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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.

Is Sedation Freely Available?


I have a cracked back tooth and I am in a lot of pain. I also have a HUGE phobia of the needles used and to a lesser part the pain in general, is sedation freely available?
I just need some help and for someone to let me know. Thank you.

Needle phobia can be a very real barrier to getting the treatment you need... Read more

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired

Can Air Abrasion and Waterlase Only be Used for Small Fillings?

Dear Dr Pinder, I am in need of 2 fillings but I am nervous about visiting the dentist to get them done. 5 years ago I fainted whilst having a biopsy taken at my local maxillofacial unit and I worry that it will happen again on my next visit, so I keep putting off my filling appointment.

I have heard about air abrasion and waterlase as potential substitutes to a drill. Am I right in thinking they can only be used for small fillings? Would you recommend these procedures for a nervous patient and are they expensive?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes.

If air abrasion is used then its usually only for early decay. However, it... Read more

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired

How Can I Prevent Myself from Gagging?

Hey. The last 4 or 5 times I’ve been to the dentist, I’ve had a gagging problem that has prevented me from getting fillings and tooth decay removed. I now have black spots on my wisdom teeth and am worried. Last time I went, they tried putting a filling in and I used an anaesthetic spray but had no luck. Also I tried breathing through my nose and it didn’t work. Any tips on how to prevent me from gagging? It normally starts when something is touching the back of my tongue. Do you know if the dentist can drill a hole into my tooth and not put anything in my mouth and put a filling in to it?

The answer to your last question is no. However, it might be that you need... Read more

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired

Can I Have My Abscess Drained in a Hospital?

Hi. I have had a large abscess for 4 weeks now, under a back tooth. 3 sets of antibiotics have done nothing apart from reduce the facial swelling.
I usually pay for IV sedation but I don’t even feel this is an option as I am just terrified now after issues with this tooth. Can I ask to be referred to hospital to have the abscess drained and the tooth pulled under general anaesthetic? Thanks. 

If you have an abscess, then the antibiotics will only have taken down the... Read more

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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