• Dental Phobia Support

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The View From The Other Side



Junior member
Jun 30, 2022
Kent, UK
I’ve been lurking on this site for many years, and think I may well have posted under another account years ago.

I just wanted to share my success story, because in the past couple of years I’ve well and truly conquered what was an extreme fear of the dentist.

I’m a 45 year old man and was never taken to the dentist as a child. My teeth and gums were in a pretty bad state, but I’ve now finally reached the stage where I actually show my teeth in photos!

I’ve now had:

  • 2 root canals (both requiring multiple, long visits).
  • Full scaling and root planing (multiple visits).
  • A crown fitting.
  • A wisdom tooth extraction (most recent - I still got nervous about that one!)
  • Whitening treatment.

The key has been an incredible and understanding dentist - Shaila Patel Buxton at Bupa Dental in London, along with her fabulous dental nurse Violetta.

They helped me conquer the shame and embarrassment I had around my teeth, leaving me to focus on getting to the appointments and getting over my fear.

I had Valium sedation for the first couple of appointments but soon found I was sufficiently relaxed to do without it. On my most recent appointment to have my wisdom tooth out, I managed without sedation :)

As for the actual treatment, it’s been almost entirely pain free. I’m not going to pretend that having 2.5 hours of root canal is enjoyable. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s being still with my mouth wide that’s more of a concern than any pain.

On the couple of occasions where it’s hurt a bit, I always had the option of more numbing, I just decided to grin and bare it. And I’ve had no pain in the dentist’s chair that’s even come close to the pain of the abcesses I’ve had due to neglecting my teeth.

I’m just posting this for the benefit of those who were in the position I was in for so many years. You CAN reach the other side of it. When I attended a recent appointment, I commented to the dentist that I didn’t even start to think about it until I stepped through the door.

The anxiety of not going but knowing I needed to was worse than anything I’ve ever experienced at the dental surgery. WAY worse!
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Congratulations @serenityisland, and thanks so much for sharing and giving hope to others in a similar situation!

I had heard of Shaila, but I don't think we've had a review for her yet - she sounds great! Would you like to leave a recommendation for her in our Dentist Finder for London?