March 25, 2011
Dental procedures and getting through them
Having anxiety about dental appointments is common for people who have trigeminal neuralgia, facial pain, and jaw joint issues.
I've counseled people through dental anxiety, and tonight I've gone through a mental checklist because I have a procedure tomorrow. Although I have not had trigeminal neuralgia pain in many years, I have experienced other types of face pain. I also have a jaw that has caused serious issues.
Preparation, phase one: I arranged help with transportation. I won't be going to the dentist's office alone. Someone will drive me.
Phase two: I've made notes to communicate important things to my dentist, in case I forget to discuss them with him.
Three: My neurologist advised me to take a Baclofen (muscle relaxer) and something for anxiety before the procedure. If I were having TN symptoms, he might adjust my anti-seizure medications. Instead of having shots in my mouth, I've arranged for my dentist to use nitrous oxide.
Like many individuals, trigeminal neuralgia manifested itself in me immediately after I had a root canal. I had a cracked tooth. It wasn't painful, but the dentist thought I should have a root canal and referred me to an endodontist. Trigeminal neuralgia set in almost immediately. Perhaps your story is similar to mine.
If you have active TN, it may benefit you if your dentist and neurologist coordinate their efforts to make sure you are medicated properly.
I still have one more preparation tonight. I'm going to read some Psalms, including Chapter 91. No fear. Only faith.
Do you have anxiety about dental appointments? Tips for others?
Have you read With Great Mercy?