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How To Approach Overcoming Dental Phobia

JJones86

JJones86

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
480
Location
New Mexico, USA
Hi all.

This is a question that's been on my mind for awhile now. Now that I have had my urgent work done I need to find a way to take my dental treatment in baby steps. I'm not sure how to begin attempting to overcome my dental phobia.

I'm going to talk to my dentist, Dr. R., about my treatment plan again soon. Now that I had to have my urgent work done at the low cost clinic, I'm not sure where to go from here.

I know that I still need 3 crowns put on, but I'm afraid to jump into a long procedure like that right away and end up making things worse. As it is, I think it was a mistake for me to have had that intensive a treatment in one appointment with a new doctor who wasn't my doctor. I think that made my phobia worse.

What can I do with my dentist to take baby steps, so that when it comes time for the 'big' work I'll already have built some trust?

I've been thinking about this a lot because my teeth have not been behaving recently. My gums are always sore and tender, this loose tooth is still causing me to panic and now I have a tooth with a filling that's acting up. I'm really afraid that this tooth is going to need a root canal treatment and soon. I've been down this road before and I'm already seeing the symptoms that are making me worry.

Also, is it ok to try to overcome my phobia with just my dentist alone? Is it more typical or effective to work with a therapist also?

I really need to talk to Dr. R. I have way too many questions on my mind right now.

Thanks.

JJ
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
I really need to talk to Dr. R. I have way too many questions on my mind right now.

Well, I can't answer all your questions (will leave that for the dentists!), but that seems like your first step right there. Even talking with Dr R about how to proceed will be a part of the process of building trust with him.

He may also have some suggestions himself - and could give you an opinion on whether it's best to work with a therapist or just him. He might be able to direct you to a good local therapist himself.


Re ideas for baby steps, one thing I did was have my dentist do a cleaning himself, rather than the hygienist. It gives you a chance to let him do a little bit of work in your mouth without it being anything too drastic. Would that be something you could try?
 
JJones86

JJones86

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
480
Location
New Mexico, USA
Hi Tink.

Thanks for your reply and advice. That all makes sense to me.

I could ask Dr. R. about doing a cleaning for me. My next one is in 3 weeks though with the hygenist and I don't want to re-schedule that. Maybe I can have him do my next cleaning since I'm having them every 3 months now.

I'll ask him for any other suggestions he has about baby steps.

I already feel a bit better now that he's done so many exams on me, but now I'm really nervous about by first procedure. I don't know what it'll be or when.

JJ
 
drhirst

drhirst

Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
770
Location
Welwyn Garden City, UK
Hi,
Well done on getting some treatment done, that must have taken a lot of determination and bravery!
You idea about talking to your dentist and building up in small steps in an excellent and proven way of chipping away at dental fears.
I would suggest that at each appointment you and your dentist agree on exactly what will be done at the next appointment. That way you will not what is going to happen and will eliminate the fear of the unknown to some extent. Works well for my patients.
Good luck

Lincoln
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
I would suggest that at each appointment you and your dentist agree on exactly what will be done at the next appointment. That way you will not what is going to happen and will eliminate the fear of the unknown to some extent. Works well for my patients.

Yes! This exactly. I find it really helps to know exactly what to expect.
 
JJones86

JJones86

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
480
Location
New Mexico, USA
Hi,
Well done on getting some treatment done, that must have taken a lot of determination and bravery!
You idea about talking to your dentist and building up in small steps in an excellent and proven way of chipping away at dental fears.
I would suggest that at each appointment you and your dentist agree on exactly what will be done at the next appointment. That way you will not what is going to happen and will eliminate the fear of the unknown to some extent. Works well for my patients.
Good luck.

Lincoln

Hi Dr. Hirst.

Thanks for your reply and support. Thank you for the advice and tips. I'll try those myself.

JJ
 
JJones86

JJones86

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
480
Location
New Mexico, USA
Yes! This exactly. I find it really helps to know exactly what to expect.

Hi Tink.

Yes I've found this out through trial and error.

It really does help to know what to expect.

JJ
 
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