• Dental Phobia Support

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Feel like I won't find a dentist I'm comfortable with

A

apolostarr

Junior member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
9
Hello!
I have posted here before on my various experiences - this forum is always so caring, informative but also support (thank you!).
I live in the US, Raleigh area - North Carolina.

I am at the point where I need to get a cleaning. I am now trying to find my 7th dentist in 6 years that I hope will be my long term dentist. My past experiences have not been good (the cleaning and work has been pain free and what I am used to).
My dental phobia + gag reflex has not been much of an issue anymore because I am motivated to have good teeth health but also I know sedation exists.

With that said, I have not been to a single dentist that can give me a treatment plan that is not crazy with 10+ cavities and the need to remove my mercury fillings which. I have no pain or aching on any of my teeth except one problem child that I know I need work done. All tehse places were like spas dentist factories, my last cleaning at a new place lasted 2 hours and I just sat in the chair waiting for the hygienist to come in. It took them 45 minutes to figure out a treatment plan and they reminded me "Your insurance runs out at the end of the year, so it's best to get all this done before the insurance resets".
I've received phone calls from past dentists in December telling me about my insurance and to come get dental care.

I have spent hours the past month searching sites, reading reviews, and talking to coworkers for recommendations.
What I've come to find: there are great dentists but they don't offer sedation of any kind OR there are dentists that have all the red flags on their websites + use the "latest technology to see cavities that haven't even started yet and are drill happy".

I've informed myself on what to look out for in a dentist that is just out for money + my own experience and I'm really at my wits end and getting so frustrated.

It's this point that I just go in for cleanings on a 6 month basis but I know as a human being I would eventually need work done to help my teeth and health but I don't trust anyone.

I need IV sedation because of my severe anxiety/PTSD and gag reflex, honestly I don't think a pill oral sedation would be enough for me :( after getting my wisdom teeth removed with IV sedation it was a game changer for me.

I'm tired of going to dentists, hearing ridiculous treatment plans that are all different and jumping from dentist to dentist. :(

I know the perfect dentist doesn't exist, but as a patient I believe I at least deserve honest care and to be comfortable. I can't seem to find both.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,021
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Apolostarr,

I so empathize with your situation. It is really hard to find the right dentist, especially since there are really so many out there and limited time to go check them all out or even know where to start. One thing that I can suggest if you think you would want to try it, is to FB dentists.. I did this when my past dentist left the practice he was at , I wanted to see how dentists would react to anxious patient if I put everything out there . I basically said, Im an anxious patient , I"m ashamed of my teeth, I wanted to see if they would offer a meeting just to see if I felt comfortable , and asked how they worked with anxious patients.. They all have different theories or answers on this one . I got several very compassionate responses and actually went to see a few that I felt really cared about anxiety. You could do the same but just put your needs like wanting to get those fillings out being a priority, having IV sedation, and being conservative in treatment options . Whatever your list is.. It might produce a good start for you . some may not answer they all don't check their FB page regularly.. but I found it really interesting and non threatening way to approach offices.. I hope you find one you feel comfortable with that will meet your needs.!
 
T

Travie87

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
114
Location
72023
Apolostarr,

I so empathize with your situation. It is really hard to find the right dentist, especially since there are really so many out there and limited time to go check them all out or even know where to start. One thing that I can suggest if you think you would want to try it, is to FB dentists.. I did this when my past dentist left the practice he was at , I wanted to see how dentists would react to anxious patient if I put everything out there . I basically said, Im an anxious patient , I"m ashamed of my teeth, I wanted to see if they would offer a meeting just to see if I felt comfortable , and asked how they worked with anxious patients.. They all have different theories or answers on this one . I got several very compassionate responses and actually went to see a few that I felt really cared about anxiety. You could do the same but just put your needs like wanting to get those fillings out being a priority, having IV sedation, and being conservative in treatment options . Whatever your list is.. It might produce a good start for you . some may not answer they all don't check their FB page regularly.. but I found it really interesting and non threatening way to approach offices.. I hope you find one you feel comfortable with that will meet your needs.!
I feel the same way apolostar. NO dentist understands My situation as a Disabled anxious Man. Most are arrogant pricks.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,735
Really sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time with finding a suitable dentist :(.

In the UK, some dentists get a sedationist in so they don't have to do it themselves. I don't know if these services exist in the US as well? Lincoln, one of the dentists who answers questions on this forum, said that he gets in a sedationist for very needle-phobic patients because they're more skilled at cannulation and get it right first time every time (even though he's licensed and trained to do it himself).

