Fear of the dentist
Please go and check out my site at
My name is Philip Christie. I am a Master in Dental Science and a Master in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
I have created methods for dealing with Phobia that are based on the best in CBT and Neuroscience.
Thanks a mill, kildare is a little too far for me though.
TThis might not be of help to you but there is a fantastic dentist in Maynooth Co Kildare. Dr John Merrick is his name. I put off going to the dentist for about 15 years until I could no longer suffer the pain and had to give in. I cried in the waiting room I was so nervous. I don't know how he worked on me as I was shaking so much. Since then I've had two extractions, fillings and a root canal!! He is absolutely brilliant and I would reccomend him to anyone.
Im hoping someone may recomend a dentist in D7/9 area whos good with nervous patients
I have a lot of anxiety and fear about going to to the dentist brcause of bad experiences in the past
I have peridontal disease with two loose back teeth that need treatment
Im so ashamed that i let my teeth get into such a state but i would rather suffer pain and discomfort than go to the dentist
If anyone has any advice/dentist recomendations id appreciate hearing.
i had my tooth extracted once only when I was a child. When I think of having another extraction I am frozen with fear.
As everybody I was one of those dentalphobic, so believed in I can maintain the health of my teeth by brushing twice, flossing, mouthwash..etc. but when i was 25 I had a sudden toothache that made me run to a dentist. luckily I was in the first dentist i visited was friendly and didn't scare me at all. one of my cousin who is even more dental phobic visited a dentist in Dublin and highly recommended me going there for my future check ups, I think there is a major part in the hands of a dentist to feel the patient comfortable, be as friendly as possible and have the latest technology convince the patient first and that can reduce the pain too! because the dentist has just answered my question of how frightened i should be when i sit on that chair.
Hey Roisin First of all I would like to appreciate you for taking such a step which is very important most of the people has a fear of dentist with that fear they don't go to dentist inspite of having several dental problems.
I am a media student in DIT and I am making a documentary to highlight people's fear of the dentist. I think this is an extremely common fear and think it is important to raise awareness about the topic. I am looking to interview anyone who has a fear of the dentist. Please email me if interested - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks a mil!
Well Done Bhroin and thank you for comign back and tellign us. Glad you got on well.
Thank you so much for your kind words, it really helps to know i'm not mad for feeling the way i do!
i'm just back from dentist and thought i'd let you know how i got on! now i know i may have been slightly over-reacting thinking i needed to get teeth out! lol! but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
I only needed one filling and a clean, the dentist was really nice and talked me through what he was doing, the filling was needed in a wisdom tooth so my jaw is aching a lot from holding my mouth open for so long. even though he used a de-sensitising gel when cleaning my teeth it still was really uncomfortable and he hit my nerve a few times when doing the filling which made me jump. The most uncomfortable thing today was actually the assistant! she kept prodding the back of my mouth with that saliva sucker thing and making me gag!
thinking back, I think the main thing i was worried about today was the dentist giving out to me for not going sooner or not taking better care of my teeth (he actually said i've good oral hygeine :o) and fear of ending up like a "gummy bear"! and of course none of this happened!
i guess i'd like to pass on this to nervous patients like myself......
what you think will happen will always be far worse than what actually happens in the dentist!
Now i'm all set for another year!!!!! woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again for your kind words, this board really helped me before i went to the dentist!
I used to think it was impossible for me to go back to another dentist and I put up with so much pain for so long because of how scared I was so I do know how a lot of you are feeling. And along with the fear was the embarrassment of why I let me teeth get into such a bad way, and some of those dentists’ reactions were so disrespectful treating us like bold children and never understanding that it was another dentist who made us phobic to begin with. (Well it was in my case anyway) But it shouldn’t matter what state our teeth are in we are the paying customer and if everyone had perfect teeth they would be out of a job.
In order to first tackle my fear I started to say out loud to my husband I really need to visit a dentist soon .Then I am going to visit a dentist soon.(it was like I had to get the fear out in the open) I said it more and more till one day I just made an appointment. My husband was shocked as he knew how frightened I was, but he was very supportive and didn’t push me
Remarkable that appointment lead me to a wonderful dentist. He is an MD as well as a dentist so can administer sanitation safely. My only memory is sitting on the chair and what it seems like minutes later it was over and I was going home. I am now on my 7th visit and am happy to return and use the sedation as my nervousness only gets in the way of his work
This dentist who relieved me form my fear is on the North of Dublin and I am happy to pass on his details to anyone who needs them.
I wish you all good dental health and hope you don’t give up tying to find the kind gentle dentists out there because you deserve them and don’t be afraid to refuse to be treated by
anyone who does not give your fear the respect it deserves.
