I Have a Phobia of Brushing Teeth, What are my Treatment Options?
7th March 2016

Hello. I have a phobia of the actual process of brushing teeth (it's the sound the brush makes) as soon as I brush my teeth or hear others brushing theirs (even on the TV) I'm violently sick. Due to this, my teeth are in a bad way. Recently, I went to the dentist in pain and nervous - I avoid going if I can - he looked at 1 tooth which happens to be one of the front ones and decided to rip it out there and then. My problem is he is very reserved at trying to help me and even suggested I should just get on and not worry about having no teeth. Even after I asked if it was possible for a replacement he didn't give me a straight answer. Is it best just to keep going back and asking? I'm NHS and exempt from payment, will this go against me getting help with my issue?

A. Hello there your phobia is quite unusual . You really need to get an overall treatment plan for your teeth so that replacement teeth can be explored. If you have lots of problems, then it might not be possible to give you anything without addressing at least some of the other problems. It sounds as if the dentist sorted out your emergency but may not have had time to do a more in-depth plan including replacement teeth. It often takes longer to help people with phobias of any sort as you need more talking time. The fact you are on benefits should not be a factor. If a dentist takes you on as a patient, they have to provide all needed treatment that you are willing to have. However, that may not include anything more than a denture. The phobia that you have means that your teeth will continue to decline, and being sick makes the likelihood of tooth decay much greater. So I feel that you should perhaps ask your GP to refer you for some psychological help to combat this. Although dentists should not be judgmental, treating people who don't clean their teeth is not pleasant (even if you can't help it). Hope this helps, Jenny.

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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