Unhelpful or helpful comments/remarks

G

gettingthere

Super Moderator
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
122
WOW- I feel so lucky to have found a fellow geek!!! I am also interested in linguistics, but my real baby is literary theory. I really think that "control" is an illusion in a dental situation, both due to the inherent nature of the exam, equipment and my own bad experiences. I cannot help but think about it terms of Foucauldian concepts of power and control.

Geeks Anonymous! We should have our own sub-forum. Three members and counting! :geek::geek::geek::yayy:

There is a famous linguistic theory on “politeness” by Brown and Levinson which calculates variables such as perceived social distance and power to examine what they refer to as Face Threatening Acts in both positive and negative ways or what we usually think of as being “polite” or “impolite”. For my hons dissertation I shadowed retail assistants in a few different department stores (with the stores’ permission!) to apply the theory and create an understanding of what we would class as good or bad customer service. Typically the problems arose when there was a conflict of power and distance with both assistant and customer believe they had the upper hand on each other. I think a similar study in dental offices would be fascinating, to show how the choice of language used by dentists can convey a heightened sense of power over the patient and add to the fear and could lead to a better understanding of how to communicate with different groups of people. In addition to this, I have long felt that a study on the harsh sounds which naturally occur in many fear inducing words in long overdue. Certain phonemes create a lot of noise and/or are plosives meaning that they can be “spat out” which a lot of people do (IMO) when talking about things they find distasteful or want to convey a sense of foreboding. Like the way in which many people will say “well, I’m off to…. The DENtist…” in that tone of voice which tells us exactly how they feel about the appointment – whether due to a genuine anxiety, for humour or because it’s just what you do/how people say it… I would love to hook a variety of people up to a spectrograph to measure the sound energy when saying words such as dentist, injection, jab etc and perhaps measure them against words which are more obviously threatening with similar sound patterns like, well danger for example. You could do this with people who report no fear, those who identify as dentally phobic and also dentists themselves to see the differences and then also use the spectrograph to try different tone of voice and see how that affects the bursts of energy which could lead to conscious modification of voice to create a more soothing experience for the patient.

But then I am a geek. And a geek that missed my chance to do this and to old to go back.:dunno:

Shamrockerin, there were a few thoughts that came to mind when reading your post so I wanted to respond.


Hence, why I do not feel "in control" as a dental patient:

1. I am outnumbered from the moment I walk into the office. The dental assistant is there to assist the dentist; she's on his 'team' and I have no one on mine while I am back there. There's nothing like being outnumbered to make you feel defenseless.

This comes back to the issue discussed elsewhere about dental assistants. I am lucky that the practice I attend has a culture of letting patients get to know the assistants and I do feel that they are on my side – or at the very least, neutral in proceedings and I could easily talk to any one of them about particular fears on any given day. I actually feel like they are a kind of advocate for me. If things don’t work that way in your practice – and I have had exactly the opposite in previous experiences myself, could you have your husband or trusted friend/relative with you? I know I couldn’t allow anyone I know “in real life” to see me at the dentist so in a way have learned to take comfort in being out there on my own – I feel more in control having made that decision not to allow another team member.


2. The way the dental chair reclines so that i am lying flat on my back. i understand that this is the way modern dental chairs work and that it is more comfortable for the dentist, but lying flat on one's back certainly does not reflect a feeling of being in control.

I can only sympathise here. This is an issue with which I still struggle. Again though, the panic and loss of control does subside for me when the dentist/hygienist/assistant starts talking me through the appointment.


3. The old adage about having the "upper hand"? Well, since the dental team hovers above me, they actually DO have the upper hand! It's very easy to assert physical and mental control over someone when you are above them.

Again, this is true and I can only say that familiarity and a comforting environment where the dentist makes a point of telling me that this is my appointment and I am in control has helped me overcome this.

There are also, of course, situations where lying flat out and/or having someone standing over you can be a good and relaxing thing. I’m thinking about massages and other beauty treatments but I am sure there must be more but one you start thinking that being in this position needn’t always be a negative thing, you can make the leap to it not always being negative in every specific situation either.


4.The dentist says "Raise your hand if you feel anything". Well, this sounds great in theory, but raising hands is something that schoolchildren do. It is an action taught to them by authority figures (teachers) and subverts their agency. I can raise my hand all I want, but ultimately, the dentist has the decision to "call on me" or acknowledge my signal. Also, this illusion of control shatters incredibly easily. . .say, when a dentist tells you to raise your hand if you "feel anything" and then ignores your signal.

