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First Step Towards Beating My Phobia...

H

Hollygolightly

Junior member
Joined
Feb 24, 2015
Messages
6
Hi all! This is my first time posting on this forum, but I want to say how much reading everyone's experiences has helped me these last few weeks. Thank you!
Yesterday I had my first appointment at the dentist, well, ever (I'm 27)!
Growing up, I had a relative who trained as a dentist in Europe; however when she moved to Australia after the war, she never had her qualifications transferred. As a result, she operated a "backyard" business for friends and relatives.
This was okay for a while, but as modern dentistry advanced, she did not. As a kid, visits to the dentist were painful and terrifying (plus I didn't particularly like her as a person)! She also believed in lectures and admonishments. As a result, I refused to see her by the time I was 12.
In high school, i began suffering from a painful bottom molar! I knew I should've had it looked at, but the thought of seeing this relative put the fear of God into me, so I put up with the pain. Then, over the years, the tooth broke away. It didn't hurt at this point, so I put up with it.
By the time this relative had passed away, my embarrassment of my situation just snowballed. I also remember my mum - who had received extensive treatment from this relative - visited a dentist one evening when a piece of her tooth broke. She returned home an hour later in tears because this dentist made her feel awful about the state of her teeth. My mum has since found a wonderful dentist who has repaired everything.
Anyway, I allowed my fear to get worse and worse over the years, until a few weeks ago something in me just snapped, and I booked an appointment with a dentist recommended to me by a couple of friends.
I was so nervous about going - I desperately hoped they would be the dentist for me because I didn't want to feel uncomfortable and then have to go through finding another dentist.
Upon arrival, I broke down in tears and can I tell you, the receptionist was just GORGEOUS! She was immediately concerned about me and listened to why I was so afraid. She spent so much time reassuring me, and just before it was my turn to go through, she went and spoke to the dentist about. She then walked me through to the dentists' room and sat me down (on a normal chair). The dentist asked why I was so upset and I told her I was embarrassed and I explained why. She told me that I should be proud of the fact that I was there, and didn't back out or cancel the appointment. She said she just wanted to look in my mouth and see what would need to be done, but that she wouldn't go any further than that, so I actually got in the chair!
She and the nurse (who was also lovely!) did a chart of my mouth, and it turns out I don't even need much done! A couple of surface fillings and some sealants, removal of my top wisdom teeth and removal of my remaining root (which will be bridged later on!)
I've made an appointment for next week to have a cleaning done and get my fillings! The dentist even said I won't need anaesthetic for the fillings, but she'll numb me anyway because the cleaning can be quite sensitive.
Everything about my experience was positive and I left already feeling confident, and actually looking forward to next week! Now that the dentist knows what's going on, I'm not worried at all, I'm excited about moving forward! I actually burst into tears when I got just thinking about how nice everyone was to me!
I am writing this as someone who I can (tentatively) say has beaten their phobia!
My advice to everyone: just make that appointment!! Once you know there's a plan in place you will feel amazing! I was also pleasantly surprised how relatively cheap my treatment will cost! My dentist gave me a report of everything she will need to do and how much it will cost, so now I can budget for it.
I now know that I am working towards being that person who goes to the dentist once every 6 months "for a check-up"! It feels incredible and I hope everyone else in my position will find the courage to make that appointment.
Ask around and find out who your friends recommend. And if you leave that appointment feeling judged, or like you were a burden, then find a new dentist that deserves your business.
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,906
Location
UK
Hi :welcome: to the forum.

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience it will help a lot of other people that are afraid and worried about going to see a dentist :butterfly:
 
H

Hollygolightly

Junior member
Joined
Feb 24, 2015
Messages
6
Update: I've just gotten home from my second appointment - 2 fillings and sealants! The only thing that hurt was my jaw from having to stretch it open for so long!
Next week I go back for cleaning and to get my root removed! My top wisdom teeth need to come out but they're not urgent so I might wait a bit for that. The dentist and the nurse were so encouraging and made me feel so comfortable :)
I feel amazing (albeit numb!) right now!
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,906
Location
UK
:jump::jump::jump::cheer::cheer::cheer::thumbsup::yayy::yay::yay::yay::claps: I am really pleased to read that you are having such good and considerate treatment from your dentist and the nurse. The trick to combating our fear is to find a good dentist that will work with us and do treatment at a pace we can cope with. Your dentist sounds really lovely :butterfly:
 
G

Geraint

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
449
It's great to hesr how supportive and understanding your dentist and nurse have been Hollygolightly, it helps tremedously having a dentist who understands and can take time and care with you.
 
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