• Welcome to Dental Fear Central! This is a place for mutual support and any questions you may have that are related to dental phobia, fear or anxiety. It is run by volunteers with first-hand experience of dental phobia and anxiety together with dental practitioners who like to help. The "Verified dentist" badges will tell you whether an answer has been provided by a qualified dental practitioner. If you'd like to use all the features of this forum and share your own experiences, or if you are a dental professional who would like to contribute, register now.

    We strive to promote a safe, friendly and trustworthy environment with our team of moderators monitoring all discussions daily.

Aaaagh, so scared!

J

Jeniflower

Junior member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NY
Hello, I'm brand new here. I finally have gotten the courage to even look online for this kind of support and information tonight. In the past I couldn't even type the words to make a search! How shameful I've felt over this phobia is truly debilitating and I didn't realize how far reaching it had become. My teeth are the worst now they've ever been (of course!) and it effects all my interactions with other people. It's interesting to see on this site the connection between PTSD, earlier childhood abuse and this condition. I'm just so sick of feeling like a disgusting, terrible person who is hiding a secret in my mouth, that feels like the PROOF of my inner unworthiness. Oh gosh, y'all are just going to tell me to go to therapy! Well, I do feel that even writing these words and looking head on at this issue is a huuuuuge step. I have had really terrible experiences with dentists in my life, where I was shamed and then actually hurt, with little regard, so I guess it's not sooooo crazy that I am here. It's become a sort of boundary; "I don't have to open my mouth to anyone I don't feel safe with" is what I am internally going through. But that kind of boundary is really a much bigger picture boundary, there for truly abusive people and I pray I could find a dentist that I felt safe with, that I could trust.. it could change so much in my life! I don't know what can be salvaged in my mouth, but at this point I am afraid to smile, and so anything seems better than a life afraid of smiling. Gosh I'm going to feel so vulnerable after I post this, but I guess I'm going to anyway, as a first step towards healing and courage. ❤
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,462
Hi Jeniflower :welcome:,

first of all, thank you for your courage and trust.. what a huge step and such a vulnerable place to be, but at the same time the first step in healing too. Many people who suffered trauma are not aware of the link there is to the ability of coping with dentists and it can be hugely freeing to see that it's not about you being crazy. Rest assured that nobody here will tell you to go to therapy (if things were that super easy with abuse, right?).
It looks like you are just at the beginning with your journey, sorting thoughts and looking around and that is a great start. Give yourself a pat on the back for it. We are here to support you as your journey will go on, with all the worries, ups and downs and emotions to detangle. For now keep in mind that there are kind caring dentists out there (who are aware of this link and how difficult things can be with a past of trauma). I like your boundary and I think only being ready to work with someone you feel safe with is a great approach.
Let us know your thoughts

All the best wishes
 
J

Jeniflower

Junior member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
2
Location
NY
Hi Jeniflower :welcome:,

first of all, thank you for your courage and trust.. what a huge step and such a vulnerable place to be, but at the same time the first step in healing too. Many people who suffered trauma are not aware of the link there is to the ability of coping with dentists and it can be hugely freeing to see that it's not about you being crazy. Rest assured that nobody here will tell you to go to therapy (if things were that super easy with abuse, right?).
It looks like you are just at the beginning with your journey, sorting thoughts and looking around and that is a great start. Give yourself a pat on the back for it. We are here to support you as your journey will go on, with all the worries, ups and downs and emotions to detangle. For now keep in mind that there are kind caring dentists out there (who are aware of this link and how difficult things can be with a past of trauma). I like your boundary and I think only being ready to work with someone you feel safe with is a great approach.
Let us know your thoughts

All the best wishes
Thank you so much for the kind reply; it really means a lot to me!
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,549
Location
United States
Hi Jeniflower! Welcome to DFC! :grouphug:
Posting here is a huge step. I think many people lurk in the shadows for awhile reading posts before joining and posting so well done for getting this far! Dental phobia can be far more complex than many people realize and you are right, teeth can have such a huge effect on our self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. I think you will find that you are in good company on this forum as many members here have also had prior traumatic dental experiences as well as non-dental related forms of abuse. I know that when the time is right, you will find a dentist that you can trust who makes you feel safe and you will look back and read this post and see how far you’ve come. There are so many truly wonderful dentists out there who are willing to work hard to earn your trust but it can take a bit of searching before you find the right one that really clicks with you. Thanks to the internet, there are lots of opportunities for research and written correspondence with offices prior to ever picking up the phone or ever setting foot in the office. I think your boundary is a fair and valid one. It took me a really long time to realize that I was the one in control for dental appointments and I only made that realization after my dentist told me so; so congrats for coming to that conclusion on your own! Feel free to vent or ask questions or think aloud or just share updates. We are happy to support you along your journey!
 
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