• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

26 year old guy, needing a tooth extracted, terrified!



Junior member
Dec 27, 2011
Hey all, I'm Chris. 26 years old and really phobic about going to the dentist.

When my wisdom teeth came through a few years ago, I had two teeth break, one on each side at the top-rear of my mouth. The pain was pretty bad, and lasted for weeks, but I persevered through it, finding it easier to do that than face a dentist. I rationalised - the teeth were broken badly, and couldn't be salvaged anyway. Eventually the pain stopped, and I just carried on with life as normal.

Anyway... come forward a few years, and I've just spent the last 3 weeks in and out of agony on one side. Then the swelling started.. an abscess formed on the outside, swelling the entire left side of my face up - even leaving me with a black eye.

Last Thursday I saw a doctor out of desperation, who gave me a course of Amoxycillin and said I'd need to see a dentist once it cleared. I kind of froze, doing the "smile and nod", and left with my prescription.

Over the next two (very painful) days, I thought about the dentist.. It sent my heart rate soaring each time. I went back to the doctor on Saturday, still in a huge amount of pain - the Amoxycillin hadn't begun to work yet. This time he also put me on Metronidazole (Flagyl) to fight the infection, and I got some strong pain killers (thank God). I also talked to him about my anxiety re. visiting a dentist (which was difficult). He gave me a prescription for Xanax, saying to take 1 in the morning, and 1 at night, as needed.

With the encouragement of some close friends, I called around a couple dentists this morning, and made a booking with one for Thursday. I asked the receptionist how the dentist is with anxious patients, and was happy enough with the response. She said they do have nitrous oxide gas (she called it happy gas, hehe), but that I'd have to talk to the dentist about that... I'm REALLY hoping I can have that, I don't want to be alert through the procedure :(

So, yeah... encouraging words appreciated! To top it off I'm feeling particularly ashamed of having a phobia like this; I've not heard of any other guys in this situation.
Hi Chris,
Your story sounds so similar to mine! I'm a 33 yr old female and I also have ( or maybe I can now say "had"?) a huge dentist phobia. I also have a cracked wisdom tooth that I ignored for years and I also had an absess that made my face swell up.... I hadn't been to the dentist for 17 years and for some reason, about 6 weeks ago after lurking in this forum for a while, decided I had to overcome this phobia. I emailed a dentist I'd googled who specialized in phobic patients and somehow managed to go to the appointment... And it was the best thing I ever did... The plan was that we'd just chat at the first appointment but the dentist was so nice that I ended up letting her look in my mouth. I needed 3 fillings and 2 extractions plus 2 wisdom teeth taken out. So far, I've had all except the wisdom teeth which are being done in hospital on 18 Jan under general as apparently the roots are close to a nerve so it's better done under general. After the initial consult when I was crying and shaking, I wasn't too bad. I was still shaking and so scared but my dentist let me wear my iPod and sunglasses and told me to hold up my hand if I ever wanted her to stop.
If you are anything like me, once that first appointment is over, it feels much easier. I was so embarrassed that I hadn't been to the dentist for so long and was worried the dentist would think I was disgusting... But if she did she hid it very well!!! You just need to find someone who you feel comfortable with and I think someone who you feel in control with. I felt in control of what was happening pretty much all the time which helped so much.
I'm scared about getting my wisdom teeth out but it's not really a dental fear more fear of the general anesthetic because I've never had one. If I'd known how painless this all would be years ago, I would've done it 16 years ago! The main thing is to find a dentist you trust.
You will be fine, i know you will... I could never even say the word "dentist" 6 weeks ago and used to change the topic if anyone ever talked about dental stuff! Now I'm happy to talk about it and am even looking at doing whitening and other cosmetic stuff like veneers which I NEVER even imagined I could ever do....
Dentists will have seen far worse teeth than yours and there are so many ways to help with pain. It's the anxiousness before hand that's the worst... But once you are in there and talking to the dentist make sure you tell them exactly how u feel- if they are a good dentist they will do everything to make u feel better.. And if not, find someone else...there are plenty of nice, understanding dentists out there...
Good luck! Let us know how u go...
There ARE guys out there like you - read LLM's journal - i know for sure he is a guy. Maybe us females are just more vocal about our fears. I think it is harder for a guy to admit to fear of the dentist.
I echo everything soscared1 said. Read the journals - you are not alone :)
And please let us know how it goes on Thursday :)
Do you know what it is that you are actually scared of? Knowing that will help when you do actually see the dentist.. Have a look at the common fears section too. Knowledge is power :);)
Hi Chris your not the only guy scared i am 30 an have a impacted lower wisfom teeth that is coming out on Friday.Each morning this week i wake up in such a panic.

