This website has the exact opposite effect of its supposed intention

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ImNotASpammerYouIdiots

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I wasn't all that afraid of dental work before, aside from the strong possibility of getting dry socket if I ever have to have any wisdom teeth removed. But just reading this board, I've learned of all sorts of horrible things that can happen that I never even knew about. Electric shock for numbing injections? Failed fillings with pain that refuses to subside? Excruciating pain from failed root canals?

If the intention of this website was to convince someone that they would be better off avoiding the dentist, it's doing its job well.
 
P

penny_e

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Apr 17, 2013
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I wasn't all that afraid of dental work before, aside from the strong possibility of getting dry socket if I ever have to have any wisdom teeth removed. But just reading this board, I've learned of all sorts of horrible things that can happen that I never even knew about. Electric shock for numbing injections? Failed fillings with pain that refuses to subside? Excruciating pain from failed root canals?

If the intention of this website was to convince someone that they would be better off avoiding the dentist, it's doing its job well.

OMG, I feel the same way, now I am scared to go to the dentist after reading you can have months of damage from getting numb. I keep coming back to it amazed of the stories and pray to god when I go in happens to be tomorrow a nothing bad happens to me. Thanks for saying what I was thinking too.
 
C

comfortdentist

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There are a few key points that I think a person should pick up from this website.
There are many people who are anxious and that there is nothing wrong with you for being anxious.
Dental treatment is not simple tooth patching and pulling. It is complex and often difficult therapy to render and receive.
Communication between patient and dentist is critical to excellent care and outcome.
It matters who is treating you. If you have unhealthy and complex needs then you really need to check your dentist out well as all dentists aren't the same.
 
S

Spike 1969

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Jun 16, 2014
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I think it's all a matter of perspective:

The problem is that everyone is different and every dentist is different so there you are always going to have a small percentage of problematic cases no matter how good the dentist and how straightforward a procedure (anatomically) for a given person.

What one finds usually is that the majority of cases that are simple and straightforward (like my own thus far:)) do not tend to get posted here, unless you read the Success stories section of this website. It would be restrictive and unrealistic to limit the input here to only success stories as that would be like putting on a pair of rose tinted specs.

Personally I find this website to be useful, I came here for advice when I was in danger of getting triggered back to a phobic state due to a less than ideal change in circumstances, the advice I received from the "fellow sufferers" and dental professionals like Dr Kimsey has helped me to take that leap of faith to move dentists and it has worked out far better than I ever imagined it could; I don't think I would have done that without the advice and opinions of the folks here.

It's difficult for some people to read some of the issues folks face with their "journey" here but it is real life and if it's not working for you as an individual maybe it's worth looking down other avenues to face your issues, only we as individuals know what works for us and it takes a bit of trial and error as everyone is different.

Hope this kind of makes sense from my perspective.

kind Regards
 
T

Tink

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May 14, 2013
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Ok, I can see where you're coming from - you do have to be careful with this sort of site not to end up feeding off each other's fears instead of building one another up. And yes, hearing about all those things that can go wrong that you hadn't previously thought of can definitely be a problem! I have a close friend who is also phobic, and there was a period of time where we had to agree not to discuss dentists at all as we were just freaking each other out.

On the other hand though, many people find it really helpful and valuable to talk to others have been through the same sorts of things and come out the other end. It can be great to know that you're not the only one, as sometimes it can feel like you're going mad!

So it can be great for some people, not so good for others - that's ok. You need to find what you are comfortable with and what you find helpful. Try the success stories section if you need to read some positive experiences to build you up.

As others have mentioned, it's also important to be honest about it. Things can be complicated and they can go wrong, if we (as a forum) collectively insisted that nothing will ever go wrong and everything is perfect, then that wouldn't be helpful at all. People need to feel heard and supported when things do go wrong...again, it's about not feeling like you're the only one or you're going mad!


Finally, it's worth noting that what you are seeing here is not a normal/representative sample of dental patients and stories - there's a sort of confirmation bias at play. Since this is a forum for people who are anxious or phobic, it stands to reason that you will be seeing a larger number of people who have had bad experiences...those are the kind of experiences that create phobias after all! The information will inevitably be skewed towards hearing more of the bad experiences.

The trouble is "I went to the dentist and absolutely nothing bad happened" isn't a story you will see as often because it just isn't noteworthy. Every single day all over the world this happens, but those patients are not often going to come and write about it on a dental phobia forum.

Its worth nothing that in reality many of the problems and complications you're hearing about on here are rare and the vast majority of the time everything is fine. Hope that helps!
 
Sol

Sol

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Mar 26, 2010
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The problem is that everyone is different and every dentist is different so there you are always going to have a small percentage of problematic cases no matter how good the dentist and how straightforward a procedure (anatomically) for a given person.

What one finds usually is that the majority of cases that are simple and straightforward (like my own thus far:)) do not tend to get posted here, unless you read the Success stories section of this website. It would be restrictive and unrealistic to limit the input here to only success stories as that would be like putting on a pair of rose tinted specs.

Just wanted to second this. I came here originally looking for some answers as to what was causing my fears and for more general information before I took the leap and made my first appointment. Reading the articles and the experiences of others helped me get started. My own experiences have been positive so far. There is a level of risk associated with all types of treatment (medical or dental) but that shouldn't stop people from seeking help and learning about all the options out there.
 
J

jellyfish

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May 15, 2012
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I am one of the posters who has written about bad experiences and unfortunate but unusual side effects. I truly do not want to frighten anyone off from dental work.

I had a series of bad experiences in a very short time period where it seemed like the worst possible outcomes kept happening. Before these experiences, I was mostly afraid of talking with the dentist (a fear that extends to all medical professionals, nurses, aides, the receptionists, probably also the janitor in any medical building), with a moderate to mild anxiety about actual procedures. Now I have less anxiety about actual procedures and am more capable of communicating with the dentist, although I have new fears regarding some of my peculiar and particular reactions to dental work (one dentist called me the dreaded "interesting case").

After a few bad appointments with a new dentist, I was left with a mouthful of problems where I had had none before. I could have walked away and sworn off dentistry, and would probably still be subsisting on soup and pudding today, but instead I did some thorough research and chose a different dentist in my area. We spent a year fixing all the problems, with some further setbacks along the way, but I stuck with it and now have a very good relationship with a dentist that I trust, plus I am pain-free. As a bonus, I now know the tooth numbering system and know to always ask for my friend the bite block :)

Although I won't pretend that the bad experiences were a good thing, I am now much more confident in my capability to handle dental work, extending somewhat to medical procedures in general. I am also more empowered to ask questions even if I think it will annoy the dentist (or doctor), and I feel that I have a much stronger sense of what is important to me when receiving medical care. I know what qualities I want my dentist to have, and I do not feel bad about shopping around to find someone with whom I can have a good relationship. I expect to have better future encounters with the entire medical community as a result of my experiences.

Before my bad experiences, I would have have been very upset about having a root canal - now I know to expect an easy and painless procedure. I will need implants to correct a congenital problem - before it would have been unthinkable to have this done unsedated, but now I am confident that I will be able to select an oral surgeon who I can trust and anticipate an easy procedure without sedation.

So, that was pretty long, but I just wanted to say that even though dental treatment doesn't always go perfectly, it is better than the alternative. Think of it like taking a life-saving drug - that drug probably has a long list of possible side-effects, some terrible (like the super fast list read by the voiceover in a tv drug ad), but it is still worth taking the drug despite the (usually very small) risk.
 
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