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    Thread: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

    1. #1
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      Question Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Hi there,

      When i was aged between 9 and 11 years I required a filling in one of my molars. As a child (and now) I have been totally fine with needles for vaccinations etc. I usually just relax, think about something else, look away and it's done. However I remember being a little nervous about this filling. In the surgery the dentist approached me with a very long needle, and I recall being startled at the size. I was told to open my mouth and the needle was thrust into my cheek without warning. It took about 2-3 seconds and all the anaesthetic had been injected into my cheek, but not without me screaming my head off and even jerking my head. I didn't cry but I remember being completely shocked and trembling afterwards. My cheek swelled up a lot so I was told to sit in the waiting room for some time. After that the filling procedure continued normally. My cheek was swollen and bruised for about 3 days afterwards (so much so that my school teachers thought I had been in a fight).

      I know this was a long time ago so my recollection of what I was thinking might be slightly off, but my parents were in the surgery with me and have confirmed the details about how the injection was given. No topical anaesthetic gel was used BTW.

      This has left me with a big fear of dental injections. The pain was worse than a wasp sting (and I react badly to insect stings). I'm not afraid of normal injections, I maybe get a little bit apprehensive just prior to a vaccination or giving blood but it's fine. It's not only the pain of an injection which I fear it's the idea of that pain being in the mouth. Other painful injections elsewhere don't bother me much (I give blood and sometimes yelp/wince when they put the needle in).

      I do actually go to the dentist for checkups even though it scares me, and other than having a brace and a few scales-and-polishes I haven't had any further treatment to my teeth. It has been about 18 months since my last appointment and I'm extremely nervous about the next one in a few weeks time. I have the feeling they may want to do some work (black/brown stain-like spot on canine), I'm even worried that they'll want to take my wisdom teeth out. Actually it's difficult to put the nervousness out of my mind and just function normally just now. I've already told the nurse at my dentists about my fear and she said they're pretty good with injections, they use topical gel and one of the surgeons is trained to deal with nervous patients (and sometimes uses sedation).

      I'm obviously going to go to the appointment but I want to know if others here have had a similar experience to mine? Is the injection always that painful? How does it compare to - e.g. a wasp sting? I'm also a little scared of jerking my head and making it worse (though if I'm expecting it to be painful I would try and control this)...

      ...quite worried.

    2. #2
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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      I know EXACTLY how you feel. The only time in my life I have ever been to a dentist until recently (i'm 42) was when my parents took me in the 1st grade to have a filling done. I remember that injection vividly. That was back before numbing agents. It hurt so bad. However, I would like to tell you that dentistry has come a long way. I had 2 upper wisdom teeth extracted recently with only locals and laughing gas. The injections ( i had about 3 on each side lucky me) are only a little uncomforable. It is very much like just getting a flu shot or something on in the mouth. Whatever they used in the old days stung ... but it doesn't now. I don't think it will be that bad now. It also makes a difference that you were so young too. It should only feel like a little pinch.

    3. #3
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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
      It took about 2-3 seconds and all the anaesthetic had been injected into my cheek, but not without me screaming my head off
      Way too fast to be comfortable...needs to be more like 2 minutes not 2 seconds...this was brutally done but the dentist was probably always bad at it and because you were a child wanted it over and done with as quickly (=as painfully) as possible.

      Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
      but I want to know if others here have had a similar experience to mine? Is the injection always that painful? .
      The only painful dental injection I have had was in 1960s!!!! I have had them since in 1970s, 1980s and 2000s and never felt an iota of pain with any of them. Some were done with gel some without but in all cases the fluid was delivered very slowly and gently. The earlier ones I was aware sth was going on but it wasn't painful...my current dentist...it's imperceptible....gets a bit boring though as it does take a while to inject the stuff so slowly.

      I'm sure you will have a much better experience based on what the staff member has told you.
      http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/needle_phobia.html
      I've never been stung by a wasp or a bee but can honestly say there is no need for dental injections to be painful at all so long as the dentist cares enough to use the right techniques.
      Last edited by brit; 7th October 2010 at 05:30.
      It's the 21st Century.......dentistry can and should be painless but we patients come unstuck because all dentists are not created equal

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      Unhappy Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Quote Originally Posted by brit View Post
      I'm sure you will have a much better experience based on what the staff member has told you.
      http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/needle_phobia.html
      I've never been stung by a wasp or a bee but can honestly say there is no need for dental injections to be painful at all so long as the dentist cares enough to use the right techniques.
      Ok so I just had my checkup... I need three occlusal fillings. I'm so angry with myself, although I cannot understand how this happened. I floss, I brush two-to-three times per day (for about 5 minutes at a time), I use listerine mouthwash and I chew xylitol-containing gum. If that's not enough to avoid cavities what is?! My flatmate went to the same dentist and she hadn't been for seven years - he told her everything was good and no work (other than a trip to the hygienist).

      He noticed I was nervous, and gave me his chair to sit on so that I was in the dentist seat for as little time as possible. He said that I'm not the first nervous patient he's had (I thought: I should hope so...) and they'll try and make everything as painless as possible for me. However he added "I won't lie to you, it's unpleasant and uncomfortable". When I told him my only fear was the pain of the injections he said "yeah it hurts for a few seconds" and the "bruising sometimes does happen".

      Argh - what?!

      A bit panicked... is he just being down to Earth, or is he saying he can't give painless injections?

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Tell the dentist that your nervous and they will go really slow when doing it (mine does anyway). I had oral surgery earlier this year and the dentist doing it, did the injections way too quickly and it was agony! i couldn't stop crying!
      I've just had 2 injections today and it was just a quick scratch pain and then it was over!
      But you can ask for numbing gel? i've tried it before and with it you don't feel a thing! no lie.
      You'll be fine, good luck

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      I asked my dentist why injections seemed far less painful than they did years ago. His answers were:-

      a) Stronger materials and therefore smaller needles (makes sense, I thought)

      b) The anaesthetic no longer needs to be kept in the fridge, so it's not ice-cold any more

      Strangely he never mentioned technique - maybe he didn't want to boast !

      John

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Quote Originally Posted by loubyyy View Post
      Tell the dentist that your nervous and they will go really slow when doing it (mine does anyway).
      The way he says "it's only a few seconds" makes me think that he's going to try and inject quickly though.

      Quote Originally Posted by loubyyy View Post
      I had oral surgery earlier this year and the dentist doing it, did the injections way too quickly and it was agony! i couldn't stop crying!
      I've just had 2 injections today and it was just a quick scratch pain and then it was over!
      Where in your mouth did the dentist administer the painful injection?

      Quote Originally Posted by loubyyy View Post
      But you can ask for numbing gel? i've tried it before and with it you don't feel a thing! no lie.
      You'll be fine, good luck
      I didn't ask this time. When I made the appointment for the checkup I asked the receptionist and she said they do use it unless you ask not to have it.

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Quote Originally Posted by biffo1963 View Post
      I asked my dentist why injections seemed far less painful than they did years ago. His answers were:-

      a) Stronger materials and therefore smaller needles (makes sense, I thought)
      Is there any guarantee the dentist is going to use a small needle though?

      Quote Originally Posted by biffo1963 View Post
      b) The anaesthetic no longer needs to be kept in the fridge, so it's not ice-cold any more
      This is true (I'm a scientist and since I have access to medical journals I've looked this up recently). The other factor is the pH (acidity) of the anaesthetic.

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Where in your mouth did the dentist administer the painful injection?
      I had 4 for the surgery i had, 2 at the front of my front teeth, and two in the roof of my mouth just behind them.
      and if they do use the numbing gel then honestly you should be fine!

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      Default Re: Terrified of dental injections due to an excruciating injection as a child

      Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
      Is there any guarantee the dentist is going to use a small needle though?
      Hopefully one of our resident dentists can tell us that ?


      John

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