View Poll Results: How did you cope with impromptu dental treatment?

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    • I completely panicked!

      8 40.00%
    • I panicked on the inside but put on a brave face.

      7 35.00%
    • I was indifferent. It was okay with me.

      2 10.00%
    • I prefer impromptu dental treatment. I'm better off not knowing in advance.

      3 15.00%
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    Thread: Unplanned Dental Treatment

    1. #11
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Quote Originally Posted by Carys View Post
      This is such an interesting thread, as you are right it brings up issues of our control and how much we feel we lose that in the dentists chair. Often the poor dentist is just there actually trying to get on with concentrating on their tricky job, and it doesn't occur to actually keep nattering away to those of us who need to know about every minor tool change LOL MMmmm, I'm going to think further about this one.......as you have got me thinking about if it is better to know or not know in advance. Oh gosh I'm confused now....
      "...those of us who need to know about every minor tool change." I love it! That describes me perfectly. Every time she reaches for something else I'm trying to catch a glimpse of what it is and she knows better than to verbally request a tool from her assistant. She talks about all things non-dental to distract me during treatment unless she needs to warn me about something coming up. She has found just the right balance between what I want to know and what I need to know to feel relaxed. I also found that my dentist's face mask that has the clear part over the eyes, works as a mirror to reflect what she's doing to my teeth when the light hits it just right. Sometimes, that a bit too much information and I choose to look away but other times it's not as bad as my imagination has cooked up and it keeps me grounded.

      I like what Carole said that it needs to be presented to the patient as a choice so the patient can stay in control. My problem is even when presented as I choice, I still feel pressure to say "yes" when caught off guard so even though I'm deciding, I'm doing it reluctantly. Plus I just feel like I need that time to go through the process beforehand...the anticipation, reliving the past experiences, freaking out about all of the things that could happen and dismissing those notions, and then finally, mentally willing myself to go through with it anyway. As miserable as that sounds, I need to do it for myself in order to feel in control and like the choice is really mine. Plus there is a whole lot less distress if everything just goes according to plan. Then I worry that something unexpected will occur at the next appointment and stress about the anticipation of how I might handle that possibility. It ultimately damages the trust relationship for me even if it's well-intended. I think deviating from the plan makes me feel insecure and vulnerable ...in some ways it violates that whole principle of being told what to expect and then following through with that expectation.

    2. #12
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      I never realised before, but when I read that kitkats dentist doesn't ask for tools by name, I don't recall mine asking for anything. The only thing I know is when he says he will just use the hand piece to remove a little bit of old filling etc... and talks to me.
      I don't know what he does, and I don't hear either him or his assistant moving about for anything either. Strange I will have to try take notice next time I go. It might be that I am concentrating that hard on breathing that I don't notice. His assistant is very quiet and just smiles a lot, it is the dentist that does all the talking and dealing with me. Stranger and stranger.

    3. #13
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Quote Originally Posted by carole View Post
      I never realised before, but when I read that kitkats dentist doesn't ask for tools by name, I don't recall mine asking for anything. The only thing I know is when he says he will just use the hand piece to remove a little bit of old filling etc... and talks to me.
      I don't know what he does, and I don't hear either him or his assistant moving about for anything either. Strange I will have to try take notice next time I go. It might be that I am concentrating that hard on breathing that I don't notice. His assistant is very quiet and just smiles a lot, it is the dentist that does all the talking and dealing with me. Stranger and stranger.
      Sounds like you are the type of person who prefers to keep their eyes closed? I used to but I don't anymore. Most of the tools are already in reach for my dentist ...often the assistant is even further away from the tray of instruments sitting on the other side of me. Usually, it's more feasible for the dentist to just silently reach for whatever she needs and then warn me about the sensations that are coming up. Occasionally she'll show me something beforehand if it doesn't appear intimidating and will explain it if needed. Once she was working from behind me and the tray was out of reach so she asked her assistant for an "excavator" and I almost died right then and there! She stopped asking for things after that.

    4. #14
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      I would have nearly died too. I do shut my eyes, also my dentist gives me these big orange glasses to wear as well so you can't see clearly through them anyway, which is perfect for me.

    5. #15
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Kitkat, you make me laugh, the 'excavator' !!! Yeah, I'd be wondering what that was.....

      Lets hope we never follow each other on dental appointments, we'd be a nightmare for a dentist. If the dentist isn't working in my mouth i.e. he reaches around for something I am turned around watching what he is picking up, to the point of partially sitting up LOL I watch every change of head for the buzzy thing in his hand, every piece of cotton wool and have a good old gawp at what is on his little table next to me every time I get the chance. If he doesn't tell me what it is he is about to use, then (despite dental dam) I ask what it is. Carole - I hear him asking the dental nurse for all his bits and pieces.

