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I have a needle phobia and I'm scared of getting a filling! Watch

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    Hi,
    I went to the dentist the other day and I was told I needed to have 2 fillings on the very back teeth. I've never had a filling before and My fear of needles is making me worry all through my exams. I'm trying to revise but I can't stop thinking about it!

    I also have a really bad gag reflex and the two teeth are the very back ones on the bottom row. Will it make me gag? They said I needed a filling as I have deep ridges in my teeth and it was inevitable that it would decay easily.

    I emailed my dentist and she asked if I wanted a referral for sedation, but I refused it. Can anyone who has had a filling answer my questions?
    1. where is the needle actually injected? Does it hurt really bad(I'm having a topical anesthetic first)? How far does the needle go in and do you reccomend just closing your eyes so i don't see the needle?
    2. How long does the anesthetic actually last and it is true you can't eat or drink at all for like 5 hours afterwards? Mine is about 11am so Will i not be able to eat lunch? I have them on 2 seperate days as they can't numb both sides at once and I end up feeling really ill if I don't eat because of my anemia.
    3.With the different types of filling, does the metal stuff look really ugly and can it make you ill, as They said i'm not allowed the composite as i'm under 18.

    Sorry this is so long and ranty, but needles are one of my biggest fears, last years injections at school the nurse had to drag me towards the chair!
    Many thanks in anticipation.
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    (Original post by jenniferdance_)
    Hi,
    I went to the dentist the other day and I was told I needed to have 2 fillings on the very back teeth. I've never had a filling before and My fear of needles is making me worry all through my exams. I'm trying to revise but I can't stop thinking about it!

    I also have a really bad gag reflex and the two teeth are the very back ones on the bottom row. Will it make me gag? They said I needed a filling as I have deep ridges in my teeth and it was inevitable that it would decay easily.

    I emailed my dentist and she asked if I wanted a referral for sedation, but I refused it. Can anyone who has had a filling answer my questions?
    1. where is the needle actually injected? Does it hurt really bad(I'm having a topical anesthetic first)? How far does the needle go in and do you reccomend just closing your eyes so i don't see the needle?
    2. How long does the anesthetic actually last and it is true you can't eat or drink at all for like 5 hours afterwards? Mine is about 11am so Will i not be able to eat lunch? I have them on 2 seperate days as they can't numb both sides at once and I end up feeling really ill if I don't eat because of my anemia.
    3.With the different types of filling, does the metal stuff look really ugly and can it make you ill, as They said i'm not allowed the composite as i'm under 18.

    Sorry this is so long and ranty, but needles are one of my biggest fears, last years injections at school the nurse had to drag me towards the chair!
    Many thanks in anticipation.
    Hi, never had a filling but I am a dental student. I'll try and fill in the gaps, if you'll pardon the pun

    1) Because your fillings are on your back teeth on the lower jaw (what we call LR and LL 7's - lower right and lower left. 7th tooth from the middle), the anaesthetic will be attempting to target the inferior alveolar (inferior dental) nerve. If you've heard your dentist say ID block, the injection of anaesthetic into this area is what that means. That nerve goes over the outside of your jaw, coming downwards from your ear (like the shape of a J). If you feel with your tongue, towards the back of your mouth around where your wisdom teeth will come out from, you might be able to feel a slight bony ridge on your cheek. The dentist will put the needle in slightly forward from that ridge. The anaesthetic doesn't go directly into the nerve, it goes into the surrounding area and then into the nerve; that's good because it shouldn't cause you discomfort when the needle goes in. Some dentists use something called topical anaesthesia, and that's basically like a cooling liquid that they dab over where they'll put the needle in; it acts like a "pre-anaesthetic". Unfortunately, it's not very good for actually numbing the nerve because it can't get through your cheek, and so it's just meant to prevent you from feeling discomfort when the needle goes in. If you feel, during the procedure, that you are still in discomfort, the dentist may introduce slightly more anaesthetic, if appropriate, to reduce your discomfort.

    2) Anaesthetics used in dentistry are made to be short-lasting - we only need them to work for the amount of time your appointment takes. However, we'd rather slightly overshoot than not give you enough, and then risk you feeling discomfort in the appointment. It varies depending on anaesthetic and on the person receiving it, but usually around 1-3 hours in most people is enough for the anaesthetic to wear off. We ask you not to eat because if you are numb, you might accidentally bite your lip, tongue, etc., which obviously we don't want. Similarly, we ask you not to drink because it's very likely you'll dribble it out - you'll know this if they've asked you to swish your mouth and then spit; it's a lot harder when you've received anaesthetic. Also, because you're receiving a metal filling, it takes at least 24 hours for it to fully harden, and eating and drinking will interfere with this process. Obviously, if you feel ill, you're going to need to eat, but if you do, try to eat soft foods instead of solids. And, if possible, restrict chewing to the other side of the mouth opposite to where you've had the filling, just to give it the chance to harden properly. I'd recommend you ate ahead of your appointment though, just to keep your sugar levels up.

    3) Well, because the fillings are on your back teeth, they are less likely to be visible and so should not compromise how your smile looks. Personally, I would rather have a metal filling in those teeth, which is less noticeable, rather than eventually losing them to decay, which is more noticeable. Also, in the amount that's used, health problems are unlikely to be caused in your fillings; there's little to no evidence that metal fillings cause mercury poisoning.

