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Needle and dentist phobia, not sure how to cope

J

JCC92

Junior member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
1
Hi everyone, I'm just looking for advice. My teeth aren't in good shape, and although I don't have toothache or anything, I really do want to go to the dentist and sort out my teeth. Last time I went was 2013, and I had a filling. He didn't wait long after the needles before starting, and there was a bit of pain during the process. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but the whole experience was so stressful. And afterwards he told me that I was moving my mouth too much (from swallowing saliva I think) and if it was a deeper filling, the tool could've got stuck and I'd have to have my tooth removed. Not the most comforting thing ever! I was so terrified about that happening that I never went back.

I have a severe needle phobia, but surprisingly that was the easiest part of the process, so I guess I'm not too scared of that. I'm just so scared of pain, of accidentally getting the drill stuck in my tooth or something, etc. I just keep putting it off, but if I wait until I have toothache, I'll be in pain from the tooth and still have to go through the stress of going to the dentist, so it makes no sense to wait. I'm just so afraid and don't know how to make it less scary. I need to swallow a lot, how am I supposed to work around that?
 
H

hatemyself

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
80
Location
UK
Hi everyone, I'm just looking for advice. My teeth aren't in good shape, and although I don't have toothache or anything, I really do want to go to the dentist and sort out my teeth. Last time I went was 2013, and I had a filling. He didn't wait long after the needles before starting, and there was a bit of pain during the process. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but the whole experience was so stressful. And afterwards he told me that I was moving my mouth too much (from swallowing saliva I think) and if it was a deeper filling, the tool could've got stuck and I'd have to have my tooth removed. Not the most comforting thing ever! I was so terrified about that happening that I never went back.

I have a severe needle phobia, but surprisingly that was the easiest part of the process, so I guess I'm not too scared of that. I'm just so scared of pain, of accidentally getting the drill stuck in my tooth or something, etc. I just keep putting it off, but if I wait until I have toothache, I'll be in pain from the tooth and still have to go through the stress of going to the dentist, so it makes no sense to wait. I'm just so afraid and don't know how to make it less scary. I need to swallow a lot, how am I supposed to work around that?
Heya JCC92,

First off welcome to the forum!! You did the right thing in posting - the community is so lovely here, everyone has your back and is super supportive. So well done for posting with your concerns and fears.

That dentist sounds horrible!! WTF it's so horrible when they say 'oh yeah, that COULD have happened' and start blaming shit on you like err! fuck off mate. You did nothing wrong. It sounded like a really charged and nightmarish experience and I'm sorry you had to go through that. That sounded like 0% fun and the problem is with those is that it makes things worse in your mind when you have a dental phobia. Can you see another dentist? Or go to a whole different practice? You gotta take stock of what you want from a dentist - and I think at this point it is choosing a dentist who is sympathetic to phobics.

Also just wanted to say about swallowing - I have had a LOT of dental procedures done with tons of stuff in my mouth and YOU CAN swallow regardless of what they do - modern dentistry isn't like it was in the 50s - it's kind and (relatively) unobtrusive. So from my experience you can swallow.

Take a deep breath. Are there people you can reach out to to help you with this? Even asking like a family member to phone up the dentist on your behalf and book and appointment. And have them sit in with you in the room.

Another thing to mention is if you're really anxious to ask for some kind of sedation - I don't know how you feel about that - oral sedation (diazepam/valium pills) might be good in this situation. I've never had it but I've had IV and that wasn't too bad, it was much less traumatic than I thought. Sometimes chemical sedation can take the edge off, y'know?

You did so well with the needle if you were scared!! You should pat yourself on the back about that, look how your opinion of them has changed! That should show you that maybe, just maybe other opinions about the dentist can change too. All it takes is one positive experience to change your point of view.

Sending bear hugs your way,

HM

:bear::bear::bear:
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,957
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Last time I went was 2013, and I had a filling. He didn't wait long after the needles before starting, and there was a bit of pain during the process.
Not your fault but sigh:hmm: there really is no excuse for still doing this. Do not go back to this uncaring incompetent but next time, if you do not feel numb, do not let them start. The dentist can also check you are likely numb by using the explorer and asking if anything feels sharp...if it does you are not yet numb enough. Painless dentistry is not rocket science but it demands at least enough time to ensure the local has worked!

he told me that I was moving my mouth too much (from swallowing saliva I think) and if it was a deeper filling, the tool could've got stuck and I'd have to have my tooth removed.
I am not dentally qualified but this sounds like absolute rubbish to me. There should be a suction tool and yes you can still swallow.

I'm just so scared of pain, of accidentally getting the drill stuck in my tooth or something, etc. I just keep putting it off,
If you are in the UK and that experience was with an NHS dentist, the best advice I can give you for long term success is to choose an experienced dentist who owns the practice (so they won't move on) and become a private patient who they want repeat business from and so have an incentive to treat you well under less time pressure. Best wishes.:)

https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/needle-phobia/

https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/pain/
 
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Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,094
And afterwards he told me that I was moving my mouth too much (from swallowing saliva I think) and if it was a deeper filling, the tool could've got stuck and I'd have to have my tooth removed. Not the most comforting thing ever! I was so terrified about that happening that I never went back.
This really is rubbish. Here is what my dentist told me about the topic of 'moving': in dentistry everything is working around the fact that there is always the possibility that a patient moves and an absolute security must be provided also in this case. There are a lot of precautions going on during a treatment that a patient doesn't even notice and the ideal situation for a dentist, is of course a patient who doesn't move but the possibility of a sudden movement must always get considered. So whenever your dentist is working, he/she places his/her hands in a way that if you move, they move with you. My dentist used an example of treating people with parkinson's desease - they have no control over movement and the job of the dentist is to make sure that the treatment takes place in a safe manner.
My dentist even told me that if anything would happen, the precautions are such that if someone would get hurt, it would be him and in no means me.

Swallowing is your right and a basic movement, please feel encouraged to swallow as much as you like during any treatment, that's what human beings normally do and dentists know that.

It's awesome that you want to tackle your fear before you get bigger issues. As hatemyself and brit suggest, it would be good to find a better dentist. From what you describe, you basically need a dentist who can promise you not to even touch any tooth before making sure you're numb and also one who won't ignore your discomfort - if you get any stressed, the dentist needs to stop and give you a breather or talk to you or whatever your need is in that moment.

All the best, may you find a kind caring dentist who you feel comfortable with.
 
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