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I have a strong gag reflex

I had an inlay in a back left molar, a filling in top left molar and a filling removed washed and replaced in my back left molar all by the same dentist in the last 8 months. I found all of these procedures very traumatic as I have a strong gag reflex and become very anxious about choking and not being able to breathe every time I visit the dentist. My dentist was very patient with me and by having double appointments I did get through these procedures however I’ve been in constant pain ever since the work was done.

It started with the inlay which hurt from the moment it was put in. I kept going back every month as I couldn’t eat on it and it wasn’t getting better and was just told to take ibuprofen. When I went back for the 3rd time because the pain was unbearable and shooting down my jaw I was told that actually the inlay was very close to the nerve and the nerve had become irreversibly inflamed and I would therefore need a root canal and crown. The thought of this makes me so anxious I ended up a shaking crying mess especially when I was shown the rubber dam. The dentist offered to refer me for sedation then found out nowhere on hampshire or dorset will do root canals under sedation on the nhs and I would need to be referred to Bristol hospital (over 2 hours away) with a 1 year waiting list or pay £2300 to be sedated privately at my practice (which I can’t afford). My other option was to have the tooth removed under sedation locally. I was going to have the tooth removed as I was in so much pain I couldn’t wait a year but then I started to get pain in the right molar that the same dentist filled. I am now being told this filling is also very close to the nerve and may go the same way as left molar (requiring root canal/extraction). I’m now terrified of losing both molars and am getting incredibly anxious. The other filling in the top molar that the same dentist did also has a gap in it which is causing a lot of pain and needs refilling.
My questions really are:
1. Is it normal for 3 fillings done such a short time ago to all be causing pain? Should fillings be this close to the nerve? I feel like my dental surgery brush all my concerns aside and are covering for the last dentist that did the work (she was doing her vocational training year and has now left the practice

2. Are nhs sedation services for root canal really so sparce?! Do I have any other options beside a year waiting list and paying privately?

I’m at my wits end and am just losing faith in my dental practice.

Im very sorry that you find yourself in the situation of being in a lot of pain .
Its impossible to make a judgement on the clinical aspects of your treatment as I don’t know all the details .
However it might be an idea to get a second opinion about what is happening.
if you have lost confidence in the practice and the original dentist has left , then perhaps seek out another practice and be treated by a more experienced dentist .
NHS sedation services are impossible to get for root canal treatments in molar teeth (or often others as well ) Its easier to get teeth extracted with sedation on the NHS .
I know that in our practice to get IV sedation for a molar , to be done in one visit , would be £875 for the RCT with the specialist , plus another £500 for the anaesthetist who is a dr and gives deep sedation . I have done them with gas and air for a severe gagger , and that has cost £695 , plus £200 for the RA gas session , done in two sessions .
Then there is the restoration on top if you need a new filling .
There is the possibility of removing the fillings and having a sedative temporary dressing put in first to see if the tooth will settle down and avoid a root filling .
However the problem with the NHS ( I am not saying thats what your practice did )is that the payment system is ridiculous and can influence the treatment the dentist is prepared to carry out .The dentist may only get £66 to cover 2 hours surgery time , plus , the cost of the expensive disposable instruments , so for a molar root treatment they are in effect paying for the patient to have the treatment .
I know this doesnt solve the problem , but I hope the information may help

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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