Eyes open or shut?

During dental treatment, do you prefer to keep your eyes open or closed?

  • Eyes open

    Votes: 57 31.0%
  • Eyes closed

    Votes: 111 60.3%
  • Don't mind/don't know/depends

    Votes: 16 8.7%

  • Total voters
    184
G

goz

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#61
Eyes open ....dentist are very secretive:D they come in low and from the side so all I get to see is the ceiling
 
kitkat

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#62
Eyes open ....dentist are very secretive:D they come in low and from the side so all I get to see is the ceiling
Very true! Good dentists are very good at keeping things out of sight-line. Who knew someone could work so near to your face without you ever seeing any of it?! Past dentists I've had would leave all their shiny tools out on display on a tray in front of the patient prior to treatment...not the best way to calm nervous patients. My dentist actually wears a clear, shiny face mask that works like a mirror so I can see everything going on in my mouth if I really wanted to. Not sure if she's aware of that and I usually don't want to so I stick to the ceiling tiles and make eye contact occasionally. I used to have a dentist that put posters on the ceiling which I thought was sorta clever. Note that they were nice posters of animals and landscapes NOT those horrible teeth posters depicting mouth diagrams and explaining procedures! Bleh!
 
M

mghstl

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#63
Most definitely open. My (former) dentist kept everything, including herself and her assistant, behind me...never saw a thing. Plugging in my MP3 and searching for animal figures in the acoustic ceiling tiles were my distractions. If I closed my eyes for more than a minute or so, my dentist would always ask if I was OK...I think that the ability to see a patient's eyes, which can show so much, would be helpful to a dentist. And I agree that shutting down one of the five senses may heighten the remainders.
I'm curious to hear what dentists might have to say on this subject.
 
kitkat

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#64
Personally, I don't care for the dentist and assistant working from behind. I'd much rather have them where I can see them as I'm easily startled. I agree that the eyes can serve as a great indicator to how the patient is feeling and it would be beneficial from a dentist's standpoint for the patient to keep them open if possible. My dentist normally stops to check in with me if I close my eyes for anything longer than a couple minutes, shut them tightly/abruptly, or break eye contact abruptly. I think the eyes would be very helpful in conveying fear, discomfort, distress, or an ideally, calm and relaxed state. But being someone who previously kept my eyes shut very tightly for the entire duration of treatment I can see the other side of things as well. Not really sure why I made the change from shut to open, one day I just stopped closing them and felt the need to see what was going on (as much as possible anyway).
 
N

norwegianchick

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#65
I never liked having my eyes closed. I think that's a control thing for me, I wouldn't like having my eyes closed because then I wouldn't know what was happening.

I used to find a nice looking spot on the ceiling to look at, and stare at that for the whole duration of the treatment. Must have looked weird. :giggle: . Now I prefer to watch the dentist and what she's doing.

But closing the eyes when the dentist drills through an IRM filling is a very good idea.
 
D

Didn't see it coming

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#66
open...every time.
I have yet to see any instrument a dentist has handled. i could detail to you the ceiling structure, the flaws in the false ceiling. I think I've learned the art to 'how to see your own brain without medication' also ^^ :)
If I closed my eyes, I could only imagine...and thats not good when you're in the CHAIR!
 
T

TimidLady

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#67
This is an old poll but answering it because I have changed what I do. There is a reason many dentists wear goggles. I used to watch my dentistry in my dentist's glasses and once he joked that he thought he must have beautiful eyes until he realized patients were using his glasses as a mirror. Well, it only took one dental procedure that needed a lot of irrigation and drilling to convert me to eyes-closed. It's not fun to get bits of metal, tooth, or other substances in your eye. It's also not fun to be splashed in the eye with the irrigation. Dentists wear goggles because it is safer. Goggles would be safer for the patient too but they can't hand those out for health reasons. Since I started closing my eyes I have come to appreciate other reasons. As long as you ask the dentist to warn you about sounds or smells, you can still know everything that is happening without being subjected to glaring light in your eyes, which intimidates me and reminds me of interrogation scenes in movies. You can avoiding accidentally seeing any suturing and won't glimpse any blood when gauze is removed. While it was once comforting to see everything, I find I don't need to look if the dentist talks to me about what's coming. I trust my general dentist enough to close my eyes and know I will be told before drilling happens or anything will be put in my mouth.
 
brit

brit

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#69
This is an old poll but answering it because I have changed what I do. There is a reason many dentists wear goggles. I used to watch my dentistry in my dentist's glasses and once he joked that he thought he must have beautiful eyes until he realized patients were using his glasses as a mirror. Well, it only took one dental procedure that needed a lot of irrigation and drilling to convert me to eyes-closed. It's not fun to get bits of metal, tooth, or other substances in your eye. It's also not fun to be splashed in the eye with the irrigation. Dentists wear goggles because it is safer. Goggles would be safer for the patient too but they can't hand those out for health reasons. Since I started closing my eyes I have come to appreciate other reasons. As long as you ask the dentist to warn you about sounds or smells, you can still know everything that is happening without being subjected to glaring light in your eyes, which intimidates me and reminds me of interrogation scenes in movies. You can avoiding accidentally seeing any suturing and won't glimpse any blood when gauze is removed. While it was once comforting to see everything, I find I don't need to look if the dentist talks to me about what's coming. I trust my general dentist enough to close my eyes and know I will be told before drilling happens or anything will be put in my mouth.
You should get eye protection as the patient and it's true the thick rim on it makes it harder to see stuff.
http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/faq/protective_equipment.htm#3
 
T

TimidLady

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#70
Interesting. No dentist or dental specialist in my area has ever offered me eye protection. Maybe I should start bringing my own.
 
