Expert Answers

We know how daunting dental treatment can be. Our Dental Phobia certified experts are here to help ease your mind before treatment by answering your questions.

How Can I Get Through Root Canal Treatment with Dental Phobia?
4th November 2016

I suffer from dental phobia but am able to cope by going regularly and can cope with routine fillings and short appointment. However, I need a re-treatment for root canal, which I have been told takes 2 hours. I struggled with the one hour appointment when the tooth was originally done and got very panicky half way through. I don't know how to cope with this length of time and presume it cant be broken down into more manageable times. The alternative is to have the tooth out, which I am more terrified about. I am so worried about feeling faint and panicky during the procedure.

A. It might be able to be done in two visits rather than one, but it really depends on the co...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What Can You Do To Help Patients with Dental Phobia?
31st October 2016

Hi, I'm wondering if you can help me with a few things? I have a phobia of the dentist and haven't been in a very long time and I am starting to lose teeth. What do you do to help people like me? And what are the prices please of a consultation? Do you put people to sleep if they need teeth removing? I had a horrible experience with a dentist where I needed a top tooth removing and they left half of it stuck in, so it's rotting and swollen. My pain is out of this world but I am so scared to come again and have something like this happen again. I am that terrified that I have done two fillings myself. Please help me.

A. Well the good thing is that you are asking for help. I am based in the City of London and ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Get Over My Fear of Bristles?
27th October 2016

I have spent the last 22 years avoiding brushing my teeth because (as strange as this sounds) the sound of the bristles touching my teeth turns me into a cringing mess, to the point where I go completely weak and even my legs want to give in from underneath me. Even the adverts on TV have the same effect and as a result I cannot teach my daughter to brush her teeth and to be honest, I would not like to show her how it makes me feel in case she starts to copy me. For years I kept it to myself and ignored my teeth and tried not to show them in public out of embarrassment. Obviously this couldn't go on forever and being 29 now my teeth are so bad that most are not far past saving. I've just been having them removed one by one by emergency dentists as they start to cause pain. It's got to the point my teeth are so far gone and I'm running out of teeth, so I'm going to need dentures to replace all the teeth so I can actually eat. Also, my dentist keeps telling me I need to start brushing them, otherwise the work he is doing is pointless. It's been years since I tried talking about my phobia of bristles, as I felt that I would feel and look rather stupid trying to explain this to him and have got to the point where I really need to address this issue once and for all, before I have to drink my meals. Any advice you could give would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

A. The issues here are in two parts .The first is that you think that all your teeth need to ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Is it Normal to Feel Pain After a Root Canal Procedure?
25th October 2016

I am currently in the middle of root canal. It has been cleaned and washed out with bleach solution. I am still getting some pain, although it's nowhere near as bad as before, from the tooth and am terrified that I have an abscess and it's going to spread. I feel so scared I'm making myself feel sick. Is it normal to still get some pain? The dentist has said it's complicated because the root is curved and I may need a specialist if he can't fix it.

A. Yes, you can get some pain still but it should diminish. You need to ask your dentist and ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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If I Need to Have Teeth Removed, Can They Be Replaced?
22nd October 2016

I appear to have receding gums, which is now affecting appearance of my teeth. It now hurts and my gums appear to bleed in certain areas when brushing and also the gums inflame. I have no idea what my dentist can do for me and I haven't been in years. I'm really worried and scared that nothing can be done. I'm only 19 going on 20 and I'm scared that some if not all my teeth would need to be removed. If they do, can I have implants or replacements?

A. Don't even start thinking about implants or replacements! You need to see a dentist as it...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What are the best techniques to deal with dental claustrophobia/invasiveness?
17th October 2016

What are the best techniques to deal with dental claustrophobia/invasiveness?

A. I'll try to answer but your question is a bit vague. I wonder why you are asking. I th...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Will I Have to Go Without Teeth During Treatment?
15th October 2016

I have a dreadful fear of the dentist. My mouth is an absolute disgrace. I have none of my own teeth on the top, and the denture plate I have is over 33 years old. When I first had it fitted around what teeth were still in place, over the years the teeth that were left have one by one dropped out or I have pulled them out myself. The plate has had a couple of teeth broken off, it is so uncomfortable now as it don't fit. My bottom teeth well I only have 7 of my own left, all the others hav one by one fallen out or I've pulled them out, 2 of them are in an absolutely diabolical state and need removing along with the other 5 teeth. I would need full upper and lower dentures but I can't even walk into a dentist! I am coming into some money and would really love to eat proper food and smile again. My mouth the way it is I don't smile. I have trouble eating and simply am so ashamed of my mouth. Can I be sedated or something and would I at any time have to go toothless for a period of time? Or could I have dentures fitted as soon as the other teeth are removed? Could you give me a rough idea of cost? I realise until you've seen the mess that is my mouth you can't give me a definitive price. Thank you.

A. Hello. I'm sorry to hear that your fear is great and is holding you back from doing wha...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Get Over My Dental Phobia?
7th October 2016

I have long been a sufferer from a seemingly ridiculous acute phobia of dental work. On the few occasions I have recently plucked up the courage to sit in a dentist chair (and only due to extreme pain) I have taken the antibiotics prescribed and not gone back for the necessary work. This is deeply distressing and I can't really explain why I can't bring myself to go back.Is there anything you can do to help with my phobia and anxiety related to having much needed dental work done? The thought of even walking into a dentist fills me with dread and my heart rate begins to increase and I start sweating! Anyway, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

A. Hello. It's not uncommon for people with dental fear to go when in pain, then opt out of f...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Should I Get a Second Opinion About Dry Socket?
7th October 2016

Hi, I had a tooth extracted on Friday, which was the worst experience I've ever had. However, I'm now in far more pain than prior to having the tooth removed. I'm taking painkillers every 3 hours and not sleeping at night as it is so severe. I went back yesterday as the pain is so unbearable, where the dentist informed me that I now had "dry socket" and will take an additional 15-20 days to heal. Can I move to a dentist elsewhere and seek a second opinion, as she has been no help whatsoever and I can't continue to suffer like this. I also think she has disturbed one of my top teeth, as the pain is at the top of the mouth too.

A. I will try to give you some tips on how to manage this. If the extraction was difficult, t...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Why Do So Many People Have Dental Phobia?
29th September 2016

Hello, Thank you for taking your time to read my questions. I just wanted to get an expert's opinion on some questions I have about dental phobia. My questions are 1) Why do you think so many people have dental phobia/what are the main causes? 2)What training is being given to dentists to help the problem? 3) How do you think the media affects the perception of dentists? 4)What do you think are the best solutions to the problem?  Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing from you.

A. Hi, I am not sure whether you are a phobic patient or not? These questions have answers wh...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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