• 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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Beyond Absolutely Terrified

A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
It's been a ridiculously long time since I was at the dentist. 15 years or so. I've never had great dental habits anyway. But, two years ago, my dad died. I fell into a depression and stopped taking care of myself. I've recently climbed out of that hole and am determined to get myself back on the healthy track.

My last stop needs to be the dentist. I know it's bad. I'm not in any pain, but I can tell when I smile there are things that aren't good. I'm thinking it's mostly my gums, but I don't know.

My dad and I used to have the same smile. I'm petrified that I've irreparably broken my smile. If they have to pull teeth, can they make them match? And can I leave with something so nobody knows I've had teeth pulled?

I've reached out for a dental appointment, but don't have anything confirmed yet. I'm contemplating bringing a small stuffed animal with me (just in case), but at 31 I should be able to handle this. So I'm torn. Any words of advice or encouragement are much appreciated.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,019
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Welcome !! Well this is great because you are here you are thinking and talking about it and ready to face the fear and unknown to take care of yourself. thats a huge step.. Take one step at a time and don't do anything you aren't comfortable with.. There are some great, kind, and competant dentists out there that really care.. don't settle for any less.. you deserve it.. I let myself go for too long. I brushed but i ate too many sweets and didn't floss like I should. i also didn't really visit the dentist except damage control when soemthing errupted or soemthing.. i'm motivated now more than ever to get it going.. sounds like you are motivated so that is really great!! We are here for you as you process through this.. this forum has been a complete Godsend to me, realizing someone understands my emotions, fears, thoughts.. is huge for making each step closer to better dental health!
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
808
Location
UK
Just to address your initial panicked questions: yes they can make sure you don't have a gappy smile if you need extractions, and whether your smile will stay the same depends on how many teeth are being pulled and what is replacing them.

But! It's really too early to panic over that. It's a bridge you can cross if you come to it, and there's no guarantee you will. The first step is letting a dentist take a look.

You can take a stuffed animal if you want. Plenty people on this forum have done just that. Whatever makes you feel most at ease is important.

Don't be nervous to speak up and tell the dentist your situation and how nervous you are. A good dentist will be very patient and go slow if that's what you need. Maybe have a look online for good recommendations and search specifically for dentists who are good with nervous patients. :)
 
A

ab697

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
46
I took my favourite cuddly toy with me to a filling I had done a while a go. The dentist just smiled and asked if it was my lucky charm. If you feel that would help you then I'd say take the stuffed animal :)

I guess I'd suggest to wait and see what they say before you panic or worry. Like you said, you don't know what might need to be done and I'm sure it is not as bad as you may think. I hope your first appointment goes well for you!

As krlovesherkids777 said, this is the first step and it's so great that you are making it! This forum has been great for me to, even just to document my journey for myself so that I can see how far I've come but also the support is amazing.

Good luck and keep us updated!
 
A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
After much searching...I did it. I have an appointment with a dentist on Tuesday. They cater to scaredy cats like me. l lightly edited my first post here and sent that in. The first email back said "We understand your fears are real." Per several reviews, they've positioned everything so you're looking outside where they've hung birdfeeders and birdhouses.

I'm still super scared, but I'm pretty sure this is the right place for me to go.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Messages
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That is awesome you found a place and made an appointment that is a huge first step. It sounds like you feel its a good fit and sound like a beautiful office how they have it looking outside into nature.. You will have to let us know how it goes.. first appointments are always interesting to see if you click and like them..
 
A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
Thank you to everybody who's replied so far. My appointment is tomorrow after work, and I'm already a wreck. Luckily (?) it's just an exam tomorrow. I keep trying to tell myself that after tomorrow, I'll at least know what to be afraid of instead of just being afraid of everything. I also keep getting mad at myself for being a wuss over something that lots of people do without a second thought.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Messages
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I know the day before and of can be very anxiety producing !! If you have a great dentist, they will know how to take you through and make it the easiest possible way for you ! I know everytime I go I trust a little bit more, and my dentist knows how to put me at ease..it sounds like yours would too if they cater to anxious patients. remember as a fellow member says.."you are the boss'... go at your pace. and let us know how it goes.. you are courageous just showing up!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,244
I also keep getting mad at myself for being a wuss over something that lots of people do without a second thought.

I have heard that more that enough people have some form of dental fear. There are really just few who do it without a second thought. My dentist says that everybody has a certain level of fear at the dentist. And your practice seems to understand it too. Don't let all of this confusing thoughts before an appointment make you crazy - it's just a program running in your mind. You will do great!
 
