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We know how daunting dental treatment can be. Our Dental Phobia certified experts are here to help ease your mind before treatment by answering your questions.

Is my dental phobia irrational or should I just accept the way things are?

I am most certainly phobic. I had huge fillings done as a young child with no anaesthesia, it is the most frightening and painful thing I can remember. (and I have been through childbirth four times). I go to a local NHS dentist that also provides IV sedation. I only go because I found out the hard way many years’ ago that a dental emergency is more to be feared than going regularly. My husband books check-ups and doesn’t tell me until the day I am going. I cry at check ups and I only let the dentist put a mirror in my mouth. The dentists change a lot at my practice and so I regret that I am unable to form any sort of real trusting relationship with them.

I have had general anaesthetics for simple work for over 20 years, but now that the IV sedation is much improved, I have this. I can’t ever invisage a day when I am not asleep for treatment. I feel quite a failure on this, I am well-educated and completely unable to rationalise my way out of this fear. I also feel very angry that as a child I was abused and damaged this way by a person in a position of trust.

Can I ever expect to get over this and have treatment like everyone else, or should my attitude be that at least I face my nemesis and go to the dentist even if I do have sedation?

kind regards 

Well done for facing your fears and going to the dentist at all .
What happened to you is not only very unpleasant , but your phobia is not irrational .
There is a belief that the kind of experience you had gives rise to something called post-traumatic dental stress disorder .this is burnt into memory very deeply .
Of course people still have to go to the dentist throughout the course of their lives , re- activating the emotions .
yes it’s possible to get over it and have some dentistry without sedation .
Building up trust with a dentist who is stable in a practice is the optimum,if possible .
Perhaps trying just to have your teeth cleaned with some oral sedatives ?
it might be an idea to ask your dr for a referral to a. CBT Therapist , that is becoming an accepted way of helping with this .
In the meantime it’s good that you are able to access care with sedation

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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