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Petrified of dentist but I know I need to go

(7 Posts)
DitzyDoryUk Mon 06-Mar-17 09:12:35

I am unbelievably petrified of he dentist. I start having majorpanic attacks when I go near one and I have palpitations thinking about going but I hate my smile I hate my teeth I know I will need a full tooth extraction but I am so petrified abou going. I am know part of it is their reaction. I haven't a good tooth left. The other thing is i don't want them to do the teeth mould for new teeth as I know how brittle my teeth are and my husband said it is very uncomfortable. I am also scared of the pain afterwards.

I am a right messbut I am thoroughly unhappy with them and can't remember the last time I smiled in a photo.

What can I do to get through this. I am honestly terrified

sunniest Mon 06-Mar-17 23:54:49

Spend some time on the forums and advice pages on dentalfearcentral.org. It really helped me make that first step to find a new dentist and I got a good recommendation for a local practice that specialise in phobic patients.

sycamore54321 Tue 07-Mar-17 00:30:20

I've supported a friend through similar. Firstly, book an appointment as soon as possible. If you are very fearful, say so when booking. And for very anxious patients, this first appointment does not even need you to sit in the dentist chair or even let the dentist see your open mouth. A dentist experienced in phobia will be happy to sit and have a normal conversation with you about what she can likely do for you, and what might be anticipated for you, in terms of examinations, and possible treatments. If you are sitting eye-to-eye with the dentist in a regular chair, it's just a regular conversation and you can leave at any time. My friend's dentist told her that taking this approach, a number of nervous patients graduate to sitting in the chair or letting the dentist look in their mouth (without or even with instruments) at the first appointment. The dentist's aim over the first appointments (however many it takes) will be for you to undertake an exam, x-Rays, likely a cleaning session with a hygeniest also. And based on this, she will recommend a treatment plan for you. That way, you will know what you are dealing with. I know you are very fearful but i can really reassure you that the exam is not at all painful. It would be a huge step of you can set this as your initial goal and get yourself to that stage as soon as you feel comfortable. Even for non-phobic patients, the first appointment is usually the exam only and any treatment identified will come in a subsequent visit.

Secondly, modern dentistry has very little pain. Assuming you are not in your early 20s, and assuming you don't walk in with a mouth full of infected accesses (you didn't mention being currently in pain), you can banish any previous painful experiences as wildly outdated. Dentists nowadays work very hard to avoid pain and to minimise discomfort.

Thirdly, a huge range of problems are solvable without extracting teeth. You might need extractions but there is a really good chance that you might not. There really is only one way to know - book that appointment.

Finally, don't worry about being lectured to or scolded. Modern dentists are all about looking forward, supporting you to achieve and maintain good dental healthy now on. They are not going to shout or tut at you, regardless of the condition of your teeth. And chances are, whatever you have, the have seen it plenty of times before.

It helps if you really thing about what your fears actually are and express them to the dentist. If you prefer, you can send this by email or hand it over in writing during the appointment. Is it the noises of the unfamiliar machinery that frightens you, or laying back feeling vulnerable in the chair, or the prospect of pain, or embarrassment? Or all of the above, or something else entirely? The more you can identify and 'own' your fears, the better you can communicate with your dentist and work together to overcome them, or at least to sidestep them.

I will say though that having money to arrange for private appointments is a big help. Dentistry isn't cheap but it is so important for you. You have made a big step in asking for help. Now go for it. I have never heard of anyone in your position regretting it; everyone says they wish they did it years earlier.

sniffle12 Tue 07-Mar-17 12:31:37

Try to look for a dentist that states on their website that they deal with nervous patients.

Totally get what you mean about their response - not looking after my teeth is one of my biggest regrets, and the dentist judging/sounding disappointed with me doesn't really help. Sorry I had bigger things on my mind than dental floss whilst battling mental health problems throughout my teenage years/twenties.

Now I have a dentist who is really non-judgemental and whose attitude is more 'what can we do going forward?' which has really helped.

sycamore54321 Thu 09-Mar-17 18:39:39

OP, please come back and tell us you have booked your appointment. We will be so proud of you.

chartreuse Fri 10-Mar-17 11:33:51

My dentist gave me a prescription for Valium which I take an hour before the appointment, it really helps me to actually get there.

Also, IME, the fear of going is ALWAYS worse than the reality, and I always come out wondering why I'd been so worried about it

SpikyFish Fri 10-Mar-17 16:51:09

Google dental fear and find a dentist who specialises with very nervous patients.

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