"When we know better we do better"
Hi Bhroin, good for you for making the appointment, the hardest part is the anxiety you're suffering. With regard to pain, there is absoluely no medical reason whatsoever for a patient to be in a pain the dentists chair nowadays. Let the dentist know youre nervous and if you have senstive teeth, make sure they give you plenty of local aneasthetic and if you are in any discomfort at all let them know and ensure they top up the aneasthetic if you feel you need it, for the noise some people find it helps to bring along an MP3 player tho that's not for me, as for getting all ylour teeth out - extremely remote possibility. There are all manner of saving and restoring teeth now and extractions are the exception rather than the norm.
I finally plucked up the courage to book an appointment with the dentist for wednesday.... i'm practically crying everytime i think about it!!! haven't been in about 5 years and i'm scared of not only the pain, smell, noise etc but also that he'll tell me i have to get all my teeth out or something!!!
Would you believe that although I'm not particularly fond of going to the dentist either, for the last few months I've been in touch with various people trying to get the Minsister for Health Mary Harney to change her cuts to the DTSS so that I can get the dental treatment I need. Secretly I'm delighted that the Minister is refusing me funding so that I can avoid going to the dentist. However a problem deferred is not a problem solved. And when I eventually get around to going to the dentist, the dentist may have to deal with a far serious problem than is there at the moment. At least the decision does not rest in my hand, but I'm certainly not looking forward to my next visit.
Hi after years of crippling fear of the dentist I finely found a wonderful dentist who uses sedation and a most sympathetic manner. This dentist is in the north of Dublin and if you write to me I will pass on his details. I can’t tell you how relived I am that I am now on my 5the visit to my dentist whom I trust completely. There are terrible dentist out there with no understanding of real fear. But there are also the dedicated ones who only want to ease our pain and give us something to smile with and about. Reach out and try again it will be worth it.
"When we know better we do better"
Does anyone know of a sympathetic dentist in the cork area. I haven't been to the dentist in 20 years and really need to get my teeth sorted. If you do can you email me at email@example.com.
Hi Purple, you probably have a couple of options to consider, and the appropriate one will be dictated by the extent of the autism. Many mildly autistic patients can be treated in normal fashion in the regular dental setting once they are comfortable with the dentist and the surroundings. This may require a few visits before attempting anything like a filling, as pushing ahead too quickly will only lead to panic.
If there is no feasible chance of him being treated in the normal surgery setting, this is one situation where drugs may be indicated, either mild sedation, or on rare occasions, even general anaesthesia. I assume that you are in contact with the autistic support groups etc, and I would suggest that you discuss the situation with them, and look for recommendations from their experiences with the dental profession.
Hope that helps, and sorry that I can be no more specific.
Hi purple, have you thought maybe about getting a mild sedative or relaxant for you son. It helps so many people altho I know thayt maybe he faces extra challenges on account of autism. As well maybe if you go with him, into the room it might help. Would it be worth enquiring about dentists who are good with nervous patients but as well as that, have experience in helping patients with autism or similar types of challenges. Is there an autism assosciate who could provie information on something like that?
my son hates the denisit, he has autism and he is 20. everytime he goes to the dentist and he has to have a filing he goes mad.
I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one- every time I think of making an appointment with the dentist I nearly vomit! When I was 12 I had to get 2 fillings and the wonderful dentist drilled the wrong tooth but never filled it-I got my 2 fillings, both of which fell out within a few weeks and so I was left with 3 teeth with holes needing filled. Needless to say I never told my parents about the pain I was in until 4 years later I developed a large abscess that made me look like popeye- 1 week in hosp, IV antibiotics, surgery to lance the abscess later and I was landed in the dentist's chair yet again, a different nice one tho- he removed 2 of the offending teeth and done some other work including a root canal, but the damage was done- I'm terrified now, I need to go back but cant bring myself too!!! I suppose I should be thankful for the high tolerance to pain that I have developed since!!!
