• Dental Phobia Support

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From a dental assistant

M

Marina

Junior member
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
2
Hello everyone. I am new to this board.

I am not a dentist but a dental surgical assistant of 12 years. Currently, I am working with a periodontist, but I have worked with oral surgeons, endodontists, prosthodontists and general dentists. I have a tendency to get bored and move onto different specialties, in which I’ve pretty much run out of.

I found your topics interesting, from embarrassment to neglect to which gender you prefer for a dentist.

I feel sorry for those who've had bad experiences. For people who feel embarrassed because they've neglected their teeth over time and have avoided the dentist for that reason. It’s ok. I tell my patients that we will forget about the past and start with the future.

A great majority of dentists that I've worked with have been great people. Believe it or not, there are doctors out there that truly care about their patients. Not once have I ever seen a doc intentionally set out to hurt a patient. Yes, those injections suck, but you have to look at the alternative...not being numb would be unbearably worse. Our prosthodontist works late every night to make sure things are perfect for the patients for tomorrow. Every night and its rumored on Saturdays he spends half days. His wife has put her foot down on Sundays.

If I could give any one advice about their teeth is to take care of them. There is no reason why your teeth shouldn't last a lifetime. Dental treatment shouldn't hurt, but dental neglect does. You should routinely see your doctor just like you should routinely take your car in for maintenance.

My honest opinion on health care......I have aided in humanitarian missions to the Philippines and Mexico. The true reason why people don't go to their doctors, whether it’s a dentist or a M.D., it’s because we are spoiled. In these third world countries, people line up for days, put themselves on waiting lists, to see us. Here, at least in America (I live in Hawaii), you have to listen to how much they hate the dentist and they can be quite belligerent at times towards the doctor and the staff. Not too often do I hear 'thank you' after treating a patient. I hear 'I hate the dentist' daily. In the Philippines, they not only thanked us before we saw them, they thanked us afterwards, and then their relatives came by the next day to thank us and they brought us a dish!

A Hungarian patient of mine said it best...'The reason why people don't go… is because it’s always there.'

If you don’t go to the dentist due to financial reasons, I must say I’ve never worked for a dentist that didn’t offer a payment plan of some sort. Most are willing to help patients that cannot afford much but don’t be too shocked if some aren’t. I have also worked with a lot of dentist’s who have been burned by patients that just don’t pay their bills which hurts their practice and their staff….since he or she pays me, too.


If being a phobic is your only excuse, they have nitrous oxide and oral sedatives that hopefully can help. If you’re a phobic about the dentist, God help you if you ever have to go into the hospital for anything major. Remember, they are there to help you, even though it may not seem like it. Personally, I have a phobia of insects…but from time to time, I have to kill one of those buggers (excuse the pun) whether I like it or not.

Take care of your teeth, find a dental practice that you trust and you will find going to the dentist isn’t all that big of a deal. It is truly that simple.

Sorry that I rambled.
 
F

freakout

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Messages
1,713
Hi and :welcome: First off thank you for your perspective.

I think, however, if you scan the site a bit more, you will get some more insight into just what has caused us to fear the dentist. Maybe the reason they are not afraid of the dentist in third world countries, is because they have never had a bad experience with a dentist. Chances are the dentists who make those trips ar very dedicated and caring to thier profession, that is why they go in the first place.

Another reason we do not go, is not because we are spoiled. I have seen so many horror stories as to the way people were treated by not only the dentist, but also the dental staff. As with any profession, there are people that just are not happy doing what they are doing and take it out on everyone they make contact with. I know there are very good dentist and dental professionals out there, but it sometimes it takes time to find them.

Many of the phobics, while they do fear the dentists, have no fear of MD's. Sometimes it is both, but in most cases the dentist has caused them some type of pain, be it physically or verbally, which in turn has caused the phobia. In my case I had a dentist tell me that everytime I had any dental work, I ran a 99% chance of needing more jaw surgery (while he also hurt me physically during a procedure, the words are what stopped me from going to the dentist for 10 years!!!) I had many jaw operations, was in pain 24/7 for years and was finally out of pain. Now I have someone telling me dental work is going to cause me to go back to pain 24/7 and need more operations :scared:. My current dentist take things at my pace, so as not to injury my jaw, but I never would have gone and found him without having an accident which broke all of my top teeth....I never would have gone back for follow up care on the bottom ones without this site.

