Fled the dentist in a panic

I had a crown fall out a couple of weeks ago. I posted here and people gave me good advice. I went to the dentist- one I’ve been to a couple of times- and he stuck it back in, and I made an appointment to get a new crown as that one was quite old and had a hole in it.

I went this morning for the first step in making the new crown. I don’t have a dental phobia, and in fact, I don’t even mind getting shots, but when the assistant showed me this metal-tray thing that he wanted to put in my mouth to make the impression of the upper teeth, I freaked out. It reminded me of something from The Silence of the Lambs. It was huge!

This was the only picture I could find, but the one today was metal. Ugh.

I said, “Let me put it in just to see what it feels like.” Then he said, “That one is too big, let me get a smaller one.” So I put the smaller one all the way in my mouth… gag a thousand times! It covered my whole palate.

The last time I had a crown done, the dentist just put the clay-putty stuff in there and held it with a finger. I didn’t have to have this huge tray thing that covered the whole roof of my mouth. No doubt this is a better, more modern procedure for making sure the surfaces touch the way they should, but YUCK!

To my surprise, I burst out crying. There was no logic to it, but my body/mouth protested having that thing put inside my mouth, and just wouldn’t have it. I couldn’t stop crying. Possibly this had something to do with the fact that I have a sore throat/cough. The dentist was very nice. He even suggested I go back to the dentist who did the other crown, but I said, “He died,” so we both vetoed that idea. I got in my car and cried all the way home. That episode tapped into something, but I don’t know what.

There was just something about this assistant- a nice guy, but I don’t know him at all- standing there with this gigantic piece of metal and just wanting to shove it in my mouth with no explanation… like I was just supposed to let him do that without batting an eye.

I need to make another appointment and take a xanax before I go. And possibly in the meantime practice sticking a spatula in my mouth several times a day for a minute at a time.

Ah, but they don’t just stick in and take it out. Nope, they leave it there for like 45 minutes. And it’s filled with foul-smelling goo.

Weird. They’ve never done the whole-mouth thing when I’ve had a crown molded - just one that covered the immediate area (probably covered the neighboring teeth too, but I was too stoned to care).

The full-mouth thing, like when I’ve had impressions taken for a bite guard? Gag-o-riffic. Blech.

Call for the next appointment and ask if there isn’t some way for them to use a smaller molding thing.

Oh - and yeah, use pharmaceuticals liberally when you do go back. As I told an endodontist: “you don’t WANT me sober. Trust me. It’ll be better for BOTH of us”.

As I remember from having this done, the metal form is filled with a wax-like substance. And yes, it’s really uncomfortable. But on the bright side, the crown/implant thing that was created from the mold has been in my mouth for something like 25 years (I can’t remember when this was done) without any problem. So it’s a short period of discomfort for a good result.

While I’ve never fled the office, I have had tears coming out of my eyes during one of those episodes. Back in high school when I didn’t have a good gag reflex everything made me gag. It was horrible and tortured. You have my sympathies.

I remember before getting fitted for braces, when I was about 13 or 14, the orthodontist put a huge mold in my mouth and then filled it with a kind of plaster and let it sit there for about 20 minutes. It was excruciating. But I have to admit, the plaster casting of my teeth he made from the mold was pretty cool.

It’s the x-rays that get me. Anything past my canine teeth is risking barf-o-rama.

I’ve had the full mouth thing a few times when I was a kid and getting fitted for braces. I don’t remember it being that bad. But as an adult? Pretty horrible.

Putting salt on your tongue can stifle the gag reflex.

They didn’t numb anything up before you stated crying, did they? I’m very sensitive to the numbing agents, and once it gets in my bloodstream, my heart races and I cry uncontrollably. Doesn’t help at all with my severe dental phobia, either!

I had pretty bad dental phobia and a very kind understanding dentist helped me with it a lot. I burst into tears just talking about a cleaning. You at least, were threatened by a hunk of actual metal.

It sounds stupid but: “wiggle your nose, wiggle your toes” – if you are wiggling your toes you cannot be clenching all the muscles of your legs, which means you will not be making yourself feel extra lightheaded and panicky. Plus if you are wiggling your toes, you are thinking about that, which is a very slight distraction from OMYGODGETTAHTOUTOFMYMOUTH.

BTW, my dentist has a nifty CAD/CAM set up, that takes a graphical image of your tooth and generates a crown on the spot. It’s freaking sweet.

If it’s anything like my experience just last week, it is in there for 5 minutes. I watched them set the “egg-timer” and could follow the time on the all-news station on the TV over my head.

Thanks, y’all. I don’t feel like such a sucky dorky wimpy loser any more…

The guy said the spatula would be in there about a minute.

Had it done to get braces, hated it. Definitely a “close to choking” panicky feeling the whole time. Goo was “root beer” flavor which added to the ick factor.

That sounds so much nicer! I hope all goes well…

My dentist has to numb the heck out of my mouth using topical anesthetics and even injections before he can get a cast to stay in long enough. Otherwise it’s gag city.

My dentist offers optional nitrous oxide even for cleanings. God I love her.

When I was a kid I had the clay mould thing done, and I reflexively bit the dentist’s finger. Hard. :slight_smile:

I’m claustrophobic and mouthful of gagging contraptions could trigger it on a bad day. I’ve had the preventive procedure to strengthen enamel (fluoride gel?) and after 2 of those I’m done with them.

Wow, I wish my experience was like that. For me it was an incredibly long time. I think my dentist saw three other patients while I had that shit in my mouth.

Had to get something similar to that when I had braces as a kid. From what I remember, if they do it to the bottom set of teeth, it’s fine, but the gag reflex is triggered on the top set of teeth. Hated it

I had those done several times when I had braces as a kid/teenager. I thought I was going to heave the whole time that awful thing was in my mouth. And, as you know, time slows waaaay down when you feel like you’re going to vomit.