How Can I Get Past My Dental Phobia?
11th April 2016

I am terrified, just writing this to you is make my heart thump, but I need to do something. The last time I visited the dentist was in 1976 and whilst I was wary then, I really didn't have the fear I have now. A colleague and I were going through similar procedures (different dentist) at the same time and unfortunately she died under anaesthetic. Now I know that this was an extreme case, however over the years my phobia has just increased and unfortunately I have recently suffered depression where I haven't been caring for myself at all well. I am a sensible person really and I can't get past this awful, awful feeling, embarrassment too, how stupid I feel etc. How can I get past this please?

A. I think that you would come into the category of a very severe dental phobic. That has nothing to do with the sensible person you are in the rest of your life The incident with your friend was a severe trauma and is perhaps not surprisingly it has left a deep and abiding memory, which has prevented you from having any dental care. But what to do next? If you haven't been to the dentist in 40 years, its likely that something will have to be done. The first thing is to find out what that might be. It may be that you need help from a CBT psychologist and your doctor may be able to refer you  so that you can get started. If you join Anxiety UK, they have access to low cost services which can be accessed face to face or by phone. I hope this helps, Jenny.

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Get Past My Dental Phobia?
26th November 2015

Due to several dreadful experiences with dentists, I am now in the position, at the age of 57, of being so embarrassed and scared of the dentist that I do not know how to get past this. I am not scared of the treatment it is more scared of what someone would say when they see inside my mouth and that how someone could have let her teeth get into this state. I cannot smile as I have a tooth missing, which would be obvious were I to do so, and I have several teeth that are broken and crowns have fallen off.

A. It is not your fault that your teeth are not good. Dental phobia can be an awful thing that makes people avoid the dentist until things get tough, such as missing teeth. But embarrassment and shame are within yourself, and this is a hurdle that you need to overcome if you are to get any help. The way you feel is very common amongst the patients I see. The person who you choose to see is there to help you and not judge you, they will have seen many things before, not everyone has perfect teeth. Look for a possible dentist on www.dentalfearcentral.org, where other people have gone through the same fear and shame as you, and you could benefit from what others share. Hope this helps,  Jenny. 

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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