How do you feel about stop signals?

Enarete

Enarete

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#1
Ok, here is an another thing I was wondering about: How do you feel about stop signals? In particular:

1. Does your dentist "offer" you a stop signal before starting a treatment?
2. If so, does it make you feel more in control?
3. Do you feel able to stop the dentist if you would feel the need to?
4. Are there other things that would make you feel in control during a treatment?

No research, just my own curiosity..
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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#2
This is really a good question.

I think the stop sign is absolutely critical and really helps trust be established and increased as you know your dentist and nurse care and will listen if you are experiencing discomfort or have concerns during treatment.

I think if there were no stop sign I would be really scared to do work, as the dentists and assistants cannot read your mind and can't always read your body language great either, although I've been fortunate lately to have those who can. I've had ALOT who cannot in the past.

My dentist now and past dentist along with the endo I saw all offered the stop sign and stop immediately when I've raised my hands. or even before . It definately makes me feel safer and more in control. I feel my dentist now does take this seriously and has my comfort level at great importance .

I think also both the assistant and the dentist asking if there are any questions before the treatment so everyone is on board and knows all the concerns and validates them to me. makes me feel even more safe. and then discusses things before I leave the office.
 
L

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#3
I visited a new dentist once, who offered a stop signal, even though it was a first consultation/get to know you appointment. I told him that I would allow him to look at my teeth, but not touch them yet. He agreed, but after about 5 minutes, picked up a hooked tool and was about to use it to test a tooth. As soon as I saw that he was heading toward my mouth, I grabbed his wrist and reminded him of our agreement. He finished the exam, and then told me that he wouldn't treat me unless I agreed to be sedated, because he was afraid that I would grab him when he had something more dangerous than a pick in his hand. This really bothered me, because it implied that I was STUPID! I don't believe that anyone is as careful as I am when a dental device/tool is in my mouth, and don't so much as move my tongue, swallow, or breathe (if possible) while a drill is doing its thing, because I'm so afraid of being harmed! Did he really think that I'd be that stupid? How insulting! GRRRRRR!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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#4
Wow.. that IS definately insulting and I would surely not be back . Just drug us to be compliant enough and not a challenge rather than provide compassionate respectful care to help patients get over the fear. agh.. not a good sign to not respect your initial boundaries and then turn it on you.
 
kitkat

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#5
Ok, here is an another thing I was wondering about: How do you feel about stop signals? In particular:

1. Does your dentist "offer" you a stop signal before starting a treatment?
2. If so, does it make you feel more in control?
3. Do you feel able to stop the dentist if you would feel the need to?
4. Are there other things that would make you feel in control during a treatment?

No research, just my own curiosity..
I was first offered a stop signal early on with my current dentist after an unexpectedly painful injection when I did not stop her...I didn’t know at that time injections shouldn’t be painful :confused: and furthermore, it didn’t occur to me that I had the option to stop her. After that, she regularly emphasized it at every appointment, even if she was just using the ultrasonic scaler or doing an exam. Having a stop signal immediately lessened my fear from about an 8 to a 2-3 by making me feel more in control AND in turn, it also reduced my fear of pain because I knew if I had pain, that I could stop it. I used to be a little shy about stopping but she would offer me breaks or just stop a lot and ask if I was ok until I got comfortable stopping her but now I have no problem stopping her. Now that I stop her more frequently on my own, she pretty much only emphasizes the stop signal before doing an actual procedure or if I seem more nervous. Otherwise, there’s just a mutual understanding there that I know that I can stop her anytime I need to but I do still notice when she doesn’t emphasize it :unsure:. I don’t need the verbal reassurance at this point but I still kinda like to have it anyway.


Other things that help me feel in control:
1. Warns me about upcoming sensations (air, water, pressure, vibration, etc).
2. Explains procedures at least on a basic level so I understand what’s happening...she even showed me some non-threatening things she was putting in my mouth and explained how they would feel first which helped disarm me.
3. Provides a general timeline of how long a procedure will last (in the beginning, my dentist would tell me in percentage intervals how much we had left to do (i.e. 25%, 50%, 75% done) so I had an idea of how much longer I would be in the chair. Also she would let me know when she was done with the drilling (that’s a big anxiety trigger for me-so I could relax the rest of the time not anticipating anymore of it).
4. Not always, but sometimes, I like to hold the suction during cleanings as all of the water/toothpaste makes me very prone to gagging.
 
kitkat

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#6
Oh! I forgot something... if we do need to stop for any major fear/pain reason, she backs off to give me a little space and then tells me to let her know when I’m ready to start again. It was surprising to me the first time she said, “just take a minute and then you tell me when you’re ready to start again”.
 
kitkat

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#7
OH! And also the dentist telling me that I am in control...that one should really be a no-brainer but I have seen a lot of dentists in my life and I can say from experience, that it’s not! That is such a simple affirmation to give a patient and maybe it should be assumed but for phobic patients I think that is typically not the assumption.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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#8
I visited a new dentist once, who offered a stop signal, even though it was a first consultation/get to know you appointment. I told him that I would allow him to look at my teeth, but not touch them yet. He agreed, but after about 5 minutes, picked up a hooked tool and was about to use it to test a tooth. As soon as I saw that he was heading toward my mouth, I grabbed his wrist and reminded him of our agreement. He finished the exam, and then told me that he wouldn't treat me unless I agreed to be sedated, because he was afraid that I would grab him when he had something more dangerous than a pick in his hand. This really bothered me, because it implied that I was STUPID! I don't believe that anyone is as careful as I am when a dental device/tool is in my mouth, and don't so much as move my tongue, swallow, or breathe (if possible) while a drill is doing its thing, because I'm so afraid of being harmed! Did he really think that I'd be that stupid? How insulting! GRRRRRR!
What an awful story, so sorry that this happened to you. So your dentist promised you to respect your wish for him just to have a look, then broke the promise by wanting to use something that you haven't given your consent to and then even blaming you and acting like you were not compliant enough for him to treat you without sedation. That's really heavy.
I know that generally a patient grabbing the dentist's hand is a nightmare of every dentist and they can get pretty upset if this happens but it your case it sounds like he used deception.. what a trust breaker... :(
I really hope you have a dentist who treats you nicely now..
 
Enarete

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#9
@kitkat, thank you very much, these are some great suggestions. And wow, your dentist is awesome! I wished every nervous patient had a dentist like yours, she really seems to be very sensitive to your needs and proactive in giving you space and reassurance.