Dental Anxiety

My body literally clenches up when I enter a dental office and even when I make an appointment over the phone. I had braces in middle school. Anyone who has had braces remembers what a pain in the butt it was to have monthly check-ups, food no-no’s, cleaning, and those dreaded head gears. After my first round of braces, I started to have even more anxiety about going to the dentist. Visit after visit, there was always a huge procedure that had to be done (root canals, wisdom teeth, etc). It got so expensive that sometimes I flew back to Taiwan to have the same things done for less than the air ticket and procedure combined!

In and around 2009, I finally found an amazing dentist. People thought I was nuts to be driving all the way to Frederick from the Baltimore area. His team always helped make me feel at ease and even applying a special numbing gel just for a cleaning. I had a few root canals done and was sedated for those. They even recommended a “gentle” orthodontist when I needed to do another round of braces. I was literally treated like royalty at both offices. They really changed my view of dentists and my anxiety levels fell a few notches, even though my body still reacted the same.

I had been putting off going to the dentist here, because I honestly don’t think there is any team out there that could be as good as what I had back in Maryland. When I went to make my appointment about a month ago for my first consultation, I had no idea what to expect. I just went with the recommendations of reviews I had found online.  The dentist turned out to be nice enough and I continued to make my cleaning appointment with one of his hygienists. By the way, according to the dentist, dentists in Austria do not use anesthesia or Novocaine for any cavity procedures. YIKES! He assured me that he was an exception to that.

So I went in for my cleaning and it was basically uneventful. My body still clenched up and I did wince at times.The hygienist was nice and as gentle as she could be. Like many things in Austria, there were no frills about it. And it’s also no surprise that there wasn’t A/C either. It may not be up to the standards that I’m used to, but she got the job done without raising my anxiety levels and that’s the best I could hope for, right?

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