This is topic How do you get through a dentist appt? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
Any tips? I have a terrible time with the lights, the positioning in the chair, holding my mouth open for so long etc. Getting my teeth cleaned is one of the most hellacious things on my 'to do list'.

Plus, I feel like I am going to pass out the whole time.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
i've got an appt on wednesday to have my broken cap repaired plus a cleaning.

i'm with you. i hate i'm worried about the flue...but hey, gotta do it.

i just play mindgames in my head.
Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
Yeah, it would also be nice if the hygenist, with good intentions, would just clean my teeth and not talk after every 'swish and spit'....just makes for a much longer appt.

I already cancelled my cleaning 2 weeks ago. I have to make myself get through this head is already pounding....waaahhhhh
Posted by sutherngrl (Member # 16270) on :
This is exactly why I have been neglecting my teeth ever since I became ill. I just can't sit there and suffer through all of that. Plus I get so much anxiety and that makes me feel like passing out too.

I just try to take extra good care of my teeth until I am feeling better.

But I am proud of you for going feelfit. And you will make it through and you will be glad you went, once its over. Maybe you can come back and inspire me to go.
Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
First, while I could not hide my condition, I do have to remind them each time when scheduling that I am very sensitive to sound and tire easily so a little more time may need to be scheduled for frequent short breaks during the procedure so my jaw - and EARS - can better handle this.

One ear specialist informs his tinnitus patients (when getting a filling) to rest for a minute after every minute of drilling. I forget the exact times but it is a frequent "start - stop" routine - or ANYTIME the tinnitus is unbearable.

I can't tolerate a high speed drill for more than about 20 seconds but I have a wonderful dentist who seems to really understand that.

I have them stop frequently. I also have the dentist himself now personally clean my teeth without the high powered water pulser.

This is a requirement for me at that water jet triggered seizures.

I also take my bose noise cancellation head phones but they do NOT stop noise from teeth from traveling right through bone to the megaphones in my ears. Ear plugs are NOT advised with dental work as it actually intensifies the sound in the ears more due to bone conduction.

I also take my own CDs that I am familiar with and they put into there stereo - that way I don't get the jarring bass beats from their stereo or the jolting commercials if they listen to the radio.

Also - when shots are needed - No EPI in the numbing stuff. Epinephrine is like speed to me and that makes for a harrowing experience for me and for the dentist.

Schedule for the quietest time of the day - a day when less people are in the office, etc.

And confirm that they've not just painted or installed new carpet.

I never go in mornings (or whatever time of day is the worst for you).

Call the day before to remind them not to wear colognes, etc.

Taking my own polarized sunglasses helps, too.


You might ask everyone at your dentist's office to check out these links so that they better understand. Even if you don't have SCD, this is what sounds are like in the ears of many lyme patients:

SCDS - The Musician who heard too much

Nine-minute Video


The Hyperacusis Network


Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
Thank you for the good suggestions Keebler. I re-scheduled for the 2nd week in November. The office was wonderful about it all. This is my 2nd cancel...
Posted by sutherngrl (Member # 16270) on :
Feelfit, I totally understand! At least you are trying to get there. I just put it out of my mind and keep saying I will go when I feel better. By that time no telling what kind of dental work I will need.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
As for canceling, giving them at least a week's notice is appreciated, but even with just a couple days' notice, I'm sure they would rather not have you there if you are not up to it.

I have a cleaning coming up on 10 days and I'm not sure how I'll get through it. Still not quite in my best zone - but if I say off computer and off TV from now till then, I'll have a better chance.

It used to help to schedule acupuncture appts or massage both the before and the day after, when I could afford it. Those have gone by the wayside, but whatever you can do to keep you adrenal and nervous system the most stable, be sure to include that. Massage has some wonderful effects on calming the nervous system, and can set me right following an appointment much more quickly than when I skip it.

Thinking ahead really helps: I even have to think of when leaf blowers will be here - as I'm toast for days after that. So, plan carefully around whatever stresses you and plan for relaxation rehab around it, too.

I am glad that one hygienist who had worked with me for years is gone. She really did not understand at all and got all snippy over my requests to guard my safety (and hers).

Fortunately, I go to a solo dentist on the days that the second hygienist is gone. But, even then, it's amazingly stressful on my ears - and my entire nervous system. And I'm not afraid or anxious at all - never had trouble at the dentist until lyme and ear stuff.

Too bad none of the sedatives work for me - well, actually, they would have an effect: I'd melt into their carpet if I made it through the door and surely I'd pee my pants from the drug-induced muscle relaxation -- but the noise would still send me flying right past their high tech water bowls.

With all the requests required for health reasons, though, one could come off being a bit over the top, so I just keep my humor about me as much as possible.

A good dental appointment is one without brain damage, one without a seizure. And that makes my day.

It is hard, though, not to feel embarrassed or even ashamed at the state I'm in to have even a dental appointment be such a delicate ordeal. But, don't you "go there" as we all just have to take care of our bodies, whatever that requires with the best off-beat humor possible.
Posted by cottonbrain (Member # 13769) on :
one thing that helps me is to wear my dark sunglasses and ask if they can place a folded paper towel/napkin over my glasses as well.
Posted by Ocean (Member # 3496) on :

Oh I am RIGHT there with you!!! I cancelled on Oct 14, and then on Oct 21 and they rescheduled me for Nov 10..I am already DREADING IT!!

Keebler is right though...I got a shot of the anesthetic that went into a vein or artery in my lower jaw once back in 2003 and I thought I was going to die. I wasn't having panic attacks at the time, so I never said a word, and had no idea what happened. Not until 2005 did a dentist tell me what had happened.

