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June 24th, 2007

Phobic

I really need the advice and encouragement of my friends right now.  Here's the thing, I know I need to go to the dentist (I have known this for years now) but I am dental phobic.  I'm not terrified or anything, but I get extremely anxious at the mere thought of entering a dental surgery and am fearful of the pain (more like discomfort really) that treatment will bring.  I also don't like the smell and noises associated with dentistry.

I've never had a single positive dental experience.  I've never gone for a check-up and been given the all-clear.  I've always needed treatments, starting about age 10 with extractions and fillings, then orthodontic treatment until I was about 13.  After that I steered well clear and I would only go to a dental hospital when I was in agony with toothache, which always resulted in an extraction (about 4 in a 2-3 year period).  Not good at all.  

The last time I went, which was about 3 years ago, I was told I had periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease.  It would appear to be mild to moderate - my gums have receded slightly and gaps are forming between some of my teeth but there is no pain, no loose teeth, and my gums are still firm and pink.  I'm hoping therefore that I'll only need a few deep cleanings and not any kind of periodontal surgery, which I think is for really advanced cases only.  I've put my gum condition to the back of my mind but on Saturday, for some reason, it popped into my head and wouldn't leave.  I was online all Saturday night and all of today reading about treatments and success stories from other phobics and I felt a bit better but SHIT I am still so scared.  :(

Please, can anyone reassure me or kick my ass to get to a dentist.  I'll have to register with a new one now that I've moved house, or maybe go private.  I just want this worry to go away so that I can get a good nights sleep but I'm so scared of dentists.  I know that every time I do make myself go the imagined outcome is always much worse than the reality but still - so scared.

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