As krlovesherkids777 has said, facebook can be a great way of connecting with dentists (as is email), and you could ask the ones that come recommended but don't offer IV sedation whether there's any possibility of getting someone in who can administer the sedation.

Just thinking out loud here - not sure if this possibility even exists in the US?
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,779
Location
Miami, Fl
There is a dental school in Chapel hill. There should be someone there who can help
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,735
Have a look at this site: https://www.dentalsurgicalcenter.com/participating-dentists

They appear to be a clinic where dentists can come and have qualified anaesthetists do IV sedation (or GA).

You could check if any of the participating dentists is on your shortlist of ethical/nice ones? These are the dentists that are listed under "restorative" (admittedly, some of them look like the more cosmetic types you're trying to avoid, but others may be more suitable):

[list removed as some links are out-of-date]
 
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A

apolostarr

Junior member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
9
Thank you all for the replies and support. It has been so uplifting.

@letsconnect - Thank you for that list, I didn't even know that existed!

Update on the search:
I've emailed and contacted 5 offices yesterday that listed sedation on their website to find that they don't offer it.
I am so tired of this false advertising to get patients in the door. :( It's terrible.
 
T

Travie87

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
114
Location
72023
Thank you all for the replies and support. It has been so uplifting.

@letsconnect - Thank you for that list, I didn't even know that existed!

Update on the search:
I've emailed and contacted 5 offices yesterday that listed sedation on their website to find that they don't offer it.
I am so tired of this false advertising to get patients in the door. :( It's terrible.
It should be illegal for a business to do that. I hope all goes well for You.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,021
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Have you tried "Sedation Dental Care at Raleigh Smile Center"?
 
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Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
Dear apolostarr,

really sorry to read about your situation, I wished you would find your special dentist who offers sedation and would be able to stay there, it sounds frustrating to have to see so many different dentists in last years and not finding any fit.

You mentioned crazy treatment plans and the dentists wanting to replace fillings where you have no pain and wishing to get honest care. It sounds like you suspect the dentist suggesting treatment on teeth that do not need it. This is a difficult point - we as laypeople can't really say which teeth do need treatment and which do not and have to rely on the professionals to let us know. What makes this difficult is the fact that teeth needing treatment do not hurt in the initial stages so a dentist can suggest treatment on a tooth that doesn't bother you. What every dentist should be able to do is to show and explain to you clearly why a tooth needs treatment. This can be done either by showing you x-rays so that you can see where decay is and where it is not or they can use an intraoral camera to show you pictures of the teeth that needs to be treated so that you can see the relevant spots yourself.

We have a link about unnecessary treatment in our common fears section, if you haven't taken a look already.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you to find a good practice very soon and keep us posted.
 
A

apolostarr

Junior member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
9
Thank you for the insight and links! I'm going to utilize those this weekend to prepare myself for another search.

I had an awful dream and panic attack where I dreamed I needed all the work done, my teeth were ruined for waiting so long in between cleanings and possible dental work :( that's another fear is that I walk into a huge problem mouth because of all of this.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
Sorry to read about your dream and the panic attack, that sounds terrible.:( You keep on going to cleanings and keep on looking for a dentists which only shows how much you wish to find a dentist who can help you and how hard you try. I know this is hard and you might feel really discouraged, but please hold on. There are so many dentists out there, there just MUST be one who is a good fit for you. Openness, honesty and willingness to help cope with some skills in sedation can't be that hard to find. Sending you well wishes and prayers, may you find a kind and caring dentist as soon as possible and may you feel better soon. :grouphug:
 
A

apolostarr

Junior member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
9
Just wanted to pass on an update
- I checked out the URL provided and reached out to those dentists, 1 of which is closed and the rest no longer offer sedation dentistry
- I've contacted a few regarding their practice and services and haven't heard back. Many dentists list an admin email address, but I guess they don't check their inbox.

The search continues, but I am getting very weary and tired, I'm afraid I'll pick one and I'll be back to square one.

I'm at that stage where the actual dental work + the visit is not at all scary, it's the fear of choosing the wrong dentist and being scammed or viewed as a "new patient with insurance money" they can get from over treatment.

I suppose, that is the risk I will have to take, but it sucks that at 2019, this is what I and many patients have to deal with.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,970
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi,

I think you are doing great, your commitMent and determination are admirable. Though it sounds you are on top of things and know what tondo, still I wish to share with you a link to my video about how to choose the right dentist for fearful people.

Dentistry in the US suffers from over treatment, too many dentist treat according to the dental insurance rather than the dental needs. Of course not all are like that and I am certain you will eventually find the right dentist.
 
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