• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Needle phobia in Edinburgh!

I

Ice

Junior member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
3
Hi there,

I found this forum while doing a little research on the web about needle phobias. I desperately need to go to the dentist to get a filling and root treatement but the only problem is I have an extreme fear of needles/injections.
It has now got to the point where I tried ripping the tooth out myself with a staple on a pen (I know this was stupid but I really can't stand the thought of a needle) and all I acheived was a broken pen. I have also tried wedging it out with a butter knife but this was no use at all either.
I know this sounds and is really really stupid but I would rather go through all of that than have an injection. The thought of the injection against my skin/gums/whatever just makes me so frightened I dont know what to do.
I have heard of a technique called the wand and I have tried calling the newington practice in edinburgh only to find out they have closed and the new practice that took over (minto surgery) does not use the wand.
Can anyone help me at all please because this is causing me alot of sleepless nights and is now affecting me at work with alot of anxiety and I just end up going in tears which just gets me so embarrased when I think of me as a male at 25 years of age crying like a kid just because he can't face a injection.
I would be very gratefull for any helping words or advice and hope if anyone has overcame my problem they could tell me how they did it.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
Hi there :welcome:,

I'm not sure if they offer the wand, but Fraser Hendrie of Craigentinny Dental Practice in Edinburgh has been highly recommended and is experienced with needle and other dental phobias. He's also very personable and a really nice guy. The URL is www.craigentinny.co.uk - well worth checking out if you don't mind going private.

Best of luck :grouphug:
 
I

Ice

Junior member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
3
I don't actually mind going private but I do have a budget but its hard to find out the prices as all the dental practices I have checked with charge a consultation fee of £30 and above.
Is it possible to get round this anyway?
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
Most (if not all?) practices have a leaflet where they outline their fee schedule. While touring practices you are interested in, you could pick them up (or get them sent or e-mailed if you don't want to go there in person). It can be hard for the layperson though to judge what's a fair price, because a practice that charges more might use more expensive materials and/or put more time and effort into their work (and it might last longer).

So yeah, you definitely do not have to go for a consultation just to some sort of general idea about their general fee schedule.
 
I

Ice

Junior member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
3
Ok I took the first step today by going into a dental practice (marchmount dental surgery in Edinburgh) and I had a good look around. Unfortunately the dentist couldn't really put my mind at ease during the checkup after explaining my phobia. I was just told that I would only need 3 injections and after that I wouldn't feel anything and I can just look away when he's about to start.
I really don't know where to go from here as I had really psyched myself up for this and only to find out that my only way out is to look away when the needle is going in.
I really find it hard to explain to people its not just visualising whats happening but just knowing that somone has a needle and that its going to make contact with me.
After coming straight back from the clinic I looked up more posts in this forum and found a post about a procedure called "the wand".
Now after calling up each of the dental clinics in this post that where supposedly using this procedure I found out that none of the practices that could see me do use this procedure.
The one placed I did phone up which may is the duncan street dental surgery but they have a 2 year waiting list :( .
Can anyone recommend a surgery which is sympathethic to needle phobic patients?

PS. I am also in the process of calling Frasier Hendrie, but so far no success in contacting him.
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,957
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
You have been busy....congratulations on going along this far. Did you look up the whole 'needle phobia' section on here? https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/needle-phobia/

I can understand why just being told to look away wouldn't help much....no reassurance as to how comfy it would be either. Did they mention topical (numbing cream)?
I realise this is not simply a 'comfort issue for you .....in the needle phobia section, it covers the opposite approach to 'close your eyes' which is 'de-sensitisation'...the process is outlined .......it is possible a private dentist will have the time to do this with you....share the info if necessary. There is an even more detailed description of the technique (which was originally published on Mike Gow's website) which can be found on this page:

https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/psychology/desensitisation/

