Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

Are you [ were you ] afraid of the dentist ?

Asked by Hibernate (9019 points ) June 9th, 2011

How much do you take care of your teeth ?
When having to go to a dentist are you afraid ?

If you were afraid how did you overpass it ?

Behave and try not to flame each other please.
THANKS.

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50 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I go to the dentist about once a year. No I am not afraid of Derek, he is a lovely and a very good dentist. Again, do people flame each other over dentist visits?

Hibernate's avatar

Well one can interpret another response as insulting so they can start a flame.

DominicX's avatar

I know it’s common, but I’ve never been afraid of the dentist. My mom is a good friend of my dentist, so I’m sure that has something to do with it as well. And yes, I’ve had fillings where no matter how much Novocaine they injected, it still hurt, but meh…not that bad. I’ve never had anything more than a filling done, though. I take care of my teeth pretty well, I’ve never had braces, I’ve only had a couple fillings in my life, and I go to the dentist twice a year.

TexasDude's avatar

The dentist is probably the only thing in the world that truly terrifies me, and I’ve been chased by a murderer, faced down wild animals, and interrogated by the cops in a backwoods hillbilly town, among other things, so that’s saying a lot.

When I was 4 or so, I practically lived off of Skittles candy. As a result, I had a ton of cavities and I still distinctly remember the dentist dropping a dental dam down my throat and leaving it there for several minutes as I helplessly nearly choked to death.

The experience haunted me for much of my childhood up to my teenage years. I haven’t had a cavity since, but I still get panic attacks every time I go to the dentist and just the thought of it makes me queasy.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to hate going to the dentist when I was younger, but I finally found one I liked. I just received a letter from him that he is retiring so I guess I’ll be looking again. Our insurance has a list of approved providers that I will be using.

muppetish's avatar

When I was a kid, I was not afraid of going to the dentist. I had three cavities (two were pulled and one was filled) and I had my teeth cleaned once a year (which I loathed because that cleaning solution smells and tastes awful.) And to make everything even better, the secretary gave me cool, little reptiles after my visit and my dentist’s name was Dr. Shakespeare. It was pretty awesome.

However, I have not had a check up since… maybe middle school? I don’t have insurance. Now I’m afraid of what they might find. I don’t want to get roped into a ton of dental work.

_zen_'s avatar

No. They help us, like all doctors. Just find a good one.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes. It helps that my dentist is my uncle, and he’s very good about being gentle and patient. However, I had a lot of orthodontia growing up, and those doctors weren’t so good. They were really big on telling me to stop gagging, instead of, you know, finding a way to make it so I wasn’t gagging, as well as some other bedside manner issues. They were technically competent, but really shouldn’t have been anywhere near children, and neither should any of the staff. It was really traumatizing. I know that dental work is a common trigger for those who have been orally sexually assaulted, and for me, it’s almost the reverse – my aversion to blow jobs is partly because the dental work was so traumatic. And then I was raped, and my rapist was pretty much all about the forced bjs, so then it becomes this whole duel trigger… I trust my uncle very much, and he’s been really the only man in my life whom I’ve always been able to trust, but even with him as my dentist, I still pop a Xanax before getting a cavity filled.

Hacksawhawk's avatar

I loved to go to my dentist. I never had any trouble with my teeth so all he ever did was fiddle around a bit in my mouth to check for cavities, which he never found. This may sound a bit weird but I sort of loved it when he was checking my teeth… He smelled delicious and his hands were really soft. This sounded a lot less weirder in my head

Now I don’t love to go to the dentist any longer. I fell off my bike riding to school three years ago and lost three of my front teeth. You can imagine how much repair and mending was needed, and that repair wasn’t exactly pleasant, rather painful in fact.
He even once drilled a hole in one of those – now gone – teeth to put in a bolt to attach a new tooth, but then he (well I) noticed the teeth wasn’t fully sedated yet, so he put a needle through the hole, right into the not yet sedated nerve of that tooth…

But don’t worry, the dentist himself is a great guy! Even though he still hasn’t realized yet that I can’t answer to “The weather is nice, isn’t it?!” whenever he has two hands in my mouth, a drill and that thing that sucks out your saliva but always gets stuck onto my tongue!!

Plucky's avatar

I really don’t like getting dental work done ..I am so sensitive to oral pain, and my mouth is tiny. The needles ..ugh the wretched shiny needles. My dentist is wonderful though; she’s very gentle and patient with me.

I really wanted to flame people over this… :P

Jeruba's avatar

This is what I say about my dentist: I hope I don’t outlive him. He is a genius. He is wonderful. I love him. I have to see him for checks every four months, and I’d prefer not to have that requirement, but given that I must, he’s the guy for me.

Some of what he has to do isn’t pleasant—who likes root canals?—but if the work needs to be done, nobody is going to do it with greater care, deliberation, patient follow-through, and concentrated attention on minimizing the discomfort.

