Unfiltered Story #103340

| Unfiltered | January 7, 2018

(I wasn’t always terrified of dentists. As a matter of fact, my pediatric dentist was really great. But in my 30’s I had some medical issues, followed by a really difficult filling that took multiple shots of novocaine over multiple trips, and I was just done. Whenever I saw the needle coming I’d panic. I’d finally have to opt for nitrous oxide or a tranquilizer beforehand.

It’s 20 years later, and I’ve broken a tooth off on a piece of pizza (genetics suck). It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t repairable, and I had another tooth on the other side that matched that I had been putting off because of my fear of needles.

I fill out my paperwork, and at the top they have the question: “Are you afraid of the dentist? [] Yes! []No
I always mark the the “Yes!”, and pay the extra out of pocket on my insurance to cover the nitrous oxide for extensive procedures.

This is where I mention that I’m partnered with a service dog. This same dog had been coming to my appointments for the past six years. Her functions don’t include anything related to my panic disorder because they usually aren’t an issue. She just lays in the corner quietly watching during this whole incident.

They get me hooked up to the nitrous oxide, and when they put the hose behind my chair I start to panic.)

Me: “Can you please loosen this?”
Dental Assistant: “I can’t, it won’t be in the right position.”
Me: [starting to tear up] “I’m not feeling any affects from the gas.”
DA: “You need to slow down your breathing.”
Me: [reaching for the tubes] “That’s not going to happen with this thing so tight!”
DA: [loosens tubes] “I’ll get the doctor in here.”
Doctor: “What seems to be the problem?”
Me: [starting to disassociate] “The gas isn’t working.”
Doctor: “The dog isn’t going to bite me, is it?”
DA: “The dog’s been here before. I don’t know what her problem is.”

(The dentist then proceeded to numb and pull my two teeth, despite my ongoing panic attack. As soon as they released me I grabbed my dog and got out. I haven’t been back, and I have a much better dentist within walking distance of me.)

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