I note you can make contact with the Edinburgh one by email via the webpage - ...it mentions ordering an 'anxious patient' info pack. Looks like you'd be in good hands to me.
Good luck...you will get there in the end.. :grouphug:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
harper

harper

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
772
Location
west sussex
hi
i just wanted to try and reassure you that there are people out there who can give painless injections and make it comfortable for you. when i had a tooth extracted the first appointment i had without sedation. my dentist put numbing gel first then someone held my hand and then c said close my eyes. i can honestly say i didnt feel a thing :jump: and a year later and countless injections later i still dont
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,957
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Clem said:
 The picture of the poor person getting the shot looks exactly like what I always imagined--thumb in the screw, forcing the stuff into your mouth, gods I want to run screaming from my computer!  Why would anyone be "happy" to see, touch, hold, et.c that thing?  Jeez, I can't even type.
Well maybe that approach wouldn't work for you but the thing is, photos of people having dental treatment always look somehow a bit degrading but it doesn't feel degrading most of the time to be on the receiving end :p.....it's a strange thing to photograph I suppose. Its voyeuristic in a way it wouldn't b eif you experienced it yourself.
I've never needed desensitisation...as a 12 year old child motivated to avoid pain from the drill (with good reason) once I realised with numbing gel I didn't even feel it and certainly didn't have to look at the syringe.....I was cool with dental injections definitely easier than the ones in your arm.

Clem said:
Numbing gel is given much talk here, but if you could numb my mind so I wouldn't visualize that image I just saw, that would be the ticket.
So the don't look, close your eyes approach may work better for you if it isn't painful.....I don't associate syringes with pain rather with pain relief ....usually I choose sensitive practitioners who kind of avoid showing you syringes at least beforehand anyway....but I have never bothered closing my eyes...find staring at ceiling works for me.  

I haven't ever felt any pain from a modern dental injection (1970s onwards) but realise others haven't been so lucky.
 
C

Clem

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
160
OK, just a few comments for clarification about the needle thing (densitization, pain, etc.)

I do not have a generalized needle phobia. I am fine with injections elsewhere on my body, IVs for surgery, vaccinations, etc. However, there is something incredibly invasive about "inviting" someone to stick a needle in my mouth. It may have to do with the entire setting of the dental office, that I perceive this as just one more insult having to do with dental work. To reiterate: you get placed in a chair and reclined until your feet seem in the air. If you needed to get out quickly, only someone with abs of steel could sit up from that position, and you would have to sit up because the arms of the chair prevent rolling out. There is a light in your face, so if you do manage to sit up, you get smacked in the head. People with whom you have only the most superficial relationship are putting hands, tools, and whiny, sharp, sucky things into your most private orifice. The spit-sucker never works like it is supposed to, so you choke on your own saliva the whole time. You are in for an hour of scraping, drilling, sucking, on and on and on. You have a diaper around your neck. The assistant says inane things like: there, there, that wasn't so bad, was it? Not for her, I'm sure. Talk about feeling helpless.

I have rarely actually felt pain from an injection. I can always feel it, though. It is the knowledge that that instrument is stabbing me that drives me crazy. I cannot stand it, and begin to hyperventilate in the first few seconds. I visualize the dentist with his fist beginning to shake from the task for forcing the stuff into my mouth.

I have never had an injection without the infamous numbing gel in 50+ years, so I don't know what the big deal is to ask for it. Is it not common in the UK?

I hate the sight of the thing. My dentist, at my request (in an aborted attempt to desensitize myself once) gave me an old syringe (no needle or cartridge) so that I could smash it up with a hammer in an attempt to get it back for all the trauma it has caused me. I put it in my purse and then forgot it was there, and when I found in a few days later it scared the hell out of me before I remembered why it was there. I threw it in a drawer and haven't looked at it since.

Close your eyes--a ridiculous thing to say. What am I supposed to think about during the next 2 minutes of that "nice, slow injection" (boy there's a contradiction in terms if there ever was one)? Again the freight train analogy, but that usually gets my posts deleted.

I frankly don't see why my phobia is something that I need to cure. I think if the dentistry world would figure out a different way to give locals, it would be all settled for me. No, I don't like the rest of the dental stuff, but I can deal with it.

Yes, I am going to nitrous. Yes, I have looked for a wand-user in my city, and there are few, and they don't seem to use both nitrous and the wand, just one or the other. So I'm going for the pharmaceutical solution, and hope that dentistry will get a clue.

