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Fear of dentist

(70 Posts)
Sheena Fri 01-Nov-19 19:57:17

I changed last year from my dentist as I hated going and had lost confidence in her. So I changed and went to a small private practice and my initial appointment went ok until she told me I had to have a tooth out. I had lost a bit of filling and thought she would patch me up ,but no... the tooth had to come out . Very traumatic as I said.. I have a complete phobia but I got through it. Took a long time to heal and ulcerated quite badly but in the end it healed. Then in June I went back as getting twinges with hot and cold in another tooth ... she said the whole filling had to come out and a new one in .. an hour.s appointment ... o m g I was terrified but yes , I got through it. BUT .. it is far worse than it was .. she put a composite filling in which feels horrid and rough .. and heavens ! The hot and cold sensations are far worse.... I am trying to hang on and not go back but it is misery ... and I now feel I’ve lost faith in her too. I thought going to a private one would give me more confidence, which it did at first, but each time I’ve seen her I’ve gone through agonies. Ok , maybe my teeth are now starting to deteriorate ... but I feel nervous to go back to her. My common sense tells me I am being foolish , but oh, I now worry I need to find another dentist . Don’t know what to do .

Sparklefizz Fri 01-Nov-19 20:05:39

Find another dentist!! There are good and bad in both NHS and private dentistry.

You have done really well to cope with this when you have a phobia, but you deserve better. You're not being foolish.

I have had my share of rotten dentists in the past, but my present dentist is really lovely - very gentle - talks to me all the time about what he's doing ("This will make a high pitched sound", "I am just going to ....") and I have followed him from another practice rather than have to find someone else.

Your composite filling shouldn't feel "rough" for a start and as you are already paying for dentistry, I hope it won't be too hard to find someone else.

Sheena Fri 01-Nov-19 20:18:07

Thanks Sparklefizz .. trouble is.. finding another one. Yes there are loads around and I have asked on local community f/b groups but everyone recommends so many different ones it's hard to know who to try. Oh dear !!

WOODMOUSE49 Fri 01-Nov-19 20:24:43

I pay for private dentistry. Hard decision but necessary as there are now very few NHS dentist in Cornwall.

The practice I am with has a dentist who has been treating phobic patients for many years. He is a now a dental phobia certified dentist. He and one other there offer all forms of sedation.

Keep looking in area for one of these.

NanaandGrampy Fri 01-Nov-19 21:33:07

Is there somewhere that dentists who are phobia certified are listed?

GagaJo Fri 01-Nov-19 21:43:19

Some dentists are good with nervous patients and some aren't. I had a WONDERFULLY calming NHS dentist. My current one is private and isn't anywhere near as good. It's so hit and miss.

I'm horrific at the dentists. Flying too. I feel for you.

SirChenjin Fri 01-Nov-19 22:24:11

I sympathise - dental phobia is a terrible thing. I’m now with a brilliant dentist who is extremely patient and understanding. I have a check up every few months so that any issues can be picked up at an early stage and the practice has invested in this needle free/drill free kit so I was able to have a filling without the usual terror and panic.

I would suggest finding another dentist ASAP. Go and meet them first and talk through your fears to see what they can offer. Good luck flowerssmile

BlueBelle Sat 02-Nov-19 05:10:32

I completely understand I too have a real fear
I had over the last few years a few treatments with a variety of dentists that were coming and going from my practice eventually got a a Greek man who I liked I needed a very complex extraction with a tooth that had a ball on the end instead of a tapered point it needed my bone shaving he was wonderful worked slowly and carefully I healed very quickly he was amazed as it was a big and rather unusual job
This year I trot along for my check up to find he has left and I was given a rather unfriendly lady who had a cursory look suggested she COULD fill a tooth that has given me no trouble what so ever and could make me a plate for some missing back teeth I politely declined and she lost all interest in me I was out the chair in about two minutes paid my money and went away a disappointed lady as I feel I m back to square one with my confidence