Please view more of this site and see what causes the phobias. If more dental professional viewed this site, they would truley understand the fears dental phobic have and be able to help them.

FYI I have a sister who works as an assistant and she doesn't understand why I am phobic...she just laughs. I commend you for taking the time to not only find this site, but also read the posts.
 
N

Nat

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
766
Thanks Freakout, I was pondering over this post wondering how to word what I wanted to type but couldnt seem to find the right words, I agree with you totally, I am far from being spoiled, I had bad experience one after the other and never thought I would find a dentist who really understood where I was coming form, as you all know I finally did but not without a bad experience along the way.

I was happy to be sedated but some people are not, the case may be that they have been abused in one way or another and the fear of being sedated and 'out of control' out weighs the fear they have of the dentist so while sedatives are for some, they are not for everyone. I dont have a fear of my GP as I have never had a bad experience with her whereas I have had many bad experiences with dentists.

For some people finding the right dentist is easily said than done but if you do find a good one it can be a very big deal mustering up the courage to actually pay them a visit.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,000
Location
UK
I've also been pondering over this post. Freakout and Nat have more or less posted what I was going to say (and well put if I may say so ;)), so I'll just add a bit more :).

Unfortunately this issue is not as clear cut or black and white as you seem to imply. For some people, yes, the solution to their fear is relatively straight forward and after finding the right dentist for them, the effects of their fear begin to decrease and in some cases can disappear altogether. For others it is not so straight forward and it can take a long time and a lot of courage to even make the decision to try again and find a dentist, let alone visit one.

There is no such thing as a typical 'dental phobic' - everyone here has their own reason(s) for being scared. Usually it is due to past bad experiences at the dentist, but as Nat mentioned, there can be other causes as well. Since you have chosen to join our forum, you might find the information on the following page helpful: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/

Marina said:
If being a phobic is your only excuse, they have nitrous oxide and oral sedatives that hopefully can help.

Dental phobia is not an excuse. For many people it is a very real and extremely frightening thing to experience. There are some very intelligent and witty people who post on this forum who are only too aware of the effects of neglect on their teeth. Making the decision to avoid the dentist, knowing full well that their teeth are in poor condition is not a decision that most people take lightly.

There is no 'one size fits all' approach. What works for some people may not work for others. For instance, as Nat says, whilst sedation works really well for some people, for others the prospect of being sedated is even more terrifying than being fully aware during a dental visit. In my own case, there is no way that I would ever consent to being sedated. After being physically assaulted on a number of occasions by medical 'professionals' in hospital whilst semi conscious as a small child, plus nearly 15 years worth of visits to a dentist whom I cannot even find the words to describe, there is no way that I would ever put myself in such a position again.

We all know that there are good and bad people in every profession. As you say, finding a place that's right for you and a dentist you can trust is essential. That's why this forum and website exist - to help people deal with and/or overcome their fears and find the right dentist for them. There are many people who have posted on here since the forum began who might not have been able to deal with their fears if it wasn't for the support of other members, the moderators and of course, our resident dentist Gordon who answers the questions in the Dentistry section.

In many cases people can feel really isolated with their fear because they think they will be ridiculed or made to feel ashamed by their friends or family - or worse, by a dentist and his/her staff.

If you take time to read through some of the posts in the support and success stories sections, you'll see that it can take a lot of time and courage for people to overcome their fears, but they still do it.
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,855
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Hi :welcome: - wish we got more dental professionals come on here.
For the record I have never been a true phobic, have never avoided dental care but owing to bad childhood experiences have always been fussy about where I go:painless treatment and being put at ease are my two top priorities after competence.

Marina said:
I feel sorry for those who've had bad experiences.
Not once have I ever seen a doc intentionally set out to hurt a patient.

It only takes one....while the true sadists :devilish: such as the ones who unnecessarily refuse anaesthesia for fillings to unaccompanied children are rare (happened to me at age 10 at a modern 1970's practice) - an uncaring approach is a much more common experience. How many dentists routinely stop to check their patient is properly numb? It's amazing how hard patients find it to do a stop signal unless they are told to give one.

