Diary of a dentophobic

10Mar10

I went to the dentist today. To the average, well balanced person, this might seem like a minor occurence and not worthy of mention. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people, as I’ve had a perpetual fear of the dentist’s chair since I was just a little girl.

It all began when, as a child who wasn’t particularly interested in dental hygiene, I required a number of fillings and dental work. Following this, I had 5 teeth removed to accommodate the fitting of train-track braces, followed by a removable brace, followed by a retainer. After 3 years of injections, x-rays, brace tightenings and general discomfort, every trip back to the dentist instilled more fear in me than the last.

Thankfully, my mum forced me to go every six months while dental care was still free. But when I hit 18, I suddenly had to pay…so I stopped going. After 3 years or so, I started to have horrific nightmares about my teeth falling out, or simply crumbling in my mouth. The recurring nightmares were too much to bear, and I finally booked an appointment. 2 extremely painful fillings later, I was ready for another 3 year break. (For anyone who’s ever had fillings, you know they’re not SUPPOSED to be painful).

That break ended this morning, as I reluctantly took once again to the dentist’s chair. I needed another filling and an X-ray, and the fear came flooding back. After 10 minutes in the chair, I realised I had been tensing my muscles so fiercely and locking my hands together so tightly, that when I relaxed I was shaking like a leaf. It didn’t hurt at all and my dentist was very professional, but the whole experience was still incredibly stressful.

Being out of a job, paying for dental work isn’t at the top of my list of ‘things I want to spend money on’ (which if you’re wondering, goes a little something like this):

  1. X-box 360 games
  2. Clothes
  3. Shoes
  4. Books
  5. Food

But I know it’s a necessary evil and that really, it’s good value for money. I wanted to share my discomfort to get it off of chest, and to see if anyone out there with phobias can possibly relate!

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