Odontophobia, The Fear of Dentistry

I am a sufferer.

Its ridiculous because I can’t actually pinpoint a particular dentist appointment in my life where I was hurt by the dentist. I was about 10 when I got my first filling, and I remember the assistant wiping my tears out of my ears but I don’t remember actual pain… and as I’ve gotten older its gotten worse.

This afternoon my knucklehead had an appointment ‘coz his wisdom teeth are really bugging him, and as I have a few small problems with my teeth – nothing painful yet – I decided to book an appointment too.
I called the dentist last week to arrange a Dormicum scrip because just phoning to make myself an appointment gives me butterflies, and they called me back saying the Dentist wanted to see me first to see what needed to be done before he’d write a scrip. It took several phone calls to explain that I couldn’t even sit in the chair without the meds, no matter what needed doing, so he wrote me a scrip.
The chemist didn’t have the 15mg tablet I was prescribed and gave me two 7,5mg tablets instead, which I didn’t think would be a problem and I took them 50 minutes before my appointment.
But once my knucklehead was finished – having a wisdom tooth pulled IN THE CHAIR no less – the dentist told me to take a seat, and I was still wide awake… and I burst into tears.

My poor knucklehead has never seen that because I tried not to be in the chair if he had an appointment – and he has no problem with the dentist! When he was younger I would still be checking our details in reception and he would have slipped off down the passage and be sitting in the chair chatting to the dentist when I got there.
And I only found out about Dormicum when he was already 17 years old! I couldn’t believe no dentist had ever mentioned it before.
Needless to say there’s no twice-a-year check up for me.

My boy was so sweet. He put his arm around me and encouraged me to get in the chair so the dentist could just have a look, and he came and sat next to me and held my hand, trying to reassure me as I literally bawled and tried to push my body backwards through the chair.

The dentist was really nice too, trying to reassure me that he wasn’t going to hurt me, but even as he just had a look with the little round mirror and took X-rays I cried, gripping the arm of the chair and my son’s hand till my arms were white to the elbow.
He tried to ask if it was the needle I was afraid of and I spluttered that it was all of it. Then he said there was one small cavity he could fix without giving me a shot as it was only on the surface, and asked if he could try. I could barely acknowledge anything and as he started the drill he barely touched it to my tooth before I was sobbing and he just couldn’t work like that.
Then my darling Glugster arrived and immediately saw that the meds hadn’t worked like they should, and he held the hand my son wasn’t holding.
We tried to wait a bit to see if the meds would kick in but nothing changed and after a few minutes I left, I’ll make a new appointment when the tooth starts hurting me. 😛

Normally, when the Dormicum works like it should, I fall asleep in reception 20 minutes before my appointment and have to be guided into the chair. Apparently I talk a lot of nonsense and the dentist has to repeatedly tell me to open my mouth, but I’m not there and I remember nothing afterwards. Obviously I have to be driven to the dentist and then home again, and I sleep for several hours afterwards, but it doesn’t take me days to recover from the physical tension I experience without the meds!

I apologised to the dentist, who I am sure has seen this kind of behaviour before, and my Glugster drove us home. As Murphy would have it I fell asleep 5 minutes before we got home and slept for a couple of hours, but I remember the appointment in its entirety.
The dentist suggested we hire a type of anesthetist next time rather than using Dormicum, but that will be pricey as we have to pay the specialist up front and claim it back from the medical aid, so I think I’ll probably go with the Dormicum again when I have to go back – I’ll just make sure I get the 15mg tablet.
Thankfully I’m not stiff and achey this time since the poor dentist didn’t actually do anything.

How are you with dentist visits? Do you need to be medicated first?

About Angel

Wife, mom, cake artist, Guide Dog puppy raiser, ADHD champion, wedding planner, and tattooed cat slave.
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One Response to Odontophobia, The Fear of Dentistry

  1. deborah says:

    Im so glad I’m not the only person that hates the dentist! Kudus for making it into the dentist room 9even if you were medicated . I cannot even watch a movie with a dentist in it. Taking the kids to the dentist I have to put on a brave face (even though I loose all colour in my face as I enter the room I generally stand by the window and look outside so I don’t have to witness anything and then congratulate the kids for being so brave