I have avoided dentists like the plague. I had the same childhood fear of dentists that most people my age will have. They weren't very gentle then - and I can still smell that gas mask coming down on me. Then as an adult I had a very bad expereince, which I think justified my childhood fears. As a result, I'd rather do just about anything than subject myself to a dentist's chair. Although I do look after my teeth, I know it's not the same as professional care and I've been aware for some time that my teeth have that yellow stained look of a smoker.

So, now I'm knocking smoking on the head, I thought I'd better do something about teeth. So, on the spur of the moment - and after two large glasses of wine - I went into a local dentist to ask if they took on new NHS patients. I expected them to say 'no', they said 'yes'. I must have walked into the only dentist in the UK that is.

Then I said 'I'm a very nervous patient and not sure I should be here.' I expected them to say 'Well, go away and think about it', they said: 'We specia1ise in nervous patients'.

We then had a lot of silence as a long queue was forming behind me. Nice receptionist asked me if I wanted to make an appointment. I said 'Not sure, maybe some time in the future...'. She said 'How about next Monday at 4.20pm'.

I said: 'I want someone who is kind, gentle, understanding and won't hurt me', aware that I sounded like I was in a dating agency rather than a dentist.

She said: OK.

So Monday I'm in a dentist chair for the first time in years and dreading it already.

Anyone else done the post-smoking dental treatment?


12 Replies

  • I've been considering whitening after I've been quit 6 months and I've got a couple of teeth I've had removed that I'd like to get replacements fitted but thats considered cosmetic dentistry so will no doubt costs the earth.

    Good luck with your appointment, Rest assured they are a lot more gentle than when I was a kid. Mine looks and speaks like Arnie but is a really nice bloke.

  • I

    I said: 'I want someone who is kind, gentle, understanding and won't hurt me', aware that I sounded like I was in a dating agency rather than a dentist.

    She said: OK.

    haha. thats brilliant. rofl

    yeah, i havent been for over 10 years. need to find your courage. good luck! :D

  • Cyprien,

    Ok....I will say that I have you beat on being scared of the dentist! When I was a little girl i would go to get my teeth filled and he would give me this shot called a thumper, was like a gun and it had a needle and would put it where they needed to give me the shot and thump it would go in and he would go and work on another patient and come back and start drilling, was not deaden yet! So of course I would scream and cry and he would have to do it again, was awful. So needless to say I went years without going to the dentist. As years went on my bottom 4 teeth got chipped and broke, I was not looking to pretty and hated that.

    So I started looking into oral sedation, which is some pills they give you 30 mintues before they start to work on you and they make you like you are in la la land, it's like you go to sleep but you are still awake but you are like, you can do whatever you want in my mouth I don't care! It's the best thing since slice bread! Now when I had the 4 teeth pulled I paid extra to have an IV and go to sleep in the office, but when I had my bridge and fillings done I got the pills which they call oral sedation and it was a piece of cake! I won't go to the dentist unless I get those pills! Now I have pretty teeth and I'm not scared anymore! Ask them if they use this method, it's so worth it.

    Good luck and your not alone being scared of them evil dentist!


  • Cyprien I do hope your dentist is kind, gentle & understanding. Not to mention tall, dark and handsome! :)Seriously, well done for taking the plunge.

    I have no fear of dentists and one of the first things I sorted was a visit to clean up my teeth and treat myself to a long needed veneer on a front tooth (call it a reward for not smoking).

    My one problem with going to the dentist has been embarrassment about the fact that I smoked. I mean, if anyone is going to notice the fag-ash-lil' breath it'll be him won't it. Imagine my surprise when, in the dentist's chair (post quit) I noticed that unmistakeable smell of the person who has smoked in the past few hours. MY DENTIST SMOKES!!! Wish I'd known that before, it would have saved me all sorts of worry.

