Photo: Getty Images
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been scared of dentists. The antiseptic smell of the dental office is enough to have my stomach going over in knots.
Listening to the sound of the drill while waiting to go in isn’t great either. I could tell some of the other patients were thinking the same thing, shuffling around nervously in their chairs, pretending to be interested in a magazine from five years ago.
It’s almost like childbirth in an odd way, you spend weeks worrying about what you are going to have to go through and then afterwards you wonder why you were so worried, but it doesn’t stop you from worrying the next time you have to go to the dentist.
It’s not just the smell of the place and the fact that I really didn’t want to show my less than perfect teeth to the dentist. I'm also wary of the dentist’s love affair with local anaesthetic.
Let me get this straight, I’m not needle phobic. I had so many blood tests during all my pregnancies that I wondered if I had enough blood left to fill up my face, but I can only tolerate needles in certain places and the idea of a needle in any sensitive areas like the genitals or inside the mouth, was just toe-curlingly cringey for me.
I refused outright. In fact, the only time I ever had to have a filling, I nearly ran out of the surgery when he told me. I told him there was no way in the world he would ever get me to consent to having a needle in my mouth so he said, “Fine, I’ll do it without anaesthetic.”
I think he expected me to back down and consent, but instead I agreed. Actually, for those of you who want to pass out at the thought of a needle in your gums, a filling without anaesthetic isn’t really painful at all, not until the last moment and then it’s over.
After that experience I avoided the dentist for years. After all, there are some procedures that cannot be done without anaesthetic and I never wanted to be in a position where I might have to consent to that dreaded needle in my mouth.
Fast forward several years and two babies later and I was forced to attend a dentist for medical reasons.