Scared of Dentist — How to Cope?

Discussion in 'Support' started by russiancarl, Dec 11, 2014.

    1. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member


      I've been off these boards for a few months trying to get my tinnitus under control. It's finally settled into something mostly manageable. Higher than it was before my spike in May but less invasive than at the start.

      Now, I have a toothache. I scheduled an appointment with a dentist but I am very fearful of going. I feel like a huge idiot in that I could have prevented a possible worsening of my tinnitus by just brushing my teeth more.

      My question is -- how do you cope? I've read through the 7-page thread on dental work but I am still not sure how to proceed.

      Should I start taking NAC the day before my appointment? Bring in ear muffs? Noise cancelling ear phones? What about the novocoine/lidocaine... should I ask for them not to be used?

      I'm so worried and I know that's one thing that can only make tinnitus worse.

      Thanks for your help and tips.
    2. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Sorry you are having a dental problem. I have had root canals, implants cleanings and did ok by protecting my ears. but went for crown prep that almost did me in.
      The noise was from bone conduction yikes!!! Noise was coming from inside my head. Anyone help explain this phenomena to me?
      Don't want to scare you but perhaps someone more knowledgable can help you not go through what I did.
      Good luck, we are always afraid to change anything or experience anything that could make the T worse.
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      @Leah Thanks for the response. Yeah, I was hoping someone could tell me that I'm silly and chances are it won't make my tinnitus worse.

      You mention that crown prep almost did you in... do you mean that your tinnitus got worse or that the noise was so loud as to be uncomfortable? If your T did get worse, did it go back down?

      Really scared that my T could get worse from all of this but I know the faster you get it taken care of the better off you'll be. Can't avoid it :/

      I do have a bottle of NAC. Was thinking of doubling up on it before the appointment? Not sure if they'll even do any drilling that day... Never taken it before but it doesn't hurt Tinnitus and can only help right?

      Ty all.
    4. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      No tinnitus did not get worse!!!
      Just sound in my head was very scary and at that point I had no idea if it was cause a spike.
      Good luck get me posted.
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    5. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Thanks @Leah. I will keep everyone apprised just in case other's have this question in the future.

      I guess the first step is to just go and get it checked out.

      I know there are a few places in my town that have Air Abrasion for cavities so maybe I'll be lucky and it's not so bad and that will work... staying positive helps keep the anxiety down right :)
      • Informative Informative x 1
    6. AntonR

      AntonR Member Benefactor

      Redwood City California
      Tinnitus Since:
      I went to the dentist just last month, honestly I didn't find it that loud at all. And definitely didn't have any spikes, hope that helps :/

      Just to elaborate, I had two fillings done so it was a good solid hour of drilling (obviously not constant, but int spurts)

      Definitely wanna take care of your teeth, the longer you let them sit the more work you'll have to get done in the future.

      не волнуйтесь!
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    7. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Well, I went to the dentist today and it turns out I have at least 2 cavities... one of which is pretty big. They don't do airless drilling there but the lady I spoke with said it was too large anyway. After the appointment I called up the one place in town that does do it and they said that they only take care of small ones... so... rats.. Drill here I come.

      I have my appointment on Tuesday the 16th so I guess I have a few days to prepare. I'm so very scared of it.

      I am planning on getting Ear Defenders / the highest rated ear muffs. Or do you think that noise cancelling headphones would be better?

      I haven't taken any NAC before but I am planning on taking 1800mg the day before the appointment. I've heard some people say it worsens T but I don't really have a choice, right? I think I"m supposed to space it out 3x600mg though I have no clue.

      It sucks big time but my T is drug induced not noise soooo that's a good sign right?

      Ty for the support.
    8. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Protection on your ears and you should be fine.
      In my experience the high speed drill was not a problem. It will be brief. Try and calm down the anxiety does not help our T.
      Have some new weird tone in my head tonight, so goes the many sounds of T. I am proud of you for going to the dentist, very scary for T people.
    9. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi @russiancarl im in the same boat, I had 2 fillings done a week ago, I originally wore earplugs but couldn't tolerate the skull vibration with the ear canals blocked off so I didn't wear any for the majority of the drilling.

      I was fine afterwards, for 4 days in fact, it was only on Tuesday my tinnitus has started acting strange....BUT!.....I'm not sure if the dental work and spike are connected. To make matters worse I've got another filling to be done in 7 days time, I don't know what to do for the best but if I am to have more dental work this time I would use earmuffs for peace of mind.

      The majority of people I have spoke to have had no problems with the drilling, best of luck! :)
    10. Stina

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nowadays the drills dont exceed 80 db so its not going to cause any damage. If you have hyperacusis it might affect that but probably that should settle down or you can prevent with earmuffs.
    11. pef

      pef Member

      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      I just had two fillings replaced this morning. No effect on my T.

      Stop worrying. Last thing you want is an abscessed tooth with your T.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Thank you for the words of support. It's tough with tinnitus... I think we are all scared to some degree of what could set it off or make it worse.

      I went to another dentist that does air abrasion and laser work and was told I had 11 cavities. I believed him at first but now I'm not so sure. It was going to be a $3,500 bill and he would still have to use the drill so I think that I will listen to everyone here and go to my original more trusted dentist for a full exam.

      If I have to get drilled on, even if the other tools could be used part of the time, I think it may be more worthwhile to go with the person that was more empathetic to my needs and was willing to do the 5s on / 10s off avenue.

      I will keep everyone posted. Hoping to do it soon but will probably be in January.

      I also wanted anyone who searches for this dentist stuff to consider an office that uses air abrasion. It's supposed to be quiet and not use any anasthetic. I think this could help tinnitus patients quite a lot.

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