I Have a Phobia of the Dental X-Ray Plate. What Should I Do?
19th April 2016

I have multiple phobias about the dentist due to bad experiences and having Asperger's. One of my phobias is the x-ray plate. When the instrument is put in my mouth, I feel as if I am going to choke to death. I have difficulty following instructions on how to position the instrument in my mouth because of my Asperger's. The phobia started after a dentist trapped my tongue under the plate. I was fine with it before this happened. It took several attempts to get the plate inside my mouth the last time I needed an x-ray and the dentist nearly gave up. If I ever need this procedure again, are there any adjustments the dentist can make for me?

A. Hello.  There is an answer to your problem. You will have to find a dental practice, or get a dentist to refer you for an x-ray called an OPG, or sometimes DPT. I have quite a few patients of all sorts who have a struggle with the small films inside the mouth. This technique is as follows: the machine firstly doesn't clamp you in , you just have to stand still and bite on a small platform which you put your upper front teeth on the top of and the lower teeth go on the bottom. It is not invasive and doesn't go any further inside your mouth, so the instructions are easy to follow and you really cant go wrong. I've never had anyone who couldnt manage one of these, including people with severe gagging problems. That will show all of your teeth and your dentist should then be able to diagnose what's wrong with that. But not all practices have these machines, but the dentist should know where you can be directed to get one. Hope this helps, Jenny.

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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