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    Thread: Terrified

    1. #1
      Guest Guest

      Default Terrified

      Hi, I am new to this board and forgive me if I have done this wrong!

      I think I am suffering from dental phobia, I have terrible teeth and know I need to go to see a dentist as I havent been able to eat for 3 days for fear of aggravating a tooth that gave me a lot of pain on Sunday. The problem I have is that I am ashamed of opening my mouth for fear of the dentist and the dental nurse judging me. I think I may need 2 maybe 3 teeth pulled and at least 3 fillings. I also think I may need a crown on my front tooth as the enamel has broken off and is now discolouring, I am ashamed to smile and if I do I only do it with my mouth closed, I never show my teeth and find myself either looking down or covering my mouth when I talk to someone. My husband doesnt seem to understand that I have a genuine fear of the dentist so I have no one to talk to :'(

      I have managed to go to the dentist and fill out the form to register but thats as far as I have got, the thought of actually making the appointment is making me physically sick and I am even feeling nauseous typing this out. I fear the actual work that needs to be done because not only do I have a fear of dentists I also have a fear of needles! I have never had a crown or root canal work done and am worried about the procedure should I actually need it. I also am on a low icome and what with Christmas only being round the corner I cant really afford the work to be done.

      I have spoked with my husband about the money aspect of this and he thinks I am over reacting as I may not need as much done as I think, he has no idea on the state of my mouth as I tend to even cover up when I speak to him, I am ashamed of showing him the true state of my teeth as when we watch makeover programmes with people that have bad teeth he just sits there amazed that people actualy let it get to that state, if he only knew eh! I know how my fear of the dentist started but just cant seem to get over it. please, anyone that can advise me on calming techniques and what is actually involved in the treatment I may need would be greatly appreciated,

      A truly petrified patient :'(

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Oct 2005
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      UK
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      Female
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      Default Re: Terrified

      Hi Nat,



      Many people are really ashamed of opening their mouth in front of a dentist because they're scared that they might judge them, tell them off for 'letting their teeth get into such a state' and also for not going sooner. Then of course there's all the worry about what treatment might be needed, how much it will all cost and will it hurt etc. And all this is before you even consider what it is that scares you so much that you stopped going in the first place :-/.

      But don't worry - you've come to the right place for advice/support .

      Quote Originally Posted by Nat(Guest)
      The problem I have is that I am ashamed of opening my mouth for fear of the dentist and the dental nurse judging me.
      Depending on how long it is since you last saw a dentist, you'll probably find that attitudes towards this sort of thing have changed quite a lot. It really isn't in their best interests to be judgmental or tell you off or whatever because as a patient, you're also their source of income! But, more importantly, it's better that you keep your mouth in good health and this (unfortunately !) means regular checkups. Obviously if they start making nasty remarks etc, you're not going to go back are you? So, it's also in their best interests to be as helpful (which means being non-judgmental) as they can.

      I didn't go to the dentist for about 7 years (due to all sorts of fears) and it took me months to make the decision to go back. In addition to all the fears I had anyway, I was absolutely convinced that I was going to get told off and humiliated. And then there was all the treatment that I decided I'd definitely need for letting my teeth get into such a state - I fretted over it for months and months. When I eventually did see a dentist, he didn't judge me at all - his only concern was the state of my teeth at the time and what could be done to sort out any immediate problems. He didn't want to know about why I hadn't gone for so long - didn't even ask! (although he probably figured it out considering I was a nervous wreck! ). And I didn't need anywhere near as much doing as what I'd imagined.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nat(Guest)
      My husband doesnt seem to understand that I have a genuine fear of the dentist so I have no one to talk to :'(
      Lots of people feel on their own with this - even though we're often surrounded by family and friends, we can't talk to them because we're so scared and ashamed. We think we're the only ones and sometimes some people can feel very isolated with their fear(s). There are loads of people on here who are all at different stages with their phobia - some are new and scared and some have been posting quite a while and are still scared (<--- this is me! ) but everyone's in the same boat, so you're not on your own .

