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Changing dentist - My one year journey to healthy teeth

S

Suzie_myrianne

Junior member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
2
Location
The Netherlands
Somehow during my youth I developed a mild form of dental phobia. I was really scared as a little child and this came back around my 13th birthday. I always went to the dentist, under pressure of my parents, but with a lot of nerves, crying (at home) and anxiety. This resulted in me very shy and silent at the office. I hated my dentist and the whole office. Maybe dentistry in general :). My dentist wouldn't listen to me or tell me anything at all. I had, I realise now, a not so good brushing technique and lots of small caveties. Some of these caveties needed fillings, I never got numbing and drilling absolutely was hurting me. I really hated it, but was too shy to tell anyone. Long story short I had a lot of nerves and anxiety and truely hated going to the dentist. Hated the feeling of anxiety, the feeling of loosing control. I felt like a total idiot for being afraid of the dentist. I never skipped any appointments, because I just knew I would never come back.

I always went to the same dentist as my parents, but decided to pick a new dentist one year ago. I totally hated my old dentist and moved into my own room in a different city. At that time I was 20 years old. I went searching on the internet, but couldn't really choose. Almost every website made a good impression, which made me insecure about my choice. What if I chose a dentist that is even worse. In the mean time I went to my own dentist for a check-up. I didn't had any caveties and the only comment he made was about me needing to visit the prevention assistant (here in the netherlands it's like a dental assistant with some extra cleaning skills, but not the same as a dental hygienist!) because of some plaque. I didn't really understand (too shy to ask) and it felt like a way of making money instead of helping me. I came home very upset and felt horrible. That's when I realised something really had to change. A friend recommend her dentist, who she said was super relax and very friendly. I decided to make a call and I got accepted as a patiënt a couple months later.

My anxiety before the first appointment was horrible. I was nervous from the moment I made the appointment. The last couple of nights I woke up several times each night. BUT the first appointment was a total game changer. The dentist was very kind, friendly, professional and relaxed. I didn't really thought I would have a cavity, because my last appointment was 3 months ago. After making x-rays my new dentist discovered a total of 3 cavities. I was very upset about the cavities (and the fillings I was going to need), but felt very good about my new dentist. She was really comforting me and making sure I was alright. I actually felt like I had a choice and she recommended me to have numbing for the fillings. Although I never told her about my anxiety, I now think she might have noticed.
So I made a total of 3 appointments. 1 appointment to fill a cavity in my left lower jaw, 1 appointment to fill the 2 cavities in my upper jaw and 1 appointment to see a dental hygiënist. These appointments where sometimes difficult, but I never really experienced the feeling of loosing control again. I always had a say in the process and although my teeth didn't became healty all at once, I felt good about going to the dentist and was really motivated to take good care of my teeth.

3 check-up appointments, 6 fillings, 3 cleanings and more than one year later; I can really say I am not afraid of the dentist anymore. I will always have some sort of nervous feeling, but it improved so much. And most importantly my oral health improved. Last appointment I had lots of compliments on my gums and brushing. They said they could really see the differance comparing with one year ago. And greatest of all no new caveties and no fillings needed. Finally having healthy teeth is great!

I could recommend everyone with mild dental anxiety to try to change dentists, because for me it was a total game changer.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,579
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Suzie_Myrianne

What a great post and story/testimony you have to share!!! You are so right it really makes such a huge difference.. Your story seems very simliar to how my childhood was . it is very freeing once we can choose our own dentists. Seems like the one you ended up with is really awesome and definately knows how to relate to anxious patients too!! What a keeper!! and you are totally doing amazing following up and keeping up with everything!! :cheer2: :welldone: :perfect:
 
S

Suzie_myrianne

Junior member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
2
Location
The Netherlands
Suzie_Myrianne

What a great post and story/testimony you have to share!!! You are so right it really makes such a huge difference.. Your story seems very simliar to how my childhood was . it is very freeing once we can choose our own dentists. Seems like the one you ended up with is really awesome and definately knows how to relate to anxious patients too!! What a keeper!! and you are totally doing amazing following up and keeping up with everything!! :cheer2: :welldone: :perfect:
Thanks!
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,822
Location
The Hague , Holland
Dear Suzie,

thank you so much for sharing your story, I am certain many will get inspired and encouraged. My take From your story is that talking, reading and emailing are not enough to deal with the anxiety. Improvement can only be achieved by doing and experiencing.
Well done and I wish you many many years of collaboration with your dentist. She is a keeper.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
638
Location
US
Wonderful. Well done. You are an excellent example for us all, and especially for the newcomer.
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
315
Location
NJ
I need to find a new dentist I can trust. That’s the hard part. I felt I had one but I lost trust in her last year and each visit I just continue to lose more. It’s hard finding someone new. Congratulations!
 
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