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Dental fear and I need dental treatments

L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
Hi,

I decided to join this forum because I have a dental fear since I was a child (now, I am 28).

During my childhood, sometimes I went to the dentist with my mother but I was so terrified that I cried, I refused to sit on the dental chair and to open my mouth.

When I was 12, a dentist went to my school to check our teeth. Because my friends were with me, I tried to be courageous and I opened my mouth for my dental check-up. Although he had only a dental mirror and a probe, I was scared during this check-up. I was cavity-free but I had to have a baby tooth pulled. As I was afraid, the dentist didn’t remove this tooth but now, at this place, my permanent tooth is misaligned.

Roughly 2 years later, I have another dental check-up. The dentist recommended braces but a such treatment was not possible because of my fear and because it was very expensive.

When I was 17, I noticed an hole in one of my molars (the first lower molar at the left side). After several weeks of fear, I decided to inform my mother of this problem. She said that it was a cavity and that an appointment at the dentist was necessary. I was very scared before my appointment to the dentist. I had a bellyache and nausea before leaving home and in the waiting room when I smelt the odor of the dentist’s office (like each time that I go to the dentist). The dentist didn’t look like cheerful when he came to fetch me in the waiting room. First, he examined the tooth with a probe and I heard the probe removing piece of my tooth. However, he decided to drill my tooth without anesthesia. He cleaned my cavity with the drill and the probe during few minutes but it was a long time for me. He didn’t use a dental vacuum suction system, thus I swallowed debris during the drill and fluids when he used his air and water syringe, that was unpleasant. In addition, he criticized me for being not cooperative because I didn’t open my mouth enough for him. Finally, he filled my tooth with a composite filling and my torture session was finished.

Unfortunately, two years later, I had another cavity in my first lower molar at the right side. My mother made an appointment with the same dentist. My appointment went like the previous appointment except that I decided to fill my tooth with a silver filling and I had an unpleasant metal taste in my mouth during several days.

I didn’t go to the dentist for 5 years. I made an appointment to the dentist (another dentist because I moved) because I had a pain between my second lower premolar and my first lower molar at the left side. I was afraid before my appointment like when I was a teenager. The dentist examined my teeth and she took x-rays. I was cavity free and my pain was just a little gum problem. She planned to remove my wisdom teeth after a panoramic x-ray but I never went back to this dentist’s office.

This last appointment at the dentist was 3 years ago. Now, my tooth with a silver filling is sometimes painful, like my wisdom teeth, and I have tartar. Thus, I need to make an appointment to the dentist but I am always afraid by dental care...
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,869
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi Lucas,
You did great by posting in this wonderful forum. Here you can receive here much support and good advice.
It is clear from your story that you never had a single positive experience. A question: do you believe, or can you imagine ever having a positive dental treatment? By positive I mean that in the end of the treatment, when you rise up from the treatment chair you tell yourself "the treatment went OK".
One more question: you did not write about what are your major fears/concerns regarding the dental treatment. Surely the entire dental set-up might make you nerves, but are there any specific themes/subjects?
 
C

cinders

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
28
I totally understand where you're coming from. The dentist my parents had me go to... oh wow it was not pleasant whatsoever. He would drill without me being numb and say well I'm almost done or he would drill teeth for no reason and just leave them with the holes there which he did never do anything with and all the fillings (13) that he did none lasted me over a year. I lost most within a 4 month span and i was quite young at the time so it was heartbreaking. But I found a new dentist, well three that all work together as a team, and they are the best I've ever had. My first filling appt. I almost got sick. Stated that fact and they got me a trash can and said they wont proceed unless im ready and actually waited for me to calm down! They numbed me quite well and thank the lord! All three would not operate unless i was completely numb and double checked by tapping or poking my gums to make sure i was good. Even would stop in the middle because i could feel it and gave me another shot at no cost! Now I've got 2 extracted with 6 fillings and yes I'm still nervous to go back because now I need different procedures I've never went through but I know they will take care of me the RIGHT way. Basically don't give up hope! There's actually very very very amazing ones out there. :)
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
Hi,

Thank you for replying.

Of course, I had bad experiences at the dentist but I have a dental fear since my childhood, before my first dental treatments.

I cannot imagine having a positive dental treatment because in my mind a dental treatment is always unpleasant.