      Quote Originally Posted by Nat(Guest)
      I have managed to go to the dentist and fill out the form to register but thats as far as I have got
      Well done for making that first step . Registering and making an appointment are sometimes the hardest things to do (apart from going to the actual appointment), but you've already made progress just by filling in those forms.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nat(Guest)
      I fear the actual work that needs to be done because not only do I have a fear of dentists I also have a fear of needles!
      I don't know if you've seen it already but there's a page about fears here: http://www.dentalfearcentral.com/den...and_fears.html - click on the individual fears for more information and tips.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nat(Guest)
      I know how my fear of the dentist started but just cant seem to get over it.
      Everyone is different and it depends on what caused your fear and if there are any specific things that you're scared of - there are lots of things that can help though - often it's just a question of trying different things until you find something that works for you.

      There's a list of things that might help which you could go through with your dentist - if you click on the link above and scroll down, there's a PDF download called What Might Help.

      Obviously I don't know which country you're from so I can't really suggest anything about paying for dental treatment :-/ (it varies from country to country), but there are usually various options available. You never know - you might need less treatment than you think.

      Hope this helps

      Please feel free to post on here for advice/support etc.
      Designer. Copywriter. Hypnotherapist. NLP Practitioner. Bookworm. iPhone worshipper. Tea drinker. Insomniac. Caffiene addict. Derren Brown fan.

    3. #3
      Guest Guest

      Default Re: Terrified

      Thankyou very much for your reply and I am in the UK.

      I know that my fears are somewhat 'silly' but I just cant bring myslef to do it! I have picked up the phone at least 5 times today and I have even drove past the surgery in the hope that I might stop and go in to ask for my appointment. I wish I could afford private treatmenn because I have read some posts here and they say that with private treatment the dentist talks to you more and your made to feel at ease more, I have asked to speak to the dentist and the receptionist was a very nice and caring lady, which made me feel somewhat better, she said that when I make my 1st appointment I will have the opportunity to speak with the dentist then and that all they will do is take a few x-rays and that will probably be it, I cant help but think that she is lying and as soon as I get in that dreaded chair they will begin some painful procedure! I am not sleeping at night as I am constantly thinking about the dentist! I am 30 yrs old and have given birth!

    4. #4
      happydancyfeet Guest

      Default Re: Terrified

      Hiya Nat

      Please dont think that you need to find a private dentist to get the sympathetic treatment you need. I'm currently being treated by special needs/phobic clinic under the nhs ( i need to be sedated for any type of treatment). BTW, i'm in the uk too....scotland
      Untill your appointment comes through, have you thought of e-mailing your dentist to explain your fears? It may be easier for you to do this rather than writing a letter and handing it in.
      Your first appointment will be for an assessment only, so dont fret about that. ( they will need to know what treatment you actually need before they do anything)
      Im 44 and have had two children,i had natural deliveries both times and would rather have gone through that again, than have dental treatment. But, 4 months ago.... I took the plunge and have been to the dentist twice.

      With help and support you'll get there too

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Nov 2005
      Posts
      71

      Default Re: Terrified

      first of all.... ...that is for getting as far as you have. everything you have done so far shows alot of courage. i am not in the best position to be giving advice, seeing as how i am also a bit afraid and i need alot of work, but i thought that i would share a few little things that have helped me. maybe they can do the same for you.
      before the appointment..when i am the most nervous..i try to occupy my mind with other things if at all possible. the more you let yourself sit and dwell on it, the more your own mind will run wild and scare you more.
      when i am feeling really scared, i also try to imagine my life in the future, with a beutifull set of teeth. i can picture me eating things i haven't eaten in years, and i know i will be smiling all the time. my front teeth are pretty bad, and i know that closed mouth smile very well. to think of my life in the future and see the happiness i may have, and then to think of where i am at now..miserable with my mouth, really helps. i want to be that happy. i want to not have to worry about my teeth all the time.
      i also force myself to trust the dentist. i try to assure myself that he is highly trained and skilled and has done this a million times before.
      when it comes to the actual fear of needles..well one thing i have found that helps the most with that is a numbing machine called 'the wand'. it administers the meds slowly and evenly thru a small needle at the end of a stick that they just place on your gum a few times. this way there is no syringe, and the dentist isn't pushing the meds out by hand. it is all digital and if you have nitrous oxide going on you have absolutly no idea what is going on. painless.
      also, if i do need to have the regular novacaine thru a syringe, i try not to focus on what he is doing, i try not to look at him/her, and i certainly would never ever actually look at the syringe.
      you said that you had a emergency extraction once...did it hurt before you had it taken out? i remember when i had a terrible infection/abcess once and the pain that i went thru was simply unbearable. the worst thing i have ever felt..more than broken bones, cuts and burns. so when i am getting dental work done i try to think of it as ME controlling the PAIN, instead of the other way around. being a step ahead of the pain.
      well i know this is a long post...but i hope it helps some.
      congrats on getting as far you have. just deciding that you want to take control of the situation is a HUGE step.
      on the subject of not having anyone to talk to..i am sorry you feel that way. i can tell you that if your husband loves you enough to marry you, he will love you even if you tell him you have some dental problems. i know you may not feel that way, but maybe if you try to have a heart-to-heart about it, and show him how much it affects you, you would be surprised.
      you can also always pm me or something if you ever need it. i have found this forum helps me on so many levels. and being here is a great first step.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Dec 2005
      Posts
      776

