Here's an update.
I have mixed feelings right now. I'm not really sure how I'm doing.
I just got back from my dentist's appointment. It was just a consultation to talk with my dentist and go over my treatment plan in more detail and for me to ask a bunch of questions that I had.
I got all of my questions answered, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I feel mostly bad right now. I think part of it is just the shock from the appointment and my nervousness, phobia and anxiety. My treatment plan hasn't really changed, but the order of it has. I don't know if that's good or bad.
I'm still trying to let myself settle down. I started shaking once I got in the waiting room at the office and haven't been able to stop yet. I couldn't steady my hands at all during the appointment and was visibly shaking really bad the entire time.
He wants to do my filling for my cavity first, because it's an active problem. The tooth will continue decaying until it's filled, so this is rather urgent. He wants me to get that done as soon as possible.
Then I'll get the crown on my chipped tooth done, followed by the other crowns later on. Those are my two most urgent problems right now. I guess we did a bit of triage today. Just had to figure what can wait and what can't.
I'm going to talk with my mom. I think we can manage the filling cost right away, $200 plus another $100 for the nitrous oxide. I do want that fixed before it gets worse.
As for my chipped tooth, he wants to put the crown on soon. He still thinks the tooth can be saved, but it's very fragile. He said we're going to do a temporary crown on it first for 3-4 months and see if the temporary helps to settle the tooth down. He's going to use what he called 'removable cement' that way if we do need to take off the temporary and do a re-treatment then he can do it and still re-use the crown. It's possible the tooth may need a re-treatment before it gets a permanent crown, but he thinks that my pain is from the fracture in the tooth and that the crown will help the pain to go away. After the crown is placed it can take 3-4 months to see if the crown helped or not. Then we'll know if I need additional treatment. Right now the priority is getting the tooth to stabilize and stop cracking further and a crown will hopefully help with this.
I've made a decision though. Despite everything, cost and no insurance (temporarily) and everything else, I'm staying with this dentist and this office. I know I said on Tuesday that I felt like I'd lost the little trust I'd gained in him, but I spoke prematurely. I was really just upset and angry, because I expected to see him that day and when I just saw the assistant that threw me off. I felt like he didn't want to see me and after the fact I realized that isn't true. I'm sure he was just busy.
I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but now that I have this dentist who knows my history and all, I'm getting a lot of mixed feelings. I wasn't nearly as nervous at my deep cleaning appointment with the hygenist as I was when I saw my doctor today. Something about appointments when I know I'm going to see the dentist and he's either going to look in my mouth or actually work in my mouth, that sends my anxiety levels through the roof.
He didn't work in my mouth at all today. We went based on x-rays and notes from previous visits. He actually used my finger to show me certain teeth that I was asking about to help me understand better. That helped me. I'm very visual that way.
It just seems so weird to me how my anxiety levels change at the dentist based on who I'm seeing (dentist or hygenist) and what is going to be done that day. I didn't think I'd be so nervous when I knew it was just a consultation. Just talking. I was shaking a lot during that appointment today and I know he could tell. It was visible shaking. I was also stuttering and struggling to get my words and thoughts out.
We'd talked about something before that I'd forgotten. I'm still not used to it, because this is my first doctor who's ever known my history with this phobia and anxiety and how bad it is. He mentioned that he wants to do the filling first to see how I tolerate him being in/working on my mouth and teeth.
He really hasn't done any work on me yet. The only appointments I've had with him were for my new patient exam and x-rays and then once for him to check my chipped tooth that's been hurting. Neither of those had him working in/on my mouth for longer than 5 minutes at a time. The filling appointment I think is like 20-30 minutes, it may be more though because I'll need the nitrous and extra time for breaks.
I'm just so thankful how patient and gentle he's being with me. It helps me to feel more at ease.
This filling appointment is making me so nervous though. I don't know which is worse, the drill or the needle. They both really freak me out and both will be used at that appointment. I think this is partly why he wants me to do this first, to see my reactions and he'll be able to know how we can proceed with my other work.
From what I know of crown preparation I don't think it involves the drill, but I think he said they use an ultrasonic instrument for that appointment. It's supposed to have a vibrating feeling, I think. Both the sound and the vibration are going to be hard for me to deal with.
I was thinking of trying to have the filling done without the nitrous, but I honestly don't think I can cope with that. That drill instills so much fear in me that I'm going to need all the help I can get. That appointment is really going to be a trust excercise for both of us.
So, when I left the exam room today I spoke to the assistant alone a little bit. She was reassuring me to give her a call if I had any questions for her or the doctor and if I needed to come in for anything else. Any other problems or so forth. I told her I'm sorry I'm so nervous every time I come to the office. I feel bad about that.
We had also discussed on Tuesday, the possibility of me transferring to the other clinic they work with, because of my financial issues. I told her today that I want to stay here, despite the cost. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with my doctor. I'm building trust, little by little.
Thanks again for all of your support.