• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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New, and would appreciate some advice

P

PhobicGuy

Junior member
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2
Hi all

I recently discovered this wonderful forum and site. I have discovered the supportive advices and stories you have shared, and this has encouraged me to share my story and dilemma as well.

I had some really bad dentist visits when I was young. My mom really loved that dentist (they were personal friends as well) and she would continuously take me to her to get cavities fixed and checkup. That dentist never used any form of anesthesia (sp?) and whenever I complained she would say "you are a guy, act like one!". This was when I was 8 or 9 years old and those visits really freaked me out.

Anyway, I haven't gone to a dentist for about 10 years now, and my teeth are indeed in bad shape. In addition to small cavities, I have about 3 teeth where parts of the tooth have broken off. I am thinking these would require extraction or root canal :(

I have finally decided to face my fears this year, and want to get my teeth checked out and fixed up. I am really stressed, but I want to do this. Since I am leaving for vacation in about a week's time, I was going to wait until after I return and then visit the dentist. However, one of the teeth I was referring to earlier had another piece broke off yesterday (there's really not much left of it), it is also a bit loose so this encouraged me to go see the dentist before the vacation instead. In the least, I want to get that extracted (the last tooth on the lower left).

I have read quite a bit about IV sedation, and this definitely sounds like the way I want to go with. I then searched online for sedation dentists in my area, and located one which seems to be good. The website mentioned they deal specially with phobic patients, and can offer sedation (the dentist is licensed for this). I am really fearful that the dentist will scold me and say "you have really bad teeth for a 28 year old", but I guess this is something I have to overcome if the dentist I find says that.

However, I have a few questions which I hope somebody can answer for me:

1) I know a good way to find dentists is through recommendations by friends, family etc However, since I am looking for a sedation dentist I didn't get any recommendations so had to find this one online - thus I have no idea how good he is. From the website he looks like a good guy, but apart from some good references online I cannot find more information regarding his skills. Should I just go ahead and give it a try?
2) Compared to some other dentists' websites, this dentist's one is pretty primitive - from your experience have you found any links between a dentist's website and his/her skills? Sorry if this sounds like a silly question.
3) Since I have a week before I go on vacation and would like some work done, I won't be able to spend time to talk to this dentist a lot, to build trust etc. In fact, I have only managed to contact the receptionist since the doctor is out for the weekend. The receptionist was very nice and said they deal with many phobic patients, which made me feel better. So is that a problem if I don't have a lot of face time with this dentist before he begins any work?

Sorry for my long story, but any advice you have would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
PhobicGuy
 
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Andria

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
212
Hi PhobicGuy :welcome:.

Thanks for sharing your story, it's a big step for you to take, but I understand how you feel. I am pleased that you have managed to find a dentist who specialises in treating phobic patients. I think because of this he may not scold you as badly as you think, because hopefully he'll realise your teeth are this way because of your phobia. Plus shouting at you isn't gonna help anyone. :hug2:

You could try emailing him or writing to him before your first appointment, tell him about your phobia and fears any bad experiences in the past and tell him that you would like sedation, then when you arrive for your appoinment he'll have all the facts and will act accordingly, and take a list of questions with you to hand over for him to read and answer before your treatment begins. :XXLhug:

I hope you find some of this advice usefull and wish you the best of luck.
Keep us posted.
Take care
Andria
x ;)
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,759
Hi there :welcome:,

well done for plucking up the courage to do something :thumbsup:! It's perfectly understandable that you chose to stay away after that string of bad experiences - it's what any sensible person would do. No dentist should scold you for not going in the past, what matters is that you've decided to do something now. But as with everyone else in life, not all dentists have the most pleasant manner or personality. Here's a dentist's answer to a similar question: [out-of-date link removed]

As you can see, people within the dental profession are acutely aware that this type of thing is going on when in fact it is counterproductive and really should not be happening in this day and age. Luckily there are lots of dentists around, many of whom have an excellent chairside manner and are compassionate and kind - it's just a matter of finding someone who's right for you :).


1) I know a good way to find dentists is through recommendations by friends, family etc However, since I am looking for a sedation dentist I didn't get any recommendations so had to find this one online - thus I have no idea how good he is. From the website he looks like a good guy, but apart from some good references online I cannot find more information regarding his skills. Should I just go ahead and give it a try?

Sedation comes in various forms, it might be that nitrous oxide (inhalation sedation) would meet your needs, so it might be an idea to ask others for recommendations for kind, gentle and painless dentists anyway. Of course you could give it a try. If you're in a town or city of a reasonable size, patient reviews for the dentist you're considering may have been posted on the internet already. This would allow you to check what other people think of this dentist. If there is a contact e-mail address on the website, it would be a good idea to e-mail him first and, as Andria said, tell him about your fears and see what the response is.

2) Compared to some other dentists' websites, this dentist's one is pretty primitive - from your experience have you found any links between a dentist's website and his/her skills?

There tends to be zero correlation between a dentist's website and their skills - watch out for additional qualifications/courses they've done which are mentioned on their website, though. Not a silly question at all!


3) Since I have a week before I go on vacation and would like some work done, I won't be able to spend time to talk to this dentist a lot, to build trust etc. In fact, I have only managed to contact the receptionist since the doctor is out for the weekend. The receptionist was very nice and said they deal with many phobic patients, which made me feel better. So is that a problem if I don't have a lot of face time with this dentist before he begins any work?

