fear of the dentist

Canada
March 23, 2007 6:02pm CST
Are you afraid of the dentist, or do you breeze through the treatments no matter what type of procedure is necessary? What is your all time worst experience at the dentist ever? Just yesterday, I had to go for a root canal, which was quite an ordeal. I have a very competent female dentist, who does her utmost to make her patients feel secure and comfortable. Unfortunately, I still need extensive work done on my teeth, and find I don't tolerate the whole experience as well as I did when I was younger. My worst ever dental treatment was many years ago now, when I left work one day to go and have a wisdom tooth extracted. The dentist sent me back to the office (telling me it was okay to take a bus), without any pain meds. By the time I arrived, the freezing was wearing off, and I was in tremendous pain, I was shaking, and felt like I was going to pass out. I ended up laying down for awhile, and then getting a drive home. Thankfully dentistry has come a long way since those days. Those were also the days when the dentist didn't wear gloves or masks. Hard to believe in this day and age.
13 people like this
50 responses
@simplysue (631)
• United States
23 Mar 07
My worst dental experience was as a small child, maybe six or seven years old. I had an abscess tooth and a cold. I coughed while the dentist was working on me and he slapped me in the face. My mother was in the waiting room HMMMMMMMMM wonder why he didn't let her in the room with us. Anyway he left a handprint and when I told my Mom what happened she was livid and told everyone she knew about what he did so they wouldn't take their children to him or go to him themselves. I was 34 years old when I finally got over my fear of the dentist. LOL I have a descent one now.
4 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
That's a terrible thing for a dentist to do to a small child. Your mother was certainly right in telling people about what happened. In this day and age, no dentist would get away with something like that, and he'd likely lose his license.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39929)
• Canada
24 Mar 07
I am not really afraid of the dentist, I just don't like to go there or any doctor for that matter. I have no money to pay for seeing the doctor and I haven't seen one in years.
3 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I know that here in canada we do have to pay for our dentist unless we have a plan of some kind but we are able to go to the doctor without cost unless we need a prescription or something like that or it is a specialist doctor. You really should see a medical doctor for a checkup because it is much better if things are caught early... I have not been to a dentist in over ten years and it is because of the money aspect as I do not have a plan and I am sure I will pay for it one day but I have no choice at this point as my special needs son takes presedence. I do hope you can see a medical doctor soon though even though I do understand the financial aspect of things! :)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I agree with heavenschild. I believe that you're from Montreal, and I live in Ontario, so I guess that tells me that the healthcare isn't the same in your province. If not, are there any free clinics in your area? I mean medical clinics, as I don't believe dentists do that type of thing. Although I don't 'like' to go to any type of Dr./dentist, I know it's important for me to have medical checkups etc. I think you and I may be of a similar age, and am genuinely concerned for your well-being. Hope you can find a way to work this situation out.
1 person likes this
• Brazil
24 Mar 07
The first thing is choose a professional dentist or someone that you trust or simply know! The other thing is talk to him after but dont ask he the type of the procedure this just make you hav more and more fear. The other, is think about your life while the dentist make some things in your teeths. And to finish, pray! I have fear of dentist and i believe that a big part of the world too! Unfortunally, about this we canĀ“t do nothing. Good luck to all dentist clients!
3 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
Choice of a dentist is very important for sure. I 'try' to relax, and think about various things while I'm in the dentist's chair. I also pray, which is a really good thing to do too. You're right, it's hard to overcome our fears sometimes.
1 person likes this
24 Mar 07
Many years ago I worked as a dental nurse/chairside assistant so I was fully aware of what treatments were being given. I was also aware of the terminology used, so when I got to my dentist I can usually tell him what is wrong and where too. I am not exactly scared of going, more just aware of what is going to happen. The worst was a long time back now, when I needed root canal work and the injections I was given didn't take. I told the dentist that it hadn't worked and that I could feel everything but he continued with the treatment, despite my screaming.
3 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
Having worked as a dental assistant would be an advantage for sure. The day I went for my recent root canal the freezing didn't take, and when I told her, the dentist gave me more, so that I'd be frozen for sure. Even so, I could feel some of what she was doing slightly, but it wasn't unbearable, so I didn't mention it, because I didn't want anymore needles. Again, there's no excuse for your dentist to behave the way he did.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Mar 07
I absolutely hate the dentist. I had a fear of them that started as a child when an incompetent dentist tried to fit a brace that obviously wasn't going to fit. She tried every which way while I laid there crying with the pain and gagging every few minutes. It took her 15 minutes to realize that she'd gotten the wrong brace. Since then I've never liked dentists. Just last year, I got a tooth infection that was absolutely KILLING me. We needed to get an emergency appointment and I was less than looking forward to it. We managed to get one and so we went and I have to say it's the first time I've felt at ease with a dentist. He was very kind gentle and patient with me as he explained that not only was my tooth infected, the nerve was dying. I was given antibiotics and went back the week after for my tooth removing. It wasn't a pleasant experience but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be.
