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Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

21 weeks pregnant, panic disorder, and needing 2 root canals...

Asked by Lothloriengaladriel (1550points) March 31st, 2010

I found out before I was pregnant that I needed to have 2 roots canals done but after finding out I was pregnant decided to put it off until my doctor said it was ok, So now I have to go have 2 root canals, I’m only in a rush because I’m afraid I will develop an infection and die and/or pass it along to my baby, Plus it hurts pretty bad.. I have an extreme fear of dying in the dentist chair as soon as they remove the infected tooth, Also now when I recieve novicane shots and my mouth and throat become numb I start to panic and feel as though I can’t breathe, What can I do or ask for to help my situation? I really hate the feeling of not being able to breathe

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16 Answers

Seek's avatar

1. breathe now.

2. Talk to your dentist. Modern medicine has come a long way, and it’s completely possible to do magical things with local anaesthesia. Honestly, if it’s that bad I’d almost suggest popping a Valium before you go to the dentist. One Valium would hurt your kid a lot less than a jaw infection, a course of antibiotics, and emergency dental surgery

marinelife's avatar

Definitely talk to your therapist and the dentist. Perhaps even your OB/GYN. Explain how you are.

What helps with your panic disorder? Line up the proven techniques.

janbb's avatar

I have had root canals and been very fearful in advance, then found they were not bad at all due to the skill of the dentist and modern techniques. As @marinelife says, I would talk to all you doctors and therapist and line up any coping/relaxation techniques you can. Also, maybe there is an anti-anxiety medicine that you can take while pregnant; just as a one-shot deal to relax you before the surgery. Does music soothe you? Maybe you can take an iPod if it won’t get in the way. Have a friend or supportive family member bring you and wait for you. And – breathe; deep slow breaths really do help relax you.

silverfly's avatar

To help anxiety, exercise, stay away from caffeine, and eat healthy. And you’re not going to die in the dentist chair. Period. Stop “but what if this” and “what if that”. And as the other jellies say, I would definitely bring this up to your dentist… explain your fears and I’m sure they will be very reassuring. The anticipation is always worse than reality. Good luck! Give yourself lots of positive reinforcement and don’t beat yourself up.

gailcalled's avatar

You have a much more serious issue if the tooth roots become infected or an abcess developed. (The pain is telling you to fix it immediately.) Chronic pain produces anxiety, also, as you know.

The procedures, while uncomfortable (mainly from the stretching of the teeth and the hands in your mouth) are painless. Try to work on breathing and visualization (and bring your own music.) I had two small cavities filled yesterday without novocaine.

From time to time, I noticed I was breathing in a very shallow manner. I put my hands, palms up, on each arm rest and sent the breath in and out of the diaphragm.

And I would not, if I were pregnant, take any Valium or such.

As usual, @janbb said it first and said it better.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve had pretty complex root canals done with only local drugs so @Seek_Kolinahr is right.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Lothloriengaladriel: If you want you can go to a dentist that puts you under entirely but this is a dumb solution compared to dealing with your fears and therefore avoiding the risks.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@silverfly: People die:
Lothloriengaladrie might die. It is just unlikely just as getting run over by a car is unlikely when you cross a busy intersection.

Seek's avatar

Total anaesthesia is unsafe for the foetus.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: It is also of marginal-safety for adults! (again, I advise against it)

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

I wouldn’t want to be put under I’m just completely terrified, I was hoping someone else suffered from the same fears I’ve had and could provide some sort of helpful answer, I think the most helpful thing said was to talk to my dentist obviously, which I did before becoming pregnant and he wanted me to take 2 low doses of zanex 2 hour prior to my appointment but being that I am pregnant I don’t think I’d want to take anything like that even if he said it were ok. I’ve read that there are certain dentist for people who have similar fears but I can’t seem to find one in my area. I guess I’ll just have to suffer the consequences

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Lothloriengaladriel I used to be terrified of doing anything dental related until I switched dentists and he was quite sensitive to my fears.

janbb's avatar

Talk to your OB-GYN about the zanax idea; also, maybe your dentist could numb you in as small an area as possible to allay your “can’t breathe” anxiety. There are dentists for fearful patients but they can be hard to find. Maybe your dentist can refer you to an oral surgeon who is particularly gentle; I know mine was.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It’s safe to take a low dose of valuim or xanax to open and drain the canals, and probably put in a temporary dressing until you have your baby and get the canals filled and the teeth crowned.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

oops I spelled Xanax wrong ): sorry.

Does anyone know; can they just remove the whole tooth and solve the whole problem? rather then so many different procedures?

janbb's avatar

I think they would still have to get the root out first and then probably make a false tooth, but you can ask.

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