Perhaps this is something to discuss with your dentist. Due to some bad experiences in my past, I do not feel comfortable using a stop signal despite having utmost trust in my current dentist and my issues with this have similar roots to what you mention. Instead I have a system where I ask my dentist to stop at regular intervals, before the treatment has begun so the onus is not on me to have to raise my hand or worry about the signal being ignored or upsetting the dentist. Yes, it still puts the authority on him but in asking it to be done this way at an early stage and seeing my wishes respected, I still feel in control and it is a system with which I am much more comfortable.


5. Dentists have titles: I always call my dentist Dr. S----- out of respect and politeness, and I can only imagine the amount of work and sacrifice it takes to achieve that title. However, the fact that dentists have titles while their patients (like me) do not, highlights the nature of the power relationship and implies Marxist assumptions relating to education and intelligence.

I have been discussing this recently with not a dentist but a medical doctor. Both this doctor and my dentist go by first names and it took me a while to get used to that but it does certainly level the playing field to some extent. Of course other people do not like this and take comfort in titles, feeling that this emphasises the clinician’s professionalism or perhaps they don’t want to “humanise” the clinician, preferring what happens in that office to be a separate world from real life where people have names. You could, however, insist on being called by your own title (Mrs/Ms/Miss/etc) just to put in some additional power/distance if you would feel more comfortable.

On a personal note, I’m only 33 but hate it when people just call me by my first name without asking first. It makes me actually tell them, “it’s Mrs… if you please”. I’m such a fuddy duddy but no matter if I am in a bank, shop, sports centre, doctor’s office… I like to be asked if it is okay to use my first name before just jumping in there. :mad::mad::mad:
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,865
On a pmithersonal note, I’m only 33 but hate it when people just call me by my first name without asking first. It makes me actually tell them, “it’s Mrs… if you please”. I’m such a fuddy duddy but no matter if I am in a bank, shop, sports centre, doctor’s office… I like to be asked if it is okay to use my first name before just jumping in there. :mad::mad::mad:

I think in a world where the CEO of a multinational company is supposed to be addressed by his first name by employees, you are indeed a fuddy duddy lol to feel that way and it would be much better all round to just drop the (professional) distance.
I am much older and the only time I find it unnatural to call people I interact with by their first name (and they me) is the kids' teachers - however their old schools were very first namey and I now find it rankles if letters from school are not signed off e.g. John Smith Headteacher but rather Mr J Smith Headteacher. It is an issue because kids still use courtesy titles to teachers but really when writing to parents I think the first name should be used.
My new NHS GP and private dental practices in UK use first names all round. I think that is the trend and I fully support it.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,583
NOT HELPFUL...


  1. When laying the chair back (which I absolutely dread), saying either "I'm just going to drop you back" or "I'm just going to put you back". When things are dropped, they break and it's a bad thing. "Put you back" implies that the dentist is in control of the situation, when really it should be a two-way thing. Even worse than that though, is laying the chair back without any warning. That is guaranteed to send me into panic, so some sort of comment or acknowledgment is needed; better choices include "Let's lay you back" or "Let's lie you back and have a look" (examples I've heard before).

Forgot about this...my current dentist has a VERY, VERY bad habit of reclining the chair without warning and it often sets me off! Sometimes she will tip it back during conversation with me without acknowledging it or while I'm talking to the assistant...I think maybe she thinks the conversation is distracting me. However, no matter how interesting or engaging the conversation may be, I'm always going to take notice of the fact that my head is sliding towards the floor! :o She also has a habit of lowering it midway to start off...and then lowering it again further back during treatment without warning. I think I have come around to her doing that and I probably just expect it as it doesn't bother me as much as it used to but warnings are appreciated.


HELPFUL...


