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Am I out of options? Feeling absoloutely desperate

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blue97

Junior member
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
2
I have struggled with an inexplicable irrational fear of the dentist for years now, well actually for as long as I can remember.

It has now reached the point where I have tried concious sedation, 'specialist' nervous dentists, hypnotherapy and sessions with a psychologist. I feel like I am never going to get over or around this fear and it has started to really affect my day to day life.

Everytime I look in the mirror, I want to look away because I am so embarassed by my teeth. I would give anything to be able to walk in to a dentist, get a check up and go to an orthodontist to get my teeth straightened out - even just the invisalign ones.

It plays on my mind every single day....firstly that I feel like I will never be able to look in the mirror and just be happy with what I see and secondly I am terrified that i'm burying my head in the sand and will end up with a problem that will need extensive work that I know I won't be able to cope with.

I can't even call a dentist at the moment, I can't look at them online, I avoid driving past them. The thought of sitting in a waiting room makes me feel physically sick and the thought of actually sitting in the chair sends me spiralling.

This has taken over my life, I feel really down about it and don't feel like I can do what I want to do with my life. I want to travel and go to new places but I feel like this traps me at every turn.

If anyone has anything that may be of use please please let me know, I am really at a loss with it all and just feel like shutting myself away and no bothering with anything anymore.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,720
Hi blue97 and thank you for sharing your story. You are in the right place here and certainly not alone.

Sorry to hear how much your anxiety is affecting your life currently. From what you write you are not burying your head in the sand at all, on the contrary - it seems like you have been very active in finding ways to beat your fear so please do not lose hope. There are many ways to tackle this. It takes time, patience, the right dentist and sometimes few attempts, but as you can see everywhere here on the forum, it's possible, regardless to where you are with your fear at the moment.

It sounds like you have received dental treatment in your past. Could you write a bit more about the experiences you have made?
 
B

blue97

Junior member
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
2
Hi blue97 and thank you for sharing your story. You are in the right place here and certainly not alone.

Sorry to hear how much your anxiety is affecting your life currently. From what you write you are not burying your head in the sand at all, on the contrary - it seems like you have been very active in finding ways to beat your fear so please do not lose hope. There are many ways to tackle this. It takes time, patience, the right dentist and sometimes few attempts, but as you can see everywhere here on the forum, it's possible, regardless to where you are with your fear at the moment.

It sounds like you have received dental treatment in your past. Could you write a bit more about the experiences you have made?
This forum is actually the first bit of hope I have found throughout this ordeal. I am so relieved to find people in the same situation who genuinely understand.

I was regularly taken to the dentist when I was younger and from what I remember I have always been quite anxious about it (I am naturally a worrier so that doesn't help). I had to have a small filling when I was around 12/13 and remember feeling so nervous. It was an NHS dentist who wanted to churn through patients so when I said I was nervous about the injection she decided to go ahead without any anaesthetic as my ''teeth were young so I probably wouldn't feel it''. I felt it, and heard it and smelt it (sounds so strange but the smell associated with drilling makes me physically shake and feel sick). From then on it has just gotten steadily worse.

A couple of years ago (I hadn't been to the dentist for about 4 years at this point) the filling that was done failed and my tooth cracked. I was absoloutely beside myself but couldn't ignore it so opted for the private route in the hope they would be better with nervous patients. I cried from the moment I got in the car to the moment I walked out....I had a temporary filling put on and had to return to have two more permenent ones done. The dentist was lovely and really supportive but it didn't actually help at all, I still felt so unbelievably scared. The second filling was deep and I felt it, she then said that eventually I would need root canal work on that tooth which still terrifies me to this day. I have already had the discussion regarding extraction and have decided that when the time comes I will just have it taken out rather than having to go through root canal treatment.

So this is where I am. Terrified but desperate to fix it. THe thing I would like more than anything is some cosmetic work done, preferably something like invisalign so I can smile with confidence for the first time in my life....any help would be welcomed and greatfully recieved.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,720
Thank you for the explanation and again, this is the right place for you. Many of us started like you and had made it to the other side successfully :)

Your dental fear doesn't seem inexplicable or irrational for me at all. You have been traumatized as a child and had a second negative experience with that filling couple of years ago. It's very difficult to cope with something that you have made a negative experience with in the past, especially if pain was involved (pain free treatment is the basis of modern dentistry, by the way). The fact that you can remember the smell and the sound involved in that particular visit makes it even harder. I totally get the physical sickness you feel as soon as you hit the waiting room.

No matter how bad things look like now, it is possible for you to receive dental treatment. I believe that with a bit of time, patience, the right dentist and the right strategy, you will be able to get where you want to get with your teeth. The aim is to go just one step at a time, do it on your own pace and make sure that you make positive experiences. It wouldn't be a good idea to force yourself into a dental visit when you are not ready to it. You shouldn't even call a practice if you are not yet ready for it. Dealing with dental fear is a process and you should take your time with it.

You mentioned that looking up a dentist online, calling a dentist, passing a practice and sitting in the waiting room is impossible at the moment.

Could you identify something that you would be able to cope with right now? Maybe take a look at the 'common fear' section here on the page? Or the 'what can help'? Just looking around here a little bit to get an idea about how common dental fear is? That would be a good beginning.

There are a lot of good dentist out there who will be happy to agree to have just a chat with you once you decide to visit a practice. Or to just let you sit in the waiting room for a moment, if that's the first difficult thing. Some dentists would even agree to chat with you outside of the practice, if that would make the first step easier for you. The aim is to identify where you would be able to start and go from there. At your pace. You will need a bit of self-reflection, patience, a good dentist and few visits. From there you can decide how to approach the needed treatment and if you would like to get some help in form of sedation or medication.

One last piece of advice: take a good care of you. If you notice your anxiety raising to a certain level while looking around here, stop and take a break. It will be very useful for you to respect your fear and to make sure you won't get overwhelmed. This will later also help you during a dental visit.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
636
Location
US
Well done for posting here!

I can offer some thoughts, some suggestions to consider. If you are interested, I can speak to you plainly, adult to adult.
 
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