8Convulsions's avatar

Two weeks ago, I got my wisdom teeth taken out. I had been putting it off for years, due to the price and because I HATE going to the dentist. Luckily, I was able to get free oral sedation, which I thought would help calm my nerves. They had me take sleeping pills the night before and a sedative an hour before my appointment. I was feeling drowsy and a bit nervous, and only managed to hold myself together until we were about a minute away from the office. I became hysterical. So, I get there, super tired, balling my eyes out. There was no calming me down. The took me to the back and set me in the chair. Gave me about 10 little white pills and some minty flavored water to “help calm me down.” It still didn’t help. So about 30 minutes later they gave me some more minty flavored mystery water. Another half hour passes and I was finally drugged up enough to stop crying and pass out.
After it was all over and I was in the car, I began belligerently pulling my gauze out trying to look in my mouth. I wouldn’t listen to anyone. I was a monster that day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so defiant in my life.
The dentist checked me today, and was kind of laughing about it with me. I think he’s just glad that he won’t have to deal with me again anytime soon.

Plucky's avatar

@8Convulsions Lol ..I mean aww that sounds like a rough experience; but at least you didn’t feel any pain?.

8Convulsions's avatar

@PluckyDog Haha. Very true! I’m hoping it will make getting my top wisdom teeth out an easier experience too. Now that I know what to expect, it’s less scary. :)

meiosis's avatar

I am scarred by a horrendous experience as a child. I know things are better now, and that my experience is unlikely to be repeated, but I have a psychological block that is very difficult to get over.

JLeslie's avatar

I am not afraid, never have been.

I am not good about going ever 6 months, but I do go at least once a year.

I wish I took better care of my teeth. I don’t have any serious problems, but I worry my lazy ways will cause me problems in the future.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am not afraid of the dentist and go for regular checkups.

Cruiser's avatar

Nah….mine is my best friend from 8th grade who taught me my first chords on guitar back then and he is good at pain free dentistry!

CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t like having my mouth messed with, but I can tolerate it.

starsofeight's avatar

I used to be. Going to the dentist involved pain, screaming, and other patients running from the office in a sudden panic. Besides which, getting up and getting to the dentist was kind of a hassle.

Nowadays, I can just mail my teeth in.

filmfann's avatar

I had terrible experiences with dentists when I was a child.
When I started going to my present dentist, I needed happy gas just to get a cleaning. I was THAT stressed.
Over the last 20 years, I have been able to relax more. I have also embraced self-hatred, so any pain or discomfort is accepted as being deserved.
Last week I had a tooth drilled out for a crown to be placed. No gas. Yes, I still had the shots, but no gas was a big thing for me.

majorrich's avatar

I wouldnt go so far as to say I am afraid of the dentist. I dont like going though.

marinelife's avatar

Not really.

Leanne1986's avatar

I am terrified of the dentist. I don’t go as often as I should.

MilkyWay's avatar

No, I’ve never been afraid of the dentist, even as a young kid. The dentists I’ve had are all pretty good ones.
I really like to take care of my teeth, brush 3 times a day and visit a dentit every 6 months.

stardust's avatar

I’m certainly apprehensive about going to the dentist. It’s the thoughts of it more than the actual visit.

deni's avatar

I take care of my teeth probably better than most people, but soft teeth run in my family so no matter how much I brush and floss, there is always something wrong when I go. Right now I’m putting off making an appointment, because I’m terrified. Last time I had to get a root canal, and if that were to happen again I would cry for hours. I HATE the dentist. HATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leanne1986's avatar

@deni a root canal when I was about 16 years old has put me off dentists for life.

deni's avatar

@deni YES exactly. When he stuck that little tiny thing into the root to clear it out…..I will never forget that. I may never return to a dentist.

Facade's avatar

I’m not afraid of the dentist, but my teeth are very sensitive, and getting cleanings hurts. I believe I take good care of my teeth. Dentists always tell me I have a “clean mouth.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Up until a year or so ago, I was absolutely terrified of dentists because, generally speaking, they don’t trust me to know own body (like a lot of docs) and do not believe that (whether this is perceived or real) the higher than usual dose of anesthesia just doesn’t do it for me and I still feel the drilling and tremendous pain. I also have a phobia of anything going down my throat (yes, you all thought of swallowing jokes, har har, get over it) and so when some of the medication leaks down my throat and freezes it up, it’s hard for me to breathe and I get panic attacks. I also dislike when dentists put their entire hands into my mouth and aren’t gentle. Anyway, I was screwed over by an orthodontist when I was a teenager who didn’t take off my braces in time or the glue from my braces and I’ve had to have every tooth filled. I also have bad genetics for teeth so I have to see the dentist all the time as I have many many problems.

A couple of years ago, I switched dentists and he is my God and I’m an atheist. The man changed my life. He works lightning fast, his shots are not as painful and I didn’t feel any of the root canals (which I’d never get with my other dentist) and I think he makes this horrible process for me much better. I see him often. I brush twice a day, have a tongue scraper and try to clean my teeth post-every food intake with bounty or something.