  1. During parts of treatment that may potentially be uncomfortable or unpleasant (which for me includes any injections, drilling, x-rays or impression taking), plenty of praise makes a difference. Simple comments such as "Well done" and "You're doing really well", especially if I'm trembling like a leaf or very anxious, can make me feel slightly less of an idiot whilst I'm in the chair. Any praise has to be genuinely meant though; you can tell a lot from a person's tone of voice.
  2. A previous dentist a few years ago, if he saw that I was getting more anxious or starting to panic, would say "Well done... Nice and relaxed..." in a very calming voice and I don't know why, but it really did have a calming effect. Tone of voice is everything though. If you're trying to help soothe or calm someone, your tone of voice needs to match the state you're trying to help them achieve i.e. calm, clear and softly spoken. During hypnotherapy training (a few years ago now! :p), we were taught that when hypnotising someone, particularly if the person is anxious, the tone of voice that you should use is something similar to the way you would read a calming bedtime story to a small child. Obviously, any use of child like language with an adult patient is a no-no though!

Praise helps and it also helps to know how much longer I have to endure being there. Sometimes my dentist will countdown in percentage so I know how much is left to go i.e. "We are about [25/50/75/80]% of the way through now, you're doing great!" Or "I just have to do x, y and z now and that's it!". Sometimes it is just helpful to be reminded that you are not stuck in that situation eternally and the end is coming soon-ish.

Agreed with the tone of voice. My dentist is a master at tone of voice. She does something with her voice when she is reassuring me about a sensation coming up that just makes me exhale and all of the stress and tension leaves my body. She says things very slowly, calmly, and clearly and somewhat softly with a rising then falling pitch. She also sounds very sincere and her body language matches by moving very slowly, calmly, and confidently.
 
Aldridge

Aldridge

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
347
The first thing our school clinic dentist said to me, when I stopped for a moment to take everything in, was "Hurry up and get in the chair. I haven't got all day." And it all went downhill from there. Why people like that work with children still baffles me.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,000
Forgot about this...my current dentist has a VERY, VERY bad habit of reclining the chair without warning and it often sets me off! Sometimes she will tip it back during conversation with me without acknowledging it or while I'm talking to the assistant...I think maybe she thinks the conversation is distracting me. However, no matter how interesting or engaging the conversation may be, I'm always going to take notice of the fact that my head is sliding towards the floor! :o

I think they sometimes just forget, especially seeing as it's a normal part of their working day and something that they do several times a day, every day. On the other hand, for their patient it's not an everyday thing and for me, whether I get any warning or it just happens, it always sends me into a panic. Some sort of acknowledgment of what's about to happen or what is happening, although it doesn't change things, does sort of help (for me anyway :p). It acknowledges that they know it's something that I'm not comfortable with, which then helps me to feel slightly less of an idiot when the panic kicks in (if that makes any sort of sense at all!). No amount of conversation will distract me enough that I won't notice the chair moving... especially if there's that awful loud beep noise when they press the buttons! :o


Praise helps and it also helps to know how much longer I have to endure being there. Sometimes my dentist will countdown in percentage so I know how much is left to go i.e. "We are about [25/50/75/80]% of the way through now, you're doing great!" Or "I just have to do x, y and z now and that's it!". Sometimes it is just helpful to be reminded that you are not stuck in that situation eternally and the end is coming soon-ish.

Knowing how much longer it'll last can be a real help for me too. It helps to put things into perspective and means that there's an end point in sight. I think because you can't see what's happening in your mouth, you've got no idea how long certain parts of treatment will last if it's something that you haven't experienced before. Unless it's something that you're familiar with, you've got no idea how long you could be in the chair and it's easy to perceive appointments as lasting a lot longer than they actually do.

Something else I've found really helpful is if the treatment is broken up into stages, so for example, instead of completing all the drilling in one go (or even stopping half way through), it's done in smaller chunks of a few seconds or a couple of minutes. That way, you only half to cope with things a bit at a time, it's not too overwhelming and you know it's not too long until the next break. It's even more helpful if the dentist counts down to the next break (if you're working in seconds... could get a bit tedious if the poor dentist is having to count down to breaks every five minutes! :giggle:) as it's a way of them also acknowledging that they will stop for you to have a break and not just carry on.
There's more information about rest breaks and counting here:


Agreed with the tone of voice. My dentist is a master at tone of voice. She does something with her voice when she is reassuring me about a sensation coming up that just makes me exhale and all of the stress and tension leaves my body. She says things very slowly, calmly, and clearly and somewhat softly with a rising then falling pitch. She also sounds very sincere and her body language matches by moving very slowly, calmly, and confidently.