My first old-fashioned childhood dentist was a nice enough man and did not ever really hurt me (this was 1960s) but would you enjoy being gassed (forcibly) 3 times and having multiple baby teeth extracted - this was the kind alternative to filling them as anaesthesia for fillings was unheard of then. He did used to fill teeny tiny ones without anaesthesia and it never hurt and I would co-operate.

Fortunately, after not returning to the modern practice until the sadistic South- African trained dentist had left (high turnover among Associate dentists in UK NHS - there still is!), the next two I got were lovely :-* couldn't have been more different. Even their injections were painless :cloud9:. This covers a 4 year period as the second one stayed for 3 years. My orthodontist was kind and non-scary too :D. As an adult I switched to private dentists, hardly ever needed treatment but it was always fine when I did. So my confidence had been comprehensively restored.....

.... Only to be shattered earlier in 2006 by finding a dental cleaning and a check-up extremely rough and painful in a different European country which I had moved to...I had flashbacks to the earlier bad experience 30 years before. I had a twingeing tooth and was worried about treatment, if even check-ups were bad news here, hence why I found this site and learnt more about the unlucky phobic people with abuse issues etc but I suppose you could say I was abused by the dentist at 10 too.

So just like you, I'd had a period of thinking going to the dentist was no big deal. But I could still understand why others were less sanguine (its a scary not very relaxing environment) and I always got the impression that certain (not all) other people found injections painful....whereas I never have........see the next quote...:

Marina said:
Yes, those injections suck, but you have to look at the alternative...not being numb would be unbearably worse....
Dental treatment shouldn't hurt, but dental neglect does.
Don't these two statements contradict?...or are you really saying in your experience, the injections hurt but the rest of the time in the chair should be painfree? The info on this site, points out that comfortable injections are possible and it is down to technique and empathy on the part of the dentist...slow delivery etc...

Marina said:
The true reason why people don't go to their doctors, whether it’s a dentist or a M.D., it’s because we are spoiled.... If you’re a phobic about the dentist, God help you if you ever have to go into the hospital for anything major. OrthospamRemember, they are there to help you, even though it may not seem like it.
I don't really agree..in your country, it is well-known that lots of people are unable to access healthcare for financial reasons...very few people are scared of both doctors and dentists as the others have said. Why fear an operation in hospital?....if you have a general anaesthetic - you know nothing about it....you may fear the outcome of the procedure but not the time of being under GA itself. There's something about dentists being different, their anaesthesia techniques being less relibale....their approach over the years being noticably less caring. Maybe its just the fact that they are called dentists and not 'tooth doctors' as they are in other European languages...no...all those countries have phobics too.

Marina said:
Here, at least in America (I live in Hawaii), you have to listen to how much they hate the dentist and they can be quite belligerent at times towards the doctor and the staff.

I'm sorry this is your daily working experience...my Mum is the nicest person and she would tell me how she'd been to see my favourite :-* dentist and replied to 'How are you today?' 'Not glad to be seeing you' How could she? How rude is that? This guy was sensible enough to know that such throwaway semi-humourous British remarks were 'cries for reassurance' which he duly gave and no doubt ultimately enhanced his daily working experience as regular patients became satisfied and eventually more relaxed as a result.

Marina said:
Not too often do I hear 'thank you' after treating a patient. I hear 'I hate the dentist' daily.

Surely you are exaggerating - it can't be this bad.....I always thank my dentist when leaving the room..and its usually genuine but hey everyone's glad to be leaving the room so saying thanks should be easy! I didn't thank the hygienist who recently killed me though! Why should I thank someone who has no concern for my comfort level and makes me feel trapped and helpless?

Marina said:
Take care of your teeth, find a dental practice that you trust and you will find going to the dentist isn’t all that big of a deal. It is truly that simple.

