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Avoiding Stress at the Dentist

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For many people, a trip to the dentist is a dreaded stressful time. This is a guide about avoiding stress at the dentist.
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By 4 found this helpful
November 16, 2015

Any time I go to the dentist, I always bring my iPod so I can listen to my favorite music while I'm being worked on. I turn it up loud enough so I don't hear the drill and it helps me relax.

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I also wipe a small bit of Vicks Vapor Rub just inside each nostril so I don't smell teeth being worked on. I no longer dread my dental appointments.

Source: Myself

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By 0 found this helpful
January 20, 2009

If you are apprehensive like me, and hate getting shots at the dentist office, I have a trick. I always lift one leg slightly when I know my dentist is giving me the shot. My sister told me a dental assistant had shared this tip with her; concentrating on something else takes your mind off of the shot. It helps with some of the anxiety! Try it the next time you have to get dental work!

By Karen from Union, SC

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 22, 2005

How do I go about finding a dentist who caters to cowards? A family member has avoided the dentist's chair for five years now because she is pretty sure she suffers from panic attacks in the dentist's chair, She takes medication for high blood pressure, is uncomfortable being fully reclined while being worked on, is over 60 years of age and is now convinced that the only way she can get her teeth worked on is to be totally knocked out.

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She was told five years ago that because she refuses to use her partial lower plate, her teeth are shifting and she is grinding down her front teeth, which need to be capped. As if you couldn't guess, the thought of having novacaine needles going through any portion of her hard palate makes her crazy!

The most recent problem is that she is now experiencing TMP (Temporomandibular Pain) discomfort - constant, low grade discomfort. She is not suffering from any cavity problems - yet - that I know of. Help! Where do I start?

Sandie

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

Some dentist in my area, Abilene, TX, offer Sedation Dentistry. I have seen commercials for it, so I guess you could call around and see if any dentists in your area offer this. From what I understand they give you a pill to take befvore your appointment and then more if you need them.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

i have heard several dentists in my area of baltimore say they cater to coward. but i would call around and ask. maybe even call her physician and ask them. they may be able to give her something before she goes. but i bet if you start calling from the phone book you will find a friendly office person that promises they cater to cowards.
i hope you find one.

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August 25, 20050 found this helpful

she may very well be having a reaction to the lidocaine (novecain) it has a bit of epinephrin in it that can sometimes make your heart race. there are alternatives. most dentist now are more gentle in their practices.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 26, 20050 found this helpful

There is more than one thing going on here.

First, is she having pain when she gets the injection? Some people have very bad pain from lidocaine, but most dentists don't believe them. The solution (pardon the pun) is lidocaine containing 10% bicarbonate. It is now available. Find a dentist that has heard of it and uses it.

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Lidocaine is used to treat rapid heard rate in heart attacks, but epinephrine can certainly cause rapid heart rate, tiggering a panic attack. Epinephrine is only used to keep the lidocaine in the local area. Lidocaine comes with and without epinephrine, so make sure your dentist carries and uses the one without lidocaine. If the only time she has had a panic attack was at the dentist, perhaps the problem was only the epinephrine. It is not nice to surprise a 60-year-old ticker.

Maybe it's time for either LeMaze class (hahaha) or hypnosis classes, so she can handle what's going on. In addition, the dental assistant should be able to assist her in stress control during the procedure.

Start with a visit for a minor procedure using lidocaine, or just for an injection and cleaning with a stress-managment-friendly assistant.

Discuss all this with your chosen dentist and try your chosen appproach. At 60, the least amount of anaesthesia, the better. In any event, it's about time dentists listened to their patients.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 27, 20080 found this helpful

The panic attack is probably because she's scared. period. I went today for a cleaning. First one in 4 years and it was a nightmare. Even the dentists who swear to cater to you, don't. I'd say get knocked out or just let your teeth fall out. That's where I'm at because they are heartless and deaf. They don't listen to a word you say and do whatever they want once you're in the chair. It's like torture. It is torture. I went in hopeful I'd found the right Dentist and came out in tears and I am no baby.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 22, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with the previous responses. Except I will say that I am an otherwise successful adult who is a big baby about the dentist! I have tried a lot of dentists too, and while most of them have been tolerant of my phobia, none of them have done much to help me relax.

