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Dental anxiety(2 Posts)
I have a crippling fear of the dentist. I am okay with the intimate checkup it's just treatment involving pain. I went to the dentist when I was around 6 months pregnant (DS is now 6 months) and ended up needing 5 fillings. They really really hurt. I was shaking. I needed to go back after baby was born to have the fillings changed to permanent ones but I am terrified. I know that I will need more work done and I am terrified of the pain. I really don't cope with it well. Any advice would be appreciated.
Unless the work was done without anaesthetic, dental treatment really should not hurt, although fillings might be a wee bit achey for a few days afterwards until they settle. I am a really anxious patient but have needed a load of work lately, so I totally sympathise. (Four root canals, due to teeth grinding because of stress!)
My tips are:
Talk to your dentist. My dentist knows I am a nervous Nelly and actually schedules slightly longer appointments than I need so I can stop and start if I need to.
Bring something to fiddle with. I am actually seeing a different dentist for the root canals - a very expensive specialist - and was scared he would laugh at me when I tipped up with my Beanie Baby, but I honestly think they see it all.
Agree a signal like raising your hand if you need a break. I have actually never asked to stop, even in a two hour procedure, but knowing I can really helps.
I bring lavender oil to rub round my nose just before going in.
Don’t get there too early. I am actually relatively okay during the treatment, but in the waiting room I am in serious danger of running out of the door.
Ask for more numbing if you need it. You absolutely should not feel pain, only pressure/rattly vibrations or whatever.
Ask how long it’s (roughly) going to take. My dentist has a huge clock on the wall, and I keep one eye on it and kind of mentally count down.
The other thing that has really helped me - and I know this sounds daft - during the root canals is having a little mantra that I say over and over in my head. Mine is “I am 100% confident that (name) is the absolute best person to do this work”. That only works if you are, obviously.
Other things you could consider are asking your GP for something to take beforehand - with your dentist’s agreement - or having sedation. You’d need someone to pick you up and then stay with you after sedation, definitely.
Good luck. I also find a treat as a reward when it’s finished helps. After I finished my treatment this week I bought a lovely bunch of flowers, and after the previous session I knew there would be a fab jumper i’d ordered waiting for me when I got home.
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