"Dentist fear and needle phobia vs dentist"

About: Locala Community Partnerships CIC / Dental services

(as the patient),

Well after an horrific couple of experiences at my local NHS dentist, fillings that lasted a week, telling me I needed extractions and numbing the wrong part of my mouth with a huge metal needle and then putting in a filling that wasn't needed left me terrified of going to the dentist despite being in pain I couldn't face it! Being a massive needle phobic didn't make things any easier for me as it meant a needle coming towards my face! Which is a no chance in my book! I ended up going to the Dr in that much pain he said I had to go to dentist I told him I couldn't go back after the experiences I had and couldn't get registered anywhere else as waiting list was month and years! ! He advised me as I was disabled and had such an extreme fear he would send me "upstairs" I had no idea there was a dentist upstairs. It is a specialist nhs dentist and my God what amazing people they have working there! !

I went for my first appointment and was shaking and crying from fear of going in and needing a needle. The first appointment I was seen by the male dentist who did x rays and talked me through them and what was wrong what needed to be done! He could see how jumpy I was for fear of having a sneaky needle put in my gums. He calmed me down and spoke to me about everything. I had no work done it was to find out the state of my teeth and explain what was needed. My second appointment again fear filled me as I entered the door. Shaking crying and really jumpy. I was greeted by the staff who were always so friendly and caring didn't make me feel pathetic for being upset a day scared which is rare these days!

When I went into the dentist room and she spoke to myself and my partner (who was there at every appointment to support me) so she understood my issues with the dentist and needles. She spoke to me about my teeth and the equipment and explained the noises and the different feeling that come from the tools. She showed me the actual needle they use which wasn't the massive metal needle that I have experienced before. She put numbing cream on my gums to show me what they can do to help prevent the pain before injection.

No work was done she just checked my teeth and did a quick clean on them.

The second appointment she wanted to try and do a small filling but we would take all the time we needed and no rushing to make sure I was OK at all times.

The numbing cream was applied she talked through what she would be doing showing which tools she would be using and asking about myself and my partner and our life. Putting me at ease. The needle is the main issue for me and I have panic attacks and turn nasty due to the fear. My partner held my hand and the dentist made sure the numbing stuff had worked and said she would do the application is quick bursts and count them down and could stop at any point! Never at any point have I ever been made to feel in total control in a situation with a needle.

I was able to stay calm and didn't bite or pull away and it was over in seconds.

After the second appointment I have several appointments to get all the work done that was required and at every appointment I was welcomed by all the staff who were very friendly! All the appointments were at my pace and injected on my terms. I don't think I have ever been so calm at a dentist. At my last appointment I walked in with my head held high no Shaking no crying and speaking to the staff was like speaking to friends as they got to know us over the last 9 months and it made it all so much easier. I was able to have the last bit of work done without my partners hand for support. I managed to stay calm even for the injection and the dentist said that I was now an extremely easy person to work on!

I cannot thank all of them enough it made such a big difference to me! They were all amazing! ! If you have a severe fear of dentist needles the tools anything I would highly recommend locala dentist in todmorden health centre!

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Responses

Response from Sarah True, Customer Engagement Manager, Locala Community Partnerships

Dear Missneedlephobic

Thank you so much for sharing your story and I am delighted that our team at Todmorden have managed to help you though your fears.

Many people don't realise that we have a team of specially trained clinicians who are able to help and support people like you who have a real fear of needles. They understand, explain and come up with a care plan that works for the patient they are treating. I am so pleased you are making such great progress and well done to you for keeping going and conquering your fears.

I will ensure that the team see this post, they will be so pleased that they have been able to help you and for your very kind and positive words.

Best wishes

Sarah

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