I recently had to provide dental treatment for the 20-something year old girl-friend of my 20-something year old son.
This situation was a mutual nightmare. She was very fearful of dentists and dentistry and as a result had had no dental care for ten years or more and had a number of badly decayed teeth. She had had pain from one tooth for several months but until; 2 weeks ago could not bring herself to seek treatment for it. For my part I was being asked to sort out my son's girlfriend who had neglected her teeth through dental anxiety.

She had come to our house for Sunday lunch two weeks ago with a worsening toothache. She sheepishly took my wife, Chris, aside to tell he about the problem and we discussed the situation and the options open to help her out, including IV sedation or R.A. (" Happy Air"). She decided she could wait until the next day (our day off) and so attended for treatment that day with R.A.
We managed to save her painful tooth and stop the pain. She has kindly written her story to let other anxious people realise that they can be helped.

This is her story, in her own words.

" I have been terrified of dentists ever since I was a child. A lady dentist managed to inject the wrong part of my mouth and started drilling a tooth that wasn't even numb !! Now I only go if the pain is unbearable which hasn't been for 8-10 years. Sweaty palms, white knuckles and tears are all I can manage before turning away from the dreaded dentists door.
Last year I met my boyfriend and nearly had a coronary when he told me his dad (Richard) was a dentist; not only that but his mum(Chris) was a dental nurse too. Aaaaarrrggghhh!!

But with gentle persuasion he assured me that his dad dealt with people like me all the time so I finally went to talk to Chris ... who was lovely and understanding and promised £50 if they hurt me !!
The dreaded day ...................
Thankfully its a Monday. Richard and Chris are usually closed so the practice is empty, it doesn't even smell like a dentists. Sweaty palms and white knuckles are terrible as I sit in the chair at 10 o'clock. Richard and Chris were great at explaining everything as the mask went over my nose. After that it is a bit of a blur. I think I must have fallen asleep at some point !!!
The next thing I remember is hearing Richard say It was 11.45 and it was nearly all done!
It only felt like 20 mins since I sat down !!

No pain during or after, my poor brain can't take this. I have spent the last 18 years associating dentists with unbearable pain and nasti-ness and I can't even really remember anything of the last two hours least of all any pain that I wasn't already in.
Dare I say I am actually looking forward to my next appointment.Yes I do!
Thank you Richard and Chris. Now I know that dentists aren't evil, I will be back. CU in a couple of weeks XXX.

It is worth saying that she did not "go to sleep " at any time and that most people do remember most of the treatment session but just don't care about it. The time does seem to fly by though, which is useful.

The £50 is still in MY pocket!

Today she had her second appointment. She was much less anxious but we still used RA since she had four fillings to do including two very big ones. Everything was absolutely fine and she left a very happy bunny!