    Anyway, teeth now look lovely and I can't stop admiring them. Am so vain:D

  • Hi Sue,

    I know exactly how you feel. At 6 I had an absess tooth on Christmas day and as my mother knew the dentist she called and he opened up his surgery to see me...oh joy and Christmas spirt!!! He then proceeded to pull my tooth without any pain relief. I was stapped down in the chair and as a special thank you for the unexpected Christmas gift I thew up all over him... :o

    Then at 8 I had to have 4 adult teeth removed in one sitting by the same wonderful man...did I mention he was a raging alcholic who dies a few years later by falling down a flight of stairs when say I was traumatised was an understatement.

    I did not return to a dentist for 30 years such was my fear. But when I did I found a whole new world of dentists who really do not want to cause you any pain at all and are actually lovely people no sadists like the past. It does help that he is about 30 and Very good looking.

    I've posted before about the probelms I have had with my mouth since stopping smoking but it is all so much better now and I would still go back without a moments worry if I had to.

    What I am trying to say in a very long winded tell them your fears and they will be really understanding and gentle. You will be amazed, the only pain you should feel is your bank balance, but thats a whole other topic. :D

    Sorry for rambling and good luck xx

  • Right - I'm off and about to do it. I know I'm a complete whimp and loads and loads of people go through much much worse without a whimper. But nevertheless, I've already done three glasses of wine, so if I breathe on the dentist he's likely to recoil with alcoholic poisoning! (Better go and brush my teeth - again)


  • LOL, that made me laugh out loud at my desk, my boss is going to wonder what's up with me! 3 glasses of wine before the dentist, hmmmm maybe I should of tried that before!

    Good luck and let us know how you did!


  • Good luck Sue!

    I haven't registered with a dentist since I moved (in June) - I don't even know where the nearest is!

    I could use a scale and polish though, and I have a healthcare plan - it only covers me up to £75 per year though so I'm a bit paranid I'll need loads of fillings!

  • Fantastic....3 glasses of wine before the dentitst... I like your style.

    Hope it went well sweetheart xx

  • Hi Sue

    Yes, I have had post smoking dental treatment. I think I posted on here somewhere about it. I am so nervous of dentists too and would usually smoke loads to "de-stress" me as I used to think fags relieved stress (probably like we all did).

    Anyway it was fine and I now how really pearly white nashers and great breath and I want to keep it that way.

    I went out and brough myself a new electric toothbrush with some of the money I have saved. (Boots have them 1/2 price at the moment).

    Let us know how you get on

    Tinks xx

  • Hi - Well, as you all told me, it wasn't as bad as I thought - and has moved on considerably from the Dark Ages and torture implements of my childhood.

    Dentist was very nice and the room was so modern. It even had a TV screen on the ceiling showing cartoon-like teeth (mine I think).

    Anyway, I feel so lukcy as I have neglected professional treatment, I don't *need* anything doing. Good news.

    But there are things I *could* have done if I liked. Bad news - and who on earth gets something done at the dentist 'if they like'...

    But, after taking advice I'm going to have a tooth capped at the back, which is broken. Not causing me any trouble, but might do in the future if I don't get it sorted.

    I do want to get rid of these nicotine stains. Tinkerbell, did you get your teeth whitened at the dentist. I don't like the idea of this scale and polish, but they also do some form of whitening where they give you a gum shield and you fill it with gunk (I think that is the technical term) each day for a fortnight. This costs less than £300 which is less than I would have spent in cigarettes in the time, so I think I can treat myself.

    I'd love veneers but think they are cost prohibitive.


  • Morning Sue

    Glad you overcame you child phobia, I once had a dentist drill my tongue when I was a young girl, the dentist said I had the most active tongue he had ever seen (do you think that meant I talked too much!!).

    Anyhow I went to my hygienist yesterday, who was so pleased I had given up but my teeth and gums are still very sore and bleed a lot, she assured me this would pass. However they were in a bit of a state because of the lollies and sweets etc. I was explaining that I was addicted to lollies and she said yes you have had one this morning, wow I said you know that by looking at my teeth I said, no Christine it's because your tongue is blue!!!!:(

    Anyway she did lecture me on buying sugar free sweets etc, god what do these people want from me. I’ve given smoking do not take all the joy from my life!!;)

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