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Phobic child has emergency appointment today advice needed



Junior member
May 2, 2014
Hi, my 8 year old daughter is terrified of the dentist,whenever I bring her to the dentist she cries and won't open her mouth. In the past she has been so hysterical she has vomited!
Last time she went for a check up the dentist said she needed a small filling but due to her being so upset and scared the dentist wouldn't do the treatment.
Last night she woke up saying her tooth hurts and when I had a look there is a definite hole in that tooth now.
I made her an emergency appointment in 5 hours time,she is trying so hard to be brave but she's very scared.
I need some advice as to how I can make her feel comfortable enough to actually have the filling done. I have said she can take her favorite teddy in the chair with her and I have promised her some new coloring pens she wanted afterwards as a reward for letting the dentist treat her.
Also as she is so traumatized by each visit I haven't taken her as often as I should,so I am not looking forward to be given a lecture on that by the dentist! I have a phobia of the dentist myself and so I am already scared to just go in there and I feel so awful seeing her so upset that I find it hard not to cry which I know just makes it worse. I know this is all my own fault and I feel so guilty about it.
All advice greatly appreciated, thanks.
I don't know what options you may have there but in general:
Take her to a pediatric dentist(I'm not one but I have extensive pediatric training to the point that several pediatric dentists would refer your daughter to me for management reasons)
You should expect no lectures from the dentist just a reminder to come back regularly. Going often where she is treated nicely will help with her fear. If she isn't treated nicely it will worsen.
At eight years old she is capable of understanding that she needs help. Personally I would use my videocam in her mouth to show her the problem and explain all the steps and how WE would work together to make this go as nice as possible.
Hi Soozie - I'm just reading your post now and wonder how your daughter's appoointment went. I'm sorry to hear she is having such a terrible time with this. I was pretty much the same way when I was her age, I know how terrifying this can be for a little one. I'm wondering if you were able to stay with her during her appointment. I would think that would bring her some comfort. And the promise of new coloring pens :giggle:, hopefully that gave her the strength to get through the visit.
Hope all went well for you and your daughter. I second Dr Kimsey's suggestion to find a pediatric dentist. This can make all the difference...for your confidence in her treatment too. Like many of us, my dental phobia began with several terrible experiences in early childhood. Back then there weren't any such things as "pediatric dentists" and limited dentists in our area. Dental phobic parents frequently have dentally fearful children and I tried incredibly hard to put a positive spin on something so inherently negative to me as I really wanted to spare her this paralyzing phobia. Fortunately, I found a very gentle, non-threatening pediatric practice. When I would tell her she had to go to the dentist she'd actually be excited and look forward to the video game she could play or movie she could watch! Her experiences were 100 % positive (even having 8 teeth extracted). She is now 18 and phobia free :) ! I wish the same positive experiences for your daughter. Good luck to you both.
Childhood trauma makes for very deep and reoccurring trauma. If you have this from dental or anything else please seek out proper care for a better life. It is worth it.