3 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
Yet another example of a dentist handling a situation badly because they're treating a child. I assume this happened to you a number of years ago, as I'd like to think things have improved greatly today, and that 'no' dentist would behave that way with 'any' patient. I'm glad you've been able to overcome your fear somewhat.
1 person likes this
23 Mar 07
I have a terrible admission to make. I've not been to a dentist in 30 years - I still have (most) of my teeth and I clean and floss daily...but I am terrified of the dentist. Part of it was because of that movie, Marathon Man - where poor old Dustin Hoffman gets some impromptu dental attention from Laurence Olivier - but most of my fear comes from soem treatment I had as a teenager. I used to play rugby at school, and got kicked in the face. I lost one tooth and my dentist unfortunately made a mess of another tooth, resulting in me having root treatment, getting abcesses and all sorts of stuff. It was painful, scary, painful again and generally unpleasant. And it's scared me off of dentists. I guess sooner or later I'll have to make a return trip - I just hope they have a large hammer when the time comes.
3 people like this
@Riptide (2762)
• United States
24 Mar 07
I rather like the hammer idea. I think I will brng one along myself when I have to go and ask someone to knock me out. The only way I could sit through a dentist session, would be in an unconcious state lol.
1 person likes this
@nic24uk (571)
23 Mar 07
i went to see my dentist last week to have my veneers taken off as im having new ones fitted. i have to say it was the worst experience ive ever had at the dentist. he injected me right at the top of my mouth and my eyes were streaming it was that painfull. i left there shaking lol
3 people like this
@TriciaW (2442)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Yes I am afraid of the dentist. My worst was once when the dentist insisted I had to have a root canal. He knew of my fear so he gave me a relaxer to take before I got there which was great. However afterwards I developed an awful infection which caused my face to swell and I ended up with a black eye. It looked like someone had beat me up big time. I ended up having to go to a paridontist (sp) who told me I should never had a root canal done on that tooth. He had to put a pocket in my cheek to drain the infection out which I had to go back many times for him to change it out. I was in so much pain and looked so bad for a long time. I really really hate dentists.
3 people like this
• Canada
23 Mar 07
I'm not really afraid of the dentist but I really do not like going to the dentist. I hate the smell and don't like being confined to such a small area. My worst experience was when I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist kept giving me needles in my gums but they weren't going numb. Finally, after three needles, it felt numb enough so he started to pull it out. Halfway through the procedure the freezing wore off. The dentist had his hand in my mouth and the pliers gripped to my tooth and didn't want to stop to give me more freezing so he asked if he could just yank the tooth out. The pain was so intense!!!! The next day my mouth was still swollen, I thought it was because he pulled it without freezing the whole thing but the next day half my face looked like a chipmunk. It had infected. It was Friday and the office was so busy, they said they didn't have time to look at me until Monday. I was in SO MUCH PAIN!!! My mom got on the phone and started yelling at them and finally the saw me and wrote a prescription to get rid of the infection. I haven't been to the dentist since.
3 people like this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
24 Mar 07
I've always hated the dentist. When I was young (I have weak teeth) I was always getting a filling and at first he did not use freezing. I have had my wisdom teeth so impacted that I had to be put under to remove them, but the worse experience is the dreaded root canal and that freezing going into the bone. It hurt like the dickens and those tiny little colored needles, having your jaw wide open (I have a small mouth and smaller teeth) I cannot tell you what hurt the most. Oh I have three crowns to look forward to and having to find dental insurance that I can afford that will let me get dental impacts for my missing teeth.
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I remember the days when dentists didn't always use freezing, and we were just expected to 'grin' and bear it. Not good. The wisdom tooth that I had pulled the time I was sent back to work on the bus, was also impacted. It really was a dreadful experience. I agree that root canals can be terrible too, and I hate those little coloured needles. I'm supposed to have a crown put in too, on one of my teeth, and like you, I have no dental insurance. My dentist is giving a 20% discount to me because of this, but still, it's extremely costly, and is the main reason I've neglected going, and therefore, am having so many problems with my teeth now.
@sweetsue (759)
• Philippines
24 Mar 07
Oh my God, I hope I won't be going the same situation with yours. You know I've been struggling with my wisdom tooth too and I'm planning to have it extracted this monday. I'm actually not worried or scared over this stuff not until I read your post. In a way, I'm being skeptical to have it extracted instead. But in any case, I think I'll gonna have to or else I might I'll have to endure this pain. Wish me luck!
• Canada
26 Mar 07
Sorry sweetsue, I didn't mean to scare anybody, but just thought it might be an interesting topic, seeing that it was on my mind, and I'd just been through the treatment. I hope you've decided to go ahead with your appointment, and that everything went well for you.
@Naomi17 (624)
24 Mar 07
I never got over as a child being gassed it was like dying although the dreams i had while out were about fairies lol Next time i went i bit the dentist! I still hate going most recent expeience was having a back tooth pulled because my wisdom teeth had regrown it was awful i came out looking worse than when i had my wisdom teeth out! My face was swollen and blacl for 4 weeks tried anica but it still took 4 weeks. Tooth pain is the worst and i always dread going!