I more or less agree with that but people who have avoided for years may need extensive treatment and this makes it much harder for them to take the plunge...also while they are undoubtedly out there...it is important to say that it can be hard to find your 'Good Guy/Gal'
I'm okay again by the way! :D
 
A

Andria

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
216
Hi Marina,

I just have to say that I don't agree with the comment you made quote:
If your phobic about the dentist, god help you if you go into the hospital for anything major.

Well I am phobic about the dentist, for many reasons, most due to bad experiences in childhood. I have however also had to have two operations, the most recent being over a week ago. One under GA and one under LA. I can not praise the hospital staff enough, they were fantastic with me from the moment of admittance til the minute i was discharged. Yes it was a completley different experience from going to the dentist and yeah i was scared, but i never once felt out of control or total sheer panic like i have in the dentist chair.

I have found a great dentist now and we are working together to conqour my fears, but you shouldn't judge people like that. Some people may have a fear of both the dentist and doctors and hospitals, some people like me just have a fear of the dentist. :censored:

I always thank my dentist and the nurse and the receptionist at every visit, they helped me tremendously and deserve my praise. :jump:

Finally, I live un the UK and I don't think that we are 'spoilt' when it comes to finding a dentist. It is extremely difficult to find an NHS dentist to take you on and even the private dentists are now having to close there lists. With the shortages of New qualified dentists setting up practices, many of us have to settle for the first person we can find. Some are lucky in finding a good guy and some arn't.

Just needed to vent!!!!!
 
R

Roses

Member
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
48
I also wanted to reply about the 'god help you if you ever have to go into the hospital for anything major...'

Actually, my teeth/the dentist scares me more. I am more afraid of dental procedures, than I was going into my cesarean sections with my two children, and also another surgery. Strangely enough. I'm hoping that after getting my teeth back in good health (while using sedation!), that I can start to ease my fears about teeth in general.
 
M

Marina

Junior member
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
2
Hello everyone.

I appreciated everyone’s comments on my post, but I must say, the response was anything more than typical.

Yes, I hear daily that 'I hate coming to the dentist.' I wish I could say that comment was a lie, but it’s very much true. I don’t hear it from every patient, but at least twice a day, guaranteed. We have a jar of 'Ashes of Problem Patients' and whenever we hear that phrase, we slap a dollar in there. The jar has been full since October.

In fact, I hear it so often, I don’t want to be a dental assistant any more. I am currently a returning adult going back to college to do something more meaningful in my life…some other job that is more rewarding than this thankless job I have. Funny thing is, I like what I do. There was a time where I thought we (the doctors and I) made a difference, but quiet honestly it is far and few between. The only time patients are thankful and appreciative is when you give them these Hollywood veneers (which I personally loathe.) just for aesthetics of course, or when you get them out of pain because they’ve neglected themselves for so long that they’ve now developed a raging infection, swollen, and cannot sleep or eat anymore.

Don’t you people think that when I have to draw blood or have any medical procedure done to me that I am nervous as hell, as well? Of course I am, and not all of my procedures have been pleasant, but I return anyways because, being a rational and mature adult, if I didn’t like my first experience, I had to decide was it the experience or the doctor, or even both. Do you want to know who our truly worst patients are?? They are the hospital staff, nurses, other doctors and other assistants. Don’t ask me why. I suspect it’s because they know exactly what’s going on and there is no need for imagination.

I was speaking to a co-worker, a hygienist, who stated to me how tired she is of seeing patients that just don’t take care of their teeth, and when she cleans their teeth, they are squirming in the chair left and right, and whining (God, the daily whining!!). My statement about “dental treatment shouldn’t hurt, but dental neglect does,” has more truth than anyone non-dental can possibly know. When I was a kid, I never flossed, only brushed. When I turned 18, I worked for a huge Naval facility, spending months with they hygienists, and after the first week, I did not kiss anyone for at least 2 years. Not taking care of something simple like oral hygiene isn’t just gross, it’s deplorable. Lets just say that I floss and brush every single day. OrthospamAnd I mean, every day. OrthospamGetting my teeth cleaned is a piece of cake and if it hurts, you need to brush and floss more, seriously.

