Dread doesn’t just describe a hairstyle…


I have to go to the dentist.

Remember sometime a couple of weeks ago that I said something about fearing the dentist?

“Fear” doesn’t quite capture the emotion.

“Panic” sounds better.

“Hyperventilating panic” really fits the bill.

I think it stems from the fact that growing up on the back side of nowhere, most of my dental treatment was administered without the benefit of novacaine.




Our water wasn’t flouridated (or even sanitary) and as a result, I had approximately 9,457 cavities as a child.  Cavities that had to be filled without numbing agents.

I remember the dentist hitting a nerve one day and it literally brought me out of the chair.  Mom remembers me coming home asking where we kept the gun. (What a witness for Jesus I was THAT day.)

I have had to hide this phobia from the kids because I really don’t want them to inherit it, and so I faithfully put on a brave face every six months and haul them in to their dentist, all the while hoping against hope that I won’t be asked to accompany them to the back room.

The noise, the smell….GAAA!!!!!!

I faithfully floss and brush in an effort to stave off the inevitable, but the inevitable has happened.  I have a toothache.  Boatloads of Advil in the last two days haven’t dented the pain.

I think it’s time.

This is not fun not fun not fun not fun. But it’s not a problem that’s going to get better with time.  So I’m calling today to get an appointment.  And documenting my intentions so that you can hold me accountable.

Do any of you share my fear?  What do you do to make the experience as pleasant as possible?  Do you take an iPod? A Xanax? A tranquilizer dart?

Help a sister out…


26 responses to “Dread doesn’t just describe a hairstyle…

  1. I am not a fan of the dentist either. But I don’t think I am quite as frightened as you are, I just don’t really like it.

    Your childhood description makes me feel all ooky inside. Makes my teeth hurt.

    I don’t have any tips for being calm, but all your ideas sound perfectly good to me!

  2. In Hawaii, my dentist, Dr. Yasuhara, was very handsome and smelled like heaven. He had special glasses that showed movies that I wore during treatment. After treatment, I was allowed to pick a treat from the treat basket (sugarless gum, perfume samples, little lotions). My advice? Get an appointment with him and I’ll come with you for moral support.

  3. I am heading to the dentist this morning. Sharon Francis’ husband, actually. I will be thinking about you. Find a dentist that uses laughing gas and your ipod. Life will be good. I promise. I laughed when my dentist was pulling my wisdom in college thanks to laughing gas. It’s a good thing!

  4. Ooooh, I am right there with you. I’m so sorry. I am ducking an appointment right now to have some gum work/cleaning done and am so not looking forward to it. And it’s so hard to be the mommy and be brave when we are TERRIFIED. I feel your pain. (((Hugs)))

  5. two words for you…SEDATION DENTISTRY… I think they came up with that treasure just for you! Seriously, you shouldn’t have to deal with any more pain at the dentist, you’ve had your share…praying for your toothache…

  6. I agree with Tracey. You sound like an ideal candidate for sedation dentistry! Once again, I am so thankful for my good dental history. This description makes me cringe!!

  7. Rebecca Marchbanks

    CPQ, I feel your pain. I’m terrified of going to the Dentist, too, although you have good reason. I’m just plain chicken… So, I haven’t been to the dentist since I was 14. Yep, 14…

  8. I’m all in favor of a little pharmaceutical help for a sister. And the dentists around here can often be talked into such a thing. Oh, and I think Tracey is onto something. If nothing else, when the day comes nigh, see if your pcp can give you a script for a little valium.

    Praying for your tooth.

  9. SEDATION!!!!! You’ll never know you were there. Seriously. My husband had this same fear & didn’t go for 17 years. When he did go, not pretty. Seriously–pop a few little pills, hitch a ride to the dentist, and that night you’ll wonder why in the world you didn’t do this 17 years ago. Here’s where we go. Tracy Davidian is my favorite, with her husband Dan a very close runner up. http://www.sedationdentalcare.net/index.cfm

  10. I was forced to visit the orthodonist almost weekly for nine years. Yes, NINE YEARS. That pretty much took care of my dental fears. Pretty much. What finally alleviated them completely? Finding a REALLY GOOD dentist. I didn’t realize how bad all the other dentist (and orthodontists) were until we starting going to this one. He’s amazing! Encouraging, confident, PAINLESS, fast, they let me watch whatever TV I want … They’re fantastic.

    I realize this doesn’t help you at all, so let me just assure you: I’m praying for you today.

  11. My hubby takes Atavan (sp?) when he flys….it just makes you feel REAL NICE, if you know what I mean:)

    …a lot of praise and worship songs on your ipod could only be a good thing as well….

    Can I go to Hawaii too?? Please?! Please?!

  12. I actually love the dentist, but I hate to admit it. Now the gynecologist-that’s a different story! I agree, try the Atavan, I hear it’s great.

  13. As someone who just had wisdom tooth surgery and a root canal, I totally understand. I don’t go to the dentist as much as I should because of my fear. Unfortunately that is coming back to haunt me the older I get.

  14. I had a similar phobia, but laughing gas did wonders for me! Try it. I have had several things done, and always insist on laughing gas now. It makes it really no big deal at all. Promise!

  15. I hope thinking of that awesome caption helped distract you a little bit. And the winner is… Carpoolqueen!!!!! I might just have to send you a little happy.

    Because you’re just that awesome.

  16. I think you are allowed to be frightened with that history 🙂 but dont worry, just ask for a little of the good stuff (laughing gas) and you should be good to go! 🙂

  17. Will has had a couple of extractions (due to monster cavities and unflouridated water). He FREAKED out the last time his doc tried to pull one and so the doc stopped the procedure, scheduled it for the next day and wrote him a prescription for valium. He was 9, I think. But it totally worked. Go for the meds…

  18. Laughing Gas. Always ask for the laughing gas. And a Zanex couldn’t hurt either.

  19. I have the same paralyzing fear, the only thing i’ve tried is ipod & prayer.

    loving the idea of being knocked out, though.

  20. I guess we’ve saved the best for last, huh?! I can absolutely get myself SICK for even THINKING not even GOING to the dentist (and yes, random caps help me get my point across)…

    About 5 years ago I hadn’t been to the dentist in eleventy years…I had 456 cavities and needed a crown..I wouldn’t even let them LOOK in my mouth w/o valium. period. $2500 later I walked out and have yet to return. Not for a cleaning or ANYTHING that resembles one…

    I too, totally fake my kids out about dental paranoia, I wonder when they’ll figure out that in their lifetime their mother has never gone to the dentist. hm.

    I will gladly put my feet in stirrups and hang out. all day. but please Mr. Brer Rabbit down throw me in dat dere dentist chair!!!

    Best of luck, my friend, godspeed, and medicate. heavily.

  21. Oooo, I HATE the dentist. Well, not him personally just his profession. I’ve been putting it off for months. I personally like to take a muscle relaxer before I go and ask for extra novacaine and laughing gas.

    I’d rather go to the gynecologist…it’s just that bad!

  22. Oh, honey, I am so sorry. I actually like going, because I am sick of how nacky my teeth feel and I cant wait to get them cleaned.

    I hope they can take good care of you and get you all fixed up without too much trouble. Ill pray for you.

  23. Pingback: Is the Dentist’s Office BYOB? « Carpoolqueen’s Blog

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