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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Anxiety, redux
Yesterday, I had a dental appointment; it was the latest in a series, since I have shallow decay on several of my molars that's through the enamel. My fault for not getting to a dentist for years after I moved out here after college; better to deal with it now before it gets worse, since it's already as bad as it is.

I've had a lot of anxiety around dentistry for years. Part of it is picked up from my mother, part of it is from a bad experience having dental work done when I was growing up. I've been fortunate to find a very patient dentist who has a lot of sympathy for anxiety issues (given that his anxiety over using the telephone is at least as bad as my anxiety about dental treatments is), so we've been working through things.

Yesterday's appointment was to have three teeth drilled, ideally; it was an unrealistically optimistic plan, but somehow it actually worked out that way. I guess we've found something that works, since I had very little anxiety through the whole procedure- distinctly less than I've had during a dental appointment for years. Hopefully, this won't be an outlier; I've got another appointment next month to, hopefully, finish up all the fillings I need.

I think I'm also realizing, though, how little cause much of my stress and anxiety actually have. I'm feeling more generalized anxiety today than I did yesterday, by a fairly wide margin- and I don't have so much as a guess as to the cause.

Bluh. Maybe I should actually go to a professional about this. I don't know why this has been getting as much worse recently as it has; I've always had low-level anxiety issues, but this is worse than years past, and is persisting.

I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at http://kistaro.dreamwidth.org/486477.html. View comment count unavailable comments at http://kistaro.dreamwidth.org/486477.html#comments; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own, or you can comment here.

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I am also afraid to go. I am afraid I've got irreparable damage from an injury to my front bottom tooth. =/ Do you think that, if one gets a referral from the psychologist for anxiety issues, that one could get them to just GAS you for the procedures like drilling and cleaning and whatever?
*terrified and getting worse, really*

It depends where you go. Some places are set up to do stuff like that - not sure if a referral is needed or would help. But I know some dental places do things like that. It just will be more expensive.

For any work that would need local anesthesia, you can probably get general anesthesia if you ask. Insurance might not cover it, but you can pay for it yourself. That doesn't require a referral, at least around here. One might cause insurance to cover it, though.

Might not have that option for a cleaning. They need you alert enough to tell them if anything they do hurts, since it's important diagnostic information.


Many, many people get a lot of anxiety about going to the dentist. It's scary. Even people without anxiety problems normally. I always have bad anxiety about it and trust issues with dentists - I always wonder if they know what they're doing and are making up stuff to do to make more money. I now that when people have gone to different dentists, they've gotten many different recommendations.

In general, I have a very low level of trust toward any medical professional. I trust doctors more than dentists, but not by much. I do have general trust issues too - pretty much all professionals.

I think it helps that I've both had an average dentist, a dentist who tried to run up the bill, and a very competent dentist who has actively avoided unnecessary treatment. I suppose knowing what "bad" looks like helps me trust "good" when I find it.

My current dentist had us all prepared and planning on a root canal for my mate after a tooth shattered, but when he discovered that he could just barely dig out all the decay without breaking through to the pulp, he proceeded to fill it (using two tubes of composite, resulting in a brief moment of panic when he discovered he had run out). The resulting four-surface filling cost less than 1/4 of the root canal we all expected, and about half a milimeter of precision with the drill is what let us not need it.

Ironically, one of the things that pushed me to Dr. Hogg was a Yelp review from someone explaining that she came in with serious decay, everybody (including Dr. Hogg) planned a root canal, he got in there, and discovered that there was just enough dentin to let just a large filling work. Welp, guess that one was probably telling the truth...

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