I take scrupulously good care of my teeth. At this point, I haven't had a new cavity in years, only old ones that need replaced, a cracked tooth, a root canal. There's enough time between that any progress made for one appointment is lost by the time the next one rolls around. And no, I would never ever let anyone give me an injection for "practice".

Thanks for allowing my vent.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
You could try asking your dentist if he/she can leave in a more upright position, if this would make you feel more in control. Not all dentists will agree to this (mainly because they find it physically difficult), but a good few will be happy to work with you. Worth a try, anyway :).
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,957
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Clem said:
OK, just a few comments for clarification about the needle thing (densitization, pain, etc.)
I do not have a generalized needle phobia.  I am fine with injections elsewhere on my body, IVs for surgery, vaccinations, etc.  However, there is something incredibly invasive about "inviting" someone to stick a needle in my mouth.
 
Many people would agree but done properly, a dental injection is actually more comfortable than in say your big toe but you'd expect the opposite to be true.

Clem said:
It may have to do with the entire setting of the dental office, that I perceive this as just one more insult having to do with dental work.  To reiterate:  you get placed in a chair and reclined until your feet seem in the air.  If you needed to get out quickly, only someone with abs of steel could sit up from that position, and you would have to sit up because the arms of the chair prevent rolling out.  There is a light in your face, so if you do manage to sit up, you get smacked in the head.  People with whom you have only the most superficial relationship are putting hands, tools, and whiny, sharp, sucky things into your most private orifice.  The spit-sucker never works like it is supposed to, so you choke on your own saliva the whole time.  You are in for an hour of scraping, drilling, sucking, on and on and on.  You have a diaper around your neck.  The assistant says inane things like:  there, there, that wasn't so bad, was it?  Not for her, I'm sure.  Talk about feeling helpless.

That's the negative way of describing the experience.....you probably need more of a relaxing spa-type environment to feel more at ease or nitrous as you have said you intend to try. The right person wouldn't make you feel you had no control though...my dentist has no arms on the chair most of the time, the light moves away easily with a simple push  :p.....they stop to allow you to get up if you simply raise your hand....if you don't think they would act on this then you need to go elsewhere. Maybe you need a few breaks.
I could write an equally  positive account of the same experience but you would think I was sending you up....I do know what you mean but it depends how you approach it and how much you like and trust the staff involved; and how much they treat you like a human being rather than just a set of teeth they are working on.


Clem said:
I have never had an injection without the infamous numbing gel in 50+ years, so I don't know what the big deal is to ask for it.  Is it not common in the UK?
It's extremely common in the UK...I used to get an early version in the 1970s but people with dental phobias are maybe the ones who visit the dentists who don't bother with topical first and also just using it is not enough, you have to wait long enough for it to work and you still have to inject slowly.
I live in Europe at the moment and on the dental phobia forums in the country where I am based there are dentists answering questions stating that there is not enough time in general practice to offer numbing gel to all patients, so you have to say you are nervous and ask....appalling approach i.m.v.

I have noticed that it is mainly US posters on here who complain about 'the shots'

Clem said:
I hate the sight of the thing.
 

I don't see why you have to see it ...I never did as a teenager when I first had injections and I didn't close my eyes. It's strange though that you have no problem with it in other settings...because many people find having say an i/v during childbirth or blood tests pretty much cures them of all needle phobia etc etc

Clem said:
Close your eyes--a ridiculous thing to say.  What am I supposed to think about during the next 2 minutes of that "nice, slow injection"
Well if it were fast it would be much more uncomfortable :p.

Clem said:
I frankly don't see why my phobia is something that I need to cure.  I think if the dentistry world would figure out a different way to give locals, it would be all settled for me.  No, I don't like the rest of the dental stuff, but I can deal with it.  

Yes, I am going to nitrous.  Yes, I have looked for a wand-user in my city, and there are few, and they don't seem to use both nitrous and the wand, just one or the other.  So I'm going for the pharmaceutical solution, and hope that dentistry will get a clue.  
Hope this works for you..it could well do if you don't mind the out of control feeling from the nitrous. I agree with you to the extent that I think we should all try to patronise high-tech (wand etc) dentists who put their patients' comfort level first and shun the rest (if we can afford to that is).  
 