I plan to ask for the no-epi in mine, as I have several cavities, and have failed fillings that need to be replaced, plus have several mercury fillings I need to get out...ugh!

I also need my wisdom teeth out and will have to do the conscious sedation and am terrified! The only 'good' thing is that we don't have enough money to get all this work done right dentist will have to tell me first things first, but I am dreading the cleaning...haven't had that done in almost 4 years!

I also have to drive 1.5 hours each way because I wanted a biological dentist and he has had a couple of other Lyme patients, though he isn't Lyme literate per say. My dad came with me to my consult on Sept 30.

Take care and thank you for posting about this, it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
My dentist figured this out for me. She wrote in big letters, just inside my chart in the allergy section: NO EPI.

If it is in your chart, each time you are seen it should be noted. Mentioning it is good, too.


Ask for a tool cleaning - without the water pulser (although they may need it on the lower front teeth). The scraping is still high pitched, but easier on the ears than the electronic ultrasonic gadget.

Also, if you don't already have one, a Sonicare toothbrush and a Waterpik can be very helpful in minimizing the work that needs to be done at a cleaning.

[ 10-26-2009, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]
Posted by bettyg (Member # 6147) on :
boy, do i know that too!

i request they do NOT put me down all the way in chair; i have a hiatal hernia too. so i have them go down to where i'm NOT comfortable.

i have them put a small pillow at my lower back; get terrible back SPASMS otherwise.

i wear my dark RX sunglasses and my NOIR over the glasses DARKEST TINT available plus my strawhat !! they have a fit, but i don't care! i have to protect my eyesight!

since i also have a NEW HIP REPLACEMENT, i need to take a ANTIBITOIC PILL 1 hr. prior to anything being done.

they have great 50-60s music i grew up with so that helps too. good luck to you [Smile] hugs
Posted by WildCondor (Member # 434) on :
Try putting on some soothing music on an ipod, taking a xanax or 2, and wearing an eye mask. That should fix any dentist phobias [Smile] Make sure the dentist is aware you are sensitive this way.
Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
no dental phobias. I have severe headaches everyday. The stimulation, light and noise make that headache even worse.

Keebler, I cannot give a weeks notice to cancel an appt. My life is not normal! I cannot predict when steel rods are going to be drilled through my as much as I would like to be courteous, it is impossible.

I made it all the way to the eye doctor a few weeks ago only to have my driver enter the building and tell them that I would have to reschedule because of my enormous head pain.

So there you go. I have been very fortunate to have complete understanding and accommodation from my health providers.

Thanks again for the tips!
Posted by njlymemom (Member # 15088) on :
I understand completely. I am lucky that my dentist/office are so understanding.

They have made accomodations when I am there to help me get through the cleaning process.

It takes a little longer b/c of the breaks they take.

I can't lay back as far as they like, can't breath and interferes with my swallowing.

I have cancelled many times b/c of pain. If you have a good dentist they will understand.

The lights can be a problem, sunglasses may look odd but have worked.

earplugs may help, was thinking of bringing them for my next visit.

Good luck feelfit
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
njlymemom ,

Just so you won't be shocked, ear plugs can actually make it worse and the ear experts advise NOT to wear ear plugs during dental procedures as more sound is then sort of trapped and concentrated in the inner/middle ear.

This is due to bone conduction.

However, either the construction head muffs or a noise cancellation head set could be worn. Or just plain head phones but NOT ear buds.

The muffs or phones can be hard to manage when back in the chair but a bucky neck pillow can help keep them from pushing too much forward if you manipulate the pillow just right.
Posted by aiden424 (Member # 7633) on :
[QUOTE]Originally posted by feelfit:
[QB] no dental phobias.

Not me!! Mine is a dentist phobia!! I've given birth to 3 kids naturally, no meds of any kind, and was fine. But It freaks me out to go to the dentist. I go every year but I always dread it. I feel like I'm going to pass out the whole time I'm there. Yuck!!

Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :

I wonder if your dentist might know of a good dental hypnotherapist. That could make the difference between night and day if a phobia undermines your "enjoyment" of such an event. I've seen it work wonders (I actually was certified in hypnosis when I worked in the field of stress management training - briefly - I saw others who focused on the medical hypnosis and I've used it for some surgeries, etc.)

As for if hypnosis can ease sensory challenges, it could help with relaxation but will not likely coat the nerves that are missing the myelin sheath or cure the HPA axis and all other medical stuff that seems to be frazzled here. If relaxation could cure all my woes, I'd have it conquered. My "inner being" is sooo mellow. My body truly has another experience going on.

Posted by njlymemom (Member # 15088) on :
Keebler, thanks for the heads up (no pun intended) about the ear plugs.

When I had a recent brain MRI - they automatically gave these to me - their standard procedure. I have had MRIs in the past and was never offered them.

It did help with the noise from the machine - so I thought it may be worth a try with the dental cleaning. I can't stand the scrapping noise or the electric polisher "thingy".
Posted by aiden424 (Member # 7633) on :
I think my issues are from the fact that I've had some bad dentists in the past. The one I have now is better.

Posted by cottonbrain (Member # 13769) on :
FF, I share your symptoms -- also sensitivity to sound -- once I had to leave the pain center because the sound from their stereo was so excruciating to me that it brought me to tears.

I don't know of a good way to handle the dentist except to ask them in advance to control the environment for lights, sounds, smells, etc.

if that's still no good, maybe a sedation dentist?
Posted by feelfit (Member # 12770) on :
Thanks Cottonbrain. I am going to try some relaxing lullabys on my i-pod. keep my eyes closed and hope for the best [Big Grin] ....oh, and no talking between spits. In and out asap!


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