dental care


Dental Ignorance

Still a lot of dentist ignorance sadly : Over the last 10 years I have tried a number of techniques to help my phobia, caused by a bad dental experience in my early teens with a local anaesthetic wearing off before fillings were completed. In my 30s I started to advise dentists of my fears and found that a number of them said they were very sympathetic and would deal with that, only to carry on apparently as normal once I was in the dentist's chair. As a result, my anxiety grew to a phobia. I have been blessed to find a wonderful, understanding dentist who gauges his approach based on how I am that day.

I have mainly oral sedation dentistry and have now been able to get my mouth somewhat back to normal. Following root canal under sedation at my own dentist last year, I have developed complications and had to consult an endodontist, something I couldn't have done without several years of sympathetic care. At every stage of the process, even from the first telephone call, I warned the practice I have a phobia and it was best not to undertake any treatment without an anxiolytic and/or nitrous. Staff were all sympathetic. As far as the chair I was assured nothing would happen that day, just an x-ray.

In comes the endodontist, clearly either ignores or could care less about everything I'd said and after looking at my x-ray and listening to me picks up a drill and starts to adjust the bite on the crown I have over the previous (and apparently infected) root canal. It was not extremely painful, but it was uncomfortable and the whole experience was uncaring and everything about dentistry I have come to hate and fear. I sobbed throughout the process, as I become very helpless and scared when anxious. The practice (and apparently no endodontist practice locally) do not have facilities for sedation beyond a triazolam tablet, nitrous and getting on with it.

I am going to go ahead with treatment because of the pain I have but in my heart I know this is probably my last visit to any dentist for many years. I am having panic attacks and vomiting frequently. I write this in the vain hope that some dental professionals will realise that they have to take some responsibility for this and adjust their attitudes.

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