My fear begins at home before going to the dentist with bellyaches, a dry mouth and nausea.
These symptoms increase when I enter in the dental office because of the dental smell. I have also a tachycardia.
I think that it is the waiting in the waiting room that is hardest to bear because I wonder what will happen when I will be in the dental chair, I wonder if the dentist will find one or several cavities, I imagine painful dental treatments...
When I enter in the treatment room, I can see dental intruments and I wonder what instruments will be used by the dentist during the dental session.
When I am in the dental chair, I am nervous because I feel that I have no control. Opening wide is very unpleasant like my mouth is dry and I have nausea. In addition, the dentist repeats always "open wide"! It is also unpleasant to have dental instruments in my mouth and to hear the probe scraping my teeth.
If the dentist find a cavity I feel ashamed because what means that my dental hygiene is not enough to avoid cavities.
During the drill, I find that it is unpleasant when I feel the drill in my cavity. Having debris and fluid in the mouth is unpleasant too. During the drill, I am happy when the dentist ask me to rinse my mouth and to spit in the sink.
When my dentist filled one of my cavities with a silver filling I have a metal taste in my mouth and I found small debris of this filling in my mouth after leaving the dental clinic.

Fortunately, I never lost one of my fillings but I think that I have currently a cavity under one of them.

Lucas
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,869
Location
The Hague , Holland
Of course, I had bad experiences at the dentist but I have a dental fear since my childhood, before my first dental treatments.
Some dentists and psychologists who treat dental phobia claim that the phobia can only be a result of a bad experience or learning from others concepts about the dental treatment. I disagree with this notion. I believe it is possible to develop this fear without any external reason. It might come from other reasons, for example the will to protect the mouth or even simply to protect oneself, there are many possible reasons, but in the end it is does not really matter because we are dealing here with a given situation and it is not necessarily needed to understand the past (how we got to this situation) in order to decide how to treat it.

I cannot imagine having a positive dental treatment because in my mind a dental treatment is always unpleasant.
If you can't imagine any chance of experiencing a different and positive dental experience, it might be not a bad idea to consider treatment under sedation. I am not a fan of sedation for many reasons, but if you see no way out and you really suffer from the dental visits, it might be a reasonable thing to do.
If you do consider treating the anxiety, I would consider in the beginning to strive for a neutral and relatively easy dental experiences. My suggestion is to "practice" sitting in the waiting room of a dental office, meaning going to a dental office waiting room for about half an hour and than going home, doing so couple of times (the more the better). In the beginning it might be difficult but the more you will do it, it will become in the end even boring....;)
That's my suggestion, maybe there are other ideas, but the main thing is to cope with the dental situation in a gradual and safe way.
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
Thank you.

Unfortunately, I don't think that treatment under sedation would be a good option in my case because I was very nervous too before surgical operations.

I think that it is not very stressful for me to be sit in the waiting room knowing that an examination or treatments of my teeth are not planned. I am nervous in a dental office waiting room because I know that few minutes later I will be in the dentist's chair with dentist's instruments in my mouth...

Feel free to suggest me other ideas that could help me!
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,869
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi,

What we are talking about is (gradual) exposure to the dental experience. In the beginning, the first few items being exposed to should not be too difficult to deal with, but a medium level. They should be a challenge, not too difficult not too easy.
Another idea for exposure: you can have a dental check-up. Beforehand ask to have only a check-up without further cleaning because of dental fear. The idea is to repeat the same exposure many times until it does not create anxiety, so in this case you can have a check-up by several dentists. In order to save costs, you can take your X-rays images with you (if it is digital, ask for the file itself in a disc, USB or email).
This exposure might sound very challenging, but it has two big advantages in addition to dealing with the fear: first, you hear several professional opinions, and secondly you might find the right dentist who can treat you according to your needs.
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
I thank you.

Finally I took the plunge today and I went to a dentist’office to make an appointment.

I was shaking when I entered in the office. After few minutes, the dental assistant left the treatment room. When she opened the door, I could see a woman getting a tooth fixed and I thought that it will be my turn soon. The dental assistant asked me for some information. She was nice but I was not very much at ease. Finally, my first dental appointment is at 11:20 on May 12...
 
