Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Autism, Anxiety, and the Dentist

I have never tolerated a dental cleaning in my entire life. That is why a simple teeth cleaning required a general anesthesia. In my case, the anxiety builds immediately when I enter a dental office. I never could sit in the dental chair and lie back. The poor dentist had to examine me while I was standing, and I would be in flight mode. So this meant I had my dental appointments rarely.

Yesterday I tried again to have my teeth cleaned in a regular appointment. This time I got a dose of lorazepam an hour before the appointment. It took the worst of my anxiety away. I was able to be a patient and follow instructions and even sit in the chair and get my teeth cleaned with the light in my face. The dentist was kind and patient. She found some cavities we need to fill.

I couldn't handle the x-ray, unfortunately, but I need them because of my cavities. I may need a general anesthesia after all to do the cavity filling and x-rays. Once I'll be able to handle biting down on the plastic with the film in my mouth I'll be home free. For me this was a big accomplishment. I am so happy I tolerated it.

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