    I hope that's helped, sorry for the super long answers haha! I've just tried to explain it so that you're completely aware of what's going on, and included a few terms just in case your dentist and nurse are talking, and you're not sure what they're saying; sometimes, just knowing what's being said can help you feel better. Needles may appear scary, but these people are trained to do this, and they've done it many times. They're also trained to calm you and help put you at ease. Your dentist should be open to answering any questions you may have about the procedure, so it would perhaps be a good idea to get back in contact with them.

    Let me know if you need anything else answered or re-explained haha
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    (Original post by GetOverHere)
    Hi, never had a filling but I am a dental student. I'll try and fill in the gaps, if you'll pardon the pun

    1) Because your fillings are on your back teeth on the lower jaw (what we call LR and LL 7's - lower right and lower left. 7th tooth from the middle), the anaesthetic will be attempting to target the inferior alveolar (inferior dental) nerve. If you've heard your dentist say ID block, the injection of anaesthetic into this area is what that means. That nerve goes over the outside of your jaw, coming downwards from your ear (like the shape of a J). If you feel with your tongue, towards the back of your mouth around where your wisdom teeth will come out from, you might be able to feel a slight bony ridge on your cheek. The dentist will put the needle in slightly forward from that ridge. The anaesthetic doesn't go directly into the nerve, it goes into the surrounding area and then into the nerve; that's good because it shouldn't cause you discomfort when the needle goes in. Some dentists use something called topical anaesthesia, and that's basically like a cooling liquid that they dab over where they'll put the needle in; it acts like a "pre-anaesthetic". Unfortunately, it's not very good for actually numbing the nerve because it can't get through your cheek, and so it's just meant to prevent you from feeling discomfort when the needle goes in. If you feel, during the procedure, that you are still in discomfort, the dentist may introduce slightly more anaesthetic, if appropriate, to reduce your discomfort.

    2) Anaesthetics used in dentistry are made to be short-lasting - we only need them to work for the amount of time your appointment takes. However, we'd rather slightly overshoot than not give you enough, and then risk you feeling discomfort in the appointment. It varies depending on anaesthetic and on the person receiving it, but usually around 1-3 hours in most people is enough for the anaesthetic to wear off. We ask you not to eat because if you are numb, you might accidentally bite your lip, tongue, etc., which obviously we don't want. Similarly, we ask you not to drink because it's very likely you'll dribble it out - you'll know this if they've asked you to swish your mouth and then spit; it's a lot harder when you've received anaesthetic. Also, because you're receiving a metal filling, it takes at least 24 hours for it to fully harden, and eating and drinking will interfere with this process. Obviously, if you feel ill, you're going to need to eat, but if you do, try to eat soft foods instead of solids. And, if possible, restrict chewing to the other side of the mouth opposite to where you've had the filling, just to give it the chance to harden properly. I'd recommend you ate ahead of your appointment though, just to keep your sugar levels up.

    3) Well, because the fillings are on your back teeth, they are less likely to be visible and so should not compromise how your smile looks. Personally, I would rather have a metal filling in those teeth, which is less noticeable, rather than eventually losing them to decay, which is more noticeable. Also, in the amount that's used, health problems are unlikely to be caused in your fillings; there's little to no evidence that metal fillings cause mercury poisoning.

    I hope that's helped, sorry for the super long answers haha! I've just tried to explain it so that you're completely aware of what's going on, and included a few terms just in case your dentist and nurse are talking, and you're not sure what they're saying; sometimes, just knowing what's being said can help you feel better. Needles may appear scary, but these people are trained to do this, and they've done it many times. They're also trained to calm you and help put you at ease. Your dentist should be open to answering any questions you may have about the procedure, so it would perhaps be a good idea to get back in contact with them.

    Let me know if you need anything else answered or re-explained haha
    This is so helpful, thankyou so much! Thanyou for putting the effort in and explaining it to me fully! I have always been terrified on needles and the prospect of the injection is the only bit that scares me tbh as I have had braces and dealt with all the suctions and water being sprayed and the drilling of the glue.
    Thankyou once again
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    (Original post by Onde)
    It won't make you gag, based on my own experience.

    They inject the needle in the gum around where the filling is going to be, so I presume that means two injections.

    For me, it felt like they were injecting the needle right through to the bone, which is not a pleasant sensation. However, it is simply something that you have to do everything you can to brace yourself and limit yourself from resisting - it is something you will get through, but the moment itself is not something to look forward to. (I had to have four injections on one day once!...).

    I think you just have to prepare yourself for something which is not harmful, but will feel intolerable for about 5 seconds. (If you don't brace yourself properly, you could end up with the needle tearing your gum, for example).

    Your jaw will probably be numb for many hours, and it is not advisable to eat anything solid during that time: I did when I thought it was wearing off, and I chewed the inside of my mouth without realising it.

    People rarely die at the dentist. During the day I had four injections, I distinctly remember it being sunny outside, and thinking that in half an hour or so, I would be back outside again, which I think focussed my mind and made things more bearable.

    I once had to have some sort of needle poked into one of my eyes, and that felt like it was cutting deep into the flesh. I tell you that merely because the sensation of pain is far greater than the actuality of what is happening: your gums will be absolutely fine, but allowing someone to inject a needle may seem momentarily contrary to that.
    Thanks
 
 
 
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