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Overwhelmed just thinking about the dentist

Should dentist provide head phone & eye pads

  • Total voters


Junior member
May 7, 2011

I know they say age doesn't matter, but for 46 yrs I have been traumatised by the whole dentistry thing. I fear the sounds of the actual dentistry, the wrenching and I now feel ashamed of how I've let the appearance of my mouth & smile down. I am losing confidence
and the natural response of smiling. I desperately need to have dental work down, I am a longtime sufferer of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and don't know where to start, I can't afford to go private, I guess I am stuck in limbo; should I go ; I can't etc

Any thoughts! :(


Super Moderator
Staff member
Mar 23, 2006
In My Dental Happy Place

If sounds, sensations, smells are the main thing that bother you and you are stuck with NHS, you should maybe try to find an NHS dentist who offers sedation or who can refer you. In theory any dentist can let you use oral sedation (your medical doctor can give you a prescription even) and this plus headphones may be enough for you....or you could go deeper for i/v sedation. More info on sedation options here: http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/sedation-dentistry/

The other approach is distraction but that probably won't work in an NHS environment so easily:

The reason I didn't vote yes on your poll to headphones and eyepads is because I think eyepads would be very frightening and give an 'out of control' feeling for most people. Headphones are ok for some but again it leaves you feeling very cut off and makes dentist-patient communication difficult.
If you think you require a lot of extractions, i/v sedation or even GA may be available to you depending on the NHS dentist you choose. They are usually if anything a bit too quick to refer people elsewhere if you mention being phobic based on posts on here.


Staff member
Jan 1, 2005
Hi I also didn't vote because headphones are a very personal thing - some people like them, some don't. Also it's easier to bring your own (if you have an mp3 player or iPod or similar), because of cross-infection regulations (the earphone pieces would have to be changed between each patient), so by and large it's easier just to bring your own along (the added benefit is that you can listen to whatever you want). There are some interesting developments in terms of noise-cancelling headphones on the way though - you can find out more here:


Not sure about eyepads - many people would find these very claustrophobic and prefer to close their eyes instead, and also the eyes can be used to communicate discomfort. Although some people really like virtual reality headsets for watching DVDs :) (they're not very widespread though).

I also wasn't sure about the wording ("cure") - obviously, mechanical devices on their own are never going to "cure" a phobia (whereas a kind, caring and painless dentist can often go a very long way in easing dental fears!).

If you have multiple health problems, you may be eligible to be treated by the community dental service (on the NHS). Services vary from area to area - in some areas they only include medically compromised patients and people with more severe learning disabilities, but in many areas they also provide services for people with dental phobias. If you are eligible (and it sounds as if you may well be!!), you can get a referral from either a dentist or a GP.
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Mar 1, 2007
what overwhelms me and stops me from going to the dentist is not the confrontation with the dentist or judgement but being overwhelmed about the amount of work i need to get and the cost and not being able to afford it. when i got my gold crown i had to pay 100 down and then a 100 a month but being a low income person 100$ is hard to manage and the thought of constantly owing money getting my teeth fixed makes me not want to go.

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