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How to communicate with dentist in despite of stress,anxiety & shyness

F

Fati96

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Iran
Hi
Last month I went to dentistry and had my first dental work after 13 years avoidance from dentistry , and next week I should go to begin my treatment process.
I hadn't gone to the dentist for 13 years due to my extreme fear of dentistry.
Now I see I have a problem which annoys me a lot; my doctor is a very relax,calm and kind person. There is no problem on behalf of him. And first visit He understood that I fear so much and Im stressed at dentistry.

So my problem? My problem is that
as I enter the office, because I'm so anxious and nervous, I become a shy, very very quiet and standoffish person, in fact all I said in the visit was " hi, how are you,thanks, ok,no , yes, thank you , buy"😐
It annoys me so much that my nervousness and my anxiety makes me a quiet and shy person. I want to talk, but at dentistry I become somehow speechless.

I really want to communicate with my dentist, I want to tell him about my fears, to tell him what I experienced at dentistry in my childhood, why I fear, I want to talk about a subject but I can't.
When I'm quiet, the situation becomes soooo hard to start talking about s.th suddenly!!
You know why it annoys me? Because (I think) when I am quiet, I seem like a person who is trying to be relax, and doctor thinks if he start talking he will interupt me, so he won't talk to me! He leaves me alone with myself.
But in fact I want him to talk, to ask me question, i want myself to talk and communicate, but I can't!
What is you suggestion to me?What can I do to overcome this problem?does anyone have this problem?what do you?

I've gone to his office three times and he just knows that 1)I fear and 2)I'm so stressed, anxious and nervous at dentistry.
But i want to tell him about details. I have a terrible teeth condition and (due to the feeling of embarassment)I want to explain why I ignored my teeth, why I fear and ... i want to communicate.
Please please help me how to start talking to him?what are the sentences to start a conversation about details of my fear and terrible teeth condition?
How to tell him details?when to start talking? Starting conversation is hard for me.
I couldn't have a nice communication with him yet(although my dentist is very kind and calm).
And I appreciate if you tell me what is the best sentence to start the conversation🙏
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,141
Hi Fati96,

it sounds like your anxiety making you unable to chat to your dentist really bothers you. First of all, let me reassure you that what is happening to you is entirely normal and happens to everyone who is nervous, be it at the dentist, during a job interview or when having a date.

The reason this is happening is following: when you are scared, your brain believes that there is something dangerous. Our brains are still the ones we had in ice age when there were animals that could kill us so when your brain believes that you are in danger, it changes the way it works. More concretely, there is a part in your brain called amygdala, which gets very active. Its job is to make you very alert and energetic to see where the threat is coming from and to run away. The catch is this: when your amygdala is turned on too much, the part of your brain that is responsible for thinking, speaking, engaging in conversations or even learning new stuff (its name is prefrontal cortex) is turned off. This is why it's virtually impossible to communicate normally when you are scared. Nature simply wants us to be able to run away from a tiger instantly instead of talking to it or trying to figure out whether it may be dangerous. Having some sentences handy may not help because you probably won't even think of using them.

So what can you do? You can either give yourself some time and wait until your anxiety gets a little bit less or you can try to reach out to your dentist during a state where you are not as nervous. This is the reason why many people prefer to contact their dentist via email beforehand. However, I understood from your previous posts that it is very important to you to talk face-to-face instead of emails.
Another possibility would be to write a letter and give it to your dentist before your appointment. And the last thing may be just to write down what you would like to share and bring yourself to let your dentist know that you would like to share few things before you start treatment. You could then try to push yourself to share what you prepared. Don't be disappointed though, if this will be a bit challenging. Again, we just can't think clearly when we are scared.

If it helps, things should become easier over time as your trust in your dentist increases and your anxiety becomes less.

All the best wishes
 
F

Fati96

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Iran
Hi Fati96,

it sounds like your anxiety making you unable to chat to your dentist really bothers you. First of all, let me reassure you that what is happening to you is entirely normal and happens to everyone who is nervous, be it at the dentist, during a job interview or when having a date.

The reason this is happening is following: when you are scared, your brain believes that there is something dangerous. Our brains are still the ones we had in ice age when there were animals that could kill us so when your brain believes that you are in danger, it changes the way it works. More concretely, there is a part in your brain called amygdala, which gets very active. Its job is to make you very alert and energetic to see where the threat is coming from and to run away. The catch is this: when your amygdala is turned on too much, the part of your brain that is responsible for thinking, speaking, engaging in conversations or even learning new stuff (its name is prefrontal cortex) is turned off. This is why it's virtually impossible to communicate normally when you are scared. Nature simply wants us to be able to run away from a tiger instantly instead of talking to it or trying to figure out whether it may be dangerous. Having some sentences handy may not help because you probably won't even think of using them.

