Now that I’ve set the scene and proven to you guys why my fear of the dentist was so understandable, I can start getting into the fear recovery process. It was a gruelling process that involved… exposure therapy. Even though it worked and I’m no longer scared of the dentist, I still shudder at the thought of what I put myself through in order to get myself to this point. I went through a lot so that I’d be able to have nice teeth in the future.
Ever since I moved out of home at nineteen, I stopped going to the dentist. My parents weren’t around to force me to go and I didn’t want to put myself in a scenario that I wouldn’t enjoy and that would cost me hundreds of dollars. But last year my parents and siblings banded together and told me that I really needed to start going to the dentist or I’m going to lose my teeth, which would require much more dental work.
What they said hit home and I started looking into preventative dentistry, exposure therapy and local dentists who specialised in dealing with people’s fears around dental treatments. I ended up finding a dentist that really understood where I was coming from. She was sympathetic to my fears and didn’t take any of them personally. Instead, she was dedicated to making me feel safe and comfortable.
A good portion of her technique involved keeping me involved in the process. She went to the effort to explain everything she was going to be doing in my mouth, and that is why she’s the Cheltenham dentist that I’ll choose for the rest of my life. I could move to the other side of the city and I would still make sure to make my dental appointments with her. I may no longer be afraid of dentists, but I’ll definitely feel better being at a dentist that I know.