I was never afraid of the dentist until I was diagnosed with cancer. They told me when I started radiation and chemo that I’d need to be especially careful of my teeth and they’d need extra attention. I tried to do that, but the chemo has every inch of my body in pain. My first dental appointment was excruciating. I feel like a complete coward saying this, but I’m afraid to go back. Is there anything which can make this easier for me?
I will say first, you are not a coward. Given everything you’re going through it’s normal to be afraid of any pain. The medications you are on will make everything in your body more sensitive. Your dentist may not have worked with many cancer patients. If he or she had, they would have taken steps to make you more comfortable.
You may need to switch dentists for the duration of your treatment. Before you do that, though, check to see if he offers these services.
You’ll need to find a sedation dentist. Now, there is a large range of sedation options and not every dentist has all of them available. Start by finding a dentist who offers sedation. There are three common keyword sets you can use in your search.
Dental Sedation for Cancer Patients
You are in a lot of pain even when you’re not undergoing dental care. You’re also taking a lot of medicine. A LOT. I’m going to recommend oral conscious sedation. It’s also called sleep dentistry. You’ll take a simple pill before your appointment.
It completely relaxes you. Most people sleep through their appointment. However, you’re so relaxed you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you at home after your appointment until you are lucid.
All strong sedation requires a consultation before treatment. That will be even more important for you because of all the medications you’re currently on. Make sure during your consultation you bring a list of every medication you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines.
This helps your dentist know what type of sedation he can safely give you which won’t interfere with anything you currently have to take.
You’ll find this will take away all your fear, as well as the pain you’ve faced going to the dentist. A side benefit is the dentist will be able to get more work done on your teeth during each appointment.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Sedation Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.