• 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.

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Apprehensive

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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Hello All,

This is my first time posting, but I just wanted to reach out for assistance with my severe anxiety re: the dentist. I have not been to the dentist in many many years, and recently made my first appt to return because I have 2 broken teeth that I can no longer procrastinate in dealing with.

I had a traumatic dental experience when I was a child and have avoided the dentist ever since. I was having a tooth pulled and the woke up in the middle of the procedure. I felt, saw and heard everything happening. Had nightmares for weeks afterward, and have had an intense fear ever since.

I know that it is important to face this fear and deal with my oral hygiene, but am so nervous and scared. The rational part of my brain is even feeling silly and stupid that I've waited this long, but then the fear takes over.

When making the phone call, I explained my situation up front, saying I had fear/anxiety and I haven't been to the dentist in many years. I know once I start the process I will be relieved and feel so much better, but am terrified. Even making the phone call, my hands were shaking, I was so nervous.

Any advice or reassurance would be great to hear.

:)
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Just wanted to make a quick addition. Have spent time today reading some of all of your stories, and it has been such a help. Was sick to my stomach after calling the dentist, but scrolling through and seeing that I'm definitely not alone or irrational in my fear and slowly eased it. Will still have to take it a day at a time until I finally go in and start the process, but fingers crossed that I'll make it through okay. At least I don't feel like I'm going to burst into tears anymore, so that's one good thing! Even if no one sees this, thank you all anyways for not making me feel so alone!
 
L

Ladydi1724

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2021
Messages
52
Location
Chicago
I was in the same situation 7 months ago. All I can tell you and what others told me on here that proved true is that the wait and apprehension is 100 times worse than the appointment. When is your appointment?
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Thanks so much! My appt is on June 1, but if something opens up sooner they are going to call me. Or if I start having any pain, but tooth pain is rare for me.

Going to try not to obsess about it until then, but it's tough. There are so many mixed feelings, as I'm sure you all know well.

I have two broken molars in the back, and also have high canine teeth, so who knows what will happen. It's sooooooo hard not to let my mind go crazy with all the things that could happen.

I also lost my mother when I was very young, so this Mother's Day is going to be extra rough between both things. Just trying to keep as calm as I can. I know I am absolutely doing the right thing. I am repeating to myself over and over that I'm not the only one, and that it's never too late to deal with this stuff. It is fixable.

But tell that to my fear.....:(

Again, thank you for the response. It's so comforting knowing someone out there read about my fear and saw it and understood it.
 
F

FrankieDoug

Junior member
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Stockton
Hi,

I was in a similar situation. I hadn't been properly (except emergency appointments) for around 13 years. It stemmed from breaking my two front teeth as a kid and remembering the horrendous dentist's fixing them. I know it sounds stupid, but the amount of pressure I had put on myself was ridiculous and I think I imagined the incident above to be completely different and a whole lot more scary.
I went to the dentist last November, had a lot of work done under IV sedation and a filling with just a jab. All has been absolutely fine and now I'm 2 months into Invisalign.

I don't have much advice except let you dentist know you're nervous, explore all options and know you're going to feel uncomfortable but once you're in there a large chunk is done and it only gets easier. Good luck!
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Thanks so much! Everyone seems to say the same thing. That once the waiting and wondering is done and you actually go and get it over with, it only gets easier. That's very comforting!

Thanks again for sharing, and hope I have the same positive experience that you seem to be having. :)
 
J

Jackieallen

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
123
Location
DORKING
I so understand your anxiety . I spent weeks pre my appointment to have a tooth extracted shaking crying just so unhappy . Then i booked and went for iv sedation still worried and shaking but it was the best ever didnt even know it was happening. The waiting is for sure the worst and i am sure if you was in pain it would also be easier to go get it sorted .
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
So my appointment is tomorrow, and am going to try to keep myself as busy and distracted today as possible so the anxiety doesn't completely take over. I just keep thinking about all the possible things that could happen, and it's so hard to turn your brain off and stop thinking about it. Hopefully, if all the stories and posts I have read on this forum are correct, then this 24 hours may be the worst part, and making it through that initial appointment will be a huge relief. Hopefully what will be the case for me.

I know at this point, I just have to take what comes and do the best I can. I know that having this fear is totally out of my control, and just have to be as open as I can about it.

Thank you all so much for your replies. They have really helped ease some of my anxiety. Having this kind of fear can make you feel really alone, and knowing that you're not, and there are other people out there that have experienced the same thing you are makes it a little easier.

Wish me luck!!!
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,615
Good luck! I am just seeing your post. I had a few traumatic childhood experiences at the dentist so I understand where you are coming from. I had a lot of baby teeth pulled and a few oral surgeries due to implanted adult teeth. The dentist didn’t believe me that I could still feel pain. Surgeries I was knocked out for, but I woke up during one. Thankfully they put me back out and I could not feel anything but I still can remember the fear waking up and not knowing what was going on.
I never stopped going to the dentist for cleanings because I was the opposite where I was petrified that if I didn’t go something really bad would happen and I would need more work done. I hated every single cleaning and shook through most of them, but I made it.

