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Dental.............Mental - Carers UK Forum


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I am absolutely seething!!

I have never been very good with needles at the dentist. My dentist in Edinburgh who kept us on when we retired north fitted in appointments to suit OH`s hospital appointments. He was a hero and never gave me any unwanted/un-needed anaesthesia. I hopped along doped up with neurofen, had my check-up, he did the scale and polish at the same time and if any little filling needed done, just got it over and done with there and then. OH was the same, and always the appointments were for half an hour each, back to back just before the dentist`s lunchtime, so if anything major needed seeing to he would still have time to sort it out.

We hit the jackpot in the summer, OH having been fast tracked onto the local NHS dental scheme. As they are working out of a caravan just now with hopeless disabled access the dentist visited at home, agreed to take me on his list as my OH`s carer and said my phobia was nothing to worry about. I would be fine.

My check up was done in the caravan by the same dentist who wanted to make a separate appointment with the hygienist for a scale and polish, and another appointment with a different dentist to get a small filling done to a front tooth near the gum on the inside of the tooth. He won`t do it without anaesthetic and last time I had lignocaine I almost died from palpitations they couldn`t control. Gave me adrenalin and made it even worse, which is probably where the phobia came from. He can`t promise me the lady dentist will be any more sympathetic but feels "you are talking nonsense and neurofen won`t help". Pardon me, but I managed root canal treatment with positive mental attitude and neurofen!!

When all these appointments were being made because of the hospital visit last week I lost out on an appointment for the hygienist. I did explain to the receptionist why I couldn`t go, and she was fine about it....................Arrived home to a letter saying the appointment had been changed to.................the same day the letter arrived...............so I phoned and explained, the girl remembered the conversation, and apologised for not remembering. Today I received a letter telling me if I don`t attend appointments without giving good reason I will be struck off.

See now why I am seething? Also in the same post was a rescheduled appointment for the hygienist in February 2011. If they stretch each set of treatment out this far and check ups are counted six months from the end of treatment I will be lucky to get one check up a year!

I did think of sticking with the old dentist even though it meant travelling six hours each way, but just heard he has left the practice to move to Manchester.

Dreading this filling now on Friday morning, and she had better not give me anything to make me ill as I have to take dad to the dental hospital at 11am and need to be well enough to drive.

Rant over, but still seething.........................By the way I am grateful we got an NHS dentist, but had hoped to get someone with compassion.

Take care
You should stop complaining Meg! Up here over the firth we used to have a great dental service. We had a moblile dentist who came to the isles and specialist treatment was also easily accessible on the NHS. I have had orthodontic treatment myself on the NHS. Now because of Health and Safety the mobile unit was taken out. There are also problems with recruiting and now only emegency treatment is available unless you pay for the private dentist. I have half a tooth missing and need a hygeinist but I know I will have to go to a private dentist in Aberdeen, as my husband does, without having to wait for an eternity. Even the private dentist up here is over subscribed. NHS dentristry is a rare commodity these days- my son in Aberdeen has to save up to go the dentist.
Dentists seem to be raking in the money for spreading out their treatments, as you say Meg.
My daughter has been having the same trouble.
Dragonlady,if your son puts his name down with the Health Board, he will be allocated an NHS place,when one becomes available. We had to wait two years to be allocated a place.I am not happy with the dentist, but at least we get seen once or twice a year.
The whole NHS dental thing is a disgrace. I had an awful game trying to find one to take on my son and I when we moved here, was suffering an absessed tooth at the time.
Meg, I know a few people who have dentist phobias and who've had problems with being numbed, it's no laughing matter at all. I'm lucky I don't have a dentist phobia but I do have a terrible fear of spiders. Sending you hugs.

Karen x x
HI Meg
Fully understand your problem with dentists. I, along with my daughters, can only have plain carbocaine, i.e. with no adrenaline, as we black out, and as you say have palpitations. It is the adrenaline that causes the problem I was told. I am surprised the dentist hasn't come across this as in South Africa a reaction is quite common. The reason they don't like giving the plain carbocaine, I think, is that it wears off very quickly indeed but a good dentist will tell you to raise your hand immediately you feel anything which makes you feel more in control.
Good luck with the future appointments.

I hesitate to say this, but you can have your teeth filled without any pain killers. It's tolerable if the cavity in the tooth is shallow.

I would have trouble holding my temper if any medical professional told me something I know to be true for myself was "nonsense." What a &@!@@ The arrogance of some people, really.
Like you Meg, I prefer not to have injections as they leave my mouth very sore at the injection site. But the real pain has to be to my pocket - NHS or not ! This last root canal has so far cost me £320 and I've still to have the tooth capped as the filling was very large and what's left of the original tooth is very fragile - so that's going to be another £300+ to find in the New Year. And those are NHS rates Image Image
Thank you for the replies.

Stacey you hit the nail on the head. I have had major dental treatment in the past without any dental pain relief. I have had a crown, two capped, a second back tooth removed to let the wisdom tooth come in as it was in better condition, all without pain relief, just positive mental attitude, trust and neurofen. The drilling and filling doesn`t bother me and I save the NHS time and money in the long run with shorter appointments and no anaesthetic costs.

Susie has also made valid points. I am lucky my treatment has been free on the NHS, even the porcelain crown I was told I couldn`t have was done by my previous dentist as a "clinical trial" using a new product.

I have just phoned the person who sent the letter saying I would be struck off if I missed appointments again. I explained that the surgery changed the appointment and sent a letter which I didn`t receive until the afternoon of the day my appointment had been changed to, but if they had phoned to check first I would have been able to tell them I was away at the hospital. "Just ignore the letter then" was her reply and she put the phone down.

With attitudes like that I am surprised they have any clients at all.

I am off now to research having my reactions to previous anaesthetics translated into Polish/Lithuanian, so my family can have some come back if I die. They can`t say they weren`t told.

Take care
Dragonlady, I am thankful we have hit the jackpot and got onto the local NHS list more for my husband`s sake than mine. His new dentist is happy to drill and fill him without anaesthetic and he doesn`t have health issues about the medications and has taken them in the past for major works. OH`s dentist assured him I would be treated in the same way but has now passed me off to someone else who thinks I am stupid.

Dental records should be like medical records and follow the patients from practice to practice, then they would see I almost died in 1974 having been given an overdose of valium which I hadn`t wanted in the first place. I was given this as the year before I had almost died from heart problems following lignocaine injection. Through no fault of mine I was blacklisted from the local dental practices for nine years. Eventually I found a new, young dentist who was willing to take me on and work on my mouth within our comfort zones without anaesthetic. When I moved he suggested a like minded dentist in Edinburgh and even though we moved to Caithness some years ago we still attended the Edinburgh practice fitting it in with hospital appointments. If that dentist was still with the practice I would still be with him.

It is bad enough trying to explain all this to someone who understands, but I do not know how to beat the language barrier.

I have had two near death dental experiences, and I do not want a simple low grade filling to be the death of me, especially when it is so easily avoided.

Take care
Meg- If you have a problem with anaesthesia it should be in your general medical notes and the dentist should refer to your GP who would normally refer for dental treatment in a hospital or with a specialist health board dentist. I would get your Gp to write to the dentist.