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Re: Advice for going to the dentist
Rach #158652 10/12/09 07:52 PM
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Thank you everyone for your advice, tips, and encouragement! I am feeling more willing to go now, but am still nervous about it. I realize waiting longer will only result in more time in the dentist chair if I end up having dental problems so it's wise to go throughout the year. I've just been dreading it since getting so much worse in the past three years. My AS came on slowly 8 years ago so wasn't as bad so I continued doing my normal every day type things like going to the dentist, getting my hair cut at a salon, etc., but then my AS became much more aggressive about three years ago and since then I never have a day of feeling okay, so I stopped going to the dentist because I was afraid to go and be in pain, and get my hair done at a salon and other things. I am still nervous about it and wondering if I can even find someone who will take my disease and pain seriously and even care that I am on Humira, but I will try to find someone who will listen to me and take my concerns and questions about my AS and my meds seriously. I wanted to know how others here deal with this issue, so I really appreciate your replys and help.

Thanks!
Kris

Re: Advice for going to the dentist
norskegirl74 #158653 10/12/09 08:03 PM
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Also, forgot to ask catwoman who suggested taking "laughing gas", can you take laughing gas while on a TNF and also taking pain killers? That might be an idea for me to try sometime.

And Toby, if I downed a fifth of vodka, you would find me fast asleep and most likely drooling on myself for weeks!! BUT, I probably wouldn't worry one bit about going to the dentist cause I probably wouldn't even know if I was at the dentist!

Re: Advice for going to the dentist
norskegirl74 #158678 10/13/09 12:46 AM
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LOL, I don't know about mixing pain meds with that. I think dentists that tend to knock you out advertise as pain-free dentistry, so look for that. Communication is the key. Tell them your situation and the meds you take. Maybe you'd have to take a pain med hiatus. I do that anyway from time to time to sort of reset my tolerance. That way I don't max out my dosage or have to take something stronger. In fact, I've recently embarked on just such an adventure. Withdrawal is a "B" word.

Lastly, how's your c spine? Have you had imaging done lately? Make doubly sure the dentist knows to treat you very gingerly when you're under.

I remember a news story many years ago where a woman sued her hair dresser for causing a paralyzing neck fracture during a shampooing session. I remember at the time thinking it was a very odd story. Older and wiser, I now appreciate the gravity of the incident.

So, yes you have every reason to be concerned that you are treated properly.

I hope telling that story didn't scare you. My only intent is to validate your position and emphasize it's importance.

toby


I remember when we used to sit in a government yard in Trenchtown...
Re: Advice for going to the dentist
toby #158742 10/13/09 04:50 PM
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I think my dad told me the dentist a lot of us go to in our family had laughing gas available. Since I had to have a couple of old fillings replaced, I asked the dentist if I could have it.

The nice thing is you're not unconscious, sedated or out. You're alert and can properly answer questions -- you just don't care you are at the dentist or that they are doing whatever they are doing. You are peaceful, relaxed and at ease. It's all good.

I don't think there would be any problems with using laughing gas while on your medications but, of course, I would ask to be sure. The laughing gas wears off as soon as they remove it.

Re: Advice for going to the dentist
catwoman #158755 10/13/09 07:16 PM
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Toby and catwoman,

Thanks for replying again. Bottom line is commuication is the key and I can see that and I understand it's important. I will take your advice and talk to them about my disease, my meds, and what they/I can do to be more comfortable and explain my needs because of AS. Thinking about it more, I think if people knew about this disease, it wouldn't be so frustrating and sometimes scary to deal with others when needing care like at a dentist. A lot of how I feel besides being in pain and just not wanting to go and lay there, comes from the fact that so many people such as dentists and even many GPs don't know much about or anything about AS at all. I hate that no one knows about AS! You mention RA, MS, or cancer and everyone has heard of it, but you say AS and they say what is that? So you start explaining and they just say oh you have arthritis, well so do I. Ugh!! So you have to start from scratch and explain everything to them and why you need them to listen and may very well need individualized attention and how AS is different. I have had so many bad experiences with Drs, as many of us have had, while having symptoms and running around to different Drs trying to find out what was wrong with me, and then explaining my disease to some Drs after being diagnosed with AS and being told how shocked they were that I have AS because they thought it was a "man's disease", and all those type of ignorant comments. Even my kids pediatrician, who I love and is really a very good Dr, was shocked when I told him I had AS. He said really? I understood women don't get AS, which shocked me coming from him and so I had to explain to him that more women have it than is believed and that it's an old notion that AS is a "man's disease" because many, many women have it. And their pediatrician is 38 years old, so he's not an older Dr.

I hope and pray more education is able to get out there due to the SAA matching donations! My husband and I donated all we could spare to help get the word out to Drs. and others about AS and related diseases. Not only does the public desperately need awareness and education about AS and related diseases, but so do Drs of all kinds!! Education and understanding from others would help a little more with living with this terrible disease, not to mention it would help the people out there going through what we have all been through with strange symptoms and trying to find out what's causing them or wrong with us.

Thanks again everyone for your help! I feel braver now and better prepared. :-)

Kris

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