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 Prevent Myself from Gagging?
16th August 2016

Hey. The last 4 or 5 times I've been to the dentist, I've had a gagging problem that has prevented me from getting fillings and tooth decay removed. I now have black spots on my wisdom teeth and am worried. Last time I went, they tried putting a filling in and I used an anaesthetic spray but had no luck. Also I tried breathing through my nose and it didn't work. Any tips on how to prevent me from gagging? It normally starts when something is touching the back of my tongue. Do you know if the dentist can drill a hole into my tooth and not put anything in my mouth and put a filling in to it?

A. The answer to your last question is no. However, it might be that you need IV sedation to ...

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Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Can I Have My Abscess Drained in a Hospital?
16th August 2016

Hi. I have had a large abscess for 4 weeks now, under a back tooth. 3 sets of antibiotics have done nothing apart from reduce the facial swelling. I usually pay for IV sedation but I don't even feel this is an option as I am just terrified now after issues with this tooth. Can I ask to be referred to hospital to have the abscess drained and the tooth pulled under general anaesthetic? Thanks. 

A. If you have an abscess, then the antibiotics will only have taken down the acute infection...

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Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Get All My Teeth Replaced with Dentures?
8th August 2016

Hi. I'm 20 and most of my teeth are healthy but some are not. I want them all gone and in their place dentures.  How would I go about this?

A. Firstly, please assess why you want to get rid of your teeth, including the healthy ones? ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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I Have Amelogenesis Imperfecta. Could I Get Implants on the NHS?
29th July 2016

Both my son and I have amelogenesis imperfecta. Is it at all possible do you know, to have dental implants through our NHS please? Thank you.

A. Hello.This is a difficult one. I assume you have a dentist who looks after you both? I ass...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Effective is Hypnotherapy for Dental Phobia?
30th June 2016

Hello, I am an A-level student conducting research into dental phobias. I do not understand what hypnotherapy is and how it can be used to treat dental phobia. How effective is this method of treatment? Thank you very much.

A. I suggest you look at the website of a chap called Mike Gow. He is a dentist in Glasgow wh...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Can I Be Put To Sleep For An Extraction?
30th June 2016

So I've had to have a small needle before when I've had fillings and I still cried at this as I was so nervous. Now my dentist says I need to have a tooth out because it's pushing under another tooth. He says it will be very painful until I have it out. It hasn't been painful for months but today I woke up and my gums around the tooth were inflamed and it hurts and throbs. I'm so nervous about getting it out, like I'm 15, and started crying before I ran out last time. Would I be able to be put to sleep? This is really scary for me and I want to cry when I think about it. Thanks.

A. Hello. It sounds as if you may have an infection.You could ask to be referred to a facilit...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Find a Dentist Who Won’t Judge Me?
30th June 2016

Hi there, I am 20 years old and have a bad phobia and anxiety about visiting the dentist. The last time I went to the dentist was years ago as I would always refuse as a child due to being scared. My teeth are in a bad way and I am so ashamed. It has completely knocked my confidence and I only have myself to blame for this! My front teeth aren't so bad, although I hate the appearance of them and they will probably still need some work. However my back teeth are pretty bad, have lost one tooth completely and two others are broken. Others will require work too. The thought of going to see a dentist or telling any close friends or family about my teeth makes me feel terribly sick, scared and very embarrassed. I live in South East London and am looking for some advice on how to find a dentist who won't judge or petrify me! And how do I overcome this fear? I want to like my smile and be able to laugh without worrying what my teeth look like. Thanks.

A. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this way. I think the first step might be to have a look...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Overcome My Phobia?
9th June 2016

Dear Dr Pinder, I have multiple teeth missing and rotten broken teeth still present. I can't bring myself to attend a dentist, I haven't been for over 20 years. The fear and embarrassment is overwhelming.What do you advise please?

A. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation. It sounds as if you would really like to d...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What is Causing the Pain in my Mouth?
9th June 2016

I have pain that moves across different teeth on one side of my mouth, but it is not constant. I started using Sensodyne toothpaste not long ago and wondered whether it was connected. I also have a blocked ear on the same side and have read that it may be connected with sinus problems. I can't get into the dentist for another 2 weeks and am concerned it's something more.

A. It needs a dentist to have a look. Did you start using Sensodyne because of sensitivity? I...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Is It Normal For My Tooth to Feel Like This After an Apicoectomy?
6th June 2016

Hi Jenny.  I had an apicoectomy mid April. All felt well and my gum healed. 3 weeks after, my tooth started to feel heavy and it has a slight burning feeling which comes and goes, but I feel it most days at the moment. It seems to irritate the root canal next to it when this starts. My dentist couldn't find anything wrong with the root canal, and feels that apicoectomy takes a long time to settle. I am getting anxious about the whole thing, is it normal to have this feeling in the tooth and this activity to the other teeth? Please help. My teeth are all crowned, root canal treated etc. But I always visit the dentist and clean thoroughly as I also have controlled gum disease.

A. Hello. It's not really possible to give you an answer here as I don't know the circumstanc...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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