“Today was a big day, I have always been petrified of the dentist for as long as I can remember, and today was a day of having 2 very big fillings replaced which meant lots of injections. That was today, let’s give you a bit of back story….”

Even as an adult I had to take my business card to a dentist appointment because I’d be shaking and crying so much I couldn’t tell the receptionist my name. If I needed work done I wouldn’t sleep for a week, the worry of the appointment looming over me keeping me awake at night and creeping into every quiet Monet during the day. I would be short and snappy for days before an appointment, on edge knowing that I was going to be tortured imminently. Once when I was at uni a dentist told me I needed a filling, I got up out of the chair and ran out of the room, out of the practice and kept running til I got home, my boyfriend was sent after me by the dentist and apparently I didn’t respond to him shouting so he gave up chasing me and he had to pay for the appointment. Another time I had a filling done and sweated through all my clothes, left a puddle of sweat and tears on the chair (that’s what I’m claiming anyway) and had to go home to change out of my wet clothes before returning to work. Another time a dentist told me I needed a wisdom tooth out and when I left I panicked and crashed the car. When said dentist took my tooth out I jumped out of my seat threatened to knock him out and refused to sit down for about 20 minutes. Then I screamed the place down and felt traumatised. He was awful and so was the experience that I will never forget how violated and tortured I felt.

Over the years I found a dentist who was wonderful #awesomedentistJohnNewland and even when he moved to a different practice an hours drive away I went with him. He was wonderful, he was patient, listened, explained and looked after me so my phobia of dentists declined. Sadly the wisdom tooth episode with a “specialist” ruined all his hard work and I returned to having a huge fear.

At the end of October 2019 a filling chip came out and then I started suffering from nerve pain, excruciating and eye watering. I had to find a new dentist: #awesomedentistJohnNewland had moved to Anglesey and that was just too far to go. I had to find a new dentist. Filled with fear I spoke with my friend who recommended “Knowle Smile Spa” who have understanding dentists. I bit the bullet and booked a consultation. I missed the first appointment, family stuff came up and I was happy to put it off for another week. Then the consultation came, I managed to get through it without crying but was shaking and found it hard to speak. When he showed me the x rays and told me I needed work the tears started flowing and kept flowing even when I was at the reception paying and booking the appointment for the work.

The dentist saw my fear and took pity on me, prescribing a sedative for me to take before “the work”. Well, the sedative would mean that I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t pick up 3 kids, couldn’t help out at my Daughter’s Rainbows, and I didn’t know if I’d be ok enough to look after them, I didn’t have anyone to do all that for me so the decision was not to take the sedative so I would need another way to cope with this hideous appointment that was looming large.

I chose to practice what I preach, I used one of my technics and visualised every night before going to sleep the whole appointment. From walking into the reception, to lying down, to the dentist looming over me with the massive needles, to the drills, and the jaw being locked open. I visualised it happening and the dentist being kind and gentle, I visualised me being calm and breathing through any pain, I visualised being in the sea (my happy place) while it was happening, I visualised it being a lovely experience again and again. When I first started my visualisation my heart would race at the thought of this dentist, anytime someone asked I would retract inwardly and clearly was so fearful that this would be a big ask. As the nights went on and I repeated my visualisation my heart slowed and I relaxed. Today when my friend asked about my appointment I actually said I was looking forward to seeing if my visualisation had helped.

Well, today I walked into the dentist, smiled at the receptionist (who asked if I was feeling ok because she saw me crying last time) and I said “yes, I’m feeling good”, I sat and waited playing with my crystals, aquamarine to remind me of being in the sea and calm and obsidian to put my worries into, more than anything they feel nice and good to give me focus. I got called in and the dentist and the nurse was surprised at how calm I was especially when they found out I hadn’t taken the sedation. I was fine, not a single tear, a little bit of a wobble when I had to open my mouth for the injections but that was fine too. No sweating, no crying, no shaking, no screaming, no vibrating legs, no speedy heart. I spent the whole time varying between thoughts of being in the sea and thinking about how amazing this was.

So there you have it, no magic, just power of the mind and retraining it, it took practice and rehearsal but I accomplished it with about 2hrs work in total.

I’m now sitting writing this happy as a pig in the proverbial, free of my fear. I wanted to share this so you can understand how you too have the power and ability to overcome your fear, if you want to and if you are willing to put in the work.

Plus the Dentist Paul and all the staff at Knowle Smile Spa played their part and made it easy for me to be calm, they were patient, gentle and understanding. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough, to the friendly front of house team, to the dental nurses and even the Dentist (Paul) who stuck needles in me with great expertise and virtually no pain. A huge thanks to them. www.smilespauk.com

Today was a great day. (Didn’t think I’d be saying that 2 weeks ago)