Tone of voice and body language are so important for me, I think maybe because the dentist I saw when I was younger was very threatening, not just through the words he used, but also in his tone of voice and body language. Appointments were like stepping on egg shells because I never knew what he would do next. The result is that I'm now constantly on the watch out for any small changes in their tone of voice that could mean something bad or unpleasant is about to happen or that they're about to turn nasty. Any sudden movements usually cause me to become more anxious as do sudden changes in tone or volume when the dentist is speaking. I can remember one appointment a few years ago, when I was sat up in the chair and the dentist was sat behind me talking. He was about to take a couple of x-rays and so stood up really quickly and the next thing I knew, he was stood in front of me. All I knew was that one second he was behind the chair and the next he'd appeared unexpectedly in front of me and was stood over me. I went :terror:and shot out of the chair and over to the corner of the room! I don't know who looked more surprised, me or the dentist! :p If only he'd talked calmly and told me what he was going to do without any sudden and unexpected moves, I'd have been OK :redface:.

I'm not sure whether being a hypnotherapist helps or hinders in this respect, because in therapy, we analyse our client's body language, tone of voice, choice of words etc, in order to work with them more effectively. You'd be surprised how many people say one thing and their body language says something different altogether and the same is true of dentists sometimes.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,000
The first thing our school clinic dentist said to me, when I stopped for a moment to take everything in, was "Hurry up and get in the chair. I haven't got all day." And it all went downhill from there. Why people like that work with children still baffles me.

I'm not sure why they work with children either as they obviously don't have the level of patience, empathy and understanding required. The trouble is that I don't think they realise the problems that sort of approach can cause, even years down the line.

If I went to a dental appointment and my dentist said that to me, I'd be out of there and off down the road in a flash... especially as I usually dither in the doorway (with the door open for a fast escape!) and try and avoid getting in the chair until the last possible minute :giggle:.
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
Shamrockerin, there were a few thoughts that came to mind when reading your post so I wanted to respond.

This comes back to the issue discussed elsewhere about dental assistants. I am lucky that the practice I attend has a culture of letting patients get to know the assistants and I do feel that they are on my side – or at the very least, neutral in proceedings and I could easily talk to any one of them about particular fears on any given day.

One of the reasons I feel out outnumbered is imply b/c of their attire. They're both wearing scrubs. I cannot even stand seeing people in scrubs b/c I hate being reminded of all things medical/dental. In general, the assistant at my practice does exactly that: she assists the dentist. I've never felt comfortable enough with her to discuss the main reasons for my fear; instead I have written my letters to the dentist himself. I also hated it when she made little jokes, but yesterday she didn't, and she waited until after everything was over to inquire about my recent wedding. This was much more comfortable for me, and I think she could tell b/c I opened right up and asked if she'd like to see my pictures.

I can only sympathise here. This is an issue with which I still struggle. Again though, the panic and loss of control does subside for me when the dentist/hygienist/assistant starts talking me through the appointment.

I hate lying on back. I don't sleep on my back and I do not find the position comfortable at all. I usually have my music on, so a running commentary from the dentist isn't really practical, but I like it when he "checks in" and asks me if I'm ok during the course of the appointment.


There are also, of course, situations where lying flat out and/or having someone standing over you can be a good and relaxing thing. I’m thinking about massages and other beauty treatments but I am sure there must be more but one you start thinking that being in this position needn’t always be a negative thing, you can make the leap to it not always being negative in every specific situation either.

This must be a personal thing for me. I feel self-conscious getting massages, and even a little weird getting a pedicure (only had one once before). I get incredibly annoyed when my husband reads over my shoulder- I guess i just dislike the feeling of having people hover above me.


Perhaps this is something to discuss with your dentist. Due to some bad experiences in my past, I do not feel comfortable using a stop signal despite having utmost trust in my current dentist and my issues with this have similar roots to what you mention. Instead I have a system where I ask my dentist to stop at regular intervals, before the treatment has begun so the onus is not on me to have to raise my hand or worry about the signal being ignored or upsetting the dentist. Yes, it still puts the authority on him but in asking it to be done this way at an early stage and seeing my wishes respected, I still feel in control and it is a system with which I am much more comfortable.

I've never had to use the stop signal w/ my new dentist before. they remind me each appointment, I've just never done it. I used it once in my life, during my RCT as a teen, and the endodontist stopped the first time, but didn't stop the second time, so this really made me cynical.



