The Dentist: No, God, No!

I’m very well known at the dentist office I go to.

Not for having a mouthful of teeth that are terrible or anything, thankfully, but because of how often I reschedule. Or, rather, how often Sam reschedules, as I always have him do my bidding (while I hide in the background embarrassed, since they can obviously see me through the phone).

I have always had a very strong fear of dentists. And all other healthcare professionals, but especially dentists. I’m not sure why, since I can’t recall a particularly negative experience, but holy fuck. My anxiety in the days leading up to an appointment gets crazy. I often come down with a cold or something, which I’m sure is more of a head thing than being a sickling.

Anyway, I usually end up having Sam reschedule the morning of because I’m sick or because I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. The receptionist expects his call. She recognizes his voice as soon as he says “hello” and tells him to hold while she finds another appointment time.

Fortunately, they are super nice and understanding of my weirdness. Since I’m always tense as hell while I’m back, to the point of gripping the arm rests so tightly that my knuckles are white, the dentist recommended me bringing headphones so I could listen to my music while I’m back there to help relax a bit. And it does help a little.

Sam called yesterday to switch appointments (LM and I had appointments for cleanings yesterday and Sam’s was supposed to be today, but I realized that I didn’t want to be all nervous and responsible for LM at the same time, so I had him change so he could go with LM). The receptionist thought he was calling to cancel for me and was surprised that he was just switching.

So, off I go before I procrastinate myself out of an appointment.

Pretty much.

Totally reusing this. It’s appropriate.


35 thoughts on “The Dentist: No, God, No!

  1. Do the gas. I’ve always hated dentists, even during cleanings (because I have genetically bad gums and had low platelets for a while making it even worse) but the gas was the best thing ever to get through them. I think it was $15 bucks not covered by my insurance, but SO worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Are you never nervous that you’d say something really offensive? The last time I was under gas–for wisdom teeth extraction–I mocked the guy I saw them because of his super thick chest hair sticking out the top of his scrubs 😳😳😳

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hahahahaha! I think people who work with the gas understand you have no filter and that is part of the job. I know someone who demanded a burrito under conscious sedation for wisdom teeth removal. Demanded. Like, threatened people for a burrito. But her could barely stand, so they just laughed at him and told him they’d get him one until he forgot about it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “Now, most dentist’s chairs go up and down, don’t they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought ‘This is unusual’. And the dentist said to me ‘Mr Vine, get out of the filing cabinet.” Tim Vine

    “Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.”
    Johnny Carson

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh sister, I feel your pain. I’ve lost two teeth because I preferred to let them rot in my mouth rather than see that sadist. And I was the master at knowing exactly when I needed to cancel/reschedule before I would get charged for it.

    I’ve gotten better (sort of) over the years to the point that I do actually go in for my cleanings twice a year, but I have to have the gas to have my teeth cleaned. And the last two times the gas wasn’t helping, so they suggested I take a Xanax before I come to take the edge off. THEN they’ll apply the gas.

    I have my first Xanax induced cleaning in two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh yeah. The dentist is not my friend, either. Fortunately I’ve found a good one, who understands anxiety disorder for what it is. I wish his staff did, but what’sa girl to do?
    I can’t do the gas, it’s too much like being high, but my kids like it.
    I get the shots, which I think is the most tolerable part, lol! After that, I’m a mess.
    I’ve only recently begun going without benzos, and I’ve done well, but for a long time, it was essential. I’d just have someone drive me.
    Per Josh’s comment, I apparently demanded a vanilla milkshake after oral surgery, where I had “twilight” sedation.
    I have the bad teeth. They look fine, because they lie. I am vigilant about flossing.
    I don’t recover quickly from ANY dental procedure. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Bless your heart 😦 I feel for ya, there’s just something about the whole thing that is just terrifying.

      When LM was 3, he had a tiny cavity and I was by myself and they had to strap him down one on of those butterfly board things to just administer the gas. I didn’t want to, but the dentist there (NOT the one we see now), had a fit over it. I’m surprised that he wasn’t traumatized over it, but aside from complaining about having to wait an hour (as he did yesterday, hubby told me), he does perfectly fine with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to love the dentist as a child. All the bribes to get kids to sit still and care about oral health worked well for me. That was before I needed six teeth pulled at once and saw an old school son of a b**** who went at it in a way that left me with trauma that made friends with my anxiety and has stuck with me my entire life.

    I sympathize greatly with your rescheduling ritual. I, myself, practice the art of avoidance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Holy shit, that suck! I’ve been lucky in that dept at least. My grandma once told me about those old school dentists and how one held her down and crap and was super painful to try to get one out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • One of my first memories of going to the dentist was having a tooth pulled while the nurse and my dad held me down. And this was after I was given the numbing shots, which apparently didn’t work too well. Maybe I shouldn’t mention the time I had a root canal and could feel it… crying like a baby the whole time, but that didn’t stop the endodontist, who didn’t seem fazed at all.

        Heard tell of a patient who grabbed a hold of his dentist’s balls and said, if you hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. the-reluctant-parent says:

    I’m right there with you on this one. I don’t get major anxiety about the dentist but I always hate going and I’m not sure why. Most of the time my appointments go alright and since there’s 5 of us, it’s very rare to find a time when all of us can be seen at the same time. we usually get the 8 AM appointments and by the time they’re through with al of is, is around 10:30 or so. I hate hate hate those two days of the year.


  7. I can so relate to this, although my fear expands past dentists to all things health-related. I lose sleep and can feel my heart pounding when I have to enter any medical situation. I’m not sure why, but I’ve learned to accept that’s its just part of my make-up.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I do the gas but only a little bit. I get sick from it. But if they give me a little, I can stay calm and not throw up all over them. I think the dentist may fear me more than I fear him…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t read all the comments, so i may be repeating something alreadh said, but first ask for the gas or anxiety meds. They help.

    Secondly, i have been afraid of the dentist my whole life. I also make hubby call to cancel my appointments while i hide in the background. Anyways, i have canceled so many times (like 27 times in 3 months…oh the shame) that my dentist fired me. I went to therapy so upset anout it because, clearly, if the dentsit could fire me, so could Bea, and i cant handle the idea of her leaving me. Well, she assured me she isnt going to fire me, and then she said she is not surprised i am afraid of the dentist. She pointed out that laying on my back, with another person hovering over me, putting things in my mouth, and them having the control and the power, is such a trigger for anyone who has been abused. I just felt….relief after she talked with me about it. Like, im not crazy for these extreme reactions. I havent done anything with that yet knowledge yet, but just knowing why….I don’t know. It helps. So i wanted to put that out there, just in case it could help you. I hope the appointment goes okay. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Oh my I never even considered our dentist firing me. He would be losing the whole family if he did. I can definitely see how upsetting the notion would be with Bea, but I’m glad she put your mind at ease.

      That would make a lot of sense about the dentist fear.

      It went well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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