• Dental Phobia Support

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Need an outside perspective on yesterday's dentist visit.



Junior member
Jan 31, 2016
So I had a dentist appointment yesterday. I went to it only to find out they didn't take my insurance (story of my life) so they gave me some numbers to several different dentists. I made an appointment to the one I was given that is in a sketchy unmarked building in one of the sketchiest parts of this town I have ever seen. I was desperate so I was left without choice. I waited forever but I didn't mind because I was going to be seen. I finally got back there and the guy was pushy, he didn't give me enough Novocaine, and then went out of his way to make me feel like feeling pain and crying was uncalled for. He kept telling me I was feeling pressure, not pain, and I tried as hard as I could to push through what I knew was pain, but I had to cry out a few times. I said "I'm sorry, I'm trying to push through, I just need to make a noise every once in a while. Is that okay?" The guy actually said no! During the last extraction he finally got enough Novacaine in there to make the pain stop and the rest went smoothly I guess (Other than the fact that it felt like he was going to break my jaw) As the cherry on top of the cake, he sent me off without so much as a prescription for ibuprofen. I would make a Yelp review for them, but I have no idea what they are called since they didn't have any signs anywhere on or in the entire building. Can someone tell me if I'm just overreacting because I've never done this awake before? On top of my excruciating pain today, yesterdays event was so traumatic I had nightmares last night and I'm just hoping they won't continue. Please someone just tell me I'm not still crying for no reason. I'm so tired of being treated like a sub-human by dentists because I have dental problems.
That dentist sounds incredibly sketchy - Not so much his location, as some of my nicest dentists have worked in less than stellar areas, but the way he reacted to you being in pain. I don't remember if I got a prescription for pain meds when I just had one or two teeth pulled, but with prescription pill abuse being so rampant (I'm not at all saying that this is your case), I know some dentists have been more hesitant to hand out prescriptions.

In my opinion, you're not at all overreacting. No matter if he was having a bad day or not, you're a customer just like anybody else (having or not having insurance shouldn't matter when it comes to quality of care). You deserve to be treated with respect and compassion.
The pain medicine problem doesn't bother me so much because I know the stigma with it too. I can take OTCs. It might take more than the bottle says I should have to take the pain away but it won't kill me. More what I wanted was a single dentist visit that wasn't traumatic for more reasons than my own personal fear. A lot to ask I guess.
This is NOT AT ALL how a dentist should treat you. You aren't overreacting at all. By contrast, my current dentist has been compassionate and empathetic from the moment I met her. I was terrified and in pain and ashamed from a mouthful of terrible teeth that were a result of decades of neglect. She never once made me feel bad about it, and from the very beginning was sure to make sure I was calm and in no pain at all. Sometimes even if my eyes go big or I make a tiny noise during a procedure, she stops *immediately* and makes sure I'm not in any pain.

You deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, whatever the state of your teeth. A good dentist should put a huge priority on your comfort and your not feeling any pain. Novocaine (it's not actually Novocaine these days) is cheap and safe, and people's tolerances differ. I usually need a lot! But most of the time, procedures can be done with no pain at all. Not always-- some teeth just won't get completely numb, and all situations are different. But the dentist is there to help you-- sometimes just a gentle tone of voice and a calm demeanor can make a huge psychological difference.

So, find yourself another dentist! There are wonderful, compassionate, talented dentists out there who can help you fix your teeth up and not make you feel like a bad person. And by the way, you're not a bad person AT ALL because you have dental problems. You're a perfectly normal person who need some dental work. Ever had your car mechanic make you feel bad because your car needed repairs??

Feel free to PM if you need any more propping up-- these kind of dental experiences are the kind that keep many of us away from the dentist when we need one the most.
Hi There

I agree totally with Steve in Cleveland, this is not how any dentist should treat you; I have seen a number of dentists over the years and this is most definitely not a good dental experience. These people are generally the exception not the rule nowadays.

My own excellent dentist always makes certain that I am comfortably numb before he starts any work, we have a stop signal agreed if I can feel any discomfort and he is happy to provide additional anaesthesia if I need it, to continue when a patient is feeling pain is a big no no.

I would strongly suggest you don't go back; people like this guy will only make your fears much much worse, there are much better dentists out there, you can definitely do much better than this fool. Please go and search for another dentist, there are lots of nice, professional, skilled and compassionate ones out there, you definitely don't have to put up with being treated like you described.
Mary - That is not at all an average extraction experience. You should NEVER have to put up with anyone telling you what you can and can not feel! I'm so sorry this happened to you.

Was this a lower molar extraction?

I've only ever had extractions performed while I was sedated (wisdoms and one adult tooth) - and for the SINGLE extraction I just had in December, I was prescribed strong RX pain killers (to take in addition to Ibuprofen as needed). I apparently had an excellent oral surgeon perform my extraction and only I had what is best described as post op discomfort, not *pain*. I wouldn't think it's normal to experience excruciating pain a day later -- but then again, people are different and their nerves react differently. If you are running any fever, or find the pain getting worse rather than better, do call a reputable Dentist in your network for a follow up exam. In the meantime, keep up with warm salt water rinses (rinse carefully - don't forcefully spit), brush and floss carefully and gently around the affected area, take Ibuprofen as needed (I take 600-800 mg every 6-8 hours as needed for post op dental pain), and use Ice or Heat outside the affected cheek for relief.

Now that the emergency dental work is completed (by Dr. Pain) I would recommend you take this opportunity to do some research on Dentists in your insurance network (call your insurance or go to their website to get a list of providers in your region that are "in network") - check Yelp and Google and Rate My Doc. Yelp is the best, I've found. Always keep in mind that an angry, unhappy patient is a lot more likely to write up a scathing review than a happy patient who only ever needs easy cleanings and a few xrays...BUT when there are several bad reviews and the reviews begin to show a pattern of poor treatment, do take heed. While you're at it, don't forget to leave your own Yelp review if you want to share your experience with others (recommend doing this anonymously for several reasons).

And I have to agree with Steve - there are so many good anesthetics at their disposal now, there is no reason to not administer more if you're not sufficiently numb. Also, Dentistry is highly competitive (here in the States) -- you'll find if you "interview" other Dentist, you're likely to find one who will treat you with compassion as any person should. I'd like to say that if this happened to me, I'd be very persistent and refuse treatment w/o being taken seriously, but then you were having emergency pain and I understand that you were desperate for help. What angers me is this Dentist knew he had you at his mercy and still treated you this way.

I'm so sorry you had this experience. I can't imagine how you must have felt having him treat you that way. What an awful, awful Dentist. The trauma is, I'm sure, very real for you. I'd recommend you take your anger out on him in a productive way by finding the best dentist you can access and NEVER returning to his chair, ever. I'm betting this guy doesn't get a lot of repeat customers. Karma is real. :)

Take care..
I paid the extra $45 for Nitrous gas and let me tell you, I was worth every penny and more. I didn't care what they were doing. Just.Didn't.Care. I recall him telling me the tooth broke--which was my biggest fear of all--AND I DIDN'T CARE! I don't even know why he told me? I recall getting annoyed that they were even talking to me because I was too busy not caring! haha. After all the anxiety I'd been through, it felt so good to finally relax!
I kept hoping he would offer. My sister in law was there and fully willing to pay for it, but there wasn't a single canister in the joint as far as I could see. I don't think this dentist even had any. Even if he was being a huge jerk you'd think he'd offer to stop my hysterical crying. No such luck.
My dentist doesn't keep the Nitrous in any of the exam rooms either. I know he has it. He must store it somewhere.