anything to leave them alone!!

No need to answer here. Just food for thought.

Best wishes, Pat

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