I also hear that bad teeth are hereditary. In Norfolk, we were extracted a permanent molar, number 18, on a 15 year old girl. She was a great patient, but she had a mouth full of cavities as well as other teeth that were on there way out if she didn’t get dental care soon. When I went out to go over the post operative instructions with her mother, I can see why people think it’s hereditary, but its not. Poor hygiene habits are, passed down for her mom to her daughter. Her mom’s teeth were completely frightful. Anyone ever seen a meth mouth? My oral surgeon said to me that the girl is a perfect example of child neglect, dentally.

I was never in this job for money, but after my daily experiences, the money isn’t enough anymore to deal with these attitudes, day in and day out. When I try to call patients in that have gum disease or the beginning stages of gingivitis, hoping that we can catch them before the disease is irreversible, and a lot of times feel like I have to drag them into the office. I leave messages over and over. My doctor saw how irritated I was one afternoon and said to me, “Call them only twice. If they want to keep their teeth, they’ll call back. We don’t need to be chasing patients. We didn’t cause their periodontal disease, they did. It’s not your fault if they refuse to come in. It’s their mouth and their responsibility.”

In my experience with dental phobic’s, no matter how hard you try, you can never satisfy them. They are traumatized enough, and walk in the office with the mentality that it’s going to hurt no matter what. OrthospamI remember working on a woman that grabbed the doctor’s hand when he placed the explorer in her mouth, screaming that she wasn’t numb yet. OrthospamHe then took the explorer and held it right above her tooth, not touching anything, not the tooth or the gums but air, and asked her if she felt that. She screamed out, (so the whole waiting room could hear her, mind you.) yes, I feel that and I am not numb. The doctor and I just looked at each other and fully aware that neither of us wanted to work on this woman and we both just wanted to walk out. OrthospamWe finished her treatment, she scared the entire waiting of people including children that were sitting there and she held the side of her face when she walked out, crying…….for an minor occlusal pit, something that most children could have walked away from without such a dramatic scene.

I truly wish that all of you could just volunteer some time, watch what truly happens if you neglect your teeth, observe on what hygienist, doctors and assistants go through on a daily basis. I know my post really didn’t even put a dent in your psyches but this whole forum pretty much sealed my fate on wanting to never see a patient again. My only advice to anyone that has a dental phobia, go see a dentist, take care of all the issues that you have, and brush and floss the hell out of your teeth so it limits your visits back to the dentists. Get educated on dental hygiene and nutrition all around. It will make you happy as well as the dental staff.

I am sorry I cannot help you guys out. I truly used to love my job but it’s obvious that for most and particularly reading posts from this forum, we are still considered and apparently, always be will be the enemy. I just would like to say speaking for all the clinics that I’ve worked for, we all are hear to help you, so as we try to make it easy for you as we possibly can, but how about try to make it easy for us. We know you are anxious, which makes us anxious, and in return makes our other patients anxious. Phobics can easily change the tone in a easy going office into a hellacious hour, or until they leave. As for one reply telling me that I shouldn’t judge people, well, you shouldn’t judge all dentist’s either. Also, I don’t have insurance and I recently shelled out $400 on 2 doctors visits, 1 for my yearly GYN check up and my other doctors appt. for my annual eye exam. On a dental assistant salary, that isn’t easy either, but if I neglect myself now, how much more money do you think I’d have to spend if things got out of hand??? How is it possible that the same patients that tell me they can’t afford to get their teeth fixed are the same people with a designer purse, or the latest Nike shoes, or they can afford cigarettes or the newest IPOD so they don’t have to hear the drilling???? I don’t believe the excuses. Not anymore.

I have become exhausted writing this reply. Honestly, it’s your mouth, you are responsible for it and no one else is. Don’t go to the dentist. I don’t care if your teeth fall out. I only care about the people that want to make a difference with their oral health, people that want to take care of them selves and who don’t make my job any harder than it already is.

By the way, I have no phobias. I have dislikes. (Mainly realtors and lawyers.) But I am rational person and quiet aware that this forum isn’t here to help, but here for people to vent. You’ve all already have made your minds up and there is nothing more anyone can do than either agree with your view, share their experiences or tip toe around your emotional fears. I don’t blame you on that part, after all, this forum is called “Dental Phobia.” But, if you really want help, it comes from within.

I will not return to this forum and I wish you all the best of luck.