C

Cookie46

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
181
Location
England
That's so fantastic that you managed to book an appointment :jump:
Despite being nervous, you did it :D you should be proud of yourself!

if after going to the appointment in May, you do not feel like it is a place you likes go somewhere else! Find a different dentist who can make you feel at ease :XXLhug:

You have done so well, and we are all here to support your upcoming journey! :)

Congrats :rolleyes:
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,869
Location
The Hague , Holland
Wonderful. You did the right thing even though it was not easy. Keep going in this direction:thumbsup:.
If you have any question or concern, don't hesitate asking :)
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
I have a bad toothache. My back molar which was filled several years ago began painful few days ago and currently painkillers are not efficient... :cry:
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
I went to my dental appointment scheduled monday. I was very anxious all the morning (tachycardia, nausea, bellyache...) and my fear increased on the way. When I reached the door of the dental office, my legs and my arms were shaking. Once in the dental office, the dental assistant asked me to wait in the waiting room like I was early and another patient was in the chair. The wait was horrible because I imagined what would be my fate once in the dental chair !

After about ten minutes in the waiting room, a patient left the treatment room and the dental assistant came to get me few minutes later. My legs were shaking when I followed her to the treatment room. She asked me to sit in the dental chair and she put a paper bib around my neck. She prepared a mouthwash and asked me to make an oral rinse with it and then she prepared some tools for the dentist. The dentist entered when I spat the mouthwash solution in the sink. She looked like very young. She introduced herself and asked me reasons of my visit. I said her that some of my teeth were sometimes a bit painfull and I was afraid to have cavities. I also explained her that I do not like going to the dentist and my last dental visit was about 3 years ago: she smiled and she said that she understood I could have fear at the dentist. The dentist and her assistant put a surgical mask and gloves. They moved the chair back, switched on the dental chair light and directed it to my mouth, and moved the part of the dental chair where are all their tools (I don’t know the exact name) under me. I was so nervous that my mouth was dried and I grasped the arms of the chair. The dentist took a dental mirror and, in spite of my fear, I opened my mouth wide when I saw it near my face to allow her to examine my teeth. She looked my teeth during several minutes and also scraped some of my teeth with a probe what was sometime painful. Finaly, she told me that I had cavities and she had to take x-rays to complete my dental check up. Even if I knew that I had dental issues, I was really bad when I heard this. The dental assistant put a lead apron on me and asked me to bite down on a piece of plastic, and then she put the x ray machine against my cheek and took an x ray. Then she moved the piece of plastic several times in my mouth to have a full set of x rays.

The dentist looked the x ray on her computer and then she came back near me. She told me that I have 7 cavities. My tooth with an old silver filling (the first lower molar on the right side) that was lately painful has a deep cavity under the filling that is close the nerve. I have another cavity between the second premolar and the first molar at the bottom on the left side. I have also 3 cavities on my upper molars and 2 other cavities on my upper wisdom teeth that need to be extracted. I am really scared to have all these dental works done...

Finally, the dentist said me that these treatments will be done during my next appointments and that she would just clean my teeth before I left because I had tartar on my bottom front teeth. Thus, she moved back the dental chair again and began the cleaning. The cleaning was unpleasant and sometimes painful. When I spat in the sink at the end of the cleaning I notice blood in water. Finally, I was happy when I left the dental chair ! Finally, we booked my next appointment to continue to fix my teeth...
 
L

Lucas phobic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
128
Today, I have had my second dental appointment. I was very nervous since yesterday because I knew that I have several teeth that need to be fixed. Like last week, I went to the dental office with my legs shaking, nausea, bellyache...

The dentist decided to fix my first bottom molar at the right side. This tooth was filled with a silver filling since several years and had a recurrent decay. The dentist began to numb me. I was never numbed at the dentist before. The shot was a little painful but it was not so bad as it was quick. Few minutes later, she began the drill. It was not painful like my mouth was numbed but I didn’t like to have all these dental tools in my mouth and to stay with my mouth open wide during about 20 minutes. Finally, she filled my tooth with a temp filling. Currently, my mouth is still numbed...
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,917
Location
UK
I am pleased to read that you had pain free dental treatment. Good for you for going to get the treatment you needed.

Good luck for your future treatment :dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::dance2::yayy::butterfly:
 
redridinghood

redridinghood

Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
22
Location
Eugene, Oregon
I never used to be afraid of the dentist until I had to be put under general anathesia to remove molar teeth for orthodontic treatment. I've been terrified of dental injections and losing more teeth since then.
 
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