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To be terrified of the dentist

(13 Posts)
fitforflighting Wed 06-Jan-16 10:03:06

Haven't been for ten years. Major phobia. Worked up courage to go today and need major root canal treatment. Am terrified as never had it. Gum majorly infected which I knew. Aibu to never go back? sad

Wheretheresawill1 Wed 06-Jan-16 10:23:59

I was the same. Note was. I was eventually referred for GA following a lot of quite awful incidents that left the dentist traumatised!! Now I can go alone with just 5mg diazepam because I found a nice dentist. We made a pact- he would go slowly ; tell me every little thing he was doing so there are no sudden movements. I ave had a tooth extraction and filling this way. Prior to this it was midazolam etc

Wheretheresawill1 Wed 06-Jan-16 10:25:32

Sometimes it's better to extract if the tooth can't be seen when you smile . I knew I could never keep still for root canal- it was beyond what could be expected of me and has potential to fail

catfordbetty Wed 06-Jan-16 10:29:21

If the dentist knows what s/he's doing, root canal treatment won't hurt. Discuss with your dentist what is available for nervous patients at your dental practice. If you don't think they can deal with your phobia, change dentists.

Kelsoooo Wed 06-Jan-16 10:40:04

Also phobic

I rely on diazepam to get me there for a check up.

Anything more major, bar a filling, it's general anaesthetic/sedation.

Find a new dentist if this one doesn't understand your fear

fitforflighting Wed 06-Jan-16 11:23:22

Oh in fairness the dentist was lovely and explained everything in detail and was encouraging.
It is definitely me.
I worked up courage about a year ago to go an had an awful experience with a rough horrible dentist so it has pushed me over the edge.

I had to have teeth out six years ago and had to have GA blush

It is a front tooth so they are trying to save it.

VaticanAssassin Wed 06-Jan-16 12:10:15

OP, i was in the exact same position as you are now.

I've been terrified of the dentist for years, since bad treatment by a sub-standard bastard dentist many years ago (he was struck off the register for it).

I posted at Christmas on AIBU asking for help with dreadful toothache, which no painkillers would touch.
I'd delayed going back for the initial treatment so long since 2014 due to fear of the dentist, and was climbing the walls in agony, and no painkillers worked.

My dentist said, patients with fear are in a catch 22. They delay seeing him for as long as possible because they are scared, and then only attend because it's absolutely unavoidable, by which time the damage can go further than it would have been originally , so treatment can take longer- which in turn makes them even more nervous for future visits!

But from this recent visit, a double extraction (2 weeks ago so fresh in my mind), i can say it was not painful. It didn't hurt, and the dental nurse was brilliant in relaxing me. There was pressure, and noise, but at no point was I in pain.
When he said, "That's it, you're done" the relief was so intense I burst into happy tears and told him he's the best dentist in the world blush

I'm sorry this is quite long, I just wanted to share with you OP as I've been terrified for years, but seeing such an understanding dentist, who helped me relax and trust he knew exactly what he was doing, made the treatment as comfortable and quick as possible. I believe this good experience has cancelled out the previous bad one, and re-set my fear.
If I have any future problems, I'll be there straightaway. I'd never have said that a month ago!

Good Luck OP smile

Millionprammiles Wed 06-Jan-16 13:41:19

Try to find a sympathetic, gentle dentist that you can trust.

Tell them how nervous you are in advance (I tried to hide it, then burst into tears on the chair) and ask them what they can offer to put you at ease. If they try to fob you off, walk out and pick another dentist. Don't stick with a dentist who doesn't try to help you. If they can't be bothered to talk through your fears, its unlikely they'll be bothered to take the time to be gentle.

Good dentists offer laughing gas, headphones with music, diazapam etc. The first two helped me through root canal treatment, I honestly felt no pain. (The third has never really helped me personally.)

Dental work doesn't have to be painful. I can honestly say I've had wonderful dentists who have made injections, fillings etc painless. It's perfectly possible with the right dentist.

whois Wed 06-Jan-16 13:50:07

Yes yes dental work doesn't have to be painful but you need to find the right dentist who will work with you given your phobia. Root canal is going to cost you though!

OTheHugeManatee Wed 06-Jan-16 14:26:40

Technically YABU (because your fear is extreme) but I completely sympathise. I am very nervous of dentists. One thing I find helps - I have to have regular deep cleaning to treat a long-standing gum issue - is taking an iPod with me with some music I love. I loathe the high-pitched sounds you get in dentistry and it helps to block them out.

If you find a good dentist they will be understanding about your nerves and go slowly so you can cope and don't feel out of control.

Good luck smile

goddessofsmallthings Wed 06-Jan-16 14:36:37

If you're happy to live with rotten teeth and the possibility of an infected/abcessed tooth because of your fear, YANBU to not go back for treatment.

However, as you were able to summon the courage to visit the dentist today and it very much sounds as if you've found a gentle and considerate practitioner who can allay your fears, I would suggest you do whatever it takes - double scotch, tranquiliser, etc - to go back and have the work that needs doing done asap rather than leaving it to worsen.

Fwiw, I was dreading having root canal treatment a week before Christmas but, apart from literally a few seconds of discomfort as the local anaesthetic was injected, I felt nothing and virtually danced out of the surgery after the work was completed. smile

To get through this momentary 'ordeal by dentist', I thought of all of those whose courage in the face of having to undergo painful medical treatment on a daily/regular basis puts me to shame and considered myself fortunate that mine was so brief.

PinotAndPlaydough Wed 06-Jan-16 15:37:32

I also have a massive phobia of the dentist, I'm only allowed the last appointment of the day at my current dentist because I get in such a state I panic other patients, all work from a filling upwards is done under sedation.
Two years ago I broke a bit of tooth and I was told I need a root canal and that they wouldn't sedate me as it takes too long, I also have a big hole in the tooth next to it. I've not had the treatment as I'm too scared and it doesn't hurt or bother me, stupid really as there is a high chance I'll end up loosing two teeth next to each other but I just can't do it. My phobia extends to having anything alien in my mouth, I gag and often sick when I brush my teeth and I can't use an electric tooth brush because of the noise.
I would probably get the infected gum treated if it hurts and leave the rest but that's really and advice!

fitforflighting Wed 06-Jan-16 17:35:38

I think I made it worse that she said it I so infected she would not be able to put the crown on straight away. I would have to have the root canal treatment. Then antibiotics and then the crown at a later point and would probably 'have problems' after the root canal with no crown. What does that even mean? Pain I presume.

How long does root canal take ?

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