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Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Bunny Thwump

RFC - Superstitions...

RFC means request for comments...

I am really not a superstitious person. I do practice some superstitions but it is for my own entertainment. In otherwords... I do them because they amuse me... Not because they control me and I am afraid I need to. Sure... I will not say the name of the evil Scottish play or throw salt over my shoulder. But I do it for fun.

But there is one growing superstition that has me quite horribly locked into inaction. I need to return to a dentist. Very muchly. However, every time I go to a dentist something amazingly horrible happens.

I've been laid off of a job while in the dentist chair. I've been bilked of over $7K by a dentist. I've had a dentist remove teeth that weren't supposed to be removed and bridgework blown off.

I've had an orthodontist ... no.. you really don't want to know that one.

Fact is.. I have rational dental-phobia. And yes.. I'm certain everyone here can suggest dentists in and around my area who are... "Really great." What I need to do is find a way to let go of this experiential mindset that disaster will occur if I go to get my mouth taken care of.

This is horribly frustrating and bothersome to have something like this have control over me.


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Valium and breath work? Seriously, I don't know any other way to get over dentist-phobia other than to find a good dentist who coddles the phobic and to just force yourself to go the first time.

There are dentists who offer sedation for things as non-invasive as regular cleanings. There are dentists who advertize as "gentle." You can probably make an appointment for a "don't even think about touching my mouth" consultation just to get familiar with a new dentist if you explain your problems and express a need to meet the dentist and be put at ease first (and pay an office visit fee!) Referrals are great. So is a lack of complaints at whatever review board regulates dentists in our state.

I found a good one, but he's in West Seattle.

Good luck!

I'd probably go for a short, easy visit the first time back, so that things are much less likely to go wrong. Then when nothing goes wrong, I feel encouraged that things don't have to go wrong every single time.

Also, I might try psycho-cybernetics and do a few dentist visits from my living room.

Maybe putting together a written or visualized story of going to the dentist, having the work go normally, and going home to an ordinary, if slightly sore-mouthed, night at home?

I am a serious dental phobic. It stems from some very, very unpleasant experiences with my childhood dentist. Adding to the problem is the fact that I have "genetically soft tooth enamel". Which means I get a lot of cavities. I have panic attacks in the chair and frequently get some sort of drug-related soothing before I go under the drill or even the pick.

I always have a hard time making that first call to the new dentist, no matter how glowing a reference has been given. Having someone poking around in my mouth feels very...intimate to me. It feels overly intimate, and is almost always guaranteed to produce some pain or discomfort, so I put it off and put it off. Which of course creates even more problems. Making the call for the appointment is like (no pun intended) pulling teeth, and then the whole time leading up to the appointment I'm a nervous wreck. What if he/she doesn't take my phobia seriously? What if my teeth are beyond repair? What if I need a ton of very expensive work?

I get the whole control issue too. I'm always shocked at the amount of control my phobia has over this decision. Why would this otherwise brave woman turn into a quivering mess at the thought of going to the flipping dentist? It disgusts me sometimes. I get very frustrated with myself.

Your best bet is to see a dentist that a like-mindedly phobic friend has been seeing for a long time and can recommend. We phobes are very particular about our dentists. If you are interested, this phobe had an excellent, excellent dentist in downtown Seattle that I would be happy to refer you to. His name is Dr. Hal Kusick and he works in the Medical/Dental building downtown. His colleague, Dr. Johnson, is excellent as well. These poor guys have dealt with me dissolving into tears and even sobs the minute I sit in the chair, and are wonderfully patient and kind. The staff is as well. They were always dedicated to getting me through it in the best way possible for ME. Not for them, but for ME. They never hurried or dismissed me. They always listened and showed a great deal of concern. And they were very open about everything - including how much things costs and whether or not I actually needed it right away or if it was a "nice to have, but it can wait" issue.

You just have to go. I know it sucks. Yes, it does. I won't disagree. But...having a healthy mouth is very important. And a good dentist will want to know the whats and whys of your phobia, and will be able to address your fears based on that.

Good luck!

i already made my offer. you can ask john about its potential efficacy.

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