Do you : Go it alone or take along supportive company ?

Do you: Go it along or take supportive company ?

  • I need and want to be alone.

    Votes: 31 42.5%
  • I always take a supportive friend or family member.

    Votes: 20 27.4%
  • Both - It depends what it taking place at the appointment.

    Votes: 18 24.7%
  • I would like to take someone as support, but don't know anyone suitable.

    Votes: 4 5.5%

  • Total voters
    73
vicki

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#21
I seem to be in the minority here, and I find that really odd. I am so in awe of you all who go alone.
There's no need to be in awe at all; different people handle fear and the experience of going to dentist, differently. Some people find that taking someone with them helps because that person can be a source of support and can also act as a kind of 'safety net' or person to turn to, if things don't turn out quite as they expected. Others prefer to handle the experience on their own, or maybe only have their support person with them in the waiting room but not during treatment, depending on how they feel about being scared or nervous in front of someone they know well. As brit said, it could well be that the people who have voted are a little further on in their journey than you are at the moment, but that's OK too - everyone is different :).

I remember when I went to my first appointment with a new dentist after several years of avoidance. I was so petrified that I knew the only way I would be able to cope with it and not back out or do a runner in the middle of the appointment, was if I took someone with me, both for support and also as someone to turn to in case things went wrong (and in case the bad stuff that happened when I was younger happened again). I took my best friend with me and although I was glad she was with me in the waiting room, I changed my mind at last minute and went into the actual appointment on my own.

In my case, I prefer to be on my own for dental appointments; on the journey there, in the waiting room and also in the appointment itself. It feels weird if someone is with me because I'm normally very calm and in control, so I really don't want them to see the 'different' me, the one who is totally stressed out, shaking like a leaf and popping beta blocker pills in a (usually unsuccessful) attempt to curb the adrenaline surge. Of course, the dentist and staff at the dental practice sometimes (well OK, probably most of the time!) get to see this side of me, but it's somehow different, I think probably because it's just another part of their job for them and it's nothing they haven't seen before, so they're perhaps less likely to be phased by it.
 
kitkat

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#22
I agree with soo much of what has been said here that I don't have the energy or time to quote it all! Such a great thread! Thanks for starting this one Carys! :jump:
 
Sparkles

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#24
I need to be alone as I seem to be more afraid when people I know are around me, not sure why! :confused:

I don't even like it when the dental nurse is trying to talk to me, I can only focus on the dentist and although I may squeeze the life out of the dental nurses hand I can't really acknowledge she is there! I go a little crazy in there I think!

:madcow: :dance2::dance:
 
vicki

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#25
I don't even like it when the dental nurse is trying to talk to me, I can only focus on the dentist and although I may squeeze the life out of the dental nurses hand I can't really acknowledge she is there! I go a little crazy in there I think!
I'm a bit the same. I don't mind if the dental nurse talks to me in reception before or after the appointment, but I find it really difficult to concentrate on more than one person at the same time once I'm actually in the chair. I also don't think I'd do very well if someone tried to hold my hand either (I don't mind a reassuring rub on the shoulder :cloud9:). The last time someone held my hand in a similar situation, was a few years ago when I had surgery on my hand. My mum came with me into the anaesthetic room until I was 'asleep' and apparently I nearly crushed all the bones in her hand! Oops...:giggle: It must've been pretty bad as she still tells the tale all these years later! :rolleyes:
 
Aldridge

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#26
Kimbo, don't be in awe, my husband offers to come with me but he can't run as fast as me, so I have a better chance of escaping on my own.
 
coolin

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#27
Oh - I really couldn't have gone in there by myself. No way. My husband came with me and he did the talking at the reception while I lurked behind him. He even came in with me to see the dentist.....
That carried on until about the third visit when I felt confident to go by myself. Now I'm fine :) But it's always the same dentist. I don't know how I would be with another dentist..
Coolin
 
H

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#28
For all of the extractions I went alone but am hoping that will change as I go through the process of getting dentures, will be taking a good friend with me. They have been the one helping me through each day as sometimes it has been a complete struggle to deal with the fact I have no teeth and can't eat what I really want to.
 
Kim

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#29
Coolin' - you did bring a smile to my face this very grey morning! When I came out of the room my husband said to me did I want to sit down while he spoke to the receptionist - I said 'no' and went with him but stood to the side of the window so I couldn't see her. After he sorted out what he needed to, bless her, she put her head around the corner to see me - first time I had seen her - and reassuringly asked if I was alright. I couldn't speak, but managed a nod - I think that was one big leap for mankind to be able to do that!!

I am considering whether or not to ask my hubby to come in next time when I get the iv sedation, but there is going to be another person in the room, and I may panic even more at the thought that they are all in there because of me, so am hoping that the tablets I take before I go will make me 'chilled' enough to go in without him - I think he would feel awkward anyway.

Henry, glad to see you are back on, and that you have support for when you get your dentures :cool:
 
Pianimo

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#30
Well, your minority just got a little larger Kim! :friends: I ALWAYS have someone going with me! And I'm also surprised that that isn't the norm for phobics - I can't imagine preferring to go it alone.

Since my journey started last year, someone has come with me to every appointment, whether dentist or hygienist, consultation or treatment. They don't come right in with me, but stay in the waiting room. I guess I just need the support. It helps to know there's someone there I could run to if I needed to - makes me feel 'safe - and also just that there's someone waiting for me afterwards. Things like walking into the building/waiting room or talking to the receptionist would also be sources of anxiety even without the dental phobia, and having someone with me helps with all that. Plus I don't drive, and my practice is miles away; and I've had most of my treatment with IV sedation, and I have to have someone with me for that. So, all in all, a lot of reasons why I don't go solo!