Hi everyone ,I am in much the same boat as most of you here.I am a very nervous dental patient. Im never so bad when actually in the dental chair .But its the thoughts of it that prevents me from going .I even have to get d hubby to make the appointment for me .I think im making myself worse and worse spending all this time looking up on internet ..I need to just get this done ! Im looking for a dentist who is understang of people with fears,is non judgemental,doesnt lecture ,and gives lots of painkiller ! Is this too much to ask?Oh and takes the few minutes to listen ...and not madly expensive!! I would be so very grateful of any email with a recommendation of a dentist who fits this description or even if any kind understanding dentist takes the time to email me I would be very appreciative too.I need you:-0))!!! m not sure if anyone can be recommended on this site??I know that cant be done on some forums .Thanks in advance and good luck to others in a similar predicament to me . I am in north wicklow but dont mind travelling to a great dentist !! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, l am a dentist for the last 27 years and l work almost exclusively with children. l have used both hypnosis and nitrous oxide [inhalation sedation] techniques in the past. As someone has already pointed out, both of these are extremely time consuming procedures, and over my years of experiance I have come to realise that it is the time factor that is the important one in releiving anxiety in most patients, not the drugs or additional techniques used, ie if you spend the same amount of time talking to patients and reassuring them as you do inducting gas or hypnosis, then it works just as well. There was a time when every dentist worth their salt had a big bottle of valium syrup in the surgery and anxious patients were given a spoon of it to help calm them, of course those days are long gone and rightly so, but at the time it was acceptable and indeed whilst probably over used, it probably did have it's place. Dentists all use very similar equipment, procedures, local anaesthetic, filling materials, what does differ from dentist to dentist is their ability to communicate and empathise, it is worth looking around for the type of dentist that suits your needs, ask family and friends and remember before "downing" a dentist for their aparent lack of talking skills that some patients [more than you might think !] prefer to get in get the work done and get out again as quickly as possible with the minimum of chat. As with everything else in life, horses for courses !!!!!
Indeed I am extremely surprised Dez, I suppose like most people what would be offputting for me is that fact that there does not seem to be any documented science behind hypnosis as an alternative to anaesthetic - the fact that it may not work, in which case a person can have aneasthetic instead - or far far worse, will stop working mid-procedure!!, whereas local anaesthetic works every time and has been proven to do so and can be topped up as the patient needs it.Pearldental, I would be far more likely to opt for your method, conventional treatment but combined with hynotherapy to combat fear. The tension relief massage I could probably do with - I am always as stiff as a board at my - it must be said, very gentle and patient dentist. IV sedation to be honest makes me feel nervous too - something to do with me feeling that I am not in control! That said, I have never had to have wisdom tooth removal. The anxiety/ fear management technique I use (I cannot take notrous oxide at all) seems to be be telling myself I will get a valium for my nerves - then opting not to have the valium once there . . . and then telling myself I can get a valium next time!! Very unscientific :-). That siad, I have a dentist who is very good with nervous patients, gives me all the options, and explains everything to me as he goes along, takes plenty of time, checks I am comfortable.
Hi Anonymous, much as I would suggest that you are probably being a little over pedantic and technical in your posts, you are obviously correct in your statements. However, in my experience we use the hypnotherapist alongside conventional local anaesthesia, and not instead of, and the aim is to help the patient reach a comfortable state whereby the needle/ injection is not an issue, and treatment can proceed in a normal manner.
There are scientific papers documenting the use of hypnotherapy alone as pain relief for procedures as invasive as dental implant placement, but I personally feel that this is not realistic for most people in normal dental surgery environments and time constraints.
Hypnotherapy is simply a possible technique that may make an otherwise desperately anxious and fearful patient more capable of dealing with the whole dental experience, and others that we use include accupuncture and tension relief massage. None of these is suitable for everyone, but for many patients we are able to manage their fear/ anxiety without recourse to sedation, which is generally our least preferred option.
Our aim is simply to make dental treatment as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, which is also the aim of this thread, and I would have no specific preference as to the anxiety/ fear management technique used, as long as we are able to find the appropriate one for each patient that requires some kind of help to cope with the experience.
You would be highly surprised. A well known surgeon used nothing but hypnosis as an anaesthetic for years on major and minor surgeries. Its more of a preferential thing though. Some people much prefer the medical route and some prefer the alternative route. I'm just giving the information to people to make their own mind up. Most people wouldnt be aware of what Professional Hypnotherapists can do and wouldnt be aware that Hypnosis can be used as an anaesthetic. I have had clients use hypnosis successfully to get over their fears or anxieties about seeing the dentist as much as I have prepared clients for surgery, dentistry and for going into labour under hypnosis. There are plenty of documented cases all over the internet for anyone to see.
Like I say, I'm only giving out the information. Make up your own mind!
Hi Dez, serious side effects from local anaesthetic are rare in the very extreme altho there are a significant minority who experience side effects from nitrous oxide and they may prefer local aneasethetic - which is of course totally safe. For those with a fear of injection - which is altogether different from an allergy, they may prefer the alternative of nitrous oxide or IV sedation. For those who experience discomfort from injections, topical aneasthetic I have always found provides great relief.
