• 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.

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A hello, a history and my current situation (which is why I'm here)



Junior member
Nov 28, 2021
Wales, UK
Hi. I'm in my mid-40's, have had teeth trouble since my early 20's. Even as a child I had a number of fillings done. Had caries in my early-mid 20's, got quoted astronomical sums for work from the private dentist (totally not affordable on my basic retail wage at the time - it would have taken me a couple of months solid wages to have the work done lol). My first full extractions were in my late 20's with an amazing NHS dentist, a huge batch were done in my early 30's under sedation and this year I have had a further batch done, leaving me with 10 teeth remaining. It's going to be an estimate of mine that a further 4 will need to come out, and that's all got to settle before I get fitted for dentures (again, because it all went wrong last time).

I've also had chronic depression and anxiety issues outside of the dentist pretty much all my life, was recently diagnosed with ADHD which explained so much of how/why I ended up in my current situation, and why my dental care has been erratic and inconsistently short, intense periods. I've always had a strong phobic reaction to needles going in my mouth, to the point I cannot have my eyes open to have it done. Once the anaesthetic kicks in, I'm usually calmer - if I don't feel pain. Which, up until my last visit, I hadn't really experienced except maybe once or twice, but never like this.

My previous dentist (who I found out has left the practice - argh) was brilliant. Did tooth site injections only, respected my needle phobia perfectly, was clear and concise in explaining stuff, given my frequent inattentiveness when bombarded with information... He was actually fun, making it positive, even on the couple of occasions when the work didn't go to plan. But that was fine - I always knew the next step, leaving like the next time would be true progress.

The 'new' dentist was the complete opposite. I'd had to start from the beginning again, explaining everything going on. He acknowledged everything, and quickly went over everything, bombarding me with what I thought was the expected work - removal of a tooth root that my previous dentist had not been able to do (and we had agreed to a referral). My first injection was worrying, as unexpectedly he did a blocker type at the back of the mandible and was quite rough in his handling. This is problematic as it affects my ears, and consequently my hearing (I'm deaf in one ear already, and he managed to dull the other one), my eye, and my head/neck. He worked on a different tooth that I was understanding was going to be worked on, but I thought it probably needed to come out anyway. It didn't seem to have as much anaesthesia, so the initial loosening was fine as that felt numb enough, but the manipulation after - it was life a hot knife through my jaw. It really felt like there was no anaesthesia giving me pain relief at all. The scream must have been heard in the street outside.

Needless to say, I could not continue at all. He tried to encourage me press on, being insistent that it needed to come out, and offered a local injection at the tooth site - I flat out refused (because by this point, I'm giddy, feeling like I'm going to throw up, and trembling all over). I explained injecting me at this stage and state would simply make me throw up.

A new appointment has been arranged - March 2022...

When I eventually got home, it took nearly 8 hours for the anaesthetic to dissipate enough for me to eat and drink a little (still felt sick), when prior dentist's work would take around 3-4 hours tops. The mandibular injection site meant it took a couple of days before I could eat and chew normally without pain. I could not sleep for anxiety for most of the week after the appointment. My ADHD medication has not worked as well owing to stress and anxiety reducing its effect. Even now I'm anxious and jittery about the appointment in march of next year... It's all hugely frustrating as I felt so close to completion of a major hurdle in my life - and a second attempt at dentures. Yes, there was a first attempt, which fitted poorly and my concerns of pressure points and pain were met with "They will settle in time". Which they never did and I left the practice for a few years because of that attitude.

And to top it all off, the tooth I needed to have extracted (next to the one he attempted to pull) has inflamed, I'm having issues with phantom dental pain in areas where there are no teeth at all, constant headaches, neck tension, and I'm struggling to put into words my experiences in a letter to the practice manager because I really do not want to face that kind of treatment again.

So that's me up to date. I had made several steps forward, my ADHD treatment helped me make some strides in keeping appointments, and aiming at positive steps, but this one experience has sent me back years and unwilling to want to continue. That's how I ended up finding this forum.

So, Hi! Again.
I used to have terrible pain during dental work, so stopped going. When I was having a skin cancer biopsy I mentioned that I could feel the scalpel. It turns out some people do not 'freeze'. So they have to use a different process, and laughing gas helps too. Maybe explore this with your GP? I literally told the hygienist recently that I wish I didn't have teeth, it's that bad.
Hi @Richrockster and welcome :welcome:, I see that your post is a few weeks old - sorry that you haven't had many replies yet. Did you end up writing to practice manager? (that sounded like a good plan by the way!). I hope they will be able to switch you to a gentler, more understanding dentist who is able to work in partnership with you and hopefully relieve you of some of the recent trauma:grouphug: