Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dental Damn!

This morning was my first experience at the dentist's office in a long time. I hate to say it, but probably about 8 years. This long time absence stemmed from a litany of botched and traumatic dental experiences both in childhood and adulthood which I won't bore you with here. I had also recently spoke with my Mother about her well known fear of dentists and she related her experiences. Apparently, she was worked on once by a drunk dentist. That seems appalling in this day and age, but remember, it was probably 30 or 40 years ago, in rural Canada. Also, my mom had a bad experience with laughing gas, whether she was allergic or just over gassed is unknown, but she ended up beating up the dentist. hehe. I would have like to have seen that.

Anyways, back to me....so this dentist uses nitrous oxide or laughing gas to chill you out as well as the usual Novocaine. I was pretty happy to find that out as anything to lesson my anxiety is a good thing. I cautioned her as to my mom's previous reaction and she set it on low. Nowadays, you can't screw up the mixture as its all regulated for safety reasons ensuring you get sufficient oxygen into your lungs as well as the nitrous. I was breathing in the nitrous and was feeling pretty good, laughing, making jokes, etc until I started to feel dizzy. It came about rather quickly and I told her that we should turn it down. So she turned the mixture down from a low 2.5 to a lower 1.5.

I continued to breathe in the gas, enjoying the lessening of the anxiety and the feeling of "I just don't care how much drilling you do" until all of a sudden I felt a little dizzy again, then really dizzy, then I started drifting away, my mouth felt like it wasn't a part of my face and I got very confused. As I started to black out I think a little panic set in and I pulled off the nitrous mask. I couldn't understand where my mouth was and I was about a breath away from passing out. The passing out feeling dissipated but I was very dizzy, bordering on nauseous. I thought to myself, it would be bad to throw up in a dental dam right? Fortunately, she took all the crap off my face that I don't remember her putting on. I guess I had a bite guard in and I totally don't remember that going on. It took about 15 minutes for me to get back to feeling normal again. We left the gas off for the rest of the procedure. This was a very frightening experience and frankly, I have no idea how I will make it through any more procedures.

Hours later: my jaw hurts like a son of a bitch and now my teeth are starting to ache. Oh joy. I love when the Novocaine wears off........

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I think it's soooo stupid that many dentists won't touch you these days without nitrous. It sounds as if you suffered a dangerous reaction there Dawn. That is really concerning. I'm glad its over. You reminded me though, I gotta get back in myself. You should ask your doctor if you can pre-medicate with valium or something. My doctor does that with me and while I'm really out of it all day, I'm calm and everything goes much better.