We can get through it together bro.Its nothing to be ashamed of.I am having IV sedation to help my nerves.The dentist has given me triazepam to take the night an morning before surgery.Although i am still scared.More scared about how the IV with midozalam will work with me.

My advice is not to read to much up on the net you may find one bad experience an hundreds of good experiences but you will think about the bad rather then the good.
Thank you all for your replies. I've had a look through the Common Fears section on this site, I've narrowed it down to:

Loss of control
Needle phobia
Not being able to get numb
Being awake/alert

This morning, I called the dentist and explained to the receptionist that I had a couple questions for the dentist, and asked if it was possible for him to call me back (he was busy with a patient, as was to be expected). The receptionist said that would be fine.

Not even 15 minutes later, the dentist gave me a call. I explained that I had a phobia, and wanted to know what would happen, how things would proceed, etc. He explained that first there'd be an X-Ray, then we'd talk about how to proceed. I liked that the process seemed to keep the patient involved in decision-making (this will help with the fear of Loss of control).

He also sounded pretty patient; I'm feeling a bit more confident that he won't proceed until the local anaesthetic has fully worked.

He said that there would need to be needles for the local anaesthetic, but that a numbing gel would be used first (this is a minor consolation for the needle phobia, but it's a start).

It's all stuff that I've read about, but I'm glad to get confirmation about this particular dentist. When I told him that the tooth had broken over 2 years ago, he said that was actually good in a way, as the structures around the bone would be weaker, making it easier to remove.

I asked about gas; he said there was gas available, but that I'd still need local anaesthetic (which I was aware of). I'm glad to know there's gas. Even if I don't need it, I like that it's there if I start getting too anxious - this should help me with the fear of being awake/alert.

Writing all of this out is helping me to come to terms with it as well (but that might be the Xanax, hehe!). 1 more sleep and it's go time. Thanks for reading and replying guys, feeling a lot better now that I've nutted out what exactly I'm worried about.

Usmaan: I've read great things about IV sedation. Unfortunately it's not within my means to get it (I'm uninsured, and needing this work done urgently, so limited choices), otherwise I probably would have asked for it.

Sounds like your new dentist is really nice and that you've got nothing to worry about.

Remember, you are not just involved in the decision making, you make all the decisions. The dentist just gives you advice. You don't have to have treatment, but you choose to. It's your teeth.

The anesthetic isn't bad, even with no numbing gel you don't really feel much. I find it helps to close my eyes because the syringe looks scary.

I was really phobic, but have had lots of dental work awake. With a good, caring dentist it's no problem really. It really helped me that my dentist would talk to me while working to make sure I was comfortable all the time.

Good luck!

Last edited:
That's great that you seem to have found a good dentist. I think that is the most important thing.
I think your dentist is right about it being easier to remove a tooth if it broke a while ago. My dentist said the same as mine had broken a few years ago too... And she was right- she just numbed the area- tested by touching a few different spots to make sure I couldn't feel anything and then within 20 secs the remaining tooth was out. I felt some pressure but had my eyes closed and my earphones on with music so couldn't hear or see anything. I imagined i was in fiji sitting on the beach!! :) I was also worried about not being numb enough and I told my dentist this. She made sure by putting more anesthetic in that I was 100% numb. Probably more so than what was really needed but I prefered that to not enough!!
I so understand your loss of control fear and I think that's a big one for a lot of people. But you ARE in control. You are the customer- you are totally in charge. If you explain this fear to your dentist I'm sure they'll go out of their way to make sure you feel comfortable and "in control"
Good luck! I know you will be fine!
Look forward to hearing your success story!
Warning to all: While the outcome here is definitely good, I'm describing the process in a little bit of detail here. Don't read it if it might upset you.

I'm still alive :)

I popped a couple of Xanax this morning and went through with it.

The dentist was very gentle, as was the nurse. That really helped. They went slowly, just one step at a time, and took plenty of time waiting for the numbing gel to kick in before injecting the anaesthetic. He explained that he was injecting the anaesthetic very slowly as he went, to stop it from being uncomfortable. He said he used one and a half times the normal dose too. Consequently, half my face is numb at the moment, it's a funny feeling.. feels like I'm touching someone elses' nose :)

Turns out there were two teeth next to each other at the very back that were damaged - one wisdom tooth and one molar. When he mentioned wisdom tooth my heart started racing... I asked about the gas again, making sure it was there if I needed it. It was, but I decided to try without it and conquer that mountain.