I have been discussing this recently with not a dentist but a medical doctor. Both this doctor and my dentist go by first names and it took me a while to get used to that but it does certainly level the playing field to some extent. Of course other people do not like this and take comfort in titles, feeling that this emphasises the clinician’s professionalism or perhaps they don’t want to “humanise” the clinician, preferring what happens in that office to be a separate world from real life where people have names. You could, however, insist on being called by your own title (Mrs/Ms/Miss/etc) just to put in some additional power/distance if you would feel more comfortable.

I like being called by my name, and I do not even mind calling a doctor by his or her title. I always called my professors Professor or Doctor so-and-so unless I got permission from them to use another name. I taught college courss for a few years, and I preferred to be addresed as Professor Mawn by my students; I earned that position with my education and experieince and i just saw it as a sign of respect. I would love to earn a PhD myself someday and i would like people to call me by my appropriate title when/if I do. It's not really a problem for me, I was just making a point regarding power relationships.
 
Aldridge

Aldridge

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
347
If I went to a dental appointment and my dentist said that to me, I'd be out of there and off down the road in a flash... especially as I usually dither in the doorway (with the door open for a fast escape!) :giggle:.

You and me both! ;)
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
If I went to a dental appointment and my dentist said that to me, I'd be out of there and off down the road in a flash... especially as I usually dither in the doorway (with the door open for a fast escape!) and try and avoid getting in the chair until the last possible minute :giggle:.

You and Aldrige are not alone in this aspect. When I was little, my mom always scheduled all our appointments together. She would go back into her dentist's office, and my brother and I would be in the waiting room waiting for our dentist (pediatric) to see us. The dental hygienist would come into the waiting room and call our names, and I would always make my brother go first. I wanted to put off that dreadful moment of climbing into the chair for as long as possible.

Even now, I arrive at the office, and it takes me a minute or 2 of just standing in the hallways before I even open the door into the waiting room.
 
Aldridge

Aldridge

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
347
That's what brothers are for, lol! I feel better knowing it's not just me who dithers in the doorway!:)
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
That's what brothers are for, lol! I feel better knowing it's not just me who dithers in the doorway!:)

When I went to my new dentists intially to have him cement my crown back on, I purposely turned my music as loud as I could and sat facing away from the door to the exam rooms. When the assistant came out to call my name, I couldn't see or hear her, and the receptionist actually had to come tap me on the shoulder to get my attention.

Then, I slowly got up and slowly followed her back. The dentist was already back there, seated and ready, so I wonder how long he'd been waiting for me. he had a certain look on his face, like maybe he expected me to act that way or maybe it's happened before. I was terrified, but I was grateful because he continued to just sit. I gave him a look like "Aren't you going to start?" and he just said "I'm not going to proceed until you say so."

So I took that as a good sign.
 
G

griffinej5

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
197
I don't think my current dentist has ever referred to an injection as anything like a bee sting, but I've had doctors and nurses do that when I was busy freaking out. This just terrified me more. The last time I was stung, I was in second grade, but my finger swelled so badly I couldn't write for two days. One time my leg was stung, and it was so swollen I didn't walk for the rest of the day. I've heard this reaction can be worse over time, so in the prime bee season, I live in terror of bees, and fear the next sting being the one that kills me. I've called in to work late because I've had a bee in my car.

Sometimes, my dentist makes odd word choices that maybe are just because she's British, but I don't like them. Like the other day, she was starting with one filling and was going to continue and do another if time allowed, and I was okay with doing that. What she said though is that she would do another one if I was still happy. I told her that I was already not happy because I was there. I did like that it was going to be up to me whether or not another one got done. They weren't right next to each other, in that case she would have done both.

I do not like sarcasm. One of the supervising faculty dentists came by when I was done last time and said to me,"you survived." I wanted to punch him in the face.

I hate this same person, because he essentially told me I was being ridiculous. He basically said I just need to stop being afraid of a particular sound. I don't think I really react much to the sound anymore when it's my dentist using that instrument. She gives me a second to turn up my music really loud. Every time I saw that instrument, I'd click the volume up frantically really loud. I noticed she actually would stop for a second while I did this. I really appreciate that she could notice that.

I don't like it if they tell me I'm doing well, when I am really not. I don't like being lied to. My dentist doesn't really do that. I do like that she honestly tells me when I'm doing well.

I usually put my ear phones up really loud so I don't hear the sounds I don't like. Sometimes, I only know they are speaking to me, and not to each other because they make eye contact with me. I liked the faculty dentist last week showing me what to do using her hands. I didn't have to take out my earphones, and I didn't have to hear sounds I didn't like.