Davida1968 Sat 02-Nov-19 09:24:07

So sorry to hear about this, Sheena. I still have a bit of a dentist phobia, from the awful dentistry of my childhood. But for the last 25 years or so, I've been at a wonderful NHS dental practice, where the treatment could not be better. (There are patients who have moved away but who still who travel over 50 miles each way to this practice, because it is so good.) I do urge you to keep asking around to find if anyone knows of a good NHS practice. (Many of these will have waiting-lists but you might find it worthwhile to get onto such a list.) In the meantime, I urge you to change your (private) dentist - you really should not have to pay for shoddy work and a dentist who has you feeling so anxious.

pce612 Sat 02-Nov-19 09:28:24

I am dentist phobic - not frightened of dentists but of what they do.
The best solution (for me) is to have an intravenous sedative, knocks me out and I can't remember anything after.
Luckily, here in Inverness your dentist can refer you to the specialist dental unit at a local hospital which only treat 'difficult' (phobic) patients. Still have to pay for it but it is worth it.

pen50 Sat 02-Nov-19 09:29:36

I don't have dental phobia but when I moved to my current city the first dentist I tried was horrid; charged me and arm and a leg whilst telling me off as though I were ten. The hygienist was rough and unpleasant too. I endured two visits and then changed to my current practice where they're all lovely and the charges are about 50% of what the first lot extracted from my wallet. Both are private; there's not much NHS round here.

RosesAreRed21 Sat 02-Nov-19 09:30:32

I really do feel for you. My daughter is 40 and has the most awful phobia of the dentist - all began when she was 4 and the school dentist did a filling on her in a mobile unit in the school grounds - I couldn’t go in with her (those there the days eh) and the fear started from there. She will do anything and everything to avoid the dentist

silverscarlett Sat 02-Nov-19 09:35:49

I was a dental nurse all my working life and I hope I can offer you some reassurance. Firstly, you must go back and tell your dentist that your filling is rough to the’s a simple thing to fix, it just needs to be smoothed and polished which will take a very short time. The dentist will use a polishing attachment on the slow speed drill, so nothing scary. The sensitivity needs to be addressed as it is not going to go away on it’s own. If the decay in the tooth was very deep ( your dentist will know this) then it could require a thicker lining under the composite filling to insulate the nerve from temperature changes. The dentist may X-ray the tooth to see what’s happening. The important thing is to return to the same dentist as she knows exactly what the initial problem was, and importantly you have already paid for the treatment and any further work which may require doing to stop your pain should not result in any further cost to you. Going to another dentist will mean he has no record of what has been done, and you will be required to pay for any work deemed necessary. Dental phobia is very common and most dentists offer treatment under light sedation if deemed necessary.

Paperbackwriter Sat 02-Nov-19 09:42:42

WOODMOUSE49 Is your Cornwall dentist the lovely Chris in Perranporth by any chance? I go to him (even though I mostly live in SW London!) entirely because he understands that some of us wimps favour IV sedation. I think, Sheena, you would be an ideal candidate for this. It is expensive but I couldn't be without it!

Disgruntled Sat 02-Nov-19 09:55:02

I used to be very scared of going to the dentist, until I started oil pulling, some years ago. It's an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which you swish oil (olive or coconut) round in your mouth for about ten minutes, then spit it into a bin. It collects the bacteria and gets rid of them. I used have gum problems, pockets - ugh. My dentist noticed a difference and told me to keep going and I've not needed a filling since. If I ever get tooth ache I just swish longer. Just do something else while you're doing it, though, or you'll gag. And make sure nobody makes you laugh....

jenni123 Sat 02-Nov-19 10:00:34

I am dental phobic. I can only get to the dentist if I have had toothache for weeks/months and cannot stand the pain anymore. If I am in my home and have to phone the dentist I am a quivering wreck, literally, I pick up the phone and put it down again many times, by the time I have dialled the number I am shaking, crying and in a real state. i wish I wasn't like this, I have not been to a dentist for probably 35-40 years, even the thought makes me shake.

Musicgirl Sat 02-Nov-19 10:00:35

Dentistry has come on such a long way in recent years and thankfully most dentists are starting to understand the very real fears that so many people have. When you think of our age group, people mostly in their fifties, sixties and seventies, and the awful treatments of the fifties, sixties and seventies, it is not surprising that so many people are frightened of dentists. I am reasonably lucky and my teeth are ok (average for year) but I sometimes wish we could have some of the stickers that children have after a dental checkup, one saying "I have been a brave girl at the dentist" because sometimes we jolly well have to be!