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I've never had gas, so can't relate to it, but it doesn't sound very pleasant to me. Your saying that you bit the dentist reminds me of an experience I had when I was a teenager. The dentist (the same one that sent me back to work in terrible condition that other time)had my mouth crammed full of gauze, and I kept feeling like I was choking. His 'gloveless' hand was in my mouth, and I kept gagging, and accidentally closed it, biting down on his finger. He got 'very' angry, and yelled at me, screaming that I'd just bit him. I couldn't help it, and he should've taken his hand out, and given me a break, when he saw that I was having a problem.
@rishi24 (27)
• India
24 Mar 07
hi! i can understand ur problem but its depend on the doctor that how he or she is dealing with u. by the way i m also a dentist but could u understand the pain of a dentist who is bending doing the work in ur mouth. yes i agree ur comment that its very difficult to tolerate the treatment of uf a dentist but its benificial to u becuase the from which ur suffring may be painful to u but u have not done the that treatment the pain that will cause lot of problem to u it stol ur sweatr sleep during night cant work in ur office just because of ur tooth pain as u r saying that recently u have gone the RCT treatment could u know what is the importance of rct. my dear she havent done ur rct than u will be suffring from unbearable pain
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I appreciate your comments as a dentist, and I agree that dentists work very hard to help a lot of people. I'm sure you (dentists) suffer too, from long hours and having to deal with so many different types of patients. This wasn't my first root canal, and I actually believe it's number 3 for me, and I knew as soon as I heard it was necessary for me, that I'd have to have it done. I also knew that if it was left untreated I'd be suffering the way you said. I'm pretty much a 'model patient,' even though I may not like any type of medical or dental treatment, I don't make a fuss, unless the dentist or dr. is doing something that I know is out of line, and the pain is absolutely unbearable from the test or treatment.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 07
I still have my wisdom teeth and refuse their removal unless its really necessary. I dont know about the dentists around here. But back home we had a "gental dentist" and she wasnt so nice. She was upset at all my fillings (15 total currently) cause I didnt go to the dentist at all growing up. NOT my fault my mom never took me! I had a root canal too UGH. Last year I lost a filling when chewing on some taffy it got stuck. So the dentist decided a cap was better a really costly thing. Now i'm stuck paying for it month $80 a month for that and a bridge! GGGRRRR So now I DO NOT LIKE THE DENTIST. Not even for a cleaning and stuff. If I got more cavatites I choose to not go more than I gotta. However, when I have kids I will defently take them at an early age and make sure they dont end up like me! My dad has bad teeth, I think I inherited it from him cause my mom and sister dont have bad teeth at all!
2 people like this
• United States
24 Mar 07
I am terrified of the Dentist! I have only had 1 cavity in my life, but everytime I do to to the dentist, I almost get anxeity attacks!! Its crazy! I have not gone to the Dentist in like 3 years! I have bad teeth to monkeywriter, it runs in my family. My grandmom on my moms side, had to get all her teeth replaced.
2 people like this
@coolcatzz (1589)
• Canada
24 Mar 07
Many many people are afraid of the dentist. I for one am not but I have had the same dentist for 10 years now and I trust her completely. She knows me and knows which areas are sensitive in my mouth and she is just the best. My kids love her too.
2 people like this
@nasaxo (41)
• Taiwan
24 Mar 07
looked the dentist is the very terrorist experience, that the surgerychair which executes to resemble,these ice-cold pliers,the chisel,cancel...adds on these high speed to spray water,the air nozzle,but also has that electric drill ...always most terrorist looked the destist,is pulls out the wisdom tooth.
2 people like this
• India
24 Mar 07
yeah iam afraid of the dentist. Not only the dentist but all other specialists who give treatment which are involved woith pain....
2 people like this
@sharone74 (4839)
• United States
24 Mar 07
I have had several root canals. If this was your first, unfortunately I have some bad news for you. In a few year the tooth will disentigrate and come out anyway. The really awful part is that due to the root canal until it gets seriously infected enough to affect the teeth around it you will continue blithely on until it "MAKES IT'S PRESENCE KNOWN!" in no uncertain terms either. I too am a fearful dental patient. Not just on one but two levels. Being uninsured I am fearful yes of the pain. However I have a very high tolerance for pain anyway. The second level is due to being uninsured the pain in my wallet is longer lasting and more detrimental to my well-being! Or at least my psychological health is rocked by it!
• India
24 Mar 07
Helo dear, well I want to visit one for a regular check-up of my teeth but havn't done that. The last time I visited was some 10-12 years ago when some of my milk-teeth wern't falling and I was already getting new teeth around them. So I had to remove a couple of them. The experience was fine, he ijected me and patiently removed them. The only thing I didn't like was the taste of the solution he applied, that was too pungent and I got irritated with that. I went home and did brush my teeth 2-3 times to get rid of the smell, but still some remained.
2 people like this
• India
24 Mar 07
I am not afraid of any treatment except for dental.....i dont know y but its freaks me out......
2 people like this