Pain People & Pain Trap – Dental Pain Management III

by Dr. Joe :) · 17 comments

Do You Allow Pain to Control Your Life?

This is Part III of Dental Pain Management. Part II covered the Path of Pain and Part I Why People Hate Pain.

Pain People are driven by pain and fear.

Pain People are driven by pain.

In this post I’ll cover two concepts – Pain People and the Pain Trap.

Who are Pain People?

There’s two primary things you can focus upon each day – PAIN and OPPORTUNITY. Each person has a bias for focusing on one or the other.

Let me put it another way, every day there’s always two piles in front of you – a steaming pile of Pain and Problems, and a gleaming pile of Opportunities and Possibilities. And sometimes it’s hard to tell those two apart because opportunity is often disguised as adversity.

What I’ve noticed is that many people only see a pile of Pain and Problems. Even golden Opportunities and Possibilities look bad to these people because there’s always some adversity, effort and risk involved.

Pain People get easily stuck in the Pain Trap.

I call them Pain People because pain and fear act as dominant forces in their lives. They’re driven to continually seek comfort and security while avoiding anything that brings physical or emotional discomfort.

Pain People are slow to grow and resist change. Why? Growth and change involve some measure of discomfort.

Ironically, it’s in trying to avoid all manner of discomfort that they’ve allowed pain to become such a dominant force in their lives.

Where am I going with this?

Pain People get easily stuck in the Pain Trap.

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What’s the Pain Trap?

That’s where you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

You could face dental pain if you go and even more misery if you don’t go.

When you’re in the Pain Trap, no matter where you turn you’re facing some measure of misery. That sense of being trapped only adds to your state of agitation.

Howard Field writes in Scientific American, “Most people think of pain as resulting from physical injury or disease, but psychological factors play a huge role in pain perception.”

Pain People expect more pain more often and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By focusing on PAIN, they bring more of it into their lives.

That’s why going to the dentist becomes such an ordeal for these people.

If you’re one these Pain People, you don’t want to go to the dentist because it might hurt. You’re also worried you might pay a heavy price if you continue avoiding dental care.

So you feel stuck. You could face dental pain if you go and even more misery if you don’t go.

With pain driving your choices, you’ll either be driven towards dentists or away from them.

  • Pain People GO to the dentist to eliminate dental suffering and prevent future recurrence.
  • Pain People AVOID going to the dentist to avoid potential discomfort from dental treatment as well as the expense.

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Escape the Pain Trap

what is the pain trap and how does it realte to dental pain    management

Stuck in the Pain Trap?

Running away from your problems and challenges doesn’t work. Turn around and like unwanted baggage, they’re still right there with you.

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

So your only reasonable choice is to buck up and face the challenge.

Go to the dentist.

Just by facing things, you’ll discover your fears were mostly built upon illusions.

Any discomfort of moving forward is practically nothing compared to that feeling of sitting there trapped in misery.

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We Can Help

We just help you move forward so you can stay healthy and keep your teeth.

If you feel like that, we can help. We’re good at easing people back onto the Path of Health.

No guilt. No Judgment.

We just help you move forward so you can stay healthy and keep your teeth.

Stay healthy and keep smiling!

Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe 🙂


Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.


Leave a Comment

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anjedira June 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm

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I find that a lot of people I know are trapped and don’t like change because they are so used to pain and they know how to handle it. They ignore improving themselves because they are scared to. Everyone should realize that when you face the pain (change) you actually feel better. You kind of laugh at yourself in the end because the change wasn’t that bad.

2 Toronto Dentist - Dr. Joe June 16, 2010 at 12:42 am

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Well said Anjedira.

3 Roxy June 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

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I agree with you Anjedira. My philosophy is that “beauty is pain” – get it over with.. Go to the Dentist, feel better, and look better… It all goes hand in hand… I would rather get the pain overwith so that I can feel better, as opposed to prolonging the pain at hand. I personally am immune to all forms of pain.. Change is my “joie de vie” ~ 🙂

4 Khondoker@Directory of Fort Collins Dentist July 6, 2010 at 12:52 am

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Yes, no point not going to a dentist only because it may hurt, your pain is continuously hurting you anyway.

5 Robin@Austin dentist August 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm

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If you have damaged or decayed teeth, many tooth restoration options exist in the dentistry world to repair your smile. The difficulty lies in discovering which method best solves your particular situation?

6 Dr Joe :) September 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

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Thanks for your comments Robin.

I think of all the challenges dentists and patients face, the choosing treatment isn’t such a difficult part. Some people think you have to make all the decisions up front. You don’t.

I just start off like a triage nurse would. What is urgent? What is potentially a threat? Those are first priority. Second level questioning would be – What is needed to establish and maintain health? Eventually other questions come into play – What smile issues are a concern? What missing teeth can be replaced?

I don’t corner people into making big commitments on their first visit. I just try to help them take the next step.

I’m sure most patients and dentists would agree that the actual doing is far more challenging than the choosing.

