Being nervous about visiting the dentist is common; it’s a fear that’s right up there with spiders, birds and flying – and for lots of people, is understandable. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should just sit back and accept an uncomfortable mouth, a feeling of panic or an overwhelming sense of worry.
A patient of ours, Julie, had those fears just 4 weeks ago.
Her formative years were spent in and out of hospital undergoing reconstructive surgery – in fact, her first surgery was at 6 weeks old. Julie was born with a double hare lip, a cleft palate and no nose – she had over 600 stitches in and around her face during her years of being in and out of hospital.
Her heart-stopping fear was entirely comprehendible – she‘d essentially been passed from surgical pillar to post for most of her life. Unfortunately, when she first visited the dentist aged 18, she had an experience that resulted in her unable to trust dentists. This experience created a fear and panic that meant that Julie would go on to visit the dentist just 3 times in 30 years. Her fear was so bad, she’d trick doctors into prescribing her antibiotics for an invented ear infection – that actually, were for an abscess that had erupted.
Julie describes herself as being ‘’…petrified. I’d had such awful experiences with dentists and surgeons that for 30 years, I’d check my mouth every morning for abscesses…and feel relieved when I didn’t find anything’’.
Julie’s son is 11 years old and unfortunately, also had a bad experience with a dentist at 6 years old – we can only imagine Julie’s feelings as a mother as she witnessed her little boy start displaying the same signs of worry and upset about the dentist as herself.
But…instead of letting them both succumb to fear, she decided to pick up the phone to Beaufort Dental Health Centre. In her own words, she finally ‘’…felt listened to…" that she wasn’t ‘’…just another number on a conveyor belt…’’. In fact, they ‘’…couldn’t be kinder or more reassuring; they tell you exactly what they’re doing, when they’re going to do it and how they’ll be doing it’’!
After just a handful of visits to Beaufort Dental Heath Centre, Julie and her son now both look forward to visits ‘’…to their friends…’’. They have teeth cleaning competitions at home and get super-excited about oral health – so much so that Julie’s parting words were ‘’Work now – I’d rather have another filling though!".
‘’It’s the best 50
Thank you, Julie, for taking the time to chat with us – we appreciate you sharing your story. We also know it’ll help people feel reassured that a trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be feared. If you’re concerned, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone like Julie did – and call 01283 569000.