He started with the wisdom tooth first. When he started pulling, I felt a twinge of pain - but it might have just been a pulling sensation. I said "aaagh!" as eloquently as possible with my mouth full of forceps, and he stopped immediately. He gave me another couple shots of anaesthetic and explained that I will have to be careful to discern between pressure and pain. 5 minutes later, he gave it another go.

I was flabbergasted at how easily it came out. Just blown away. It couldn't have been more than 15 seconds of work. He waited a couple minutes for my heart to stop pounding, then did the same on the other one. On that one (the more broken one), I could hear crunching as the tooth crumbled a bit while it was pulled, which I didn't like much - but again, it came out so easily.

I'm lying on the couch at a friends' place now, being looked after... but really, I can't believe how 'ok' I'm feeling.

I've taken 1000mg of paracetamol and 60mg of codeine in anticipation of the anaesthetic wearing off, which I'm still worried about, but the worst is over. The pain I had on Christmas Eve/Day has got to be worse than what's to come.

Thank you all again for your replies. You really helped me to conquer this :)
Bravo...............heal fast

Top man.you did it and thats giving me encouragement.mine is on friday.
The dentist said it'd be a couple hours before the anaesthetic wore off. It's definitely worn off - but there is no pain at all right now.

Sure, I'm dosed up on ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine, but to be feeling no pain at all has surprised me, when I was in such unbelievable pain only 3 or 4 days ago before the antibiotics worked (even while taking borderline dangerous amounts of pain killers).

I'm going to keep up the ibuprofen for now anyway, to stop any possible inflammation.

If I feel this great tomorrow, I'm going to drive out in the country to visit mum, and spend some time just relaxing... looking forward to it :)
That's awesome!!! Well done!! :)
I bet you will feel fine tomorrow. When I had a tooth extracted a few days before Xmas, I was worried but was TOTALLY fine with no pain at all. I, like you kept taking ibuprofen for 2 days after but was surprised that I had no pain at all.
I bet you feel soooo relieved that you have done it! Woohoooooooooooooo!!
enjoy your relaxing day tomorrow!
sorry to hear about this. hope you feel better.
Me again, digging up my old thread. It's back to the dentist tomorrow for me... The top-rearmost molar on the other side (which had broken ages ago) started giving me a bit of pain. Having experienced the pain of a full-blown infection before, I got straight to the doctor for some antibiotics, and booked in a visit to the dentist to get it extracted.

The last visit went better than I expected, which has given me the courage to go again to sort this one out - but the dentist did mention last time that this tooth would need to be cut into 3 pieces to be removed... I'm pretty anxious about that. I'm not sure whether I want to ask for the gas though, I've got a feeling I'll hate the gas just as much.

I think I'll just make sure he puts in way too much local anesthetic, like last time... that helped ease my mind.

Wish me luck!
I did it, with no gas. After he put the anesthetic in, he tried to wiggle the tooth with the "pliers" (forceps?), to see if there was a chance of it coming out in one go - but no, he said there wasn't. I did feel a small amount of pain after the wiggling - like a dull throbbing toothache. I asked him to put more anesthetic in, and he obliged happily. He instead had to cut the tooth into three pieces. I had my eyes closed and my fists clenched through it, and I didn't like hearing all the noises, but all I felt was the pressure when he started to use the forceps to extract the pieces. All three pieces came out relatively easy, and it was over.

There has been a small amount of discomfort after, but plain old Nurofen (Ibuprofen) is keeping that well under control. Thinking I'll take something a lil stronger to go to bed and get a good sleep (been a bad few weeks in general = poor sleeping patterns lately), but the worst is over!

Came back to share in the hope that my experience can help someone else. I promise, I've described it all as it happened for me - and I've been honest about the (absolutely minimal) pain levels I felt, I'm not under-exaggerating to make anyone feel better. Trust me, the pain of a tooth abscess was indescribably worse.
thank you for sharing. Well done...especially asking for additional local. Seems a recurring theme to expect a dentist to know what we are thinking or feeling and when they don't we suffer as a victim and the phobia get worse. A bit of "I am the one in control" self-talk can go a long way!

heal fast, do your rinses, drink plenty of fluids................and read the fact sheet

Crazy...same age...same wisdom teeth...same two broken teeth...same pain an absess..same doctor visit. Lol your story is mine to a t. Wow....