• 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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Anyone ever have a relapse? I posted a couple of years ago>>



Junior member
May 16, 2008
about having a phobia of the dentist. At that time, I knew I needed some work done, etc after not having seen a dentist in many, many years. After reading this board and getting the courage up, I went and saw one, got a cleaning and had 5 cavities filled, all without novacaine. I guess this isn't the norm, especially with one being a "deep" cavity?? Anyway, it was uncomfortable but I did it and at that time, I knew the dentist was going to suggest that I get my wisdom teeth out (they are impacted, unerupted under the gums) and get braces. I am now in my late 30's and he strongly suggested I get braces and wisdoms out but the idea of surgery freaked me out SO much that I put everything out of my mind, stopped reading this board, and retreated back into dental phobia mode.

I feel like I am rambling but let me back up a bit...as a child, dentist visits were VERY infrequent but I always had absolutely no cavities...it was always just suggested that I get braces as I have crooked, overcrowded teeth (inherited my mom's larger teeth and my dad's small jawbone;)). The time my parents were willing to get braces for me was at the exact same time I had to get glasses (contacts later) and I was so worried about teasing that I didn't want glasses and braces at the same time. Looking back, I wish I had gotten them at that time:( Hindsight really is 20/20!

Now forward 25+ years later, as an adult who has always had crooked teeth and is very self-conscious, I really want to get a nice smile but I am terrified. And I don't know why I keep getting cavities now...I am pretty sure I have at least three more (all in the teeth that were filled earlier) and probably more that I don't know about. I brush 2-3 X a day, floss daily and have very limited sugar but I still keep getting cavities??? All within the last 4 years.

Now to present day....I re-found this forum as I stayed away after being freaked out from the idea of oral surgery. Now I HAVE to go to the dentist again due to the increasing sensitivity in a few teeth, I made my appt. this morning feeling like I was going to vomit the whole time I was on the phone. Afterwards, I called my husband at work and broke down on the phone because of the anxiety I am feeling. Right now I am crying on my keyboard just thinking about my appt on Thursday.

My anxieties are: 1)someone looking in my mouth at my crooked teeth thinking that they are the most horrid teeth they have ever seen 2) finding out I have more cavities than I think I have 3) anxiety about getting them filled (I don't know if it is better to have a NEEDLE in my gums or to be really uncomfortable during the fillings) 4)having yet another dentist tell me my teeth are really crooked and that I need braces and need to get my wisdom teeth out lest all my teeth start falling out due to gum disease due to having crooked teeth (which is what the last dentist suggested would happen in the future).

My husband, who is very supportive, doesn't understand my fear of the dentist or the wisdom surgery..he says the surgery will be over with before I know it but he says that I will hate to have braces because they hurt and I will be in pain for the years that I have them on (he had them as a teen).

The wisdom surgery freaks me out because I was told I was at a higher risk of paresthesia (sp?) due to how one of my teeth on the bottom were, and also because I have NEVER been put under and I also am really squeamish at the sight of blood, and have fainted from seeing blood. A former friend told me that she was stabbed as a teenager and would rather be stabbed again than go through wisdom teeth surgery. So between that and now thinking I am going to be in constant pain if I get braces...I fear that once again I will just go in to get the necessary work done and retreat back into dental fear, avoiding regular cleanings because of my crooked teeth and having to hear about braces/wisdoms every time.

I am really really torn, I want a nice smile SO badly (I think it will greatly help with my self confidence and being more social because right now I am not) but everything just SCARES the heck out of me , to the point I can't sleep at night and am prone to crying when I think about it.

I am sorry, I feel like I have just rambled on and on and not made much sense. I could really use some words of support or encouragement. I plan on taking some more time and reading some of the rest of your stories because that is what helped me get the courage up to make the last appt. as well as this most recent appt.

Any words are appreciated:cry:
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Dental fear is very common and nothing to be ashamed of. I will do my best to address your concerns.

I can promise you that your teeth are not the worst the dentist has ever seen. This is the anxiety talking.

Getting wisdom teeth removed is not difficult, even impacted. Your friend is wrong to scare you. The procedure is straight forward and easy. Thousands of these procedures are done every day. Paresthesiacan happen but usually resolves itself in a few days or weeks. However, it is not that common.

The most common method of sedation is IV sedation or "twilight sleep." You are not "out" as in general sedation used in the hospital. The risk of complications is almost non-existent with IV sedation.

Braces are not what the once were. The new method is invisalign which is much easier and does not have the pain that can happen from the old methods.

If you are experiencing high anxiety, the dentist can give you a prescription for Ativan or an other anti-anxiety medication to calm you down before the procedure. There is no need to suffer or be in constant fear.

Pro activity is best to overcome the fear. You will do fine and there are things that can help you.

Blessings :)
Hi and welcome, you are not alone in your fears as we all understand here.:XXLhug:

I can put some of your fears to rest though, I have not read one post on here about ANY dentist putting down a patient because of the state of their teeth, as Stress Doc says this really is your anxiety talking to you. Every person on here, who has plucked up the courage to see a dentist reports back that the dentists have all been concerned on how to make their mouth healthy and pain free rather than how they got like that.

As to the number of caveties you have, again your anexiety will usually make it much worse than it really is, the dentist is the only one who can tell you for sure, plus they are the only one who can make the teeth better again.

