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To think this was a ridiculously stupid thing to say to someone with anxiety and a healthcare professional should know better?

(66 Posts)
Mumblesometimes Fri 16-Jan-15 19:28:54

Will try to keep it short but don`t want to drip feed either but had to go to the dentist earlier today as one side of my face swelled up due to an ongoing problem because one of my teeth is cracked (only half of the actual tooth left) and it keeps getting infected. I need the tooth out but can`t have it out at the normal dentist as they don`t do sedation and can`t have it out while `conscious` as I had a severe phobia already and a botched root canal on that tooth only made it worse so I can barely have it touched now without ending up in tears.

Am waiting on an appt to have it out in hospital clinic under sedation but there`s a huge waiting list so have been waiting months already and it could be up to another 2 (dentist has put 2 urgent referrals in but hasn`t seemed to make much difference tbh). Because of the wait it keeps getting infected and swelling so have had to go back frequently - this is the 4th time I`ve had antibiotics in the past 6-7 months and dentist isn`t happy as more than 2 lots is a `bit much` in her opinion but instead of taking it up with the hospital, where I`d happily have the tooth out tomorrow if they wanted, she just seems to get narky at me as if somehow I`m the one dragging my feet! But that alone would be ok, not everyone has a perfect `bedside manner`.

What I didn`t like today was that, after knowing how nervous I am about dental work, knowing I have bad anxiety AND having had a long conversation about being careful about the amount of swelling, eg going to A&E if it gets at all worse etc (had the convo in that appt so it`s not something we said previously and she forgot), she said in a very prickly tone as I was about to leave "If the other side of your face swells, spreading to the bottom so that you look like you have a double chin, your airway can swell and close up - then you won`t be able to breathe at all.... I`m sure I don`t need to explain what will happen then, there won`t be a lot that can be done then!"

I didn`t know what to say and just got out of there straight away, and tbh went round to the back of the shops where there`s a seating area and cried. I totally understand the need to make it clear about the risks of leaving swelling and getting medical attention if it gets worse but that had already been covered and I`d made it clear I took that seriously, and I was leaving with antibiotics - what more was I supposed to be scared into doing exactly? She knows I`m very anxious, AIBU to think that was a horrible thing to leave me with? Am actually still worried and feeling panicky about going to sleep tonight now, in case I don`t wake up!

Am definitely going to change dentists but don`t feel I can do that until after this tooth has been taken out because it`s a referral they`re chasing IYSWIM.

PenelopePitstops Fri 16-Jan-15 19:32:08

I think she was only doing her job in trying to warn you about the seriousness of your infection. Sometimes infections can spread before anti bs take effect.

I think your reaction is your anxiety and not what the dentist said. She would have to say that to any patient.

PenelopePitstops Fri 16-Jan-15 19:33:43

It's also not her fault about the hospital. And anti bs loose their effectiveness when they are used repeatedly. There are things you can do such as salt water swills to help prevent infection.

fuzzpig Fri 16-Jan-15 19:37:37

Oh you poor thing, that sounds horrific sad

I sympathise with the anxiety too, and I'm terrified of anything to do with teeth also.

Have you ever used corsodyl? The original stuff, not the 'daily' one. I was prescribed it when my wisdom tooth got infected. I dilute it a bit as it's very strong but it's great stuff for rinsing and gargling. I also use it at the first sign of a sore throat.

Hatespiders Fri 16-Jan-15 19:37:54

That's awful, *Mumbles, and YANBU at all. I too have dental phobia due to abuse with metal implements in my mouth as a child. I am always in a terrible state at the dentist's and nothing can be done without sedation.
Like you I think this dentist was not taking into account your phobia. Just being in a dentist's surgery takes a lot of bottle for me, and I'm sure for you too. I'm so sorry you were crying.
She was obviously just 'covering herself' in the event of a double-sided infection. Please try to put it behind you, and concentrate on getting this sedation urgently chased-up. Can you possibly pay for it privately? Costly I know, but you need this problem and the distress that goes with it sorted out quickly.
I do so sympathise. Silly dentist, she should have known better.

SlurpingCustard Fri 16-Jan-15 19:40:36

I would second the salt water swills and also try oil pulling.

I also have a huge fear about dentists, so I can appreciate how you are feeling. The anxiety for me starts the second I make an appointment to after it's done. It's horrid and makes you feel like crap. My sympathies op.

Mumblesometimes Fri 16-Jan-15 19:41:25

Completely agree about needing to know about the seriousness, but we`d already gone over in detail about going to A&E for any worsening over the next couple of days, what to watch for etc, before so this just felt like extra scare tactics. And appreciate it's not her fault about the hospital but she was talking as if it was mine, which it also isn't. Ironically she never says anything about preventing the infections, which seems even worse, I've been using salt rinses during infections anyway, after advice years ago after impacted wisdom tooth removal, but will start doing it every day regardless now. Actually the only one at the practice who ever mentioned prevention was the receptionist (although could have been a practice nurse/assistant as they answer the phone too) who suggested Corsodyl rinses when I phoned to make an emergency appt one day!

Mumblesometimes Fri 16-Jan-15 19:41:59

Sorry, missed most posts while typing blush

Marylou2 Fri 16-Jan-15 19:42:08

She is warning you so you are able to take action. It's a part of her job as a healthcare professional. Do you have the financial means to have this issue treated privately? It would certainly speed up your treatment.

U2TheEdge Fri 16-Jan-15 19:44:26

As someone with health anxiety I understand the terror this caused you. I think loads of people can relate to that.