      Default Re: Terrified

      Hi,

      I havent emailed the dentist as I am not sure they will read them! I have spoken with the receptionist though and she was very kind and understanding. I am sitting here now with the phone in my hand but just cant do it! I have a niggling pain in my top left tooth, am unsure of what one as I have 2 bad teeth that side of my mouth and I really want to overcome this, I just want to know for sure that they wont work on my teeth on my 1st appointment! I went to a dentist 8 yrs ago and they filled a tooth there and then without even telling me why. Sorry for repeating myself but I havent been able to speak about my fears with anyone else as they just say im 'being silly' I am also very scared of having either root canal or a crown as I have never had this done before and think I might have to. I have an 8 yr old who is beginning to show the same fears as me and I really dont want that!

    7. #7
      Join Date
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      Default Re: Terrified

      Please don't feel that your fears are silly - everyone's different with different fears and different reasons.

      Like happy, I'm also an NHS patient. Whilst it's true that mainstream NHS practices usually spend less time per patient than private ones (too much pressure to treat as many patients as possible), a lot of it is also to do with the individual dentist's ability to make you feel more at ease and in control etc. For example, when I decided to go back after 7 years, the dentist I saw was fairly laid back and I never felt rushed or anything (even though I wanted to get out of there asap!). He's since retired and his replacement couldn't be more different - although my appointments are still the same length, he rushes about like a cat on a hot tin roof and things are very hurried! (I secretly suspect that he could be as nervous of me as I am of him!).

      Don't beat yourself up over not being able to pick up the phone yet - you'll do it when you're ready (or maybe you could email them for an appointment?)

      [smiley=grouphug.gif]
      Designer. Copywriter. Hypnotherapist. NLP Practitioner. Bookworm. iPhone worshipper. Tea drinker. Insomniac. Caffiene addict. Derren Brown fan.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Dec 2005
      Posts
      776

      Default Re: Terrified

      I have suffered for years with tooth pain and abcesses, I manage to get to the dentist for antibiotics but never seem to get the courage to go back for treatment. I hope that by spending some more time here I will be able to one day make the next step!

    9. #9
      happydancyfeet Guest

      Default Re: Terrified

      I too suffered with a very deep infection, and like you, got the antibiotics and never went back. Until this last time....... i think i took antibiotics for nearly four weeks before it finally cleared up.

      I lurked on here for weeks before I actually had the courage to post, I was actually crying as I typed the words "dentist, chair, treatment " etc. It really does help posting on here. I.ve spent many a sleepless night browsing the boards and reading the posts over and over. If ever you find yourself in that situation and I'm online, please feel free to pm me.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Dec 2005
      Posts
      776

      Default Re: Terrified

      Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement, I hit another set back on my quest to make my first appointment, I finally picked the phone up and dialled the number, only to hear a recorded message on the other end, they had closed for the day so now I have to go through all of that again on Monday, I am upset as it was a big step fo rme to do that. I am in pain today and know I need to have an emergency appointment which means no choice on waiting for treatment, If I get in tomorrow then I will have to have all the things that scare me done! Needle, sitting in the chair, and the drill [smiley=frightened.gif] I can honestly say I have never been so frightened. I know if I do get in then it will be over and the pain will go away but its just the thought... I feel sick!

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