:shame:
 
T

takingflight

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Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Messages
942
Location
VA
Marina,

I would say that I mean no disrepect but to be honest....after reading your post that would probably not be true. This is a forum for people who suffer from a problem to receive support and guidance so that they can overcome it. You sound self-righteous, arrogant and frankly are just downright rude. You've lumped everyone here into a category of 'dentist haters' who don't care one iota about their dental health which is ludicrus. I hate going to the dentist, I don't hate the dentist....big difference. I'm also very appreciative, even through my tears when I'm there. I couldn't be nicer because I am glad that they are trying to help me work through my fears. With the exception of a small percentage I'm certain that the majority of posters here treat their dental staff with respect as well.

I'm sorry that you are so miserable in your career choice that you are changing professions but after reading your opinions it's probably in the best interest of any fearful patient you may encounter. If you didn't 'dislike' lawyers I was going to suggest that as an option.

I can't comprehend why you came here to blast people that are seriously suffering with a debilitating fear. I don't work in the field but I do have a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and I can tell you that the individuals dealing with a phobia (me included) would love nothing more than for it to be overcome with a snap of the fingers. Not so easy....even with my knowledge my fear is intense and irrational and not something that can be fixed just by knowing that I need things done. We don't all come here to complain and we don't all consider you the enemy. (well, maybe now we do ;)) We come here to gain courage from other's successes and to ask for positive stories so that we can walk into the dentist's office hoping that we will have similar outcomes. We also get advice on how to best care for our teeth. Your comment about brushing and flossing the hell out of them was not exactly the kind of advice one would expect from a dental assistant. Something about enamal wearing down.........

o.k, enough of my rant. According to you, this won't even be read because you are never coming back. I just had to speak up because I'm appalled that a professional in the field would be so unprofessional.

A respectful patient who is almost finished with her dental care,

Pam
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
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Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,855
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In My Dental Happy Place
Marina
I think you've got your own career satisfaction issues to deal with here. You haven't 'properly' listened to what various people have tried to say and explain. The philosophy of all the moderators on this site is to advise people to 'find a kind, caring, competent dentist who will take things at their pace.'

Many posters now have dentists who they like immensely and always thank.

This method works...we have thousands of successful threads so I don't see why you find it to be such a negative place....it is anything but...you have also failed to acknowledge that not insignificant group whose fears don't relate to dentistry so much but to sexual abuse as children or teenagers. Can you even begin to see how having things put in their mouth might be difficult for such abuse survivors, or have you never given it much thought?

I'm sure we will leave your post on the forum but quite honestly some parts of it exhibit the kind of judgemental, unsympathetic attitude that many true phobics are afraid of.....

Of course its gross not to brush your teeth but this neglect is a symptom of the underlying anxiety/depression; and then there is a group of phobics who do brush and even floss regularly...simply because they know you are right....and want to minimise the damage as they are simply too afraid to go the dentist for whatever reason.

I also don't understand why the gratitude of someone you have got out of pain is worth less than the gratitude of a regular attender who rarely needs treatment. If you got them out of pain and didn't make them feel bad about their neglect in the process, maybe they'd come back and get their more minor stuff done too and turn into something more approaching your ideal patient.

Maybe before quitting you should try working at a practice where they put the emphasis on keeping the patient comfortable at all times, whether 'they deserve it or not' :p. Numbing for cleanings etc.

By the way, the irrational woman with the probe/mirror needed you to stop and chat and discuss what exactly she was afraid of, you could have let her hold the mirror herself for instance (show, tell, do)....more fool you if you let her scare a waiting room full of patients, because you can't be bothered to stop and take the time she needs.....yeah she was anticipating pain....but why wouldn't she in the absence of an appropriate approach.

Good luck in your future career choice...rest assured anything working with the General Public will involve various degrees of frustration but if you can't find it within yourself to be sympathetic to anyone who hasn't flossed daily, then maybe you are indeed in the wrong profession. Obsessive flossing from an early age is very much an American thing....I do do it daily however but not as a child.
 