However, much an all as many dislike needles, for those with a fear of the dentist the thought of hypnosis with no aneasthetic at all is far more likely to send them screaming terrorised in the other direction with the intention of never seeking treatment again.
When I made reference to allergies to needles what I meant was that some people have a reaction or side effects to the anaesthetic itself. There are also those who just would rather not use it if there was another alternative. It is quite rare but in these instances you cant put off treatment because of a fear of needles, fear of the dentist or because of a small reaction that you may or may not suffer from.
The fear of the needle, fear of the dentist or anxiety about treatment can all be reduced or eliminated by the use of Ethical Hypnotherapy and where an alternative to the needle is sought, Hypnosis can and has been used as an anaesthetic for small and major operations without the need for any other anaesthetic.
Due to visit this week urgh.....
You know you're an adult when you're more afraid of the bill than the procedures though lol.
I havent been for about two years and I know I will need a lot of work. I think the worst part (aside from the really high bills) are the injections that go into your gum oh dear God I have a huge fear of those. I know its better than NOT having your mouth numbed but still. Sometimes with the dentist its not even the pain its the funny sensations - scraping, digging, drilling eugh..... Cannot WAIT for the weekend now when it will all be over!
Hi iknow.imgood, well done on making the decision to to get yourself smiling, and don't worry, everything is possible, whatever age you may be.
Braces can be of many different types, and some can be placed in such a way that they cannot be seen. In truth, the conventional braces that are visible are often the cheapest, simplest and quickest option, and most people will now give you credit for doing something to improve the teeth, as opposed to laughing or criticising, and adult braces are becoming very commonplace now. I am not an orthodontist, and without sending you for an assessment, it is difficult to advise as to cost, but they will usually need 18 months at least to correct significant crowded or crooked teeth.
As for Root canal, it is unlikely, based on the symptoms you're describing, that you need a root canal anyway, but even if you do, root canal should be entirely pain free, as long as the dentist is suitably trained and experienced in this complex procedure, but your first step should be to get yourself in to a dentist that you are comfortable with, and find out exactly what needs doing. From there we can work out how to get you where you want to be, and by the sound of things, I don't envisage you being difficult to work with, as having a goal, and the motivation to achieve it, will, in my experience, ensure that you get there.
To The Dez- you are quite right, and you will see earlier posts of mine relating to treatment with hypnotherapy, which can be a hugely successful treatment option to overcome serious dental phobia, and we have certainly seen very successful results working with this treatment option.
For all of you out there with a fear of us dentists- there is an answer for all of you, and it is well worth the effort to find your answer and achieve optimum dental health, as the long term benefits are considerable.
Cheers all, p
Dez, be very careful with the use of the term "allergy to needles". Where a patient is allergic to sterislied surgical steel (so rare as to be clinically undocumented) is vastrly different to a pateint having an aversion to or fear of injections. The fear, surely, could equally be overcome by hypnotherapy (or other therapies).
Let me just provide an alternative solution to the problem. I am a Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist. I'm not here to advertise myself or anything like that but there is an alternative. Any good registered Hypno-Psychotherapist could help you to eliminate your fear of the dentist altogether. I have helped many people in this situation. They also provide a means of naturally controlling pain during any operation or procedures for anyone who has an allergy to the needles. I dont know where you are based but there is a directory of properly Trained Hypnotherapists on the following website. You could try ringing one of your local ones and talking to them. It wont cost you to ask for information.
Hope this helps. All the best
Marie ,can you send me the name of the dentist ,i would totally appreciate it .Thanks .My email is email@example.com
Hi Pearldental or someone in the know?!
I have a huge fear of the dentist which is starting to bother me greatly. i need work done and its time being 36 now. I want to get braces on my teeth to correct an overbite, from sucking my thumb as a child to teenage years. I have spent all of my adult life avoiding smiling and life is too short to let this go on any longer. I have good shaped teeth, with no gaps just an overbite but i am so self conscious of them, i nearly avoid speaking so that people dont see them. I would love to know if its too late for me to get braces and can i get ones that aren't tracks? How long will i need to leave them in if i get the courage to get them in. How much would i be looking to need to save?
