A reasonable fear of dentists

It only takes one bad dentist experience for a patient to develop dental phobia, but the damaging consequences can last for years. A traumatic experience at her previous dentist left Angela unable to face a dentist again. That was until she knew a bad tooth ache was only going to get worse if left untreated.

“For years I never had an issue with dentists, I used to go regularly up until 8 or 9 years ago then had a bad experience. It put fear in me that just grew and grew. Since then if I had a niggly problem, I knew inside I had to go, but I just couldn’t bring myself to walk through the door.” Explained Angela.

A sore and wobbly wisdom tooth led Angela to do some research and she realised that leaving the tooth untreated could result in an abyss and her becoming quite unwell.

“I knew I had to go but I was embarrassed because I knew I had neglected my dental care.”

Despite knowing she needed to see a dentist urgently, Angela still battled inside with herself. Some days the pain would be less, so she put off calling. When the pain got worse, Angela would take some painkillers and again put off treatment.

“My battle was to tell myself to stop making excuses.”

Eventually, Angela found Dental Phobia Certified practice Titchfield Dental Health near Southampton. Even picking up the phone was impossible for Angela so she used the online booking system. A confirmation phone call from a receptionist reassured Angela that it was ok to be nervous.

This was a massive step for Angela, she now had an appointment. However, she still needed to walk through the door to the practice and even the drive there presented its own challenges.

“It was a sense of achievement actually getting to the car park. I talked myself through stages of leaving the home, getting in the car and planning the route. I literally had to break down the steps. I made sure I had a playlist to calm myself on the journey. Driving down the road I was even looking to see if it was a road where there wouldn’t be much parking. Could I make myself late for the appointment, so I didn’t have to go! As soon as I walked through the door, I knew that I had done the right thing and I was quite proud of myself.”

Angela is now receiving the urgent treatment she needed.

“I don't feel sick anymore, I don't feel quite so shaky anymore, I feel confident now that I will get the treatment that I need and be treated how I deserve to be treated. I'm actually in a very strange way looking forward to that road of getting everything fixed and looking after myself.”