When my dentist calls me on my phone and leaves messages,I think she uses her first name, or her first and last name. It humors me, because I have her number saved and know who it is. If I go back to school and get a PhD, or, I'd still like to say when, you'd better believe I will be using the title as much as possible.
 
Last edited:
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,000
I do not like sarcasm. One of the supervising faculty dentists came by when I was done last time and said to me,"you survived." I wanted to punch him in the face.

This happened to me a few years ago when I was a patient at much larger and busier practice. The dentists there were mostly young, recently qualified and never really stayed more than 18 months or so because it was an NHS practice and was really busy. During a routine 6 month appointment with a dentist that I had seen a few times before, he decided to apply some fluoride varnish to my teeth. I don't like being in the chair at all anyway, but it's even worse when the dentist is young, fairly inexperienced, about the same age as you and thinks that you're nuts just because you're nervous.

When he'd finished applying the varnish, just before he put the chair back up, the dentist suddenly appeared at the side of the chair with a big smirk on his face because he saw that I had my eyes screwed tightly shut (as usual) and declared "You survived!". Well thank you so much. I'm already terrified and feel like an idiot laying here shaking like a leaf (so much that I usually steam the safety glasses up!) and now you've just made me feel so small that I could crawl out of the room through the gap under the door.

Once he'd put the chair back up (and I was still sat in it), he then went into the store cupboard to talk to the nurse and I quite clearly heard him say "What's wrong with her? Is *she* starting to get worse?!" Thank you Mr Dentist. 0 out of 10 for your chairside manner. I'm not sure how I managed to keep a (fairly) straight face as I just wanted to run out of there and never go back. In any other situation (when I'm not shaking like a leaf) I would've given him a very long and detailed lecture about manners, patience, understanding and interpersonal skills.

I don't like it if they tell me I'm doing well, when I am really not. I don't like being lied to. My dentist doesn't really do that. I do like that she honestly tells me when I'm doing well.

I don't like being lied to either, but if they tell me that I'm doing well (when I know that I'm not), it does at least show that they care enough to make an effort to reassure me and in a way, it does help me to feel slightly less self conscious.

When my dentist calls me on my phone and leaves messages,I think she uses her first name, or her first and last name. It humors me, because I have her number saved and know who it is. If I go back to school and get a PhD, or, I'd still like to say when, you'd better believe I will be using the title as much as possible.

:p I used to think (when I was at school) that once I'd gone to university and I had a degree, then whenever I needed to put my name on something (like a business card or something that I'd written like an article or report), I'd put my qualification letters after my name like people often do. Strangely enough, since leaving school and going to university and then doing further qualifications once I started working, I've never really used my qualification letters at all; even though I actually have quite a few now... The novelty wears off after a while. ;)
 
T

tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
906
This tops the cake. Can you imagine being terrified to death and going into a consultation with an oral surgeon for bottom wisdom extractions at age 44 and being told the following:

Everybody gets the same thing (local anesthetic) ... and refuses to top it up if I need it. :scared: Then proceeds to tell me what meds he uses in the iv ... one being in his exact words the date rape drug. :scared: Then tells me some people scream, some people cry and some people just don't remember. :faint: I was told many more things that I could hardly take in because I was so scared. All this knowing how terrified I was. I left worse off then when I got there. I can't believe I ever let this man extract my top wisdoms. And even at that time he didn't localize me good enough and I felt pain on one side and started waving my arm for him to stop and he didn't! He needs to be shut down if you ask me. Putting people under iv sedation not properly localized and let them scream it out hoping they don't remember is not right. One of these days when he needs dental work himself he might get taste of his own medicine. :mad:
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
I do not like sarcasm. One of the supervising faculty dentists came by when I was done last time and said to me,"you survived." I wanted to punch him in the face.

This is 100% understandable. I also cannot stand people, dentists or anyone else, making snide comments about my teeth or my fear. Really, what do they hope to accomplish by doing that? I am very sensitive and embarrassed about my phobia as it is, and even a comment that's not intended to be sarcastic can be interpreted as a commentary on it.

I don't like it if they tell me I'm doing well, when I am really not. I don't like being lied to. My dentist doesn't really do that. I do like that she honestly tells me when I'm doing well.

