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I have panic attacks prior to dental treatment but I have to have a root canal, shall I just cancel?

Hello,
I generally suffer from a phobia of the dentist and I find I get very panicky and have panic attacks prior to the appointment. My dentist isn’t very patient and I feel like an idiot. I have root canal surgery coming up and I am dreading it, i am actually thinking of cancelling the appointment i am so scared.
Do you have any advice Dr Jennifer?

Hello
there are several considerations here .
firstly could you consider another dentist ? If its NHs then a dentist has limited time and some find it difficult to deal with anxious patients .
Dealing with the panic attacks which are actually probably more unpleasant than the dental treatment is essential , Its fear of fear .
try some relaxation exercises to control the breathing so that you breathe from your diaphragm rather than shallow fast overbreathing .
The website for AnxietyUK has lots of tips for this .
Cancelling the appointment will only mean deferring solving the problem until the tooth has to come out .
Hope this helps
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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