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Doctors and dentists.......help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I brought this up in another thread very briefly, so I want to start a thread just for this topic and see if I"m alone in my phobias....... I'm deathly afraid of going to doctors, dentists, any doctor. I have an appt to go to dentist for the first time in my adult life next month, and I just feel so alone and stupid in my fears..........am I alone in these fears?
post #2 of 17
I don't have a problem with doctors but, dentists scare the $*** out of me. Until a couple of months ago, I had not been to the dentist, since 1987. This was partly due to no dental insurance and partly due to intense fear. Extreme pain finally drove me to make an appointment.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Cindy, that's why I made the appt........I have mouth pain,and before all my teeth have to be yanked, I figured I'd better face my fears and go in. Everyone that sees me tell me I have beautiful teeth, but they hurt. Plus I get sinus headaches, and that makes it feel like one big toothache. I'm just such a chicken. Last Feb I finally made an apt with a gyno and a regular doctor for checkups, so if I can get through that, I hope I can get through this! Thanks for replying........it helps to know i'm not alone.
post #4 of 17
No intense fear of doctors or dentists here. My attitude is that I would rather go sooner for a little problem than wait until it is a bigger problem, which is likely to hurt more, both physically and financially! I can't say that I like going to either, though. But I got in the habit of going in for a routine annual physical starting about age 22, so got used to going to doctors before I was old enough that I started having more problems.
post #5 of 17
I lucked out - only 3 small cavities. At 46, I've had 6 cavities, in my whole life. That Crest toothpaste, lives up to its claims. Mom started buying it, when I got my first tooth and I've used it, ever since.
post #6 of 17
I have the same fears. The best dentist I ever went to did accupuncture on me for the entire visit. Did a lot of work on me and I didn't feel a thing. But other than that you have to hit me over the head with a 2x4 before I will relax
post #7 of 17
I can't say I particularly like doctors or dentists...always trying to convince me that they need to poke me with a needle

But I've spend my share of time in the various offices, and if there's something that I know is not right with me, I go see them.

I'm due for a tetnaus shot again...so I've been holding out on going to the Dr until I have a better reason...I'm pushing my luck though, and I know it.

Dentists...I'm not so much afraid of them, I have always been somewhat exposed to the dental field, my mother worked as a dental assistant for a few years when I was a kid, way back when

I've had four cavaties, and so far managed to get through the procedures without letting the dentist stick me with a needle. But the wisdom teeth....I couldn't refuse general on that one...I knew that going in, and was just prepared for it mentally, so it was no big deal.

I suppose the best advice I can give you, is to try and get an idea of what you are looking at. Try to understand the basics of what the dentist is going to do, and understand that he's there to help you. If you can go in there relaxed, and stay relaxed, you won't have any problems.

I was always facinated with how things worked, so I usually asked the dentist questions before he did anything. Then I watched what he was doing, and managed to distract myself to watching the Dr at work, rather than focusing on what I was feeling.

To some degree, it really is mind over matter. But you have to stay calm and relaxed for it to work.

Fear isn't a stupid thing. Fear is natural. Fear makes you question what you are doing, and in effect can protect you from some things. Fear is a defense mechanism. The problem with fear, is not having it, but rather letting it control you. If you can stay calm and reason through your fears, you will be fine. I only wish that this wasn't one of those pieces of advice that's easier said than done.

Hang in there, you are not alone.

post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by kittylover4ever
I brought this up in another thread very briefly, so I want to start a thread just for this topic and see if I"m alone in my phobias....... I'm deathly afraid of going to doctors, dentists, any doctor. I have an appt to go to dentist for the first time in my adult life next month, and I just feel so alone and stupid in my fears..........am I alone in these fears?
Fear of dentists is very very common. You should tell the dentist how nervous you are. If he needs to do any work, ask him to make sure that he numbs the area even more than he needs to! A lot of them also use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which clears your system as soon as you stop breathing it, and can calm you down.

I used to be deathly afraid of the dentist because of some bad childhood experiences. After highschool (where they required an annual dental checkup certificate), I went about every 7 years, and when I needed cavities filled, I had both novacaine and the nitrous oxide, so I wouldn't bolt when I heard the drill.

Then, I wound up cracking a front tooth up into its root in an altercation between me and my bike, and a NYC cab. I didn't have a current dentist and went to someone recommended by a friend of a friend, who turned out to be IMHO the best darn dentist in NYC. My mouth and chin were pretty busted up, and he was so concerned about hurting me that he took 2 hours to do the initial work on the tooth. I was so wiped out from the accident that I didn't ask for any nitrous oxide. That experience ended my dental fright, since I figured that if he didn't hurt me then, he wasn't going to in the future. Truthfully, as long as you are fully anesthesized, the worst part of any dental procedure is the noise of the equipment!