WOODMOUSE49 Sat 02-Nov-19 10:04:36

Hello Paperbackwriter.

The dentist is at Carriage Works, `Lostwithiel.

NannaandGrandpa I don't think there is a register but will ask when I next go.

Shandy3 Sat 02-Nov-19 10:08:43

Look into hypnotherapy.
Whilst I don't have a dental phobia. I had an uncontrollable gagging reflex. So any implement that touched the back of my mouth set ut off.
I tried hypnotherapy and was pleasantly surprised with the results. My dentist thought I'd had a wonder drug, having put up with my gagging reflex for years I haven't gagged once since!
Once we have phobias/reactions to things we programme our brains to expect exactly the same next time. So we continue to get the same outcome.
Hypnotherapy reprogrammed our brain in a way we are unable to ourselves.
Good luck for the future

4allweknow Sat 02-Nov-19 11:01:56

An hour appointment for a filling is very long. Did you perhaps gave root canal treatment? If so the filling you have could be temporary and will feel rough. Again a root treatment can leave a tooth very sensitive but it will settle after the final treatment is completed and a permanent filling inserted. If this isn't the case, you seem unlucky with your choices. Can anyone recommend a dentist for you and even go along with you for a first appointment and if you need treatment until you feel comfortable. Perhaps your dentist is clearing up work that should have been done by the previous one.

JaneJudge Sat 02-Nov-19 11:41:54

Google dentists that are good with dental phobias in my area and forums and all sorts will come up. It's really not uncommon and I do wonder how all the good, nice dentists feel about the ones who are rough

PatriciaH Sat 02-Nov-19 11:44:48

I’m sorry you have had this experience. I retired this year after 42 yrs as a dental hygienist. I would say the composite filling should not feel rough and it should be very easy to polish it. Teeth that were sensitive before a filling can sometimes take a while to settle down. If you feel you can go back you should give the dentist a chance to polish it. If you have lost all confidence then maybe find someone else. Where do you live? I may be able to recommend.

25Avalon Sat 02-Nov-19 11:46:37

I sympathise and emphasise entirely. I was terrified of the dentist after a bad childhood experience. Then I had a wonderful NHS dentist for 20 years which helped enormously. He retired and sold the practise to a successive range of young newly qualified dentists in whom I developed little faith - one filling kept falling out time and time again. I was thinking of changing practices when the practice was sold to an Asian dentist who had qualified at the School of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He was absolutely wonderful. That filling is still there after 10years plus and all the other work he did is intact. He then went. 2 more dentists and the latest dentist just seems to be interested in money and I have no great confidence in his skills. So I have left and am looking for another dentist.

Like you I have asked locally but still cannot find a recommendation I feel is right. I want an experienced dentist because at my age I have had a lot of dentistry work done and I need someone who is more than competent, plus I need someone to put me at ease. So I understand your predicament. I have left my dentist practice after 40 years and now looking for someone else. I can't answer your question only echo what do we do? Can we have experienced dentist clinics for oldies?

Sparklefizz Sat 02-Nov-19 11:52:27

Sheena and for anyone who lives in the Bristol - Bath area, my dental practice is fab. All 4 dentists there are lovely and caring and gentle. PM me if you want to try them.

Parklife1 Sat 02-Nov-19 11:59:30

We had a dentist we were happy with for many years and then we moved. We carried on going back for a while, but it was a three hour round trip, so not really practical.

We hunted around and found an NHS dentist, but after one visit, I knew I wouldn’t go back. Moved to another NHS one and went several times. She took out one tooth, fitted a single false tooth, which I don’t wear, because the edge of the plate hurts my gums and caused a hole in the tooth next to it. She did a filling which fell out after a couple of months and then redid it. By then, I’d lost confidence in her too.

There are no other dentists who provide NHS care, so I’ve ended up with a private one. It has taken him and the hygienist eighteen months to sort out my teeth.

I think it’s a real shame that, it seems as though you have to pay for private treatment in order to get good dental care.