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  1. #1

    Fear of dental/medical procedures

    I am looking for someone who understands my fear of dentists and doctors. I am feeling so trapped right now by upcoming appointments and feel like no one around me understands. They all say they do but I know it is just them trying to help. I have been to a therapist but it seems to have been no help. I am feeling frustrated and afraid. It is starting to deeply affect my marriage because the only way I know how to handle this is to push my husband away. I feel like I should not be burdening him with my problems. Does anyone understand?

  2. #2

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    First of all, welcome to Psychlinks.

    I am scared of the dentist, doctors not so much. I almost get sick to my stomach whenever I have to go to the dentist. He can tell I'm scared and is very easy and tries to put me at ease. I don't know what to tell you really except that I can relate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    8,881

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Welcome to Psychlinks, Jonlee!

    Fear od dentists and doctors is not all that uncommon, and like most irrational fears can be overcome by desensitization and communication.

    I have been to a therapist but it seems to have been no help
    What strategies did the therapist provide for you and why do you feel it has been of no help?

    These fears are sometimes linked to unpleasant experiences in our past, often in childhood. Do you recall anything that may have been the basis for your fear?

    Many dentists have developed skills and techniques in their practices to assist apprehensive patients. Many will advertise this special interest on their web page. Or when making your appointment, explain your apprehensions to the secretary, who can often make special arrangements for you.

    Communication with your health care providers is the best way to alert them about your concerns and apprehensions so they can help you deal and overcome them.

    Dentistry has come a long way in the last decade, with special emphasis on patient comfort.

    As for doctors, the even have a name for it: white coat syndrome!

    There can be a variety of reasons for it, but be reassured that if you talk to your doctor to alert him/her about your apprehensions, it is likely s/he will take steps to help you.

    If a certain individual makes you uncomfortable, your option is simply to change doctor or dentist, if possible.

    Have you ever discussed your fears and apprehensions openly with each of your health care providers?
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

  4. #4

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonlee View Post
    I am looking for someone who understands my fear of dentists and doctors. I am feeling so trapped right now by upcoming appointments and feel like no one around me understands. They all say they do but I know it is just them trying to help. I have been to a therapist but it seems to have been no help. I am feeling frustrated and afraid. It is starting to deeply affect my marriage because the only way I know how to handle this is to push my husband away. I feel like I should not be burdening him with my problems. Does anyone understand?
    Hi Jonlee,

    Oh my gosh, I don't think that anyone had more of a fear of dentists then what I have. And BOY do I UNDERSTAND!

    I had so many bad experiences with a dentist that they are too numeours to mention.

    I have always had bad teeth, I suppose that could be inherited. Not sure. So I always had fillings, and those fillings didn't hold in my teeth for some strange reason.

    Once I had to have a tooth removed and the novicane didn't take affect so I had to go to an oral surgeon. I even had this happen with a root canal. They actually had to do the root canal without anasthesia because it wouldn't take.

    At one time we had a good dental plan that covered everything. I had to hardly pay a thing.

    Well, the dentist I was going to at the time decided that my front teeth needed root canaling. OF which he did to my regret for letting him do so. My crowns never stayed in.

    Now I have dentures.

    I let my fear of dentists rule me instead of ruling it.

    I would suggest a dentist that is going to give you something to dull the fear, and today they are out there. Some dentists acually will specialize in people who fear them.

    There is nothing like your real teeth. Believe me. Getting used to dentures isn't easy.

    another thing to be aware of, is that, having teeth that are bad can interfere with your health. Big Time. And bad teeth can also cause cysts to form where the teeth are bad.

    In august when the removed my few teeth that I had left, I had a cyst the size of a quarter remved from the roof of my mouth. Some of my gumline was also removed.

    Don't hold off going to the dentist because of the fear, talk it out. I know that there are more then just myself in here that are fearful of dentists, so I know someone else will chime in as well. I just was so sad to see your post.

    Try hypnotisim. I had heard that this helps if you have it done before appts. I"m not sure if it works for a long time or if it needs re-inforcement to be successful.

    And remember the teeth being bad can create heart problems as well. If the infection gets into the blood stream, it can go to your heart.

  5. #5

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Even though I have been seeing my Dentist for over 20 years. After my mental illness started I was terrified.

    He is fantastic with me. Such a gem, totally understanding. Tells me if I feel any discomfort to raise my hand.

    Even did my teeth cleaning for me and gave me lauging gas for the cleaning and all the procedures. He also suggested my anti-anxiety pill, clonasipam before I went in.

    All this, helped so much. I did real good

  6. #6

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    NickNack,

    I'm really happy to hear that you managed to get your dental work done.

    The laughing gas is a good thing for them to give as it does relax you. Years ago, they didn't use it that much, mostly for removal procedures.

    Now, you see this in a lot of dental ads for use for those who have fears of dental procedures.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    171

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Ok, Jonlee, you are soooo not alone. I am mortally afraid of the dentist. I had no idea it was a type of phobia, but apparently, it is. I start losing it long before I have to even go. Even to talk about the dentist makes me feel itchy, like now. I even broke a ring gripping the chair so tightly. I scare my dentist. I hyperventilate and sweat, and shake, and wring my hands so badly they are red. I am not 100% sure what caused it, but I have an idea. One bad visit years ago. Now, sadly, because of my fear, my teeth are in a bad way and I am going to have to have a partial plate. Not sure how I am going to manage, but I just have to. Just know hun, you are not alone and maybe together, we can figure out some tricks to get us through.

    Many, many hugs!!!!!

  8. #8

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Dentistry has come a long way in the last decade, with special emphasis on patient comfort.
    or at least I can not find such types. I keep switching dentists because they become so impatient with me and it always, always hurts. The only time I was okay was with a specialist who gave me a pill to put under my tongue which helped relax me. It does not help that I am so shy that I can not say how stressed I am. I need work done but I am too terrified to go. Does anyone know of help for this dental phobia? Mari

  9. #9

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    The initial questionaire my dentist gives his patients asks if they have any anxiety surrounding visiting the dentist.

    I think finding a good, understanding dentist although difficult, is the best thing to do.

    I have always said, I am very lucky for the health professionals who care for me, they are so so understanding of my anxiety etc etc etc, which makes seeing them that much easier.

    Mari, I hope you can find a good dentist.

    I didn't need tons of work done, but after I got my dental work finished, my teeth felt so good. I felt good cause I felt a sense of accomplishemt and it elevated my fear. Next time I might not need the gas for my cleanings

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    411

    Re: Fear of dental/medical procedures

    Jonlee,

    You did not mention the serious of your upcoming appts. and my range of thoughts are anywhere from a teeth cleaning to cardiac or cancer results but I don't mean to pry.

    Irregardless, fear is fear and I can respect yours even if I don't understand it. Did you maybe have a really terrifying past experience dealing with some sort of doctor or procedure?
    Also, If you were honest with your therapist and they did not help, you could always find another one(?), it is an option. Remember, you are the customer and they work for you not the other way around.

    the only way I know how to handle this is to push my husband away. I feel like I should not be burdening him with my problems.
    Quite the opposite Jonlee, you should look to him for his support and not feel like you are burdening him. Try to reach out to him.

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