Actually, this was a major factor in my years avoiding the dentist - I went back for a check-up with my childhood dentist, when I was a young adult. My dad came into the treatment room with me, and my dentist basically looked down on/made fun of me for needing support just for a check-up. I never went back.
 
Carys

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#31
I ALWAYS have someone going with me! And I'm also surprised that that isn't the norm for phobics
Yes, so am I. I am incredibly suprised. It makes sense to me to have somebody support you and yet it doesn't work for me. And there was me thinking that me and kitkat were special and different.......:cry: :ROFLMAO:


Mind, there are currently 11 who go alone and 5 who take someone + 3 who sometimes take someone - so that is 8 who like support really. Not so far from 11.
 
Kim

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#32
When I went on Wednesday, I cast my eye over the other couple of people who were in the waiting room ON THEIR OWN!!! I truly simply couldn't do it. I think it is one of the bravest things to do, sit there on your own - makes my heart race at the mere thought. I need someone's hand to hold during the drive, and give me a reassuring smile, and then I need someone who I can ramble on to all the way home because I am so relieved that I firstly got through the door, let alone into the treatment room, and secondly that I escaped still in one piece! So will remain in awe of all you brave people.
 
coolin

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#33
This is a good thread :) Not only did I hide behind my husband at the reception desk and let him do all the talking - I also got him to do all the phonecalls. The first call was to the dental hospital for an emergency appointment - I actually sat in the next room with my fingers in my ears so I couldn't hear what he was saying to them and because I was terrified that it was ACTUALLY HAPPENING that I was going to a dentist :o. I can laugh now but I still remember that horrible feeling...:hmm:
Actually at the dental hospital he was striding out in front of me to go to the reception and I nearly did a runner at the entrance :giggle:
 
Kim

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#34
That's soooo funny Coolin'. I couldn't even speak to my friend's friend who works at the first dentist to make the appointment, she had to do it for me. Even now, I have had to speak to the receptionists at my 'now' surgery, but that has been with me locked in a tiny office where no one could hear me, or rather should I say, see me shaking and quivering like a jelly :frantic:

Who know's - one day I may be able to talk coherently and face to face with the receptionists, but that won't be some time soon, especially as there are all those brave people waiting to go into their appointments as witnesses :)
 
R

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#35
I mostly have been going alone but that's generally because of where I've been going much of the time recently, if it were closer I'd take my father along depending on what it was for.

If it's just a consultation, check up, cleaning or filling and I know it's going to be these things I'm more alright being on my own though still freaked out. However if it's an extraction(s) (or the possibility of an extractions(s) or something complicated I'd much rather not be alone!

The place I'll be getting my regular work done is rather far away so I'll be going alone, the reasons I prefer someone with me is to help get me there (less likely to not go), be supportive & help as a distraction in the waiting room and on the way home, etc. My father has seen me have panic attacks, I've talked to him often of my worries and mental health issues so I am not concerned about him seeing me anxious, I'm more concerned of a dentist seeing me that way actually if I don't know them much or at all, I have social phobia so I worry about strangers seeing me in states of panic or acting in a way they might consider strange.

Actually at least once a dental assistant or someone like that did place their hand on mine because they probably worked out I was scared and even though they were a stranger I did like it, I suppose it depends on whose doing it, even a stranger is fine if I feel their intentions are sincere and I don't have a reason to distrust and/or dislike them.

I've noticed other patients waiting around me that seem so fine with being there, well maybe not fine but at least not anxious (or if they were they were good at hiding it) whilst I'm clearly edgy generally and sometimes am either on the brink of tears or in at least 1 case was crying a bit already. It's like I'm the odd 1 out and I'm exposed to a bunch of strangers and I simply can't hide my feelings as well from them as I'd prefer. The 2 times I went with my father it wasn't so bad in the waiting room, we talked, talking is a good distraction for me if it's not related to things that scare me obviously.
 
Carys

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#36
Actually, you know, the distance you go must make a difference as to whether you take someone with you or not, having thought about it now. My dentist is less than a mile away from my house, but it I was travelling for ages and a long way I think I would feel very differently about going alone. I 'like' being able to panic alone at home and then dash home to calm down afterwards - it provides some security I guess. I've not thought about it till now.
 
letsconnect

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#37
Nearly 50:50 now :)

Another thing - obviously, you are required to take along an escort for IV sedation, or if you have taken anti-anxiety pills which would make it unsafe for you to travel alone (<-- just thought I'd add that bit for safety's sake!)
 
Sparkles

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#38
Nearly 50:50 now :)

Another thing - obviously, you are required to take along an escort for IV sedation, or if you have taken anti-anxiety pills which would make it unsafe for you to travel alone (<-- just thought I'd add that bit for safety's sake!)
Weirdly, that is my main problem. I need my wisdom teeth out but would need to have IV sedation and I cannot imagine having someone with me. It is the only thing preventing me from allowing that to go ahead.:redface:
 
carole

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#39
You only need somebody with you, to get you there and back, they don't have to be in the dentist with you Sparkles, I hope you get it sorted soon. :butterfly:
 
Sparkles

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#40
You only need somebody with you, to get you there and back, they don't have to be in the dentist with you Sparkles, I hope you get it sorted soon. :butterfly:
I know but even that feels terrifying to me. I have friends who would happily come along, I just can't. :(
 

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