• Dental Phobia Support

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Default Anyone experienced with the NHS dental system?



Junior member
Mar 7, 2017
So to start this off I'm only 21 and for the most part of my life I've had a major phobia of the dentist with no known cause for this I just generally hate the thought of someone sticking a needle in my face and grabbing around my mouth with metal instruments but putting that aside I put my fear aside and went for a tooth extraction last Friday which went well BUT that tooth was only one of many problems in fact on the phone while making the appointment, also during I explained the other issue's I had and obviously the dentist was aware of them when she had looked but basically on top of the tooth that has already been extracted, I have a molar on the back that is nearly completely broken, and one of my upper canine teeth that had root canal work done on it a few year's back is completely broken to the gum line and the dentist just left them in there, and to be honest out of all the teeth in my mouth these two are giving me the most problems was my dentist right in leaving them in there? and to explain a little further, when i do go to the dentist "which is rare" I usually see the same specialist dentist but making an appointment with him can take month's of time just to be seen so the dentist i had seen this time was completely new to me and after the extraction she'd recommended I was to make an appointment with my regular dentist but the next available appointment is in July? I'm really stuck with what to do here, and i don't know how to go about it...though i should add I'd like to have denture's fitted and I don't know the process of that either? no information was given to me just a gauze stuck in my mouth and an appointment made for months down the line so any help with this situation would be much appreciated!
Hi wobble, Can I just say how sorry I am you feel this way.

NHS dentistry I believe, struggles to cope with patients that have anxieties about dental care. I'm a lot older than you and have spent most of my life time avoiding dentists since having a wisdom tooth removed by a general dentist about your age, and without going into too much detail, it was a painful, long process with the local anaesthetic wearing off quickly. I was left with a very large root remnant which to be fair has not caused me too much trouble over the years although I feel its starting to break through the gum.

Over the last 10 years I have sought the assistant of two NHS dentists. One was particularly insensitive to my fears, but the second listened and offered all the information I needed which helped reduce my fears considerably. He also didn't make me feel a nuisance when I asked lots of questions.

My fears and anxieties centre around the ineffectiveness of local injection, drilling, unnecessary treatment and trust. I suppose I'm not a good patient, but I'm not rude or unreasonable from my stand point and I also pay my fees. I do fidget though and take far too much of the dentists time.

I have a chronic abscess which causes me pain sometimes, but I choose to ignore it. I've been told it can be treated by a root canal specialist, privately, which I cannot afford and the dental hospital wont treat it because its a 2nd molar or something like that. An alternative is extraction but because of the close proximity to the sinus, having it extracted may cause difficulties. Oral surgery at the dental hospital has been mentioned, although, the safe option I feel is to leave well alone and put up with the occasional discomfort. My trust and confidence in the dental hospital is poor, mainly due to my experiences with their appointment system, attitudes of staff and the feeling that there is a list of priorities in such institutions, with research first, second is education of students and the lowest priority being patients. NHS specialist appointments are arranged according to the priority they place on the problem!

Regarding dentures, I have some missing teeth and manage to chew food without problem, but if I loose anymore I will have to go down the denture route, as dental implants are beyond my reach financially. I have been doing a bit of research about dentures and who best to do it. There are specialists out there that will make and fit them privately, (prosthodontists and denturists). Friends have told me that NHS dentists can make good ones too, it just depends on the dentist and whether you trust them to do a good job.

You are only 21. I would try really hard to hang on to your natural teeth and find a dentist that will work with you. If your getting nowhere with your current dentist, look around for another NHS dentist, they are not all the same. Some are better at communicating and have better people skills. My dentist did just that but has just left general practice. I'm hoping the replacement dentist will be just as good, if not, I will be searching for another.

We all need a dentist at some point, its best to find one before the problems get too big.

All the best
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