All my childhood, I saw the same family dentist. We all saw him for years and he was all we ever knew in a dental experience. My parents developed a friendship with the man and they even vacationed together. My parents assured us he was a great guy, but we all knew better.
We knew that he was really the dreaded dentist the took pleasure in our pain. He savored the idea of poking, pulling, and prodding our poor, sensitive child mouths. He deliberately befriended my parents so they wouldn't take our sides.
I hate needles. Always have, always will. Any shot is bad, but a shot in the mouth is downright traumatic. I used to (and still do on occasion) sing/hum to myself to get through dental visits, shots, and anything other than your basic cleaning.
I vividly remember one particular visit. I couldn't even tell you what I was there for, but it required shots. It must have been a filling at the same time as a regular check-up because I was not prepared for any shots. Dr. told me I would need shots and lifted up the syringe. I asked if he would give me a minute so I could mentally prepared myself for what was coming. He denied my request and immediately shoved a needle into my sensitive gums, resulting in tears. WTH! Really?! He was in such a hurry he couldn't have given me another 30 seconds to process the situation?! It was horrible and I have (obviously) not gotten over it.
It wasn't until I went away to college and had to find myself a new dentist that I learned not all dentists are so cold and uncaring. In fact, a visit to the dentist can happen without fear, dread, and tears. My current dentist is great. So for those (many) family members in dental school, please be one of the good ones. I know kids don't always understand or have the most patience, but you can prevent a lifelong fear of the dentist.
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1 week ago