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Terribly anxious and don't know what to do!

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dawnlouise185

Junior member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
6
Location
Fife, Scotland
Hello, i'm new to this forum. I haven't been to the dentist in many years due to severe anxiety and have now started to develop problems. As you can see from the picture I have a hole in one of my right upper teeth which happened probably 2 months ago now. Since then I have really upped my dental hygiene to try and slow down the decay but i'm not sure its helping.Absolutely terrified of the tooth becoming accessed and infected as you can see right into the tooth. It is black and almost hollow inside and doesn't smell great. On the outside it has a grey tinge where it has decayed. I'm now developing severe pain on my lower left side as this is where I now have to chew.
I have been going along to my local dentist once a week to sit in the waiting room as exposure therapy but i'm too scared to take it any further. If I was to make an appointment I would work myself up so much and probably wouldn't be able to go. I just can't even imagine how im going to get this tooth seen to as the anxiety is just so intense. Can anyone please offer any advice? Thank you
 

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Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,141
Hi dawnlouise185,

sorry to read about your situation and it sounds like you are stretching yourself to find solutions. Sitting in the waiting room sounds like a good start. Would you mind writing a bit more about this - does the practice staff knows how you feel? Were you able to have a chat with them about what worries you? Are they nice? And is there any step that would be a bit harder than sitting in the waiting room but not as hard as scheduling? And what is it that worries you about making an appointment?
 
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dawnlouise185

Junior member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
6
Location
Fife, Scotland
Hello and thanks for your reply. Basically I suffer from really bad anxiety in general as I suffer from panic attacks and agoraphobia to a degree and also depression. Unfortunately it affects every area of my life and going to the dentist is a huge fear.
Once I realised my tooth had a hole in it I was in such a panic. I phoned the dentist and they said I was still registered even though I had never been. I explained my situation and they said the dentist could have visited me at home but I was even too anxious to go through with this but also it was private treatment and would cost a fortune for him to come out. I decided I would start trying to go along with my husband as he is off on a Friday so I have met the reception staff and they were all lovely. One day when I was there a nice dental nurse even took me through to an empty surgery and allowed me to sit in the chair and feel all the tools etc which was helpful. The main issue for me is that I haven't even met or been able to talk to the dentist. He has been there some of the days I have visited but always too busy with patients. I just want to be able to meet him more spontaneously for the first time rather than making an appointment. I would feel more comfortable if I could meet him prior to this. As I said though I am having to pay for any appointments as they have said that the NHS dentist wouldn't have the time to deal with my issues! I'm just not sure what my next step could be as ideally I need to see the dentist and have a chat with him but even this fills me with dread at the moment.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,141
Thanks for clarifying. You have done a good piece of work and got yourself familiar with the place and the staff. Moving to the next step is always scary and requires a bit of stretching, but I suspect so was the step of calling the practice and stepping in? So while it is important to look after you and make sure you don't get a panic attack, it will still need a portion of pushing yourself.
Sadly, time and money and having enough time to listen to people and put them at ease is a huge issue. Paying for the appointment makes you able to keep control and get as much time and attention as you need. In this way you can even schedule for having a chat and do not even have to let the dentist look if you do not feel like that, which maybe is not a bad thing.
 
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NETWizz

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
109
Okay, so the staff sound very nice to let you sit and handle tools especially considering the extra clean-up it takes them; they are dedicated to you not just your teeth. They wouldn’t be like this if it wasn’t a great group or team, you are almost certain to like the doctor. Also a busy doctor that you pay for is a good thing because it means he or she is good, and that is what you want.

The next step is completely non-invasive it is to make an appointment for a check-up and consultation. They will talk with you, identify any problems and your medical history, look at what is going on, take some pictures, and ultimately they will tell you what they can do to help you or to whom they can refer you. You will meet the doctor(s) etc.

I strongly encourage taking the next step. They seriously have years and years of study and practice, and They just want to use all this experience to help you (and earn a little money to put food on the table).
 
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