There’s not many thingsChattering Teeth in life that really scare me. It’s not because I think I’m particularly rufty-tufty. I just tend to be up for trying most things, without necessarily realising just how scary they will be. (White water rafting was a particular example!). Then once I’ve done it, it’s not that scary anymore.

I will admit however, to being scared of mice. Totally illogical I know, bearing in mind my size against there’s. It’s the odd little scurrying movement that they do. I always fear they’re going to crawl up my leg!

My biggest fear, and has been for a very long time, is the dentist. Not so much the pain, which can of course stretch anyone’s pain threshold beyond endurance. I find even the injections to numb the pain to be quite awful. It’s not even the horrible bill you get at the end of the visit-which is equally as awful as the pain.

But, what really concerns me with my dental visit, I have a terrible fear of choking. Lying horizontal with your head tipped back with all manner of instruments and clamps in your mouth is quite terrifying for a control freak like me. I just panic I’m about to start choking and can’t breathe properly.

So it’s been particularly bad news for me that over the past 18 months I’ve had two root canal treatments. Both of which treatments rank right up there with what has got to have been some of the most unpleasant time I’ve spent, and then had to pay a fortune for!

I was very worried last week when I started getting pain in my gum area again where I’d had the two treatments. I’d been ignoring it for several weeks, but it had got worse. Eventually I decided I needed to seek a professional opinion.
Well the outcome was very mixed.

Firstly, x rays showed there is evidence of minor infection in both my lower and upper gums. It’s not so bad that its permanently painful- just a bit irritating every now and then.

Because I appear to have developed allergies to the various antibiotics I’ve had from the dentist for previous tooth infections, we both agreed I was better off not taking antibiotics and waiting to see whether it cleared up on its own or got so bad I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Since the pain is intermittent and wasn’t there when I went to the dentist (why does this always happen!) the dentist isn’t sure exactly what the problem is. Quite sensibly he doesn’t want to do any dental work through fear it may not solve the problem. I’m in full agreement with him on this. I only went because I was worried I had some problem that was getting worse daily because I wasn’t doing anything about it.

To be told that there’s probably some problem going on but nobody knows what it is, is fine by me.

We’re taking the same approach with this as with the antibiotics. If the pain gets worse I need to go back for further investigation. But otherwise the advice is to hold on and see if it sorts itself.

So why do I think visiting an IFA is similar to visiting the dentist?


• For some people there is an element of fear involved in visiting an IFA. For many of my clients they have never spoken to an IFA before, so it’s human nature to be a bit fearful of anything new that’s outside your comfort zone.


• As with my visit to the dentist and feeling guilty I hadn’t dealt with things sooner, there can be guilt at not addressing your financial issues in a timely manner.

Lack of understanding

• I had no idea what was wrong with my teeth, other than there was some problem because I had intermittent pain. I was totally reliant on my dentist telling me what the problem was- or at least in my case telling me the problem wasn’t at a stage where I needed to do anything about it yet.


• As with finding a dentist you need to find an IFA you can totally trust to always act in your best interests, and with as little pain as possible!


• Yes, I’m not going to deny, that instructing an IFA involves paying fees. But just as I couldn’t do a root canal treatment on myself, most people are not well enough equipped to do their own financial plan. So it shouldn’t be a case of looking at the fee, but looking at what outcome you get. I like to think of myself as “reassuringly expensive”. Or as L’Oréal always reminds us “because you’re worth it.”

What do you think?

Let me know what you think. How does consulting an IFA compare to going to the dentist for you. Either leave a comment below or email me on [email protected] I’d love to hear from you.