T

toothlessish

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
61
I think that Marina's post is important for all of us because it just hightlights the fact that one has to be very choosy about where one seek dental care if in the unfortunate position of having a dental phobia. Personally I hate the word dental phobia but how else can you explain educated intelligent people most of us with full awareness of what denying ourselves dental care means in terms of our teeth and wider health.

I think it's sad that instead of having a jar of 'ashes of problem patients' your practice isn't thinking more about wether there are things it could change to make patients less likely to hate coming to the dentist.

Marina you mention being 'a rational and mature adult, well so am I but I also have an extreme fear that means that I behave irrationally. Many of the posters on this board however are very young barely adult, perhaps frightened of discussing their fears with their parents or perhaps not able to for what ever reason. Reading some of their stories the support they have found here has enabled them to get treatment. And then we have parents with fearful children hoping to manage that fear so that their children don't fear the dentist. And others unsure about what a procedure involves and being reassured that it will be ok.

Unfortunately your pull your socks up attitude really isn't constructive, how I wish it was. I don't choose to have such an extreme fear of the dentist.

You talk about having to call people many times to come in and becoming irritated with them, it's very possible that your irritation comes across in your voice and is actually making it more difficult for these people to come to you.

I am absolutely terrified of finding myself in a dental practice that is staffed by people with the attitude that you have. I feel like it would be a very scary place to be and your attitude reminds me of a dentist I visited for the first time many years ago who when I said I was too scared to have a crowded tooth removed (and it was healthy) said angrily 'if you won't let me help you you'll loose all your teeth' I left his office in tears and it took me 15 years to drag myself back to a dentist. I may well loose all my teeth but what I wish I'd known then was that I needed to find a sensitive dentist and he most definitely wasn't one and as far as I am concerned being a dentist isn't just about fixing and pulling teeth, it is a profession of health care and as such the dentist should take care of his patients and that means their psycological well being too. Personally I think scaring and humiliating patients is a form of malpractice. It must be hard to do your job feeling the way you do and a change of career seems like the way forward.

I absolutely dispute that this forum isn't here to help, but here for people to vent. With registers of recommended dentists to help people find a dentist and with dental advice from dental professionals how can that just be a place to vent. And if someone has just had a bad experience with an uncaring and brusque dental professional maybe it's ok to have a wee vent.
That's my two cents worth :)
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Marina said:
But I am rational person and quiet aware that this forum isn’t here to help, but here for people to vent. You’ve all already have made your minds up and there is nothing more anyone can do than either agree with your view, share their experiences or tip toe around your emotional fears.

Recent research on the uses of this forum seem to contradict your feelings:


 
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A

Andria

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Jun 29, 2006
Messages
216
This forum is here to help people, and it does so really well. Yeah nearly all of us here have vented our opinions and frustrations at some point, but without the invaluable help and advice people here have given me, i wouldn't have half the confidence i have now when visiting the dentist. I wouldn't say i'm cured but i'm getting closer to it every day. :jump:

I think you may have made a wise decision in deciding to do something about changing your career. You certainly don't have any compassion for your patients - infact i'm supprised they return at all with your attitude. :cry:

You should be professional enough not to criticise patients regardless of their previous experiences and history or current backgrounds. :redface:Did they not teach you compassion, sensitivity and confidentiality at college???????

I am well educated on dental and oral health issues, I eat a well balanced diet and had my first ever fillings this year in 29 years (must be doing something right). But that dosn't stop me from worrying about what might happen at my next appointment. It dosn't take away the fear or stop the memories of previous bad experiences.

Just because people are afraid to go to the dentist it dosn't mean they don't want to change or help. They need encouragement and reassurance. NOT NEGATIVITY
OR THE IMPRESSION YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED.

Best of luck in your new carreer.
 
S

skunk-toad

Member
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Oct 17, 2006
Messages
34
All I can say is 'Thanks goodness I wont be visiting her Dentist' and I hope she finds a new job soon, as she is clearly in the wrong job. :censored: Its just goes to show how thick some people are. :confused:
 
Z

zamboni_rdr

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Nov 4, 2006
Messages
22
:censored:
Future assistant here, afraid of her own tx...maybe I should work in telecommunications! Really I am a very compassionate person and left the medical field for that reason...there are some horrible situations here in the States, I don't know enough about the UK, but our nursing home need some overhauling. In any case since this is a phobia/anxiety board about dentistry, I won't go there.

