I'm afraid of the dentist, it's a combination of the discomfort and pain of treatment and a couple of experiences where I paid a lot for treatment that was both unpleasant and unsuccessful. I have lost trust in them I suppose. I am also afraid that they will want to remove teeth and I'll be like an old lady with dentures
I have woken up this morning with bad toothache and know I need to go but I'm feeling so anxious.... I'd rather give birth or go for a smear test than visit the dentist
Has anyone else been through this or have any advice? Help!!
What's the alternative? Stay at home with toothache?
Why don't you try going on your local board, to see if someone can recommend a dentist who is not scary. Mine is great and I used to be scared.
You have my sympathy! Can you combine redshoes advice with something prescribed by your GP, like Valium? Request help, advice and reassurance from the professionals themselves.
I'm the same - 15 years ago I had wisdom teeth surgery that went badly wrong and left me with permanent nerve damage. I didn't go back to a dentist for 4 years because I was so anxious. By the time I got there I had quite a lot of gum recession. Now I am careful to go to the hygienist every 4 months which is expensive but much less traumatic for me. And I'm very good at flossing etc. When I do go to the dentist though, I am still very nervous and untrusting. Fortunately I haven't needed treatment since, and my dentist knows that I am not at all keen on intervention. I suppose my message would be, I know how you feel, but don't put it off and find someone you like and trust.
Would hypnotherapy help? I haven't tried this particular app, but the same guy has stopped me biting my nails. Try the dental phobia app by James Holmes.
Phone around and ask dentists if they deal with nervous patients - my mum refused to go for 20 years and the guy who treated her was brilliant. He saw for several very short visits and kept treatment to a minimum. He mad sure she had the first appointment of the day and even told Her she could cancel whenever she wanted.
There are loads of people who are scared of dentists.
I used to have a paralyzing fear of the dentist, had to have IV sedation and everything, couldn't make it through a basic exam without crying, all very dramatic.
Mindfulness really helped me and the phobia has gone. I still loathe it and want to bolt but I can get through it pretty easily.
This was my thought process before...
Build it up in my mind - become agitated imagining the worst - pre-emting pain - trying to control the process or seek reassurance (seeking reassurance is the worst thing you can do for anxiety)- panic and cry etc
Now instead of that I bring myself into the moment and let the dentist thoughts pass and I'm very "present" at the dentist, just calmly letting them work and counting down each stage as it were.
That's probably not the best explanation but if you have a google about mindfulness and fears/phobias you should get some good information. It really was quite miraculous for me.
Check out the Dental Fear Central forum.
Loads of practical advice, reassurance, and it calmly talks you through all the reasons why you may have fear and how to overcome it. You can also find dentists recommend by fellow phobics.
I used this to find my dentist and honestly, every procedure I had to have done - even a root canal - 100% painless, as it should be, these days. It's easier to find a private dentist who will work with phobic patients, though, as they're willing to spend longer with you, and will quite happily double the usual dose of LA, if you request - because you're a customer! I've been a fan of the NHS all my life but for things dental - I went private. (Even though we live on minimum wage). Once you have found a nice dentist, and your tooth is fixed you can get insurance - that covers hygiene and dentist appointments.
Thank you all so much for your messages, you have all been so kind and helpful a friend talked me into calling the dentist this afternoon and I have an appointment for tomorrow I'll speak to them tomorrow about my phobia and go from there. I'm in quite a bit if pain so need to get it sorted. I'll research mindfulness, hypnotherapy and take a look at the dental phobia link because I don't want to end up running my teeth because I'm too afraid to get them looked after.
How was yout appointment? Mine was OK. I felt a bit wobbly when I came out but she cleaned my teeth properly and they look great! I have to have 2 wisdom out as they've never come through properly. She was so nice, cleaned my teeth while counting to 5 then stopped. If I held up my hand she stopped. I have to get an x-ray too.
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