How do I explain myself to my dentist…?
So, when I was 7 years old I had a pretty horrific dentist experience. Basically, I had to have a tooth removed. But the dentist said that because it was a baby tooth, I wouldn’t need any numbing injections. He was dead-fricking-wrong. I remember some nurses holding me down, my mum shouting, and what I can only describe as a pair of pliers. I remember screaming, and there being a lot of blood.
So for years I’ve been terrified of them. I couldn’t even walk on the same street as a dentist’s office without having a panic attack. In the last couple of years I’ve had to have my GP give me diazepam (Valium) just so I can sit in the damn chair. I’ve slowly built trust with my dentist, and I don’t need a huge dose to get me in the chair anymore.
Anyway, late last year I finally got to a point where I no longer needed to have any more work done. I’ve had four teeth removed (thankfully back ones), and several fillings. At least 9 of them. Since I started going regularly a couple of years ago, I’ve learned how to brush and floss properly. And according to the dentist at my last appointment last year, since brushing and flossing properly, I’ve managed to reverse the remaining decay I had left. Or, the start of the decay that was there.
But here’s the thing… The last 3-4 months have been so so stressful. I really stopped taking care of myself. I stopped washing regularly, I stopped eating properly and consumed loads of sugar (I’m type 2 diabetic), I stopped brushing and flossing my teeth, I barely took my medication… I was spiralling into an abyss. I felt angry and hopeless literally 24/7…
Then 6 weeks ago I spoke to my GP who then increased one of my antidepressants. Finally, a few weeks ago I started to feel a bit more like myself and I started taking care of myself better.
I’m overdue for a dental checkup and I’m just so scared. I’m worried they’ll be mad, and lecture me or judge me. And I’m also worried that I’m going to have to have more teeth removed… Any time I think about making the appointment I panic all over again and get really overwhelmed… What should I do? How do I explain myself in a way they’ll understand?
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated and welcomed.
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