“When someone’s hand is in my mouth I feel like I’m drowning…”
Every day Steve gets out of bed, puts on his power suit and heads to the office where he runs a large team in a well-known company. Steve is 6 foot 2, athletic and makes million dollar decisions every day – in other words, he is no wuss.
However, the very thought of going to the dentist, even for a basic check-up and clean, sends Steve into a whirlwind of panic and fear. This is because according to research conducted by Bupa, Steve represents about two thirds of people who visit the dentist that have some form of dental anxiety.
“I’m quite an extreme case, when someone’s hands are in my mouth I feel like I am drowning,” Steve said.
“I think it’s something about not being in control that I find very confronting.”
Last year, Steve said he was five minutes into a standard check-up and clean appointment, when he jumped up out of the chair and left mid-appointment. “I was meant to go back to have it finished, but I never did,” he laughs.
His anxiety means he has had a very inconsistent approach to professional dental care, and usually only visits the dentist out of absolute necessity.
And unfortunately for Steve that day came not so long ago when he complained to his wife that he had a toothache and was in unbearable pain.
“My daughter has been getting Orthodontic treatment with Dr Kazzi at Bexley Dental, and so my wife took the opportunity while she was there to ask Dr Kazzi what could be done for me, given my extreme aversion to sitting in the chair.”
“Dr Kazzi was amazing. He sat with my wife and they went through all the options for anxious patients. And after finally getting me in (kicking and screaming!) for a consult, we determined the best option for me would be sedation.
“Apparently my tooth had decayed to the bone, which explained the extreme pain!” Steve said.
“Dr Kazzi was about to go on holidays so booked me in with his colleague Dr Farrington-Breeze, who talked me through the procedure in detail. I have never had so much trust in a dentist – especially considering I was going to relinquishing all control at this point!”
Steve said that while he will never be fully comfortable going to the dentist, this experience has assured him there are options and so he can at least have his yearly check-up.
“I never want to leave it so long again that I need such drastic intervention, and I have promised Dr Kazzi (and my wife!) that I will stay on top of this, for the sake of my health!” Steve said.
Well done to the team at Bexley dental for providing such an outstanding patient experience!