You can do this! Every time I go, I realize afterwords that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Dentists are so much more informed, have more advanced techniques and technology and are generally more aware of patient anxiety from what I have found.
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Update: Had my appointment this morning. Was sick to my stomach, and thought I was going to vomit, but I didn't. And I did it! Was completely honest about my anxiety, and both the dentist and the hygienist were so kind, gentle and understanding. Because of my nerves, my blood pressure was a little high, so the dentist came in beforehand to reassure me, which I really appreciated. I made it through the initial cleaning okay. The office has TV's on the ceiling, hooked to Netflix, and I could choose whatever I wanted to watch to distract me, which was a nice touch. She was very soft and gentle, and repeatedly stopped to ask if I was okay or needed a break.

Then, after my X-rays and photos were taken, the dentist came in. I need to have 2 extractions, and then some fillings done. That is the first thing to be done. Am going in for my real cleaning on Friday, and will sit down with the coordinator to go over all options, pricing, etc. But it looks like my insurance will cover all cleanings and extractions, which is a relief.

Honestly, sitting down in that chair for the first time and opening your mouth is absolutely the hardest part. I know that I have a ways to go, but now that my mind isn't going crazy with What if's, it is a huge relief. I feel that as long as I know what is to come, I can handle it.

I feel so proud of myself for taking this step! Everyone in this forum is absolutely right. The waiting is the hardest part. Hopefully it will only get easier from here.

Thank you all so much for your kind replies!
 
conqueringfears

conqueringfears

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
102
Location
Ohio
@deeflannery So proud of you for taking care of yourself in this way. Congrats for taking that first step today.
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
@conqueringfears Thank you so much! Finding this forum has been such a big help! Am so relieved that I've taken this step finally!
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Another quick update: Went in for my real cleaning today. They had the nitrous there for me in case I needed it, but am so proud of myself...I didn't need it! I have the most awesome hygienist. She is so gentle and sweet, and made me feel so at ease the whole time! A note was put in my file to only receive my cleanings from her from now on.

Also got my treatment plan. Am going in on June 29 for 2 extractions, and to have bone grafts done. Then, will have my fillings done. Those are the priorities. After that, I will go in for an orthodontist consult. 3 of my 4 wisdom teeth may need to come out, but since I have no pain, they are not a priority and will wait to see what ortho says.

I am so glad I chose the dental office I did. Everyone there is so great, and patient, and took time to explain everything to me so thoroughly. They made sure to tell me that there is nothing too serious to be done. All routine extractions and fillings, etc. They also said I am lucky because my insurance is really good. I have max coverage for all basic prodcedures so all cleanings and extractions are fully covered. The nitrous is fully covered as well. They also worked out a payment plan with me for the bone grafts.

The relief I feel is huge, and I feel so proud of myself! The fear is still there, but there are no more unknowns, which helps so much! I feel like as long as I know exactly what is to come, I can prepare myself to handle it. Also, since my nitrous is covered, they added it to all my procedures other than cleanings! :)

To anyone out there who is feeling that fear, I completely understand. It is so hard to take that first step. But making that call, waiting, and going to that first appointment is the toughest part! Getting through it is hard, but the relief and pride you will feel after is worth it!
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Hi All! Haven’t been on in a while but thought I would give a quick update. I went in today and had my 2 extractions done. I had nitrous the whole time and between that and the freezing it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. My dental office is the best! My dentist and the assistant were so awesome. The dentist was kind and patient and my assistant even reached down and squeezed my hand if she saw me fidget (which I did a few times. Not out of pain, more discomfort.).

My sister came with me and to stay with me for a few hours after. Am glad she did because the worst part of the whole experience happened after I got home. Between the adrenaline and anxiety, I hadn’t eaten all day and the sight of the blood when we were changing the guaze for the first time, I actually passed out. She said I went sheet white and just went down. Don’t even remember it happening, just coming to sitting on my bathroom floor. She said is was about 3 mins. Thank god I wasn’t alone!

Other than that, it has actually been a breeze. I took all the gauze out for good about 3 hours after I got home. Clots had already formed and no bleeding since. Have antibiotics to take and pain meds if I need but feel okay. Even had an appetite this evening. Applesauce and yogurt but still.

In 2 weeks I go in for a check up and to remove my stitches and 2 weeks after that to remove the membrane from the bone grafts.

I guess all this continues to prove that it is never as bad as you make it out to be in your head. Am so proud of myself for how well I did! There was a time where I thought I could never do this!!!!
😀😀
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,739
@deeflannery Thanks so much for sharing!

I guess all this continues to prove that it is never as bad as you make it out to be in your head. Am so proud of myself for how well I did!
And so you should! Congratulations to you and your dental team :perfect:. Wishing you a very speedy recovery!
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Thank you all so much! I feel pretty good today, hardly any pain at all. Just tired. But thanks for the support! The feeling that you get when you know you accomplished something so big to you is pretty awesome! :):):)
 
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deeflannery

Member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
21
Location
Toronto
Hello all. Just wanted to hop on here to try and relax myself. For some reason, I have just been having bad anxiety today about my extraction sites. Just feel crazy worrying about if I’m doing something wrong or not. Have been following orders and just started rinsing today. Feel a little discomfort today but didn’t need psinkillers or anything. But just feel so anxious. I know it’s probably irrational and if something was wrong I would probably be in pain, but my anxiety just flares up.

Does anyone have any recommendations for how to calm those fears? I’ve told myself that I’ve done everything from messed it all up to having dry socket. I’m hoping this is normal after having this type of procedure done.

Any advice would be so helpful!
 
J

Jackieallen

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
123
Location
DORKING
Dry socket causes extreme pain. Sounds like you don't have that so you can rest now knowing you have done everything right.
 

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