Thursday, 11 October 2012


I think I took this sky at night photo about a week ago.  Pink clouds on a blue background.  Very satisfying.  I try to look for special moments these days. The last few years, months, days have been most trying, so now I just seize handfuls of joy where I can.  Like many of you, I get much pleasure from cloud/sky watching.

Today has not been one of the best.  I won't subject you with all the details other than to say I had a panic attack at the dentist surgery.  I used to suffer with panic attacks quite a lot due to bad experiences at various dental surgeries.  I have had six dental appointments in as many weeks recently.  I have learnt to take deep breaths and try to relax during treatment but today it was as though all my 'training' unravelled and exposed my 'controlled self' as a fraud.

Even now I could cry if someone as much as poked me in the arm.  I am feeling weak, stupid, vulnerable, highly strung and still traumatised even though my appointment was more than 5 hours ago. I have another appointment in 3 weeks time.  I think I will be otherwise engaged.

I just want to add that I don't have an irrational fear of the dentist. My fear is based on a catalogue of negative experiences. I have had a lot of trauma at the dentists over the past decade.  I have had part of an instrument break off into my gum, endless root canal treatments one of which took over 4 hours, a surgical procedure where the dentist couldn't stop my gum from bleeding, a large filling that was undertaken without numbing me up and hitting a nerve.  I have had treatment in excess of 7 different surgeries and at a dental hospital.  I can no longer find an NHS dentist as I am told that the treatments I require are not done on the NHS.  I have attended a dental surgery every year since I was a child and yet I am constantly having to have work done.

My recent trip to the dentist was for a check up.  I was told that I had gum disease and would require deep cleaning of the 4 quadrants at £30.00 a time.  I was then told that I needed an extraction at £50.00.  On Monday I was relieved that I had my last teeth cleaning appointment when the dentist informed me that I had a large hole in my filling that required fixing.  Today I went to have this amalgam filling at £60.00 and she told me that as it was so large and full of decay she might get close to hitting a nerve.  She then said that root canal treatment may be necessary.  The last time I had this done it cost £500.00 albeit at a different surgery.  As my tongue and mouth was numb and hearing what she was saying caused me to freak out thinking I was going to swallow my tongue as she encased my tooth with a collar to fill it. 

To cut a very long story short, she gave me a temporary filling (where the collar was not required) and told me to return in 3 weeks time to have the temporary filling removed and a permanent one put in.  She said this would cost a further £25.00.  I hope this background information helps to explain my panic attack.


  1. How I understand you Simone, I'm absolutely terrified of dentists just the noise of their instruments is enough to set me on edge.

  2. I too used to suffer with panic attacks until I read Dr Claire Weeke's books and learned how to live again! Hope your next dentist appointment will not be postponed as you will surely add to the apprehension a portion of self loathing for giving in - as you can see I do understand having been there!

  3. You're not alone in fearing the dentist Simone, it's a very common thing.
    Today has been bad for you, don't give yourself a hard time, it's almost at an end. Tomorrow is going to be better!!
    Vivienne x

  4. Oh you poor thing, try drinking Chamomile Tea before your next appointment. Actually, the Practise should try to help you overcome your anxieties. I've never had such problems but I do sympathise.

  5. Sorry to hear this Simone, now will you think of me as a weird person if I tell you I like going to the dentist?! I've had a lot of things done to my teeth and gums, even a surgery once.
    I hope you can fix this and your teeth will be better soon

  6. I was so terrified of the dentist I didn't go for 25 years, then broke a tooth straight down the middle and had to do something. I'd agree with marigold jam. It gets even worse the longer you put it off, and you'll feel a huge sense of relief and achievement when it's all over and done. You can do it.

  7. When my son was little the dentist charged me$1000. For a tooth that was going to fall out any how, never felt the same since.

  8. Simone, if you are now going private, does the practice offer sedation? I had this when I had the tooth out after my 25 years of non-attendance. It knocks you out, so you know nothing about the treatment at all. The only downside (apart from the additional cost) is that you need to have a companion go along with you, because you can't just drive home straight after the appointment.

  9. Dear lovely Simone,

    Oh my goodness I completely understand! I am, I hope, at the tail end of a year and a half dental treatment for gum disease which has caused my many panic attacks too. The worst were the six appointments when the surgeon made incisions into my gums to clean the roots of the teeth. Never again. I have to return next week for a check-up which I am dreading - although the dentist in question is quite lovely - because despite cleaning my teeth for around 5-8 minutes three times a day I still get a spot of bleeding from time to time. I hate admitting I have a weakness. But we all have them, don't we?

    I really, really sympathise.


  10. Oh, poor you, sounds awful! A friend of mine started to get panic attacks and was told to breath into a paper bag and put an asprin under his tongue - not something you can do in the dentist's chair - it seemed to work for him. If you go private do you pay an insurance? Another friend who has to have lots of work done on her teeth does this so it eases the costs which can be quite considerable. I broke a tooth the other week and when I went to the dentist was told the cavity was too large to fit a bridge and crown as it would keep coming off and that it would be too 'traumatic' to have what was left taken out!!! No wonder you paniced with all that stuff in your mouth. Take carexxx

  11. Lovely Simone,

    Just returning from your sweet comment on my blog! Do not worry; you have not in any way added to my apprehension. I promise you. Just remember you are not alone.


  12. I understand exactly how you feel Simone. I had a terrible experience with one dentist and like you seem to be having constant treatment. I am always terrified but make myself go to appointments. Perhaps someone could go along with you to support you? Hope you have a better day today - do something to cheer yurself up.


  13. Hi Simone,
    I'm just now catching up with your blog. Oh dear, you poor thing!! Bad enough to have had so many traumatic dental experiences, but the very high cost only adds insult to injury!!!
    I have had a couple of panic attacks and I know how out of control we feel when they hit us. Not to worry - don't you think dentists, of all people, must have seen their share of panic attacks by patients? I do think that MANY people have great fear of the dentist, myself included!!
    Take care,
    Judy xx

  14. Hi Simone - just catching up with everyone's news as I am a bit behind this week. So sorry to hear you are having a bad time and that the nasty dentist is the cause. I sympathise with you totally - the dentist visit is my one nightmare and experiencing panic attacks another - either are quite upsetting but both together is unbearable I would imagine. I will be with you in thought as I can't be with you in person and hope that your next visit proves to be a little easier to cope with, pain free and cheaper!
    Take care now and keep us posted x


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