So what can you do? You can either give yourself some time and wait until your anxiety gets a little bit less or you can try to reach out to your dentist during a state where you are not as nervous. This is the reason why many people prefer to contact their dentist via email beforehand. However, I understood from your previous posts that it is very important to you to talk face-to-face instead of emails.
Another possibility would be to write a letter and give it to your dentist before your appointment. And the last thing may be just to write down what you would like to share and bring yourself to let your dentist know that you would like to share few things before you start treatment. You could then try to push yourself to share what you prepared. Don't be disappointed though, if this will be a bit challenging. Again, we just can't think clearly when we are scared.

If it helps, things should become easier over time as your trust in your dentist increases and your anxiety becomes less.

All the best wishes
Hi Enarete🙏
Thanks a lot for your comprehensive anawer🙏☺
These words put my mind at ease.
It's a bad feeling for me when my dentist sees I have a terrible teeth condition as I am a young woman. Because of that bad feeling I want to explain him WHY. But as I told you my anxiety interferes.
Anyway , THANK YOU🙏
 
F

Fati96

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Iran
Hi Fati96,

it sounds like your anxiety making you unable to chat to your dentist really bothers you. First of all, let me reassure you that what is happening to you is entirely normal and happens to everyone who is nervous, be it at the dentist, during a job interview or when having a date.

The reason this is happening is following: when you are scared, your brain believes that there is something dangerous. Our brains are still the ones we had in ice age when there were animals that could kill us so when your brain believes that you are in danger, it changes the way it works. More concretely, there is a part in your brain called amygdala, which gets very active. Its job is to make you very alert and energetic to see where the threat is coming from and to run away. The catch is this: when your amygdala is turned on too much, the part of your brain that is responsible for thinking, speaking, engaging in conversations or even learning new stuff (its name is prefrontal cortex) is turned off. This is why it's virtually impossible to communicate normally when you are scared. Nature simply wants us to be able to run away from a tiger instantly instead of talking to it or trying to figure out whether it may be dangerous. Having some sentences handy may not help because you probably won't even think of using them.

So what can you do? You can either give yourself some time and wait until your anxiety gets a little bit less or you can try to reach out to your dentist during a state where you are not as nervous. This is the reason why many people prefer to contact their dentist via email beforehand. However, I understood from your previous posts that it is very important to you to talk face-to-face instead of emails.
Another possibility would be to write a letter and give it to your dentist before your appointment. And the last thing may be just to write down what you would like to share and bring yourself to let your dentist know that you would like to share few things before you start treatment. You could then try to push yourself to share what you prepared. Don't be disappointed though, if this will be a bit challenging. Again, we just can't think clearly when we are scared.

If it helps, things should become easier over time as your trust in your dentist increases and your anxiety becomes less.

All the best wishes
Hi Enarete🙏
as I'm trying to tell my dentist about my fears, but I have a worry!
I read several times that dentists hate when a patient says " I hate dentists".
I never tell that to my dentist, but I want to tell her: "I've been scared of dentistry since my childhood, because I didn't have any good experience..."
So Do you think this sentence is polite? Won't she hate that?
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,141
Hi Enarete🙏
as I'm trying to tell my dentist about my fears, but I have a worry!
I read several times that dentists hate when a patient says " I hate dentists".
I never tell that to my dentist, but I want to tell her: "I've been scared of dentistry since my childhood, because I didn't have any good experience..."
So Do you think this sentence is polite? Won't she hate that?
Hey, it’s nice that you are mindful of this and want to make sure not to offend her. It sounds like a polite and honest sentence. I see a huge difference to “I hate dentists.” I am sure she won’t be offended and will understand. If you wish to make it even nicer, you could add that you felt comfortable with her so far.
When is your next appointment?
 
F

Fati96

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Iran
Hey, it’s nice that you are mindful of this and want to make sure not to offend her. It sounds like a polite and honest sentence. I see a huge difference to “I hate dentists.” I am sure she won’t be offended and will understand. If you wish to make it even nicer, you could add that you felt comfortable with her so far.
When is your next appointment?
Thanks a lot Enarete🙏
I'm so happy that I have here to ask my questions.
I'm not sure, my next appointment may be on wednesday or thursday, the receptionist will notice me. I'm so stressed. I hope I can speak in spite of my anxiety😬
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,141
You got this, Fati96! Fingers crossed:clover:
 
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