Fear Of The Dentist
When I say 'fear of the dentist' you might think it's the children who have the fear but no, it's me who's terrified of sitting in that dreaded chair.
I haven't always been afraid of the dentist, it started after a bad experience when I was pregnant with N. I was due to have a filling and the dentist informed me I wouldn't need anaesthetic because he didn't need to drill deep enough. I accepted this quite happily, I had no reason not to.
Anyway to cut a long story short, he ended up drilling deeper than he should have and I ended up sitting in that chair for ages, in agony! I had never cried when leaving the dentist until that day.
The pain didn't go away and when I couldn't take any more I went back to the dentist. He said that he might've irritated the nerve so he would have to take the filling out and replace it with a temporary one that contained something to calm the nerve.
It actually took at least a month and lots of back and forth to the dentist before the tooth was completely settled. Each time I returned I felt a little more uncomfortable about getting in the chair.
I changed to a new dentist but the worry followed me and escalated until one day, after I was told I would need a filling, I ran out of the building in tears. Eventually I built up the courage to go back for the filling and I took hubby with me for support - I was scared but I did it and all went well (I made sure they used anaesthetic). I felt very proud of myself.
I now make my check-up appointments for the same time as the children because when I walk into the room I'm in mummy mode rather than scared patient mode and I have to be brave for them. I'm always nervous but I manage to hide it for their benefit. It obviously works because neither of them worry about going to the dentist.
I don't think the fear will ever completely go but it has definitely reduced with each painless procedure. Thankfully there haven't been too many of those procedures because I'm now very particular about brushing my teeth properly - anything to avoid those fillings. I received a glowing report from my recent visit so I came out beaming and don't have to think about it again for six months!
It's amazing how many people have a fear of the dentist for one reason or another. Every time I mention it on Twitter or at the school gates I find someone new who says that they too hate going to the dentist - are we a nation of scared dentist patients?
Do you have a fear of the dentist? Come and join the party, I'd love to hear from you.