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Intense fear of dentist linked to childhood experience of eye surgery

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Samereynolds

Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Uk
The dentists and nurses wear PPE but it’s just a normal face mask essentially. And maybe a clear visor/face shield or goggles depending on what work is done. It’s not like they have full hazmat suits on. For me it was less stressful to not see anyone else except for the dentist and nurses and to cover up and hide my own face with a mask.

I think looking into treatment for your dental fear is a good way to go to see if it can help you.
 
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BrokenSmile

Junior member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
14
Location
UK
Did somehow manage to go to the emergency dentist yesterday and he gave my upper set of teeth an emergency clean.

He's yet another one with an excellent chairside manner - and he said that my own dentist was basically right in his diagnosis of me, but that there are quite a lot of other factors involved APART from my own self care or former lack of.

So unfortunately I was unlucky enough to probably have a genetic tendency to it.

However, he feels that I have really taken onboard what my original crappy dentist said - and have been looking after my teeth very well indeed, in just the right way.

He thinks that some dentists don't have the right sort of manner to reassure patients or explain things in the best way - and they might be very concerned to know that their patients got so scared and worried that they needed to consult the emergency dentist or post on a forum like this one.
 
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BrokenSmile

Junior member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
14
Location
UK
He then said that undergoing a course of psychological treatment specifically aimed at tackling the causes of my dental fear would be a very good idea.

The dentist/counsellor who offers this contacted me yesterday to say that yes, she would be delighted to help me, so I should think a little bit more about it, then contact her to arrange an appointment if I decide to go ahead with the treatment.

The impression I got from the emergency dentist was that they have found that encouraging their patients to explain the causes of their fear is extremely helpful, as it shows the patients that dentists listen to them, want to understand and help them in every way they can.
 
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BrokenSmile

Junior member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
14
Location
UK
The dentist/counsellor explained that during the course of treatment it is not essential for you to explain the origins of your fear, although the majority of her clients obviously do.

I wonder what she would make of my childhood dentist then. ?

I had a row about him with my dad yesterday before I finally managed to make myself go and see the emergency dentist.

My dad told me that our childhood dentist was well known by all the doctors and dentists in the area to be an alcoholic whose character defects were believed to directly affect the way he treated patients.

What used to upset me and my brother when we were kids was that our dad often used to return home from work with the latest tale about how the dentist had managed to upset and insult someone.

If any dentist acted like that these days, I'm sure lots of complaints would be lodged and taken extremely seriously.

I'm sure that the official governing body, the dentist's colleagues, family and friends would all stage an intervention with the dentist concerning his addiction.

Yet I remember my dad, who is a doctor himself, used to think all these terrible tales were hilarious. ?

So me and my brother used to sit there listening while our dad recounted the latest story about the dentist to our mum - and wondered why we had to have such a horrible dentist as this one and why we couldn't go and see someone better. ☹
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,220
Well done on going, BrokenSmile. Sounds like you have found few helpful professionals (finally!) and like you are starting to work on things. Really glad to read that. I am particularly impressed that you are willing to work with a counselor, which I think is a great idea and may allow you to make more progress than you would be able to do with the dentist alone. I wished more people would do this.. and I certainly wished to have access to a good counselor myself as I was tackling my anxiety back then.

It is painful to read that your dad obviously knew that your childhood dentist was causing damage but was ok with your going there anyway :( I wish you will be able to process through this too one day. The standard in dentistry really had changed in the past years and many things that were common (and I am saying "common", not "ok") would be absolutely inacceptable nowadays. In my experience once you establish a good relationship to a dentist and feel understood and looked after well, the painful memories of past experiences become less vivid.

Look forward to read your further updates.
 
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