Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Nayu's News #70 My First Ever Filling

"I got through it!"

I didn't want to talk about it before hand, as I was slightly petrified, but this morning I had my first filling. I know a lot of people get nervous about the dentist. My teeth are about the one area of my health where up to now I haven't had a problem. Yet I'd always be nervous about a check up. Well, routine appointments are nothing compared to knowing you're having treatment the next day. 
"What's going to happen?"
I was nervous, not so much because of the pain, as I'm used to that, but more because I didn't know what would happen, what it would feel like, what to expect after. That's why I'm writing this post today, so that hopefully if any of you, your friends or your family have to have a filling for the first time (or other treatment) you will be a tiny bit happier about it. 
"Putting people more at ease, those are my hopes."
I'm not dreaming. I know that no one will ever be like this at the dentist. 
"Oh yay! Bring it on!"
But hopefully you'll be able to have the confidence to go and get those teeth healthy. 
Not sure whose mascot this is - somewhere in Australia I think. I chose it because it's happy - which is what healthy teeth are!
Dentists are teeth doctors - that's what I call them anyway. They want the best for us. They want us to have happy teeth. Yet somehow they can seem scary people. Most of them are super nice, which makes it easier to relax when having treatment. 
"Really? They aren't aliens out to get us?"
No, they aren't aliens.
"Or are they? That's given you something to distract yourself from the actual treament!"
Last night I was super nervous. I'd managed to push it to the back of my mind for the past week and a bit when I learned I needed a filling. People get nervous in loads of different ways. One way I coped with my nerves is central to this blog - I read. A lot.
"Right, next book. And the next!"
I didn't read about people having a filling. I read books I know that would make me laugh and smile. I stuck with light-hearted, feel good factor books. By bed I was pretty tired - there's a reason I usually watch anime at night rather than read - but I was much calmer than if I'd sat and dwelt on my impending doom (that's how it felt last night) 
Pondering impending doom
This morning I wanted time to speed up. Why was it taking so long to get to the time I needed? 
"Is it time yet?"
When I got up I packed my bag, making sure to put one of the softest toys I've got, which happens to be a bunny. 
"No one messes with me and my bunny."
I don't care what people think of an adult with a soft toy when they have treatment - it helps me relax. It's a familiar thing in an unfamiliar environment. It's something to grip instead of gripping my hands which would hurt a bit after my death grip! The one I used doesn't have a name, but it was perfect. 

I kept myself distracted until I needed to go with the anime Lilpri, which is light, cute and I'd seen it before so I didn't have to worry about concentrating too hard. 
Lilpri (transformed)
 A couple of episodes later and it was time for me to head out. 
"Time to go. Bye."
I only had to wait a short time when I arrived before I was called in. I got my bunny out of my bag, listened to my dentist explain what was going to happen, then sat in The Chair of Doom. 
"I don't want to be here!"

My dentist asked if it would help me having her explain each step of the treatment, and I said yes - I wanted to know what was coming next! Usually I have my eyes open, but I felt that I would cope better if I didn't see what all the instruments looked like, so I kept them closed.
I tried to think calm thoughts.
Do let your dentist know if you are nervous about treatment - they may agree to give you a special gel which helps numb the area before the injection goes in. It's bubblegum flavour, which leads me to think it's popular with under 18's. Well it's popular with me too - it tasted yummy! 
"Yummy!" (Only I wasn't given pie...)
My dentist put some on her finger, and held it in the correct place until it started working. I hadn't realised the injection wouldn't be like a vaccination, that it had to be held there for a few seconds. But I honestly didn't feel anything - it was like there was a black hole around that area of my mouth. Very weird! 
"My tooth has disappeared...or has it?"
 I can't quite remember all the steps and the order of them, but there was lots of cleaning of the tooth at different stages, sanding it down, making sure none of the cavity was left. It was a bit of an effort keeping my mouth open so long, but I was given a few breaks to rest it. 
"Time for a breather."
I didn't feel anything either - again the black hole was there. With a few of the instructions I could feel the vibrations or the droplets of water in my mouth, but nothing near the tooth that was being seen too. I started to relax more then because I was experiencing what it was like, which was totally different to what I'd worried about. 
"Wow. That was different."
Before I knew it, it was time for me to rinse my mouth. I honestly had thought I'd have trouble speaking, but I could speak just fine after. I left with the advice not to eat until the numbness had faded, that it might be sensitive for a little while, but it was fully hardened and should be fine. I was done! 
"All finished? Really truly?"

It felt soooo great being free. I was happy because it hadn't been awful. I was a bit dubious about what would happen when the anesthetic wore off, but nothing really happened. I can feel my teeth and lip again. It feels a bit odd, but it doesn't hurt. 

So there you have it, that's my first ever filling - a success! At least I know what happens if there's a next time (possible, but I'm hoping now). It is nerve-wracking, but so long as the dentist knows you're nervous they will do all they can to help you relax. It's okay to take a toy/mascot too! Whatever helps you cope is good - be it a toy, prayer, positive thinking, pretending you're sunbathing on holiday....do what feels right!
Please note, I am writing this post from my experience, I'm not a professional in the medical field. As usual photos are taken from internet searches, the quotes are by me, Nayu.


Ali said...

Yeah, when I got my eyeteeth pulled out, I didn't realize the first one was out until the dentist said, "Let's do the next one now!" The only problem was after the numbness wore off...I wanted to bang my head against a wall...

Nayuleska said...

Ouch - somehow I think teeth taken out definitely hurt more than a filling...