• 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.

almost 2 years of paranoia finally wrestled



Junior member
Feb 23, 2023
Georgia, USA
Hey folks, long time lurker, finally decided to make an account once I managed to successfully get my ass to the dentist after 2 years.

I suppose I ought to start at the beginning of where my distaste of the dentist begun.

The earliest memories of my displeasure of the dentist was when I was a wee cub back in the 90s. I always had good teeth, but the one horror I always dreaded as a kid was going for a fluoride treatment- you know, when they pump that nasty tasting gel fluoride into the molds and stick them in your mouth and make you sit there for 5 minutes. of course they had so many nice flavours and I picked butterscotch..........well. That ended up all over the chair and floor when I puked because of it! So I was given the option to rather than try and have both sets done at the same time, it would be easier for me to do one at a time, and they also suggested 'vanilla' since it'd have less of a strong taste. success! (I still hated it, but managed it)

at the age of 8 I was then told I had.. DUM DUM DUM.. a cavity. At which I started bawling my eyes out and sobbing, because I knew that was a baaaaaaaad thing! (not even knowing what it meant, just that it was bad) After much grief counseling by the hygienist and dentist I calmed down and was given a prescription of something to calm me down for the filling appointment. Unfortunately for me.. it was a tooth that needed a block, so my first cavity resulted in me getting getting a painful deep shot (and I felt it all augh!)

As I got older, I was well into my mid-late teens before I needed another filling done, and by this time the AV blocks still sucked but I was old enough to tolerate them. unfortunately this is when I found out that being a red-head meant I needed more lidocaine and so during one cavity, I could feel pain from the drill and so I asked the dentist to give me another jab at which he obliged. After 5 minutes and some more drilling, "AUGH!" more pain! This time he elected to do a local infiltration of septocaine and man was that wonderful. I couldn't feel a damn thing.

Needless to say I've always requested it ever since and I've not had problems with partial anesthesia before. I will say I do have sensitive nerves, because I've even had waterlase before and even that I was able to feel some mild pain and sensitivity, but hardly anything I couldn't easily handle.

But even so, after experiencing fillings with poor anesthesia, it cemented my fear of going to the dentist. I still went, though admittedly it was then I started delaying my bi-yearly cleanings further and further apart, sometimes 8 months, sometimes 10.

When I was too old to stay on my parents insurance, I had to get my own, and unfortunately, my dentist who had been treating me since I was 14, does not take -any- insurance, nor does my insurance cover out-of-network, so I had to change.

I found a local practice that took my insurance and made an appointment after a 1.5 years (this was just as covid started). I went in, had my cleaning done- this was the first time I've ever had a perio charting done and found it quite uncomfortable, but all my numbers were under 4 (except for my bottom wisdom teeth which had 5&6 in a few pockets) Dentist said my x-rays were all good and my fillings all look very well done and told me to come back in 6 months.

1 month later.. I was flossing and -PING- a piece of tooth flings out and lands in the sink. So I have a mini anxiety attack and call the dentist to make an appointment to get it checked out. When I get there, I see a different dentist who seems to think I haven't been in for a check-up for a long time, but when I inform him I was just there naught 30 days ago, he looks surprised when he sees my chart and noticed I was.

He looked at the old x-ray and said "huh. I guess I would have missed that cavity if I wasn't looking right there too", despite it being a deep cavity. I also tell him about my issue with lidocaine and he tells me he only uses septocaine and being a red-head that I'd need 1.5x the dose. So I was glad to see a dentist who knew about gingers (albeit my hair being more auburn now than when I was a kid) When I noted that I tend to need local as well as a block, he did the cold test on my tooth after the septocaine kicked in (took about 6 seconds to feel the cold test after the block was fully affected) so he mentioned what second nerve needed to be frozen for me to be numb and gave me a jab. Least painful filling I ever had.

6 months later, I go back for a cleaning. The hygienist I get is a different person and when she went to do my perio mapping, holy crap did it fcking hurt! I could feel her shoving that probe and forcing my gums away from my teeth, making me bleed. My numbers went from 2-4, to 6-10, and she told me I have bone loss and would need SRP, irrigation, and arrestin placed under my gums and I'd need to come back in 3 months for another cleaning (it's not covered by insurance so I was down over $700). Great, now I've got a fear of my teeth falling out, painful charting going forward and going broke.

The dentist comes in and checks my x-rays and says I have 2 cavities, they're side-by-side so he'll just fill them both in one go, but he also wanted to see my bottom wisdom teeth pulled because I was having trouble keeping them clean (evident by already having 1 of them filled, 8 years prior; the other was perfectly healthy). So I make my appointment and when it comes time to fill them, he looks very confused as to why I've been scheduled for 2 fillings when there's only 1 that needs to be done. (I'll get back to that). SO he fills the one cavity and I'm on my way, at which I'm already looking for a new practice to go to because of that

8 months later I was chewing some toffee I got from the UK and suddenly noticed something felt odd when I ran my tongue over my teeth- there was a HOLE in it. (This was the other tooth that didn't get filled last time.) I went to the new dentist and looking at the x-rays, she said there was some significant decay under an already old filling I had from my teens) She told me that it probably will need to be capped depending how bad it is when she opens up the tooth and in the end I did in fact need a crown (happily, they have a 3D printer that makes crowns in 2 hours in-office) so I didn't have to come back.

Despite that, I still ended up waiting almost 6 months before I built up enough courage to go... then my mom got covid, and so I was elcted to be her main caregiver during it, so I had to cancel. A month later she recovered and I made appointment.......then I got the ronies from her..... Augh, luckily I took antivirals and was feeling better within 3 days. Took me a few months before I had to re-build up my courage go to again.........then I got bronchitis, another cancel. Finally I made myself schedule it 2 months ahead of time so I would have time to ease myself into it. (It was just a cleaning and check-up, but I was afraid, I'd be told I have perio disease, or need RCT, or need my wizzies pulled)

The day before I was depressed and anxious all day, so I took one of my last two clonozepam tablets, one the night before so I could sleep, and another the next morning so I wouldn't back out. When I got there, I told the hygneist about my experience about perio mapping from the other practice and she said she'd be very gentle, and boy was she, I almost never felt a damn thing and ALL my numbers were 2&3s!, she said my gums were healthy and my oral hygiene was excellent and that the other practice was absolutely scamming me. One burden lifted off me knowing my gums were great- I brush 2-3x a day with a sonic toothbrush that has quadrant timers, as well as using floss, intradental brushes, hydroxyapetite toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash) The hygienist said I looked very calm for someone who has a phobia about being at the dentist and I told her "I took some Klonopin before I came", she laughed and said I cheated, but as it helps, go for it.

After almost 2 years of not being at the dentist, I did have some work done. One small new cavity, and and older one (probably 15 years old) that leaked and needed an inlay/partial crown. unfortunately I -did- feel a little pain from the drilling, but it wasn't enough for me to tell her to stop (I'm a giant man-baby when it comes to pain btw :p) But finding out My wisdom teeth are perfectly fine, and I don't need anything yanked, or roto-rooted, has cleared up almost two years of paranoia

Of course I'm still anxious about going to the dentist, but I'm SO happy I can relax and not have this in the back of my head.

Btw: I looked at the reviews for the previous practice I was at.. 1.5/5 stars with the most common complaint is being told they need SRP/Irrigation/Antimicrobial therapy, when it wasn't needed.