Are you going to a dentist that comes highly recommended by someone? The reason that I ask that is that it seems to be a profession with a fair number of ethically-challenged individuals. (My current dentist has said that to me himself.) If he asks you how long it's been since you have gone to a dentist, I would tell him 'it's been a while" not that it's been 10 years or whatever it is. Years ago, I had a bad experience in going to my sister's then dentist who examined me, told me he saw 4 cavities but that nothing looked too problemmatic. Then he asked me when I last went to the dentist, and I told him that it had been 7 years. Suddenly, those 4 cavities became 4 root canal candidates. I could see the $$ signs in his eyes: he took me into his office & gave me a financial quote. I was skeptical and wound up going to my sister's boyfriend's dentist, who was also his friend and a long-time member of his Masonic temple, so he was high on the trust-meter. He looked at my x-rays from the first dentist and told me flat out that 3 of them were clearly just small cavities and one might need a root canal but he wouldn't know that until he drilled out the decay. It turned out to just be a cavity. That saved me $4,000. My sister, who had had a sh#tload of work done by her dentist over the years, almost had a stroke. She went back to him once to pick up her films and never went back again.
post #9 of 17
I go to the dentist every 6 months like clockwork. I skipped a long period when my kids were small, and the last thing I want is for them to start pushing periodontial disease and treatment.

Like Cindy, I am a firm Crest believer. The other 2 parts of my daily ritual are Listerine and flossing. Keeps me getting good reports every 6 months.

As for the regular doctor, I avoid that guy like the plague. Once again, not out of fear, but because it seems they push too much medication. I have no use for it. Due to a set of circumstances, I am forced to visit my PCP this summer and get a physical. So far one simple exam has turned into a 3+ appointment visit.

post #10 of 17
Back in 1990, I was glad, that I did go to the doctor (actually nurse practitioner). I went in for one problem and she insisted that, as long as she was in that general area, we might as well get my overdue Pap test out of the way.

Good thing - the Pap showed abnormal, the subsequent biopsy confirmed it and one month later, I was in surgery. In two weeks, it'll be 14 years and no other nasty surprises have popped up.
post #11 of 17
I have a huge fear of dentists... and irregardless of how painful it can get, i would never go see a dentist.. the last time i went was when i'm 12... and it has been many years since i went.. till now, my teeth has not given me problems.. maybe just pains for a couple of days and it goes away... *thank god!*
post #12 of 17
I'm always a little nervous, but I manage to make it through. Do I like either? Nah. But it's worse when you have to take your little ones in and watch them go through the examinations and lab work.
post #13 of 17
You are not at all alone. A couple of years ago, I was seeing a particular dentist for the first time. I told them I was extremely nervous, but they didn't really take me seriously. The dentist came in the room and I started feeling dizzy. As soon as he touched me I passed out cold. I woke up with them giving me O2. I believe they took me seriously after that. btw I have never admitted that before. Maybe this can be therapeutic for all of us! Hope you feel better knowing that others share your fear.
post #14 of 17
I hate the dentist but i go once a year. He knows i hate any pain, and puts the gel on my gums that the kids get to numb the area before putting any needle in me

I hate having to go to the docs as well. You go in for a muscle sprain etc.. and end up coming away with more than you went in for after the waiting room if filled with people with coughs and colds
post #15 of 17
I don't mind the Dentist or Doctor, unless they use needles then I really freak.

Good luck with your app!
post #16 of 17
I hate going to the dentist. I havent been to one since 1998! I dislike the way they talk down to you. I dont care who they are, they dont need to talk down to me about my teeth. I've been lucky .. everytime that I have gone, I've had no cavities. I think I take care of my teeth well enough. Doctors I dont have a problem with ...
post #17 of 17
Well needles are really your lifesaver guys. Without an injection there is no way you'd be able to tolerate the pain for half the proceedures.
hehe, they're not adminstered for the dentists own pleasure

Really you should visit the dentist every 6 months, that way early gum disease and decay can be caught earlier and treatment will be much lighter for you and your pocket.
And for the person who had pain for a few days which comes and goes, get it checked out. It's this which is likely to give you severe trouble in the future, much scarier than anything a dentist can do to you
And as for cowboy dentists, you're gonna get conmen in every profession/ job, same rules apply, go by reccomendations and be wary of unbelievable claims.
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