G

griffinej5

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#71
Interesting. No dentist or dental specialist in my area has ever offered me eye protection. Maybe I should start bringing my own.
Interesting. Right now, I'm going to a dental school, and they always give me goggles, or at least offer it to me. I have glasses, so I think they asked if I still wanted those. I don't remember what my other dentist did. I always close my eyes for the injections, and I think I do at other times as well. I also always turn my head away at the doctors from needles, or some of them will put a screen so I can't see. I think if I keep my eyes open for the injections though, and I know when it's coming, I'm more likely to flinch, and pull away from it. I know that once it's in there, pulling away is really bad (did it once, tasted the nasty stuff). At that point I'll just freeze up so I don't move and get the taste.
 
Pianimo

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#72
Interesting. Right now, I'm going to a dental school, and they always give me goggles, or at least offer it to me. I have glasses, so I think they asked if I still wanted those. I don't remember what my other dentist did. I always close my eyes for the injections, and I think I do at other times as well. I also always turn my head away at the doctors from needles, or some of them will put a screen so I can't see. I think if I keep my eyes open for the injections though, and I know when it's coming, I'm more likely to flinch, and pull away from it. I know that once it's in there, pulling away is really bad (did it once, tasted the nasty stuff). At that point I'll just freeze up so I don't move and get the taste.
Me too. I've only recent experience of one practice, but I think for every treatment/hygiene appointment I've been given goggles. As well as protection from 'debris', they were reddish coloured ones which meant your eyes didn't get sore from looking into the light above you. I just presumed it was normal to be asked to wear them?
 
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T

TimidLady

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#73
Where I live there are a lot of really strict laws about sharing things that might have germs on them in medical settings. I am guessing they might have to use disposable goggles here. We have a lot of laws about everyday objects and products. Put it this way, baby powder has to have a cancer warning on it here. I can only imagine how many laws there must be about goggles.
 
kitkat

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#74
I live in the United States and up until just a few years ago they never offered eye protection at my dental office. I think within the last 3-4 years they have been offering it consistently for both cleanings and actual procedures such as fillings. As a person who likes to keep my eyes open during treatment, I really like the goggles/glasses. I can see everything going on without having to worry about getting anything in my eyes. Prior to the protective eye wear, I spent more time with my eyes shut than I preferred to just for the sake of eye protection since water and toothpaste and whatever else seems to go airborne in every direction during dental treatment. Not sure why that's always the case??? At my last appointment, I finally had a hygienist who managed to not cover me in toothpaste and spray me with water. Progress! :D
 
carole

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#75
Eyes closed. If I left them open I would be ducking and diving for cover if I saw anything coming towards me. I wear goggles that the dentist gives me as well.
 
brit

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#76
I had them open for bad experiences as well so no pattern reversal for me;).

I think it boils down to the fact that it's hard to like and trust someone if you
don't interact with them..it's harder for both parties to interact if one has their eyes firmly shut for most of the time....Stressdoc's point about shutting off one sense (vision) heightening another e.g. touch/pain..is also confirmation to me that 'eyes open' is an appropriate strategy to minimise discomfort.

I'd just like to qualify my 'eyes open' preference here in the light of more experience. Whilst I am still in the 'eyes open' camp, I have found for long appointments such as root canals with a dentist I trust it can be relaxing to close your eyes for parts of it...tend to feel sleepy.
Even more significantly though if you are having something surgical done such as endodontic surgery(bottom of a tooth root chopped off), an implant or wisdom tooth removal with local anaesthetic , I think eyes closed has its place, especially during the surgical bits. I didn't mind watching the stitches though!
 
H

Henry

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#77
Eyes closed for me during each extraction, did not want to see any of the instruments used.
 
B

bisja

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#78
My eyes are shut most of the time as I need to concentrate on staying calm. When my eyes do open its because something has got me real concerned, like pain or a long pause inbetween whatever is being done.
 
F

franklinm

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#79
I definitely have to have my eyes open when I go to the dentist. Making eye contact with the hygienist/dentist is very reassuring to me. :D But for injections:scared:, I have to have my eyes closed or I'll be out of the practice in a second flat. I also like them open so I can see what is going on. There's also one more exception is that I'm either uncomfortable or in pain. But for the most part I like my eyes open.
 
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chickenjen

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#80
A few years ago I replied to this thread with the answer of eyes open. Now, I shut them. I really don't want to see the instruments being used and the fear that something might fly into my eye makes me shut them.