Dental phobia

Have I told you that I have a horrible fear of the dentist? Yeah, probably not … the mere mention of a dentist makes me clench my teeth. The sound of a drill can send me right through the roof.

I’ve had some awful experiences in the dental chair, the first of which happened when I was about 5 years old.

I’ve got a great dentist now, and I even survived getting a crown last week.

But because of my own scary memories, I’ve been extremely diligent about taking care of Beans’ teeth. Apparently I haven’t done enough, though, because today he got his first cavity filled. No matter how many times I hear that some people are just more cavity-prone than others, I’ll still feel like I just flat-out failed.

I swallowed my terror and plastered a smile on my face about the whole thing, but as we walked through the door of the dental clinic this morning I thought I might just collapse in a heap.

Beans was brave about the whole thing. He was downright giddy about playing video games in the waiting room before they called him back to a room, and he was calm through the administering of nitrous and through the injections and through the waiting-for-the-mouth-to-get-numb phase. It wasn’t until the dentist came back and started actually working on his tooth that Beans kind of lost it.

I was proud of him for holding perfectly still and doing what the dentist asked so the tooth that had already been prepped could be filled, all while tears were rolling down his cheeks and the look of panic in his eyes was making me want to cry, too. I held his hand, and tried to distract him, but if any of that helped I couldn’t tell it.

I’d love to say that I’m glad it’s all over. Unfortunately, there’s a second cavity that needs to be filled and we have another appointment in a couple of weeks. The dentist suggested that we wait on that one because he didn’t want to make time in the chair seem worse than it has to be.

I’m sure the dentist could have pushed through and gotten that other tooth filled – a lot of dentists probably would have. It wouldn’t have taken long, I know. Beans could have handled it, and by now it would be all over.

As much as I’m dreading this next visit, though, I’m so glad he didn’t. I know these are my fears … I sure don’t want them to be Beans’ fears, too. If we’re lucky, the memory he holds of trips to the dentist when he was 5 will be quite different than the ones I remember from that age.

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One Response to Dental phobia

  1. Heidi says:

    We were just talking this morning about getting dental visits, ugh.

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