Friday, 8 June 2012

Are you afraid of the dentist?

Exploring my Alexander family tree has produced many surprises, the most recent being the discovery that I'm a blood relative of at least 4 dentists. Why do I find this so disconcerting? Normally I have as little to do with dentists as possible. I have nothing against the people who do the job, it's the job they do that frightens me.


2 days ago I went for a 6-monthly check-up. All was well, no treatment needed apart from a scale and polish. I can relax again until December.


One of my earliest blog posts, back in May 2009 was called Dentist Phobia. Nothing has changed since then, apart from several more uneventful and perfectly OK visits to the dentist for check-ups. Here's some of what I wrote then, in answer to 'what is it about a dental appointment that makes me so anxious?':
"The problem is in the anticipation, especially in the waiting room. My fear started in childhood with a dentist who told me that my tongue was too big for my mouth and told my mother that I had "abnormal tongue behaviour" which in his opinion was incurable beyond the age of 12. I was 12.
I still don't know what he meant, but then he never explained anything. That was part of my problem with him, along with that dreadful noisy drill. 
My current dentist is kind, efficient, swift and explains what he is planning to do before he does it. So I really don't need to be scared, even though my teeth are far from perfect and don't merit this description:
"Your teeth are like a flock of ewes, that have come up from the washing: all of them bear twins, and not one of them is bereaved." (Song of Solomon 6:6)
What a fantastic picture for a cartoonist! My teeth are at least useful. I'm grateful that I can chew and that they are still all my own." 
If you are also afraid of the dentist, what is your strategy to cope? 




4 comments:

  1. Oh how I can relate to this Nancy.
    Last November I wrote a blog called Smile.....even if it kills you on this very subject.
    Sorry, don't know how to do the link, but it says all I have to say on the subject.

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    1. It's a common problem I think Ray. I'll take a look for your Smile post later.

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  2. Dentist Phobia is a common problem specially in kids. Since in my childhood days i was also scared of a dentist.But few weeks back when i had unbearable pain in my wisdom tooth and i found my self helpless. I visited to a dentist Hørsholm. Luckily my dentist was Very Professional, and i am more comfortable with my dental procedures now.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting. I think dentists and dental practices have got so much better since my childhood, but the childhood fears have not completely gone. I'm pleased your dentist professionally solved your wisdom tooth problem.

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