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My friend is dental phobic and needs help

Dear Dr Pinder,
I am writing on behalf of a friend, who is so dental-phobic that she does not want to make this enquiry herself, and has therefore asked me to do so on her behalf.
She is just coming up to 40 yrs, and has suffered from this phobia for all her adult life. In particular she has a low pain threshold, so that local anaesthesia does not work. She has tried sedation, hypnosis etc, but all to no avail.
She has finally decided she wishes to have complete dental clearance under a GA, and then have dentures fitted, although she doesn’t have any current, specific dental problems.
Could you advise where this procedure could be carried out, and have you any other advice I could point her towards, please?
Many thanks.

Hello. I don’t know where you are based in the Country .
This is not the first time I have been asked about this for a patient .
I have facilitated this for someone by getting a dental hospital to carry out the extractions .In that case the patients teeth were really bad and thats all she could or would contemplate . Another two people had this done by myself with an anaesthetists very deep sedation., both patients had teeth in a terminal condition where there was no choice .I was able to assess this by taking an X ray that only involved the person the person having the machine go around outside their mouth , then looking at it on digital screen .
The problem will arise if the dentist she sees to facilitate the referral doesn’t agree that all the teeth need to come out . Many dentists dont get it that there are people for whom losing all the teeth might be a blessing . If the teeth are really mostly sound then they can be very tough to take out with a large amount of lost bone , making having removable false teeth very difficult to wear . I Have no way of making that sort of judgement without actually seeing someone to talk to .
Personally Im not sure that hypnosis helps patients with very severe Post Dental Traumatic Anxiety .
Its likely that if she does find a GA facility to do this she will have to wait to have dentures fitted , and will not be able to have them placed straight away .
I hope this helps a bit
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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