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Claustrophobia & dental visits

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Old 06-14-2001, 05:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
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bamboo42 HB User
Question Claustrophobia & dental visits

I am claustrophobic and tend to avoid the dentist, where I shake in the chair. I almost drowned when I was 11 (34 years ago) and think my claustrophobia is from that. Anyway, when I had an MRI lately I had to be sedated which helped, but when I asked the dentist if he could prescribe something for my next visit he steered me back toward my family doctor.

My dental history tends to be reactive to problems instead of preventive. My teeth aren't in too bad a shape because I am so meticulous about oral hygiene. But I lost a filling today (see other post) and now I HAVE to go asap.

Any ideas on how I can control this? It's not really fear of going to the dentist or of the shots; I just hate to have "things" and people close to my face. When they point that X-Ray "cone" at my face I have to wonder if the pics will be worth it! I have similar problems at the eye doctor's office. I've tried the deep breathing I learned for childbirth, but it's 15 years since the last baby and it isn't as effective anymore. Any suggests gratefully accepted!

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Old 06-18-2001, 11:11 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Upstate New York, USA
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Shell6678 HB User

Hi! I am claustrophobic and also hate to be in positions where I can't get up and move, like in the car, in the elevator and at the dentist, (or open my mouth and swallow, I feel like I'm suffocating!). I just started getting these anxiety attacks this year, I never had them before. I have no fear of the dentist and have enjoyed him immensley (as much as you can enjoy your dentist). Anyway, my general practitioner gave me a prescription for Xanax. Of course I now also have this big fear of medications, once I read the side effects I am sure I that is going to happen to me. So I never filled the prescription. My dentist says people get anxiety attacks all the time at the dentist. But now I need to have my wisdom teeth out, and my dentist said there is no way he could do it, I need to be put under. It's too bad he couldn't give something to relax you while you're there. I always thought they could. Well I rambled on enough. Good luck.

Old 06-18-2001, 08:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
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bamboo42 HB User

Hi, Shel. Thanks for replying. At least I know I'm not alone! Xanax is what I was given for the MRI and it worked pretty well; I wasn't "out" but wasn't really aware enough to have a panic attack. My daughter has a dental appt. tomorrow for cleaning; the dentist always comes out to speak to Mom - me! I'll speak to him again, but if I have to wait for a DOCTOR to prescribe something that'll be the end of July when I have my next appt. So far the tooth that lost the filling isn't hurting, but it was such a deep filling that I can't believe that'll last for long!

I wish you luck, too, with your dental problems. I could probably "tough out" a really quick procedure, but when I'm trembling and the dentist has all those sharp things in his hand...!!

Old 06-20-2001, 05:50 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: marion, oh, usa
Posts: 250
Robert2 HB User

Have you tried the nitrous oxide. Most dentist have it available. It works pretty good to calm you down. Some dentist can give valium if they are certified to do oral surgury. You might call around.

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