• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a general dental forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Absolutely terrified! but *need* to see a dentist desperately



Junior member
Nov 26, 2008
I haven't been to the dentist in about 16 years. (I'm 26 years old) My childhood experiences were absolutely HORRIBLE, to the point that I will still occasionally have nightmares about it.

My whole family has severe tooth problems (genetics... we all seem to have very weak teeth). Right now, I have 4 molars that need work (all on bottom, two on each side), and my top two wisdom teeth need work. All of these teeth are severly chipped - one is to the point where it is just a black "stub" sticking out. I *really* want to get my other three molars taken care of before they are totally gone too. Honestly, I would not even care if they pulled all of the chipped teeth and gave me fake teeth in their place.

One of my molars recently chipped off (a few days ago), and now I seem to have a severe infection. Swelling, pain on the jaw line. I'm taking antibiotics that was prescribed for something else, but is commonly prescribed for dental infections also). I NEED to see a dentist. I'm not worried about the pain from the procedure, I'm just absolutely terrified to go let this person look into my mouth. I have panic attacks even thinking about it (and i'm crying like a baby just typing this!)

All of my front teeth are in very good condition (in need of a cleaning, but there is no decay or chips on them), and I want to stop the decay before it reaches them also.

I'm in Ohio, I would appreciate recommendations for dentists in Ohio or Northern Kentucky (or even W.V - Huntington, Charleston general area)

Thanks for listening!


Well-known member
May 13, 2008
:welcome: to the right place! Have you looked at "Dentist rewiews and recommedations", there are some recommended dentists in Ohio and Kentucky.


Well-known member
Sep 15, 2008
Why are you terrified to let someone look in your mouth....embarrassment? Or is it the fear of choking and gagging?

If it is embarrassment, then I can say that dentists have seen it all. Your teeth are not some unusual anomaly that will scare them, nor will he or she laugh and put your mouth on the evening news.

Dentists are used to everything.

If it is gagging, I understand. I have the same fear, but after going to a dentist that I trust, I can say that 90% of my fears are gone. And yes, prior to going, I had huge anxieties and even small panic attacks about going for the first time.

Truthfully, I was certain that I was going to literally have a heart attack while at the dentist office.

I did not. In fact, when I went last time to have three teeth extracted, I actually looked forward to seeing my dentist.

The first step is the hardest. Make the appointment with a dentist that appears trustworthy.

Research possible choices. Since you are here, then I know you have internet. Start by entering your city and dentists in google. This will be a start. Also look at the phone book ads. Many dentists have ads that say if they are for dental phobics. This does not mean they are, but it is a start. When I found the one I go to (and it was exactly a year ago that I was in your position), I did it by picking names from the phone book and checking if they had a website. Then I called the office and said, "I really hate dentists, is this dentist for me?" And thankfully, the phones did not slam on me.

The one I chose has proven thus far to be good for me. But in case she is not, then I do have another choice lined up. However, after two cleanings, seven fillings, and three extractions over six appointments in the last year, I feel confident and I trust her and her staff.

The biggest step in conquering the fear of dentists IMO is finding a dentist you can trust.


Nov 17, 2008
I checked the reviews on yahoo local and citysearch since there weren't any listed in my area on this site. Lots of people who were terrified mentioned this in their review which helped. I also cross-checked them against my insurance network listings to make sure I would get the max reimbursement of course!


Well-known member
Oct 16, 2007
New Hampshire
Welcome, Molly!

You've definitely come to the right place and you've already gotten some great advice.

I was like you, in many ways. I was terrified of having a dentist look into my mouth. I was just too embarrassed. However, I can honestly say that, after avoiding dentists for more than 20 years and suffering many of the same anxieties you describe during that time, my fears really started to melt away as soon as I finally opened my mouth and let the dentist look.

As NotAloneISee has stated, your mouth won't be the worst that a dentist has ever seen. I often like to point out that dentists aren't paid to look in healthy mouths all day long. In fact, dentists are usually only involved once there is a problem of some sort. Trust me, any dentist will have seen worse cases than yours before they even get out of dental school.

A good first step is definitely to do some research. Check out our "Dentist Reviews and Recommendations" section to see if there is a recommended dentist near you. You may also want to ask family and friends.

Many of us here found that it was helpful to email potential dentists first. I wrote to my dentist and poured out all of my fears and frustrations. For many of us, the dentist's response to our emails gave us the courage that we needed to take the next step. If you don't think you can wait for the email route, calling around to different dentists can be helpful. The receptionist at my dentist was actually able to put me at ease pretty quickly. You can't always judge a dentist by the receptionist but often the most caring dentists are those who carefully train their staff to be caring as well.