I've reciently managed to go back to the dentist after 25+ years of avoidance, I can honestly say dentistry is light years ahead of how it used to be. These days they use a numbing gel on the gum before they give the local anesetetic, so far I have not felt a thing when its been given and it has worked 100%, as I've not felt anything while I've had fillings done.

Tell your dentist from the start that you are NOT looking to get your teeth straightened, that you just want them healthy. You have stayed alive this long so the crooked teeth are not stopping you from eating or drinking so there is no compelling reason why you should have a brace. ASk them to put it on your notes that you do not want braces and that you would like them to respect your wishes by not trying to persuade you on this issue, if you decide to have something done to straighten then in the future, then you will ask them, otherwise its a closed subject. You can do this, its your mouth and teeth, you can have what treatment you want. You have decided not to have braces for this long in your life, you can carry on deciding not to have them, its perfectly within your right to do so.

I had two wisdom teeth out at a hospital about 20 years ago, even then there was no blood that I can remember and the amount I worried about having it done, was way out of proportion to how the actual removal went. I really wish I had the other two out at the same time, but back then I was in a prety phobic state so only agreed to have the absolute minimum done.

Take what ever you decide to have done in small steps, take time to build your confidence with having things done to your teeth, and more importantly take time to talk honestly with your dentist and let them know what you want.

You can do this.
Thank you to both Stress Doc and Robotguy. Taking the time to respond has meant more to me than you will ever know! Right now I am calmer...I guess being highly stressed all day has worn my body out, I am just hoping to get through the next few days without going insane.

When I start feeling bad again, I will come here and re-read both of your posts, both were very factual and calming.

Stress Doc: As far as the wisdoms, twilight sounds a little better than general, and the idea of anti-anxiety medication might very well come in handy, esp if it gets to the point of me not going through with some procedures.

Robotguy: I liked your suggestion about them putting the braces/wisdom teeth issue down on notes to not bring it up every time. IF I can get the courage up to say that, I may very well do that. That way I hopefully won't avoid going for basic cleanings from now on. When you had your wisdom teeth out, were they under the gums or erupted? I have heard it is easier if they are already out but have yet to talk to as someone as phobic as me that had them out where they were under the gums. I am glad it wasn't as big of a deal as you thought it might be.

Sometimes I wish I could just down a bottle of wine before going, that would take care of the anxiety;D. J/K:rolleyes:.

Glad you are feeling a little less anxious now, my suggestions would be:

1. Try to focus on one issue at a time - eg you may want your teeth straightened in the future, but this is not the burning issue right now, so just decide on what you want 'fixed' first

2. My husband always says 'you can't worry about what you can't change'... I always find this a tremendous relief!! Not sure if it works for everyone, but it helps me decide what my poor little brain should be worrying about at any particular moment!! So that rules out worrying about what the dentist may say/ think, doesn't it - who cares! You can't worry about it, and it is the dentist job to help - which he/she will!! They definitely definitely will not be the worse teeth he/ she has seen in any case!! I have loss track of how many patients have verbalised that fear to me over the years - let alone the ones that have thought it without saying!

3. Get as much information as you can about all the issues you want to ask on, but try and maybe displace yourself from the situation, as though you just are asking a list of questions, not actually of urgent relevance - like a questionnaire to fill in - does that make sense? So you are just on a fact finding hunt, to go home and process it all later. Hopefully, if you treat it like that you won't get panicky and you will be able to take in the advice/ information much easier. You don't have to have any more than an examination initially - so just get THAT and that alone done - that is your hurdle for today (or the day you go...obviously)

4.... sure there was more, but I've forgotten

Just re-read your 4 concerns, actually, taking the can't worry about what you can't change approach so favoured by my husband... I think it rules them all out!! No need to worry about the what ifs/ buts, just get a nice sentence together for how you want to put across what you want/ need/ feel.

Good luck
You will be fine:cheers:
Hi, glad my words could help you, sometimes this phobia really stinks, its only other people with the same phobia that can really understand how we feel, talking or writing about the dentist is one of the things that we just can't do even to offer support without bringing on those fears in ourselves too. I feel I'm very lucky though, I had some anexiety therapy that have made made me understand just why I feel like I do about the dentist, this has allowed me to think differently about the whole dental process and how I can cope with things that would have sent me running from a room in panic just a few months ago. I still have a way to go but I now go to the dentist for me, not to please anyone else. I do genuinely feel for the people who pluck up the courage to post on here for the first time, admitting to others about this phobia is such a hard thing to do, any words of comfort I can offer, I will.

Getting back to your question about my wisdom teeth, the two I had out were impacted (sideways) pushing the teeth forwards. One was completly out, the other just a little bit was poking through. Because they were sideways, food got stuck between them and the next tooth, causing decay quite quickly, I was in pain constantly as I couldn't get in there to clean it out. The other two wisdom teeth were the right way up so I didn't get them removed as they wouldn't get the same problem, even though it was recomended that I had them removed, no way was I going to have what I thought was unecessary stuff done to my teeth, looking back though those extra teeth probably have caused the remaining ones to become crooked through fighting for space.

I'm sure there are others on here with more recient experiences of wisdom teeth removal who can offer more support for you.

Try to stay positive, which I know is hard sometimes, keep saying to yourself that you will only have done what you want done, ultimatly its your choice, you are the one who must be happy.