Many times I have had my teeth cleaned with tears streaming down my face. It is very embarassing and I tend to only have my teeth cleaned once every few years. Each time I leave swearing I will never put myself through it again. I, too, can hardly wait until all my teeth fall out and I can get a full set of dentures!

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October 19, 20090 found this helpful

It sound like your friend has got the same problem I have. I am 23 and my teeth are really bad, but I just cannot go to the dentist. I have got to many bad memories, and the only way I think I can get my teeth done is being knocked out like I was last time. I had teeth out but that means if I want it done that way again I have to go back to the dentist, which I don't think I can do it again.

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February 28, 20110 found this helpful

There are dentists out there that actually do care. It only took me 34 years to find one. If you can find a dentist that uses the "Wand" (it's needle free!). Whew no more tears throughout the the dentist fixing teeth! Most dentist do not use the "wand" because it's a cost and will not put as much revenue in their pocket. Northwest Indiana go to DDS Nolbar! He really does cater to his patients!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 18, 2008

My son, who will be 40 years old tomorrow, has an intense phobia with dentists. He was abused as a child by an idiot dentist. He cannot overcome the fear. Although I sympathize, it is embarrassing to have to accompany him, when he has a dental appointment. I would like to know if anyone has overcome this fear without the expense of a therapist.

Also, he has gone to one, who did nothing to help. The new dentist he has seems very qualified, but doesn't like to use nitrous oxide, although she can. He almost fainted during his last appointment, but she did manage to check his teeth after having given him oxygen, which I thought was the most intelligent thing to do. I know that she is the most qualified dentist around here, but I want him to be able to go to appointments without me. Thanks for any help!

Kentucky-lass from Rome City, IN

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
April 18, 20080 found this helpful

There are dentists in our area that routinly
sedate their patients with this phobia.
Call around, ask questions, get a referral.

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April 18, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks, Ima, for your feedback. His problem has been that when he finds a dentist who sedates they don't seem very qualified. The woman dentist he has found in Auburn is a terrific dentist, and NEVER does work that isn't necessary. I think she is going to be able to work with him. I sure pray that she will. She can use nitrous oxide, but prefers to deal with the fear, and not have patients depend on the nitrous oxide. I think that's a good idea, but I think she will use it until he gets used to the new dentist.

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April 21, 20080 found this helpful

in england very nervous patients are given a intravenous injection of valium/ tranquilisers it is great

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 21, 20080 found this helpful

I too had several bad experiences with dentists. Your son needs to go to a dentist that is patient and understanding of his fear. He needs to have the option of using gas if he feels the need. I think the most important thing is to be able to feel in control, and let the dentist know it is important to your healing process. It is a healing process and something that can be overcome. It just takes time. I now have no more fear of going to the dentist, and am able to go without gas except if I have a long procedure done in which I need to be in the chair for a long time.

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April 21, 20080 found this helpful

Try getting him to see a counselor again. The biggest misconception about counseling is that the counselor can give a miraculous cure. It is the client that must actually WANT to change and take the time to change. If he can find a counselor he feels comfortable with then perhaps he can solve the root of his problem and finally cure his phobia.

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April 21, 20080 found this helpful

My husband had a fear of dentists and just did not go. It got to the point that he really had to have extensive dental work done so he called the local dentist, explained his fear, and was given a very small prescription of valium. He was to take one pill 1/2 hour before his appointment. Worked great and helped him to overcome his fear too as he does not need the valium any longer. (Took about 4 months)

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April 21, 20080 found this helpful

I want to thank all of you for your helpful information. All of you had good advice. He is going to see an endodontist for a root canal, and I know he will give him nitrous oxide.

I really appreciate everyone's help!

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