As she had already explained to you when exactly to go to hospital I don't see the point of what she said. If she was worried she could have gently took you through the risks again.

I would imagine though, that if this was something likely to happen, you would have been rushed in to hospital as an emergency, no? the hospital wouldn't leave you for months i'm sure.

I have a dental phobia, although not as severe as yours and I had to go yesterday. My dentist is lovely and he only cleans my two bottom front teeth because he knows I am scared of it so he will only clean any that he thinks desperately need it to stop any more work needing doing in future. It took years to find a dentist who understood anxiety. If you are anywhere near Norwich, while you probably aren't, I will tell you the details.

thanks to you.

U2TheEdge Fri 16-Jan-15 19:45:54

MaryLou, there are ways of going about that and right now the OP can't do anything about it apart from maybe going private if she can afford it.

I personally would be more scared of the swelling than having it out under sedation so I would go down that route, but I assume the OP has thought about doing that and decided she couldn't handle it.

U2TheEdge Fri 16-Jan-15 19:47:05

having it out without sedation*

PrimalLass Fri 16-Jan-15 19:47:13

I've had an infected root filling too. My dentist refused more than one course of metronidazole so I went and cried to my GP. I somehow got an emergency appt as I walked out of the dentist and called the GPs in a state. The pain was incredible. The third time I went to the dental hospital on a Saturday night and sat with the toothless drunks.

However, I can understand your dentist being grumpy tool the problem could be solved within a few minutes if she could just pull the tooth.

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 16-Jan-15 19:47:14

Salt water would be better than corsodyl, especially as corsodyl stains. I treat patients under sedation privately. It's a shame that's not an option for you as it must be a very severe infection if she's concerned about your airway.

Mumblesometimes Fri 16-Jan-15 19:49:57

Thanks, I use Corsodyl now when it's infected too - salt rinse in morning and Corsodyl at night, I don't think it's the daily one, it's got a pink label if that means anything? Might do the rinses every day now regardless of infection if it might stave another one off. Sorry to hear of other fellow phobics sad

Unfortunately there's no way I could afford private - could maybe afford £50 but have read sedation alone is about £1k. Marylou - I'm not sure what action I could take that's more than I'm doing? I'd wholeheartedly agreed to go to A&E if anything changed, I had the script for anti-b's, pointing out I might suffocate just felt like sticking the boot in rather than giving any useable advice.

Tinks42 Fri 16-Jan-15 19:50:31

YABU. (whilst I feel for you) The dentist did have to tell you that. I was in hospital with an out of control abscess a few years ago, had to have my gum slit and a huge tube stuck up there to drain the poison without any type of sedation etc... and it did nearly kill me.

Yes, use corsodyl as it does help.

Can't you find a dentist that uses sedation? or get it taken out privately.

Im a single parent on a low income and let me tell you, I'd find the money somehow.

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 16-Jan-15 19:51:43

Sedation is not 1k! An extraction with sedation is about £300 tops

Tinks42 Fri 16-Jan-15 19:52:11

Im reading youre saying sedation is £1,000 ? of course it isnt.

SlurpingCustard Fri 16-Jan-15 19:54:35

I was told to do a salt water rinse as much as possible, I think they aimed at 8 times a day.

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 16-Jan-15 19:56:16

And from a dentist's point of view, it is very hard to understand someone so nervous that they'd rather die than have a tooth out. Sorry if that seems unsympathetic but that level of phobia is extreme.

Mumblesometimes Fri 16-Jan-15 19:59:11

Sorry U2, nowhere near Norwich (wish I was though!) No idea how to start finding a sympathetic dentist confused. I'm on the verge now of being more scared of the swelling but as it's a back tooth and would apparently take 'at least 40 mins' to get out, plus the fact that the whole root canal debacle came about because I had some swelling and apparently then didn't numb up properly (despite 4 injections in the same gum) I'm still on the 'wait for sedation' side (just!).

Primal - I do appreciate that but unfortunately getting me more scared of her and my teeth is only going to backfire in that regard. NoArmani - I'm desperately hoping she was going a little OTT about the risk as the dentist I saw last time it was infected (she was on holiday) seemed concerned but more about what antib's to give etc rather than risk of death. If it really is that bad shouldn't something emergency be done?

zzzzz Fri 16-Jan-15 20:00:50

It is almost a year wait in my area for sedation dental treatment so a few months is not bad at all. There are LOTS of people who need this service. I appreciate that it's not nice to here there can be serious consequences for you because you have to go down this route. I don't however feel the dentist can do anything but highlight the dangers in the situation you are in.

You are having a horrid time but YABU.

wigglybeezer Fri 16-Jan-15 20:01:17

Have you considered getting a short term prescription for Valium or similar from your GP to take before an extraction, I have heard of people being given a one off dose for dental phobia or fear of flying.

I also think you need to consider therapy, DH was prescribed EMDR therapy and EFT therapy (google them) on the NHS for a phobia that was beginning to seriously affect his well being and they worked!

Hatespiders Fri 16-Jan-15 20:02:00

NoArmani it may be hard for you to understand dental phobia in a very extreme form, but I can assure you it exists. I had to be led step by step in gentle stages before I'd even go into the surgery and sit in the chair. Terror is the word for it. My dentist only looks in and doesn't use any metal instruments or I'd be out of there like a rocket.
I believe an extraction with IV sedation would be around £250, op.

Tinks42 Fri 16-Jan-15 20:02:52

Who told you it would take 40 minutes to be taken out????

Seriously mumble, ive had many an extraction and at tops it takes 5 mins, really it does.

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