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brit

brit

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In My Dental Happy Place
freakout said:
She is really nice and gentle.  She always calls me by my first name and always asks how I am doing.  All the other assistants use my last name (my ex-husbands name, which I have only kept for business reasons.)
Hi,
I agree Freakout. I much prefer my first name to be used....I almost don't answer to Mrs xxxxx, as I am not used to hearing it.
English people are very good at avoiding the name thing altogether - just by saying things like 'Hello and how are you today?'

I've also found, it's a good trick with the children to say we're going to see XXXX(first name) next week instead of 'the dentist'. It works because he's happy for them to use his first name - but again in practice you don't actually need to use a name at all. You have their full attention already!

In my 'recovering phase', I used to find it much easier to say 'I have a dental appointment' rather than 'I'm going to the dentist'.....the first seems to imply that you have more control over the proceedings.

Hope you feel better soon.
Cheers
Brit
 
kitkat

kitkat

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freakout said:
Hi...in the US the assistants typically take you to the room and you are seated in the chair by the time the dentist comes in.  I am ususally in the chair shaking, hands tightly clasped together and legs crossed when the dentist arrives afraid to move an inch...I am stiff as a board.  But the other day, I was the first appointment.  The assistant wasn't ready, so the dentist came up front to take me to the room.  I absolutely panicked.  I felt like I was walking the last mile.  On the way to the room he tried to start a conversation  :scared: (He asked what was going on?  I said "not much" then he said "so being here is your high point"  I said  "OH YEAH")  When we got to the room he said have a seat.  I did, but with a sheer look of terror on my face :scared:  He sat next to me talking in a calm reassuring voice...it really helped.  I try to make eye contact with him, as he has a reassuring way of letting me know he is aware of my fear, but many times I just look down out of fear.
OMG! Freakout I can totally relate to you! I'm in the US myself and I went for a filling and they weren't very busy at the time so the dentist came out to the front to take me back herself and I totally freaked lol! My legs were moving against my own will towards the doorway at that point I think I stopped breathing??? My situation basically was a parallel to yours with the small talk thing only she just was talking about how she liked that I had put highlights in my hair...she noticed I changed my hair clearly I go there too often lol.

Yeah it's amazing how such a small adjustment in the routine can really throw you for a loop. I think I like the assistant bringing me back so I have time to prepare and brace up for the dentist's entrance and get my bearings with the environment first...but when the dentist takes the patient back I feel like your thrown into ALL of the stressful elements at once so you start to go into overdrive with anxiety. It's kinda suffocating.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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brit said:
I have a theory - the worse your phobia, the more likely you are to close your eyes. I have been a relaxed dental patient for most (but not all) of my life and hope to be so again - I have NEVER closed my eyes (except when gassed!) - I'm an expert on what ceiling tiles look like though! My very phobic (hasn't been for years) friend says she has always closed her eyes immediately.

Personally I would have thought it's scarier to not know what's coming and also it's much harder for your dentist to talk you through things, if you are making zero eye contact
Not sure about that one - I find it much more relaxing to close my eyes because I'm a bit prone to flashbacks when I open them, so I do prefer to be talked through things and know which sensations to expect. But that doesn't really mean zero eye contact - you can just close your eyes during bits of treatment and then open them in between to see what's next (e. g. to have your dentist show you what they're going to use and how it's done).
 
K

kitty

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May 30, 2006
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Interesting theory. I have always closed my eyes, but have not always been as badly phobic as I am now. I have several reasons to close my eyes. I used to wear contacts so I feared anything getting into my eyes. That started the habit I think. I even close my eyes while getting my hair cut (at least when the front is being cut). Second, I have an eye problem that makes me sensitive to light. The exam light at the dentist really causes my eyes to hurt. Lastly, I do think I am more comfortable if I don't see the drill, the needle, the scalpel, whatever it is, coming my way! My dentists have always been good about telling me what they are doing every step of the way, eyes closed or not. Funny, while at my first oral surgery appointment for eval for wizzie removal, I did not close my eyes during the exam. I don't think the overhead light was even used. I did not shake either! Maybe I should try keeping my eyes open more?
 
kitkat

kitkat

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I used to close my eyes for every appointment no matter what it was just cause I didn't want to see or know what was happening I just wanted it done. But now I normally only close them for cleanings but not because of fear I just hate how stuff sometimes sprays up in your face, I once had a dental assitant in training clean my teeth and I had more toothpaste get on me, than on my teeth lol. I'm more curious then I used to be though and like to see everything thats going on...I feel more in control that way. Plus my dentist introduces unfamiliar things to me with a variation of the "tell-show-do" method so now I'm more prone to want to see whats going on anyway.
 
A

Andria

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Jun 29, 2006
Messages
218
:party:My dentist calls me his wobbly patient, because as soon as i get in the chair i shake until the minute i get out again.

As for the bag thing, my dentist has a chair in the corner that i put it on, but my old surgery didn't so i'd have to leave my bag in the car and hold my keys in my hand.

I always close my eyes too, open them occasionally to look at the clock, or see whats happening, but if my eyes are clsoed i can try to think happy thoughts and go to my happy place.
 
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