Joe 😀

7 Marie @ dental hygiene products September 13, 2010 at 4:50 am

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Dentists have really a difficult role in treating different tooth disease, especially now a days that almost of the people do not have healthy teeth and it is because of the unhealthy eating habits. Treating destroyed teeth really takes a long time for it does require many visits to the dentists.

8 Dr Joe :) September 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

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Treating tooth disease is the reactionary way some people approach dentistry. The secret is in prevention because treatment can be an ordeal.

Joe 😀

9 Jack September 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

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I don’t see the dentist as often as I should because every time I go it’s absolutely excruciating. More than once I’ve wished I was dead 2 hours into a 4 hour procedure just to get one root canal. I seem to be immune to anesthetics and swear I can feel every prick, drill, prod, and scrape. If I could just get all my teeth yanked and replaced with false teeth I think I might but no dentist will do that for me. During one trip, I ended up screaming and went into mild shock and my heart rate shot up to well over 200 bpm and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. It was very traumatic.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and am dreading it. Absolutely dreading it. So most fears of the dentist may be based on illusion, but MINE is not!

10 Dr Joe :) September 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

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Hey Jack. I wish I had an easy answer for you. I can appreciate how nightmarish dentistry has been for you and why you would dread it so much.

There are people like yourself that conventional Local Anesthetic isn’t good enough. You may need stronger anesthetic, extra dosage and extra time for it to take. If that’s still not good enough, full sedation is an option (sleep dentistry).

Hope your appointment goes well.

Joe 😀

11 Armil at unwanted hair October 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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4 of my wisdom teeth just grew and it hurts like hell. Took some pain killers and it relieved some of the pain. 1 tooth decided to grow, going inside instead of growing upwards.

12 Mike@Teeth Whitener Reviews October 15, 2010 at 1:51 am

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I can say one, teeth pain is the most painful thing in the world but that’s why I’m immediatly going to visit dentist!

13 James@Bradley Mclintock April 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

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I hated taking out my wisdom teeth. It’s so much easier just getting them out with some of the new treatments they have out there now.

14 Nathan Woodbury@dental website marketing January 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

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I must say I really hate pain that is why I carefully take care of my teeth. I have this strict maintenance and thus I have dental check up, see to it that my teeth are still functioning well and it’s integrity is still there.

15 Dentist@Raritan Dentist November 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm

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Nathan, I agree. The best way to avoid dental pain is to have regular cleanings and check ups. Taking a proactive approach is the best way to ensure good health.

16 AutoHypnosis May 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

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Hello, I have a no pain problem, I can master my pains very well and can endure almost anything, so it becomes very difficult to deal with many people who don’t understand that, for example :
* For me pain is just a signal and I interpret it like that full stop and if I wonder it’s not because of the signal, but because of what’s going on behind, so if I am sure it’s contructive (eg : dental reparation) i can endure it easily (auto-hypnose 30 of years pactice + I managed to convinced me that I don’t care even if it’s painful, so must of the time I just don’t feel anything at all), but if it’s not I feel pain very well! So what’s the problem with health professionals (I did it for surgery too) that happens sometimes :
– They talk endlessly about pain when I just don’t care, instead of explaining what’s going on.
– It can bleed too much because I can’t really simulate the vasoconstriction of anesthetics.
– It may distract them.
– Some try to advance parallel explanations like having teeth that are very unsensitized, but I know they are normal on that scale and that my self-hypnoses is applicable to any organs, so far skin and muscles.
– Some may think I am masochistic (I got yelled at once, don’t come back you masochistic… Ok, it hurt a bit that time … early experience, but it was much less disagreeable than having a part of my face paralyzed for the next 2 hours for a previous anesthetic that did not work!! But my nose was completely paralyzed ).

Strangely being able to master most of my pains, I had the impression that some professionals had less care when handling my problems, maybe thinking he is not fragile so no worries, when in fact for me (abstracting the annoying behavior of some, the auto-hypnose mean less pain and not having to deal with injections because I don’t like at all the idea of my body dealing with all these substances and it’s cheaper too).

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but in fact it’s just a small problem, the big problem is that I somehow manage to have quick failing on long term relation with my dentists, for example :
– anxiety about health and prophylaxis was concretized a few times by unnecessary work.
– assertiveness was once or twice met with a sort of narcissist rage (don’t come back again, not telling me the full story, so I was ending with a badly damaged teeth because of that .. the assistant was shocked from her boss reaction and quickly got a temper and silence back so I did not understand before it was too late, also because I had a social circle that just don’t understand anything a bit subtle about social functioning, so trying to sort things out with them was often sort of like just adding one more problem). … Try to ask a narcissist to help you to deal with a problem you have with another narcissist, usually you haven’t finished your sentence that you have a new problem, basically a person trying to get some sort of differential gratification from your situation … great!

Thank you for reading!

17 Michelle Isidor February 10, 2014 at 4:22 am

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Going to the dentist must not be something you are not afraid of or doubt with, because dentists are there to help us with our dental problems not worsen it. If I were to be asked I would definitely book an appointment to my dentist right this moment.

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