      Funnily, similar to your 'excavator', I was lying looking at what the dental nurse was up to in the few seconds the dentist turned to look at the xrays, and she had a massive bottle of BLEACH in her hand she got out of the cupboard. I am a bit paranoid about bleach, so, I laughed and said 'Ha ha, how funny, bleach, is that for using on me....??' and then started laughing at myself. Clearly, to my mind, it must be bleach for cleaning the sink or putting down the toilet. She just looked back at me and went 'err yes' (root canal irrigation ??)
      Last edited by Carys; 5th March 2012 at 21:11.

    6. The Following User Says Thank You to Carys For This Useful Post:

      kitkat (6th March 2012)

    7. #16
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      My problem is even when presented as I choice, I still feel pressure to say "yes" when caught off guard so even though I'm deciding, I'm doing it reluctantly.
      Sometimes things are presented as a choice, but it is actually just asking for consent isn't it. Not quite the same thing as having a choice; which implies you have an alternative course of action which you are informed about. Saying that, if my consent is asked for, or I am offered a choice I tend to say yes in the dentists' chair - but not anywhere else !!!




      AND....I would happily have a mirror held to my face to see what it going on. Aren't we all so different, Carole with her eyes screwed shut and us trying to see everything we can.

    8. #17
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Quote Originally Posted by carole View Post
      I would have nearly died too. I do shut my eyes, also my dentist gives me these big orange glasses to wear as well so you can't see clearly through them anyway, which is perfect for me.
      I get glasses to wear too but mine are clear-ish. I love them because I can keep my eyes open and not worry about getting anything sprayed in my eyes. Makes it much easier to keep an eye on things! lol

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      Carys (5th March 2012)

    10. #18
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Are you two mad, oh no no no, good job we are all different. We most certainly keep the poor dentists out there on their toes, it makes me wonder how the heck do they manage to deal with us at all.

    11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to carole For This Useful Post:

      Carys (5th March 2012), kitkat (6th March 2012)

    12. #19
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      Quote Originally Posted by Carys View Post
      Sometimes things are presented as a choice, but it is actually just asking for consent isn't it. Not quite the same thing as having a choice; which implies you have an alternative course of action which you are informed about. Saying that, if my consent is asked for, or I am offered a choice I tend to say yes in the dentists' chair - but not anywhere else !!!




      AND....I would happily have a mirror held to my face to see what it going on. Aren't we all so different, Carole with her eyes screwed shut and us trying to see everything we can.
      This is true Carys. There is a BIG difference between being given a choice and requesting consent. It's not "would you rather do x or y?" it's "may I do this right now?" and there isn't much logical reasoning behind saying "no, you can't right now but you can later!" lol

      I'm glad you liked my "excavator" story! I laugh about it now even though it wasn't very funny at the time! You made me laugh too with your bleach story. I had NO IDEA that bleach was used in root canal irrigations...yikes! I would be like "sorry I asked!" The crazy things we find out about dentistry in our limited experiences! I bet you are one of those people who look up procedures on the web beforehand so there are no surprises too. My current dentist was the first one willing to show me stuff and explain it and that's partly how she won me over but before having treatment with her I was an "eyes screwed shut" type of person. Not sure what happened there??? Somewhere between my last appointment with the previous dentist and the 1st appointment with her I became a control freak.

      She's found a way to satisfy my curiosity by directing my attention to less intimidating tools; for instance, if she's holding a mirror and an "excavator" or a syringe she draws my attention to the little mirror first before following with the more intimidating tool out of my line of sight. There is a lot of "slight of hand" tricks involved in dentistry! Who knew? lol Another thing she does is focus more on describing the sensation produced than the tool itself which usually works well for me.

    13. #20
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      Default Re: Unplanned Dental Treatment

      I bet you are one of those people who look up procedures on the web beforehand so there are no surprises too.
      Ahh, you have worked me out so well....I have even been known to watch a youtube video if there is one !

      She's found a way to satisfy my curiosity by directing my attention to less intimidating tools; for instance, if she's holding a mirror and an "excavator" or a syringe she draws my attention to the little mirror first before following with the more intimidating tool out of my line of sight. There is a lot of "slight of hand" tricks involved in dentistry! Who knew? lol Another thing she does is focus more on describing the sensation produced than the tool itself which usually works well for me.
      kitkat, I've said this before, but you so make me smile. I now have an image of a magician type of dentist, doing these tricks infront of you to distract and 'trick' you into having certain tools used; 'watch the pretty mirror.....look at it sparkle and shine....' and then whilst you are transfixed on it an 'excavator' is popped in to your mouth without you seeing.

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      kitkat (6th March 2012)

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