How painful is the tooth in question? I would *always* recommend to build up trust first, whereever possible (unless it's a serious emergency). It would be quite unusual nowadays for anything other than an exam (and perhaps a cleaning) to take place during the first appointment. The general recommendation nowadays is for people with a dental phobia to make an appointment for a chat only, and take it from there (some may feel comfortable with a quick look-see and x-rays, while for others, that may be too much for the first appointment). It should really be a chance to meet the dentist and see if you feel comfortable with them, like them and trust them.


Many thanks for joining our forum :cheers:!
 
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P

PhobicGuy

Junior member
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2
Thanks all for your kind words.
It is really a blessing to find folks who can understand my stress.
I am a very emotionally driven person, and the phobia is really putting me under a lot of psychological pain. Whenever a piece of the decayed tooth fall out, I would almost go insane with a mix of fear and sorrow.

It is so hard for my friends and family to understand my phobia. When I mentioned this to my mom recently, she thought I had gone mad! She is trying to discourage me from using IV sedation since she thinks there will be side effects.

I am in no pain right now, and I am also a bit concerned about some complicated dental work being done a few days before I go on vacation. Thus I am undecided whether it would be better to wait until I am back and then go to get all the work done. I don't want to have any complications/re-infections while in another country. I think I have gathered enough courage this time that I won't back out regardless of whether I go now or in a few weeks' time.

However, my biggest concern is this - even though I am in no pain now, is it possible that a tooth which is saveable today is no longer saveable in a month's time? I don't eat any hard foods, and I eat a very minimum amount of sugar (nothing other than fruit) but I am still worried that during this month some tooth may come loose which I could have saved if I went to get dental work done right away and cancel the vacation.

One of my bottom tooth has some decay, and if I push hard on it I can see it move a little bit - does it mean it will get looser every day? Is it already too late to save?

Should I go now? Or wait until I am back from vacation?

Thanks again,
PhobicGuy
 
N

Nat

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
764
PhobicGuy said:
It is so hard for my friends and family to understand my phobia. When I mentioned this to my mom recently, she thought I had gone mad! She is trying to discourage me from using IV sedation since she thinks there will be side effects.

I have had IV sedation, I had it once every 2 weeks when I was getting my treatment done and have had no side effects at all, Im still as crazy as I was before I had it! ;)


PhobicGuy said:
Should I go now? Or wait until I am back from vacation?.

Like Lets has said, the first appointment will normally be a look at the teeth and then perhaps an XRay so maybe waiting till after the vacation will be best as you may feel dissapointed that the dentist didnt do anything on that first visit? From my experience its best to build a relationship with the person who is going to be messing about with my mouth! I needed to know I could trust my dentist and that for me took time so perhaps waiting untill you have more time to see this dentist would be best.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,759
It's *extremely* unlikely that things would deteriorate so much over a month that a tooth that would have been saveable will no longer be saveable then.

PhobicGuy said:
One of my bottom tooth has some decay, and if I push hard on it I can see it move a little bit - does it mean it will get looser every day?

If you keep trying to wiggle it, it just might ;D. Seriously though - try and resist the temptation to play around with your teeth - they're not really made for that sort of thing...

Should I go now? Or wait until I am back from vacation?

You probably won't have much of a choice - it's whenever they have time to see you. It may be possible at this stage to get an appointment for a check-up before you go on holidays - if so, it might be worth taking up the offer, so that you don't worry yourself silly during a time when you should be enjoying yourself :). If not (which is more likely), ask the person you are speaking to about your concerns! They may be able to put your mind at rest a bit :).
 
M

melodyl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
378
Hi there: :welcome:

Welcome to the neighborhood. You've found new buddies here!!!

This is what I would do.

1. If I could postpone my vacation and have my teeth done, I would do this because there is nothing more annoying than a possible toothache or infection while you're on vacation!!!
Then I would go on my vacation. If this is not possible, forget about what I just wrote.

2. If you can't postpone your vacation, I would call the dentist (and thank god you found a phobia specialist who uses iv sedation,). I would make an appointment as soon as possible and I would have him look at the tooth and ask him the following: "I have to go on vacation and can my appointment wait until I come back". Then he'll tell you "I think you have a problem, and I'd like to address it immediately", or he'll say "no, that's fine, we'll take care of this after you come home'. He's the dentist, he's the expert, and he should know what will be in your best interest. He also knows you are phobic because he has been seeing phobia patients so you'll be ahead of the game.

3. About his website being primitive. I agree completely with the previous post who said "the website has nothing to do with his skills".

I mean, I've seen websites that were done by professionals and who would you rather go to? A dentist who spends thousands of dollars on professional websites? Or a dentist who puts his time and efforts into making his patients comfortable and pain-free?

I know what I would do. The most important thing is to open up with this dentist and start a dialogue. Email him and ask your questions. Probably he'll tell you "please come in, I'll look at the tooth, and we'll take it from there".

This is the best advice I have to offer. And kudos to you for being able to address your fears!!! I'm proud of you!! It's a big first step!!!!

I wish you the best and I am so happy you found your "good guy".

Sincerely,
melody
 
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