Expert Answers

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.

How Can I Overcome My Fear of the Dentist?
11th April 2016

Hello. I saw you online and I do have a question, I hope you don't mind. Well, I have a very big fear of the dentist - obviously it's not the actual dental nurses that I hate, but when I was younger in my teens, I had to have a back molar extracted. The dentist at the time tried to pull it out himself, which he never succeeded in doing, because it was a deep root. Then I had to go to the hospital anyway to get it taken out, and since that day (I'm now in my mid thirties) I am scared of the dentist. I do however need to go to the dentist, because my top molar's filling came out and I need that sorted. Plus I have a clicky jaw, and sometimes my jaw will lock and I can't open my mouth too wide, which scares me even more! My question is: how can I overcome this big fear of the dentist? I get incredibly anxious and I don't like it. I know it doesn't take very long to have a filling or check up. But, I have tried for so long to put it off and I really can't and shouldn't do this any more! Please, if you have any advice or info, I would appreciate it very much :) Thank you. 

A. Hello. The first thing to do is to pluck up the courage to find a dentist, then ring and m...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What Help Is Available for Difficulties with Impressions?
18th March 2016

I spoke to your receptionist who suggested I email you. I broke a tooth last April when I was abroad and the dentist put a temporary cover on it. She said I would need a crown. I moved recently and even though I am signed up with an NHS dentist, I have not yet had any work done by him. I have chronic catarrh and feel like I am choking all the time when I lean back. Plus I absolutely hate the thing that is put in the mouth to take an impression and my last dentist, who I was with for 25 years, said some dentists put one in the top and bottom at the same time. In the meantime, the temporary filling has come off again and I must get this sorted and even though I am not privately insured, I was wondering if you were able to help reassure me about these difficulties and whether you would be prepared to do a one-off job.

A. I'm sorry you are having difficulties. I would have to assess you before I could commit to...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What Pain Relief Is Available During a Teeth Cleaning Session?
18th March 2016

I'm getting my teeth scaled and polished when I go in for my daily check up. The problem is, I hate the pain so much and I don't know what to say to my dentist. What would you recommend I say and is there anything I cam ask for to help with the the pain? 

A. The hygienists I work with are able to use local anaesthetic in areas that are sensitive. ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Can You Die From Gum Disease and Tooth Loss?
18th March 2016

Can you die from gum disease and tooth loss?

A. No. However, there is now thought to be a link with gum disease and general health. Advanc...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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I Have Swelling and Fever Following Root Canal Treatment. What Should I Do?
14th March 2016

Five days before I had treatment, my upper teeth were in a lot of pain and I consulted the doctor. The doctors started a root canel treatment. That night my chin and eye were swelling and I had a fever. On the second day the doctor told me some blood clotted in my chin. So the blood clot was removed. I still have a fever. There has been a small reduction in the chin swelling but not the eye swelling or fever. What can I do? 

A. You need to see someone urgently. Perhaps attend A& E at your local hospital. Jenny. ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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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 pl...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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How Can I Find a Dentist Who Helps Nervous Patients?
29th February 2016

I am unemployed at the moment and very nervous about seeing a dentist, but I can't smile as I have teeth missing and I have lost confidence. How can I find a patient dentist that would take me on as a patient? 

A. I'm sorry to hear this, it must be knocking your confidence. You can access NHS Dentistry ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Can a Dentist Remove a Tooth Under Anaesthetic?
29th February 2016

Hi . My partner will not go to see a dentist due to a previous bad experience - she has not been to the dentist for over 20 years and currently has a tooth that needs to be removed - she is talking about pulling it our herself which I have said isn't a good idea! Do you know if a dentist will remove a tooth under anaesthetic or at least recommend that this be done at a hospital? How would this process work, as she is currently not registered anywhere?  Thanks.

A. It's unlikely that she can pull her own tooth out - that only happens when they are so loo...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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Are There Any Alternatives to Having a Filling with Diazepam?
29th February 2016

I've been told I have to get a filling next week. I've also been told I don't actually have any cavities - just a very deep molar, there's some black lines in the fissures. I am beyond terrified. I've always feared a filling. I can't sleep, and I keep having panic attacks. I've been prescribed 10mg of Diazepam but I was wondering, do you think there is any alternative?

A. If you have no experience of having a filling then you are afraid of something you have no...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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What Should I Do About My Broken and Missing Teeth?
18th February 2016

I have got really bad teeth. Some have broken, some are missing and the rest are moving. Please help, I'm so embarrassed by this.

A. Well done for looking for help. The next step is to find a dentist and get them to assess ...

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Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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