I also HATE this! I remember them saying stuff like that all the time to me when I was a kid! I'd be hyper-ventilating/crying/panicking and they'd say things like "You're OK, you're OK" or "See it's not that bad" etc. I felt like they were lying to me, because I KNOW that I was not "ok". Also, it really invalidates the patient's feelings to say things like that b/c it is basically telling them that there is no reason they should feel the way they're feeling. It drives me crazy when I see videos of kids at the dentists (that the parent filmed for some reason) and I can hear dentists saying things like that in the background when the kid is obviously scared and in distress.



When my dentist calls me on my phone and leaves messages,I think she uses her first name, or her first and last name. It humors me, because I have her number saved and know who it is. If I go back to school and get a PhD, or, I'd still like to say when, you'd better believe I will be using the title as much as possible.

You and me both!;)
 
T

tabatha7

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
906
Just want to add that of course I could not get out of his office fast enough. I talked to my general dentist about it and told him how badly that consultation went and he told me about a new oral surgeon in town. So I finally got up enough courage and called him. He was very nice and compassionate and told me he would do everything he could to keep me out of pain. I feel like he will keep his word but now I'm having trouble with trust thanks to that other os. The things I heard in his office and after everything he told me has made me much more afraid and full of anxiety than I should be. See, the damage is done. I want to encourage everyone who reads this to remember that YOU are in control. Please don't ever let anyone treat you unkindly. If you ever experience that type of thing... GET UP AND LEAVE! Some kind people on this site (ChickenJen, Kim, Carole, ect...) have taught me that you can shop around and find someone else who will do you right. Trust me, it might take some time, but there is someone out there that will not only treat you professionally but will help you through your fears. Ok, end of rant. I hope I wasn't too off topic.
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
This tops the cake. Can you imagine being terrified to death and going into a consultation with an oral surgeon for bottom wisdom extractions at age 44 and being told the following:

Everybody gets the same thing (local anesthetic) ... and refuses to top it up if I need it. :scared: Then proceeds to tell me what meds he uses in the iv ... one being in his exact words the date rape drug. :scared: Then tells me some people scream, some people cry and some people just don't remember. :faint: I was told many more things that I could hardly take in because I was so scared. All this knowing how terrified I was. I left worse off then when I got there. I can't believe I ever let this man extract my top wisdoms. And even at that time he didn't localize me good enough and I felt pain on one side and started waving my arm for him to stop and he didn't! He needs to be shut down if you ask me. Putting people under iv sedation not properly localized and let them scream it out hoping they don't remember is not right. One of these days when he needs dental work himself he might get taste of his own medicine. :mad:

I felt that way after I got my crown as a teen. I have never wished so many bad things on a person, even a dentist, before then!

I remember that she was very pregnant at the time, and I was sitting there thinking "I hope she has the most painful, horrible delivery in the world! I hope that she is crying and HER doctor tells her to stop crying b/c she is making them "feel bad""!

It amazes me how clearly I remember that episode and it was 13 years ago- I have no idea if she is still practicing or not, but if she is, I hope that no parent ever sends their child/teen to her again because she was the most unsympathetic medical professional I ever encountered.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,583
Just thought about all of the unhelpful things that were said/done as a child and thought I should add on...where should I start with this rant... :thinking:...

1) Not telling me what's going on. I may have been a child but I was still a thinking person. Tell me what you are doing, why, what it will feel like, how long it will last. I was never truly informed about my treatment until I reached my teenage years! That is too late! :( I was just expected to sit down and let them do whatever they wanted for however long. I was never talked to or asked how I was feeling during treatment or even acknowledged really other than being told to open my mouth wider.

2) Don't pretend like dental work is fun. It's really not. It can be tolerable but it's never fun. Eager attempts to try convince me otherwise are futile and will only make me more concerned about what's coming because it seems like you are trying too hard which in fact, you are.

3) This isn't directed at a specific person but more of the pediatric office I went to; do not line up all of your chairs in one big room. I don't like to be scared in front of the dentist, hygienist, and assistants let alone be on display for all of the patients there too. I don't know how that is even allowed with confidentiality issues nowadays. I see how it could be helpful to see other children calmly receiving treatment but what if they are freaking out and freak everyone else out? I don't ever remember being that child that was freaking out but my mom tells me that I was on the first appointment! :rolleyes:

On the other hand, I will say that once when I was very young and afraid of sealants they allowed me to watch another girl my age get them and explained what they were doing first so I would be less nervous about it. Probably the only really good experience I had at that office with a particularly compassionate hygienist. I guess I got lucky that day :confused:.

