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Can My Treatment be Carried Out Under General Anaesthetic?

Hi, I would like some help if possible and advice. OK long story, I have really bad teeth and I have been to a dentist. I went twice to explain how bad this is for me, to even walk in there, and that I’m really scared to have people over me and doing things that I cannot control – I have severe panic attacks. Well I went back for the 3rd time. I’m scared to death of needles, I told them with any type of needles I will go really dizzy as I go into a panic attack and collapse or be sick. I have severe mental health issues as well. He numbed inside the top of my mouth, I went really dizzy and told them I didn’t feel well well, then said I felt sick twice, then the 3rd I said I’m going to be sick. Well I ended up being sick in the little sink that is to rinse your mouth, it was that or on myself or the floor. he was really rude with me from then on. I felt better after being sick and he went ahead and removed all the decay and deep cleaned my teeth. I asked him to stop 4 times as I felt like I could not breathe, my gums and nose were all numb and I was panicking in the chair, my partner could tell by the way I was moving my legs. After he deep cleaned the top of my mouth he said to me that I need to start acting like an adult. I was really upset – it was like he was calling me a child. I explained at 2 appointments that this is really hard for me. I have been sexual abused since I was a child and having someone over me doing things I can’t control sends me in to panic. I have to go back in 2 weeks and have the lower teeth deep cleaned and then have root canal treatment. I don’t think I can do this. Is there any way I can make them send me to have the work done while I’m asleep etc.? I don’t have any money and am on the NHS only but I know I really need this fixing, but I don’t think I can cope with the way he was yesterday with me.
I’m currently waiting for the hospital to take 5 teeth out as they can’t be saved, but he said he can save the rest of my top teeth. My bottom teeth are OK, just 3 need removing and a deep clean with little fillings but the top teeth have hardly any enamel and I need root canal treatment, then I don’t know what he’s going to do to replace the lost enamel. He said that it will be a very long process but I don’t think I can deal with the long process awake and to deal with all the needles etc. Help me please.

Your story has really touched me.
Did you tell the dentist that you had these deep psychological traumas and that you had been a victim of abuse? Many dentists have no experience of patients with this, and of course if they don’t know about it, they can’t help you deal with all the issues that arise for a survivor having dental care.
I’m not making excuses for the dentist but time is very limited in NHS dentistry and it sounds as if you need extra time to help you cope with the treatment.
I treat some people, of both genders, who have been abused, and they have trusted me enough to share their difficulties about having dental care (there is no need for them to go into detail about their abuse).
I think that you may qualify as a patient with ‘special needs’. The Community Dental Service might be the best place for you to seek treatment. They have more time and patience to help people like yourself. It might also be possible for your dentist to refer you to an NHS sedation facility for treatment. Hospitals usually only do extractions under sedation.
I’m not sure if you are female, but perhaps a female dentist might be better for you? But whoever is treating you needs to know the reason you are finding it so difficult to have treatment. I hope this helps a bit, Jenny.

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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