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Dr. Peel
Dr. Peel, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 981
Experience:  General dentist with 20+ years of experience.
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I am from VT. I have experienced PTSD several times while

Customer Question

Hi - My name is ***** ***** I am from VT. I have experienced PTSD several times while being treated by doctors and dentists. I have been in therapy several months to work on that issue. I need to see a dentist because I have lost several teeth over my life. I am feeling a clicking sound in my front top teeth, and I am wondering how long I might have before losing any of them. (I know it is impossible to say for sure with an exam, but might I have a couple months to build the psychological tools I need to face the dentist?)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 2 years ago.

Hello James,

My name is***** Bornfield seems to be away so I am answering. If you still would prefer him please request to do so.

I have treated many with this unfortunate syndrome and I really understand the discomfort you experience when seeking or going through even routine dental care. Whether it was due to a childhood trauma at the dentists, bad teeth in general or anxieties that are more generalized, there are things that you can do to work through having some work done.

Things that have success are hypnosis, counseling, tap therapy (that is when a counselor talks you through a difficult scenario while you are hooked up to biofeedback monitoring like heart rate and BP measuring devices, and litterally just taps your knee or arm when the monitors show rising biofeedback due to mental guage of conversation), and lastly, medication before the appointment like Xanax or Valium to just take the edge off the anxiety.

Have you tried any of the above?

Aside from the medication choice, the others take a little more time and of course cost more.

Whichever you choose, you and I both know that your mouth is worth the effort. Loosing teeth at your age will not only affect your presentation but your general health . It also gets more and more expensive to rectify neglect.

Call your local dental society and ask if they can refer to someone who treats phobic patients. There are some who even advertise for this. They usually have calm offices, relaxing decor and staff who are keen to make you feel less intimidated. And if the dentist is used to treating phobic patients he may have a good chance at success with you and in any case have a lot more patience than someone who can't take the time.

Let me know if I can help further. Hope this helps.

Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 2 years ago.

As far as how long it will take before you lose any more teeth, I can't be sure without examining them. Even a picture might not reveal the whole story. If you need the time, you need the time. These things do take time but you must start with a plan and seek help. Just trying to wait till you get the nerve up is not a great idea.

Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 2 years ago.

I hope this helps. Please let me know as I ill be in later today.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr. Peel. Thank you. Actually, I prefer you if that works.

I originally tried CBT about 15 years ago, and it was totally not for me. In January, I started seeing another therapist who helps me recognize the symptoms of anxiety early on, and treat those. There are also major control issues. (sigh)

We have made miraculous improvement since then, and I recently had the first physical of my life, and found a primary care provider I like for the first time ever.

My main question is that I am sometimes feeling a little click in my teeth similar to pulling a hair out from between them. Before therapy, It could send me into anxiety attacks, which don't happen now, but it is still an area of concern for me. I wanted to ask if this is a sign of bad things to come quickly.

Even talking to you online is a step toward getting dental care for me.

Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 2 years ago.

Hello again,

Glad I can be of help.

A clicking can be a number of things James. It might well mean that a tooth is loose but that does not mean it will come out just yet. Can you send me any pictures so I can see a bit more what is going on? When teeth are not in correct occlusion they can get loose and may 'click' when moved when you bite. That is a warning sign but not necessarily the death knell for anything.

All is recoverable to some extent but we both know that some level of therapy is needed here and you will need to access a dentist with this philosophy.

In any case it is clear that your anxiety needs to be addressed before you enter an operatory.

I can't refer anyone from here but if you want to ask anything specific I will do my best to help.