My theory is if you start to get jaded or emotinally crippled where you are in your career, then you have done your time. Find someplace else to be.

A note on the sexual abuse side and dental phobia, I would like to do more research on that subject. I hadn't heard of it since I came into this board so it is a keeper for me.

Educated but ignorant in the US. :(

Cheers!
Adia
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi Adia,
don't know if you've seen the following pages:



There have been a few studies on sexual abuse and dental fears in journals, but usually you can only get the abstracts (unless you pay for the full articles or have access to a university library system or can access journals through your place of work). You may well have access to articles as a student. They tend to be more of a quantitative nature though and are probably not as in-depth as first-hand accounts.

cheers :) and best wishes for your career :thumbsup:!
 
A

Andria

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Jun 29, 2006
Messages
216
a little tip, telecommunications before christmas, are you mad!!! lol. :DI work for a catalogue company in the call centre and we have just over 2000 calls coming in daily for pre-christmas orders. (told that could double in dec)
:censored:
Any way I'm sure a fresh, new compassionate dental assistant would be most welcome where ever you are. Also if you've read the various posts on here then maybe you'll have a better idea of what goes through a phobics mind and be better prepared for them. :hug2:

good luck to you
Take care
And
x
:grouphug:
 
L

leanna

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
32
Wow.

I just have 2 things to share. I take *great* care of my teeth, and still have very bad luck. By great care, I mean brushing with Soniccare full 2 minutes twice a day, thorough flossing *every* day, fluoride toothpaste, fluoride treatments every 3 months. I had 9 cavities at my last appt, and I go every 6 months to the dentist......

Secondly, I joke with my dentist that I would do the OB/GYN *every* day if I could avoid the dentist twice a year. It is not a doctor phobia.

I love my dentist, but hate how going to the dentist makes me feel. I talk candidly with my dentist about the fact that I hate coming, but I don't blame him for it. He needs that as much as I need to know he doesn't ridicule me. I hunted far and wide for a dentist that could help me get the dental care I know I need.

Dental fear isn't about complaining or incovenience. It is a very real, visceral, thing that causes physiological symptoms. I am a smart person and know that going to the dentist won't kill me, but for some reason, I fear that I will die. It is only due to my dentist's bedside manner, the patience and cheer of my dental hygienists that I continue to go. I tell each of them in every appointment that I know I am not the easiest patient to treat.

It might also be valuable to mention that I am a junior high science teacher. I know about thankless jobs. But the reason we enter these jobs is that we know better...we know our goal....even if our client/patients seem to sometimes forget or not care. It is our job to educate and compel our clients to persist and feel comfortable in doing so.
 
Z

Zephyr025

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
48
Grrrrrrr........................ :(
 
Z

zamboni_rdr

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
22
I know this topic is worn out but I had to revisit it because it has bothered me to no end. I am an educated woman also but this is not a d--k measuring contest, and what Marina said about finding something more 'meaningful' to do with her life, I hope she locks herself in a computer cubicle for the rest of her career. I am currently almost done with my DA training. My instructor has been an expanded functions DA for thirty years and is as hard as she can be on us. Thank God because she is really awesome with patients when we get to observe her in that situation. THIRTY YEARS. She loves it STILL.

It's exasperating to see this because Marina was probably like this in the beginning. Supposedly she used to love her job, but in every paragraph she seems to contradict herself. I have my own phobia to work out, separate from my career. She isn't giving me much confidence in who my coworkers might be. If a patient is screaming in the chair and the waiting room can hear her, regardless of her emotional condition, offices in the U.S. are usually built with quiet rooms for this type of situation...Hawaii or inland. If the office knew this woman had emotional issues it is their job to treat her with the respect of any other patient, and put her in a 'quiet room.' Fear spreads.

Health care is very demanding and tolling. It is also rewarding. Welcome to life. The day I talk about a dental patient this way or keep that 'jar of problem patients' on my desk I hope is the day someone escorts me out of the office and tells me never to return.

!!!
 
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