4) This goes along with 3...if you plan on doing all of the cleanings and sealants in one huge room, don't have a separate procedure room that is isolated for anything more serious like fillings, crowns, extractions. I knew whenever I was lead into that separate room with only one chair, things were about to go seriously downhill. Since they never or rarely explained to me what I was there for but had come to associate that room with anything worse than a cleaning, I would sit in that chair and the anxiety would immediately kick into gear.

Hmm having just said that, I just had an epiphany! :p I always get nervous right when I first enter the room and sit down and have always said that it was as if I have become conditioned to feel fear when I enter the room. Maybe all of those experiences I had with entering the isolated treatment room with only one chair has actually conditioned me to be nervous. A theory worth considering...:hmm:
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
745
Just thought about all of the unhelpful things that were said/done as a child and thought I should add on...where should I start with this rant... :thinking:...

1) Not telling me what's going on. I may have been a child but I was still a thinking person. Tell me what you are doing, why, what it will feel like, how long it will last. I was never truly informed about my treatment until I reached my teenage years! That is too late! :( I was just expected to sit down and let them do whatever they wanted for however long. I was never talked to or asked how I was feeling during treatment or even acknowledged really other than being told to open my mouth wider.

Yup. I know how that goes. As a kid, the dentist always spoke to my mom, over me as I was in the chair, but no one ever really bothered to talk to me. They didn't prepare me at all for my first anesthetic injection, which I think is a huge reason why I get so nervous about them. They never told me what they were going to do, or asked how I felt- and when I tried to speak up about pain I was feeling, I was always ignored or overruled.

I know that I am an adult now, but since I had not been to a dentist since I was a teen, I still felt/feel like a kid whenever I am in the office. I was truly shocked when my dentist first said to me that he "would not proceed until I said OK" b/c that was a first. And then when I went to get my first fillings, he said "When you're ready, I'll give you some anesthetic". I still get really surprised when he asks if it's OK for him to continue an exam, or take impressions, or whatever. . .I was just so conditioned to have them DO things and not ASK anything.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,583
Yup. I know how that goes. As a kid, the dentist always spoke to my mom, over me as I was in the chair, but no one ever really bothered to talk to me. They didn't prepare me at all for my first anesthetic injection, which I think is a huge reason why I get so nervous about them. They never told me what they were going to do, or asked how I felt- and when I tried to speak up about pain I was feeling, I was always ignored or overruled.

I know that I am an adult now, but since I had not been to a dentist since I was a teen, I still felt/feel like a kid whenever I am in the office. I was truly shocked when my dentist first said to me that he "would not proceed until I said OK" b/c that was a first. And then when I went to get my first fillings, he said "When you're ready, I'll give you some anesthetic". I still get really surprised when he asks if it's OK for him to continue an exam, or take impressions, or whatever. . .I was just so conditioned to have them DO things and not ASK anything.

My mom was never with me. My office seemed to think it was appropriate to receive dental treatment by yourself at 4 yrs old while mom was in the waiting room :confused:. Almost every dentist that I have been to has felt that way. There were maybe 2 that encouraged that parents come to the back that I can remember and it always surprised me when they offered and we never stayed at those offices very long for some reason sadly. I actually always declined the offer because I got used to doing it on my own and it seemed awkward to have her there watching me and I didn't really want her to witness how terrified I was...it was embarrassing enough to be terrified in front of the dental staff. Also, if they were willing to invite mom back, I had more trust in them not to traumatize me and immediately felt a little more comfortable with them. I can't actually remember having a painful experience, I think for me the fear is more from loss of control and not knowing what was going on. The painful experiences that I remember came later in life (pre-teen years) from horrible hygienists but I never told them I was having pain, I just dealt with it because like you, I didn't realize I had a say.

I was very surprised when my current dentist told me that I was in control and promised to stop if I wanted her to :cloud9:. On the few occasions that I have had to stop my dentist because I felt something or just got overwhelmed and needed to stop she also always said, "you let me know when you are ready to start again" and that really stood out to me because I was not used to hearing that. I'm still surprised everytime I'm even acknowledged whether she's just checking in with me to see how I feel or offering me a break or just wants to be reassuring.
 
Top