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Dentistry/broken back tooth

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Question
On my top back moller tooth I have pain off and on. Had filling there but broke off so like a lillt less then half of my tooth is gone..its about up to my gum line..anyways I probably need a root canal or to gave it pulled. The thing is I have a huge phobia of tge dentist and do not want to feel any pain at the dentis so what's the best way not to feel any pain besides getin put to sleep?? I did have one tooth pulled and he numbed it with a few shots but still was very painful so I'm very scared of getting ut dobe again??? Any suggestions? ????

Answer
Hi Pat and thanks for your question.

Let me firstly say well done for contacting someone regarding this, despite your understandable dental fear/phobia which you have.  Dental phobia is a condition, now fully recognized by the WHO, which affects about 16% of the world population and has been one aspect that I have been very involved in. You made the first step and getting the right information is an excellent way to start reducing the anxiety that surrounds the "unknown" or the fear of the unknown - the more you know, the better you can you prepare yourself and less you are likely to worry abut things that have no relevance to your proposed treatment.  You even know the possible treatments for the problem.  The sad thing is that you are carrying the burden of a past experience along with you each time you undergo subsequent dental treatment and it becomes like a viscous cycle because the phobia prevents you from having the dental treatment that you know you need, but really do not want to have done and in this way the phobia self-sustains itself and wins over your logical reasoning.  My advice, call and make an appointment for a day which suits you and let your friends and partner know as well.  Take someone with you on the day and don't be in a situation that you end up rushing and stressing unnecessarily - stay calm and leave enough time on the day.  I found it often useful to give very anxious patients 10mg diazepam 1 hour before their appointment, which just facilitates the ease of the appointment and reduces the anxiety (obviously you cannot drive after this, which is why a friend is always a good idea, if not just for the support). Ask as many questions as you need to in order to eliminate all grey areas of uncertainty in your mind over what exactly the treatment involves and doesn't involve.  Know what to expect and plan in your mind for that.  this is why it is so important to select an understanding and patient dentist who has knowledge of dental fears/phobias, because all communication must be open, honest and unrushed.  Remember also that the hands which are trying to heal you and working for you, in your mouth and you retain full control over what happens to your body, including your mouth.  If there is anything you are not happy with or don't understand, it is your full right to stop what is happening and get clarity before continuing - you must keep your focus and control over the situation and over your body.  Never ever feel that you are merely lying there under their control and cannot speak, interact and ask questions. Make the second step and call for an appointment and let me know how it progresses - you are not alone in this and do not have to carry on with this affliction caused by someone else years ago.  I wish you best of luck and take care.

Dr Craig Peck

Dentistry

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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)

Expertise

I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.

Experience

I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Organizations
Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

Education/Credentials
B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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