@Dutchess_III Dental Dam – I’ve never used one at the dentist but have used one for oral sex.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You know…my granddaughter got a filling when she was 6. The Dr. didn’t use ANY anesthetic at all. It didn’t hurt, either. I don’t understand that.

wundayatta's avatar

They like me to come 3 times a year for teeth cleaning. Then I go when I have a cavity or a crown.

The research shows that good dental care may be more important than regular health care. People with good dental care have few heart attacks and fewer incidences of a lot of other things as well. It’s not clear why this is the case, but the research supports it.

Kardamom's avatar

I was very lucky in that my parents took me and my brother, since before I can even remember, to a very kind and gentle pediatric dentist. He wore Hawaiian print smocks and his voice sounded like the actor who did the voice for Winnie the Pooh, Sterling Holloway. I was also very lucky to have great teeth, and we got regular flouride treatments, so I’ve only ever had one filling. My current dentist is also very caring and gentle. She tells you exactly what she is going to do and there are no surprises.

If you are afraid to go to the dentist, you should ask for refferals from friends, family and co-workers for dentists that they really like. And before you make an appt. to get your teeth worked on, you should have an informal interview with any prospective dentist to let them know that you have a huge fear and what steps do they take to ensure that you can successfully get through the treatment (soothing music, twilight sleep). Also, see if you can tour the facility, some dentists treatment areas are set up so that there are several chairs in one room and people are getting treated in a communal area. I would NOT go in for that at all. Also, pick a dentist who does most of the work him or herself and does not rely on the hygenist to do all of the work. The hygenist should work in tandem with the dentist, but some of the get ‘em in and out quick types don’t operate like that. So do a little bit of investigation before you pick one. If you get a good one, everything should work out just fine.

Because I haven’t had any trouble with my teeth, and I brush and floss regularly, I only have to go in twice a year for X-rays and cleaning. Eventually I will have to have my filling replaced, but I have had that done before with my current dentist and it was just fine. You just have to be up front and honest with them, to let them know if you have any concerns or anxiety and a good dentist will work with you.

TexasDude's avatar

@Dutchess_III, this is a dental dam used in the context of dentistry. It is supposed to keep the operational site clean or some shit like that, but my fucking dentist literally dropped one down my throat, as in it was resting on my uvula for several minutes while I cried and gagged and choked.

As @Simone_De_Beauvoir mentioned, they are somewhat commonly used as part of safer oral sex practices, which I’m sure is a million times more pleasant than my experience with them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if you have the option of going to the dentists and taking care of your teeth you should be thrilled. I went without insurance of any kind for 4 years. The FIRST thing I did when I got it again was make a dental appointment and a well-woman exam.

Jeruba's avatar

My mother used to say she’d rather have a baby than go to the dentist any day. She went 9 years without a trip to the dentist. Then—guess what—it was up to her four grown-up babies to chip in and pay for expensive work that she couldn’t afford.

Only138's avatar

I am scared shitless!!!

answerjill's avatar

I was never afraid to go to the dentist because he is my dad!

dannyc's avatar

Do not like them one bit, but I must say I have found that newer dentists seem to be a bit more genteel. My old dentist was like Painless Potter..(really old movie that no one has probably seen but me). He also used to talk incessantly about investing in this or that, and I often was bewildered if he actually wanted me to answer whilst he had a barrage of equipment stuffed down my mouth.

TexasDude's avatar

@dannyc that’s because there are two drastically different paradigms of dentistry and the older model (referred to by some as the “paternalistic model”) is fortunately going the way of the dinosaur in favor of the “patient centered” model.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I’ve always called the “paternalistic model”, which my parents are big fans of, the “I know you’re paying me, but fuck you, asshole” model.

TexasDude's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs lol, that sounds about right.

rock4ever's avatar

I don’t fear the dentist even though it was a dentist who came up with the idea of the electric chair.

Bellatrix's avatar

That dentist must have had some truly awful patients @rock4ever.

chewhorse's avatar

I’m not afraid of them, I just don’t like them (or at least the one’s I went to).. I too am very sensitive and as a result (if I want more novocaine) I’m called a wimp and NOT in jest.. I once had a real good dentist but he moved out of state.. I like gas but the idiots I go to use novocaine and their sparceful at that.. When your gums burn as their working on you, in my book that means you still have feelings especially when it’s intolerable yet they shrug it off, call me a wimp and tell me to take it.. BAH!!

Hibernate's avatar

Thanks for replies ^^

Assassin_15's avatar

I used to get nervous when I went but I wasn’t scared. My dentist happened to be the best around and I normally felt very comfortable around him. The only time I was ever scared was when I had to get a tooth pulled. Today I only freeze a bit because I think they might say I have a cavity.

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