• 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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Another guy beginning his dental journey



Junior member
Nov 17, 2013
New York
I'm a 44 year old male, living in NY. Up until a month or so ago I hadn't been to the dentist in 25+ years. It was a subject of such shame and embarrassment--I have a tendency towards depression and anxiety anyway, so this certainly has added to my difficulties.
I never had braces as a child and have some crowding issues (especially in a section on my bottom palate). So if I can help it, I don't really do a full mouth smile.

I'm just beginning to address the issues. I had a great referral from a friend and finally bit the bullet and made that initial anxious phone call for the first check up and cleaning. I was really terrified as to how
they would react, or what additional issues they might mind. I had visions of a scenario where they found advanced gum disease, or something.
The cleaning went ok and I'm under consultation as to what to do next. They are a full service office with many specialists, so they recommended speaking with their orthodontist. The treatment plan is leaning towards 2 extractions (since I never had my wisdom teeth out) to alleviate the crowding and they'll be some additional repair work on some old fillings I have, plus the braces.
Anyway, I'll the board posted and how this all goes. I really wish I had come to this board sooner to read some of these stories.
HI Yikes2169
First well done for going to the dentist to begin with. Everyone on this site knows exactly how scary that can be. I too am in my 40's (45) and had not seen a dentist till 2 weeks ago.For me it had been 20+ years. I get the stress about what they would find and what they would say. I thought in my mind that there would be all kinds wrong with my mouth. I even covered my mouth before the dentist took a look and apologized for what he was going to see. In the end he said he was pleasantly surprised over the state of my mouth. I like you was in better shape than I thought i would be. I havent had a cleaning yet and dont really look forward to that or anything else for that matter. Although my friends tell me that once I get it done i will love the feeling of a freshly cleaned mouth. I have nothing to compare it to yet so I dont know. I did have the first most necessary procedure a root canal. OMG was I scared.... anyone not on this sight will give you horror stories ( just like they will about your wisdom teeth) dont believe them. Like Steve on this sight told me... it wasnt half as bad as they said it would be. I am sure your wisdom teeth wont be that bad either. Dentistry has come along way in 20+ years since you and i have gone. And they have alot of ways to make you very confortable. I have only done my first 2 visits and have another one tomorrow. I cant tell you how scared it makes me to walk in the door but every time will get easier or so I hope. Everyone on this sight is super supportive and understands the fear thing..... Even the dentists on this sight are amazing. Just take one step at a time. Dont forget to mention to your dentist that you have a phobia where this is concerned. They will be extra nice and caring to you and it will make all the difference in the world. You and I are not carefree yet where this is concerned but we are taking the first step which is a big one and I am so proud of you for making this gigantic effort. I know how hard that was. Every time they do something to you and it wasnt painful or scary as you think it will be then you can replace those good memories for the other ones you have. I am trying to do just that......
Thanks for the encouragement, fradie! I try to bear in mind that it's likely dentists have probably "seen it all"--very advance cases and such. And I think these days there's may be more of an awareness among dental professionals that scolding patients for neglect may not be the best approach ultimately to help them. Of course, I'm sure there are those out there that are don't have great attitudes--so that's why I got feedback from friends on who they liked locally. Anyway, still at the beginning stages here, but it was a bit of a relief to get started and luckily to see that the state of my oral health wasn't so terrible. On a side note, I haven't had a regular physical from a general practitioner in 4 or 5 years. considerably less time than my avoidance of the dentist, but that's also something that's next on deck for me to get a regular checkup.
HI Yikes2169.
Yes you are right.... a physical is very important. There are so many things they can do for us if they get to you soon. And altough some stuff they do it not going to make your day it will save your life and taking care of your health will make you feel like a million bucks. Doctors i have no problem with... Dentists OMG... This poor guy said I am the most phobic he has ever seen. But I am trying and cant help it.... I go again today. Next week is the cleaning. Deep Cleaning after 20 years. You are one step ahead of me.... i cant imagine this is going to feel good but one step at a time. We are all hear to support each other. One step at a time... I am holding your hand across the air waves if you need me to...
And they have seen tons worse than yours.....
Good luck with the deep cleaning! Mine had some discomfort, but really not too bad considering.
maybe I should've started this in the journal section--anyway here's the latest.

So, I had my consultation with the orthodontist about my crowding, and from the X-rays and examining my bite, he says my jaw has some alignment issue (overbite) and recommended that I consider speaking to a surgeon that he works with. I'm not sure I'll go this route, but I wanted to make an informed decision. anyway, I went to the orthognathic/maxillofacial office today for an examination. Anyway, this surgeon in turn actually recommended that I have a sleep study done, to rule out any issues with sleep apnea, due to the position of my jaw, etc. It is a condition that runs in my family--my Mom had it and one of my older brothers has it as well.
I guess I feel a little down about this--sort of like that I keep uncovering additional things *wrong* with me. And that each thing is dependent on the other.
Anyway, I'll probably do that study later this month. Not sure of how this will all pan out. I was not that thrilled with the idea of jaw surgery when it came up. The orthodontist said his plan of treatment would be slightly different if I chose that surgery vs what he would do to adjust my bite if I don't. I guess I'm worried about a number of things about it. first off, I've never had surgery. and also, I'm worried about the cost. (in addition to the cost of the braces) I'm in the US--currently employed and insured, but things have been uncertain at my job lately. Anyway, just venting here.