C

Clem

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
160
I'd be interested in hearing your positive version of the dental experience. Just curious.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
Clem, you may want to check out the success stories section.

From your previous posts and e-mails to me, it appears to me that what you're actually after is a new type of syringe or injection which doesn't involve needles, and that your agenda is more "political" in nature (i. e. get dentists/manufacturers to change the technology) rather than in the realm of self-help. May I suggest the needle phobia forum at [out-of-date link removed] for this purpose.

For the record, attempts have been made to develop needle-less injection systems, however they tend to be rather painful and haven't caught on in a big way. Which of course doesn't mean that a satisfactory new technology may be invented in the future.
 
C

Clem

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
160
I checked out the website and it's a "global" needle phobia site, that's not my issue. There's not much on that site. I have read a few of the success stories, they're OK, helpful sometimes. I think sometimes I just want someone to understand and maybe agree that some parts of dentistry are unpleasant, and I don't have to like them. The goal of this website seems so often to insinuate that we have to love going to the dentist, and that if we don't, we're not normal and should change to make things easier for the dentist. Pish. If a tool of the trade is scary, why not try to fix that? Drills have gotten better, sort of (they still whine, but at least it goes quicker). This one thing, the syringe, has stayed the same for decades, and it's still scaring patients. Why not try and make it less threatening?

I guess I am a very visual person, and the image of the syringe is quite vivid to me. That's why closing my eyes, which I do, doesn't really help. But really, no one here seems to understand that.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
Obviously you don't have to like parts of dentistry that you find unpleasant.

However, the goal of this website is not to insinuate that we have to love going to the dentist. Rather, the goal is to help people who for whatever reason (physical pain, emotional pain, embarrassment etc.) would like to see a dentist, but can't because they're too scared.

Your rather lurid descriptions of your representations of dentistry don't make this task any easier for them, to put it mildly.

You've made your points repeatedly, why not leave it at that?
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,957
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Clem said:
This one thing, the syringe, has stayed the same for decades, and it's still scaring patients.  Why not try and make it less threatening?
That's not strictly true, given that 'The Wand' has been around for sometime. The only way more dentists will use it, is if patients vote with their feet though.

I think the handpiece (drill to you!) is a lot quieter than it used to be, as well as a lot quicker.

Clem said:
I guess I am a very visual person, and the image of the syringe is quite vivid to me.  That's why closing my eyes, which I do, doesn't really help.  But really, no one here seems to understand that.
Plenty people on here understand that.....but for some (not all) the fear dissipates when they find it doesn't have to be painful. If I were you, I'd maybe reconsider and go for the practice with The Wand (which most certainly doesn't look like a syringe) rather than the nitrous.
Hope you find a way which works for you.
Waiting for technology to move on to say StarTrek levels is not going to be the best way forward for someone with dental phobia today in 2007. Goodness, the 'leisure society' we were promised by 2000 in the 1960s hasn't even got here yet!
Few people love :-* going to the dentist ...many don't mind it ;)......but it's a shame if distorted perceptions and fear about what really is involved in obtaining treatment prevents phobics from obtaining the care they need.
You can do it Clem...
 
S

shub2974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
131
Wanna hear a positive experience? Okay here is one. I had no been to the dentist in 17 yaers and my teeth were horrible. I had to have 8 extractions, 2 surgical, and i am set to have 6 fillings and 1 more deep cleaning(already had one). My positive experience is that my dentist is a wonderful caring man thati have grown to respect and depend on :cloud9:and even after eight extractions and 1 deep cleaning I have yet to feel one ounce of pain. I have had over 20 injections in my mouth and thanks to the nice numbing gel he places beforehand i di dnot feel any of them. After my extractions I had a whole bottle of pain pills and did not need not a one. So theres a positive experience :p I am no longer sacred to go and somewhat look foward to going because i see my smile tranforming before my eyes and years of stress and worry dissappearing, ;)
 
Top