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Scared of the dentist

(3 Posts)
BetweenRockAndAHardPlace Wed 31-Dec-14 13:01:45

I hate the dentist, have hated it since I was about 10ish. My dentist had a poor bedside manner never really spoke and was very lecturish. I always felt like I needed to swallow during checkups (probably a nervous reaction) and that I couldn't. My Dad and Nan always very vocal about their dental fear which maybe rubbed off on me. Although they're scared of the pain, and pain doesn't bother me one bit.
I've been with a different surgery for about the last 10 years and they've all been ok-ish but I still hate going. I struggle just during a check-up, feel claustrophobic, that I'm going to gag/be sick/make an arse of myself. I have gagged a couple of times during check-ups or having a filling and it's so embarrassing which just makes my fear even worse.
I last had a checkup/filling 18 months ago and have another check-up in 3 weeks time, I'm terrified I will need another filling sad. I hate feeling out of control.
What can I do to make my appointment more comfortable, how can I relax?

sksk Wed 31-Dec-14 13:04:47

Where are you based? Can you ask to be referred to your local community dental service where they might be more able to see you and understand your issues? Don't be embarrassed- you're not alone and there are some many more options for someone with the feelings and concerns you are describing. Another option might be to ask to be referred to a teaching hospital. Some places even offer cognitive behavioural therapy for dealing with dental fear/gagging.
Don't beat yourself up about it- Best wishes for the New Year!

Jenda Wed 31-Dec-14 13:09:11

Hello. I was never scared of the dentist until a few years ago when I had a bad experience. my new dentist is nice and gentle. On my first appointment I told her I was quite nervous and she was very nice. I also have to swallow a lot and I used to get into a panic about trying not to do it, now I just swallow and it is fine. It occurred to me that absolutely loads of people have this problem and dentists will be completely used to it and it's not a big deal. You could even say " just to warn you, I need to swallow a lot when I get nervous". its not a a problem. Also I would never say when I was in pain but I had a bit of an uncomfortable appointment today (cracked filling and very decayed tooth) and I just put my hand up when I wanted her to stop. I didn't feel like I was being wimpy or annoying. So my advice would be to be upfront about your concerns and try your best to relax. I closed my eyes and pretended I was lying on a beach, didn't quite work but it helped to distract me for a few minutes! The dentist is a big fear for lots of people and dentists are trained in dealing with this so don't be embarrassed smile

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