ANother things- i have a crack in my top molar and it is cold sensitive as confirmed by a dental nurse friend doing an x-ray. It has a filling in it too. Would i need a root canal on this or can it be saved with a new filling and a repair to the crack? I could face a filling and repair but the thoughts of a root canal just freaks me out. No amount of sedation would help me i dont think??? Please advise and i cant wait to hear from all these knowledgeable people that write here. Thanks
Hi Sarah, I was reading your comments re. dentist and you said you had received details of a dentist who provides IV from Ciara. Is it possible that you could email me those details because I would never attend a dentist if IV is not an option but I'm finding it impossible to find anyone who provides it. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much...
i really do understand what u are saying ..i have tried many dentist,s..did get used to one went every two weeks ..had tooth removed four fillings teeth cleaned..but three fillings fell out after three wks..could not go back dont know if it was dentist bad work or my teeth..did bring my 16yr old with an infection in his gums..dentist wanted him back to remove a tooth..but brought him to a different dentist who did root canal and saved his tooth..so i wont be going to him again..have recived the name and number of a dentist from this site via email tks again ciara..have made appointment for tue ..pain gone was an infection but will come back.just knowing there is the option of gas/iv really helps i know i will get to the stage where i wont need either..but first time i will..
tks again all..will let u know how i get on and maybe help someone as bad as me...
Hi all, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one out there with this fear! I still haven't done anything because I just can't. But I just have to thank the person who gave me the name of a dentist in Bray who provides the IV injection. If I can't get anyone nearer to me here in North Dublin, I'm going for it! Thank you everyone for making me feel less like a coward!
Good to be back, as it's a while since I was last posting here!
Sarah first- if you haven't been to the dentist yet, then you must have some pain threshold, as there is little worse than a full blown tooth ache. Gi is right- the dentist is far more important than the drugs you take to make you comfortable in the dental environment, and if you read back through some of my earlier posts, you will find plenty on methods and techniques we use to manage extremely nervous or phobic patients, and find that nearly everyone is able to manage the dental experience if they are given sufficient support and understanding. You really need to get on to one of us as soon as possible to get the toothache looked after, and you can get some advice on the options available at that stage. Don't suffer more than you need to, and if you find that you don't like the dentist- find another one!
Kate- speech is determined by many factors, and the tip position of the upper front teeth is one of the most important factors. If the lisp is occasional and minimal, I would give things time to settle and see if the lisp disappears. If it is more persistent, I would head back to the dentist and discuss with him/her, as we sometimes have to reposition the teeth if the problem is sufficiently bothersome, but you will need to discuss with your own dentist to assess the situation and the options available.
Hope that helps, and mail back if you require more information,
Just saw your comments, I am a dental nurse for last 10yrs and we see soooo many nervous patients everyday so i kinda understand how you feel. Sarah i am not in Dublin so i cant recommend anyone but i feel so sorry for you going thro. so much pain, unfortunately not many dentists give general anaesthetic but some do give sedation (either thro. iv or gas) where you are aware of what is going on but much more relaxed than just with local anaesthetic. Have you ever tried getting some valium off your doctor? We would recommend that for very nervous patients but i believe the most important part is how the dentist and their staff treat you and put you at ease, they need to be very sympathetic and patient with you and talk you thro. each step this needs to be done right from your phone call with the receptionist to the dental nurse and then the dentist because if you are comfortable with everyone you will trust them and this will give you the courage to get the treatment done. I hope you find the courage to go to the dentist as there is nothing worse than a toothache plus if there is an infection and its left untreated it can get into your bloodstream and will require hospitalisation. Best of luck.
Kate a cobalt chrome denture is much easier to wear than a plastic and more hygienic and stream lined. Like all dentures we tell patients there is a beding in period of about 6 wks but some patients it can take a couple of months before they are fully comfortable with them. For speech we recommend talking as much as possible so the tongue (which is a muscle) can get used to the denture, remember the mouth wasnt designed to have something in it so it takes time and a lot of perseverance. Dentists err on the side of dentures been tighter rather than loose so they can adjust them (ease) if they are hurting, dont be afraid to return to your dentist if you are not quite happy some patients need to return several times for adjusting before its right. You have paid good money for this and the dentist bears this in mind besides as a dental nurse i love when patients return for adjusting as it gives us extra time to sterilize!!
just read ur comments..i at this minute am in so much pain i would sooner give birth than go to the dentist..have spent all weekend taking pain killer after pain killer.with christmas coming up i have so much to do ..dont want to be in this state all over the christmas ..whild horses would not drag me there no matter what.if anyone has the name of a dentist that would knock me out or make me completely stupid.please please please could u email me living in north email@example.com.
I am wondering if anyone can give me advice on speech and dentures. I am wearing my second denture a cobalt chrome one which my dentist advised to be much more confortable and easier to wear but like my earlier plastic denture still have some problems with my speech and have seemed to develop a slight lisp every so often. Is there anything that can be done to erradicate this or do I have to put up with it. I would appreciate any advice please.