A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
I'm leaving for my appointment shortly and I feel like I'm going to be sick. I know the worst is in front of me. And I keep reminding myself that lots of people get dental work. I'm not alone there. And I'm not a loser (even though my brain keeps insisting that I am).
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I'm leaving for my appointment shortly and I feel like I'm going to be sick. I know the worst is in front of me. And I keep reminding myself that lots of people get dental work. I'm not alone there. And I'm not a loser (even though my brain keeps insisting that I am).


You're absolutely not a loser, you are a very courageous person who decided to beat the fear! I hope you realize, what an achievement this is! You made an appointment and you managed not to cancel, you rock! This already is further than a lot of people who suffer from dental phobia manage to do .

You indeed feel terrible but this is what anxiety is about. Keep your head up and rock the dental office, I know you can make it!

Look forward to hearing your success story after you got back!:)
 
F

frostgirl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
378
Location
UK
Let us know how it goes, we're all here supporting you!
 
A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
I'll write more tomorrow since I am absolutely exhausted. But the short version: AWESOME dentist, I have only 2 cavities and need a deep cleaning!
 
F

frostgirl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
378
Location
UK
That's so good to hear! Well done!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Messages
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soooo good to hear!!! :) :) and very happy it went well and the dentist is AWesome!! What a great feeling!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Heyyyy! Well done!!! :):jump::jump:

But I am still curious about the details! :) Wanna know everything! How were they? What did they say? How is your dentist?
 
A

As5786

Junior member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
13
Heyyyy! Well done!!! :):jump::jump:

But I am still curious about the details! :) Wanna know everything! How were they? What did they say? How is your dentist?

Sorry! I was barely able to keep my eyes open once I got home. Once I relaxed from being so stressed, I just passed out.

ANYHOODLE

The waiting area looks more like an upscale hair salon than a dentist's office. I felt bad since traffic was worse than I expected so I didn't get there as early as I'd have liked to fill out the paperwork. I don't know if it's standard for everyone, or just nervous patients. but they had a form for why you were scared and if you had any previous bad experiences at a dentist.


When they took me back to the exam room, it was lovely. BIG window looking outside at a nature trail. Birdfeeders set up (lots of cardinals flitting around).


The dental assistant started off by asking what made me nervous and uncomfortable. She reiterated, several times, that I could stop at any point. If I only made it through two x-rays and decided I couldn't handle anymore - then we would stop and just schedule me to continue the rest. She was very kind and funny. We got along very well.


Once the dentist came in, the first thing she said to me was that she was very proud of me for making it in that she knew it took a lot. She also reiterated that we could stop at any point during the exam. Before she started any portion of it, she informed what she was doing, why, and what to expect. Then would pause and ask if I was doing okay. At one point I did something with my eyes (I don't even remember what) and she stopped IMMEDIATELY and said, "I saw your eyes widen. Do you need to stop?" Which just blew me away that she was paying that much attention.


As we were nearing the end, I just asked how much longer I had to go. I was doing fine but just needed to know to appease my brain. She replied that I was doing extremely well (the dental assistant agreed) and that we were nearly done.


Once we were done, she sat me up and said, "I can almost promise that the diagnosis is nowhere near as bad as you were expecting." Then she told me that I did have some (minor) bone loss but that she was unconcerned and that at this stage it was very manageable. I said that made me nervous and she replied that as long as we do the deep cleaning and I come in every 6 months where I'm at now will be maintained. The cavities are even on the smaller side as well.


They have to write up a treatment plan for me - I can either do oral sedation and get it all done in one go OR do nitrous oxide and split it into two appointments a week apart. I'd prefer the one and done.....but it'll depend on cost.
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
316
Location
Austin, Texas
I've been following along in your thread and just wanted to say I'm so happy for you that you have found yourself an AWESOME dentist and the first appointment went well! ?
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,019
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Wow.. your dentist really does amazing , very sensitive to anxious pts.. you got yourself a winner it sounds like!! So glad all went so well!!!


Sorry! I was barely able to keep my eyes open once I got home. Once I relaxed from being so stressed, I just passed out.

ANYHOODLE

The waiting area looks more like an upscale hair salon than a dentist's office. I felt bad since traffic was worse than I expected so I didn't get there as early as I'd have liked to fill out the paperwork. I don't know if it's standard for everyone, or just nervous patients. but they had a form for why you were scared and if you had any previous bad experiences at a dentist.


When they took me back to the exam room, it was lovely. BIG window looking outside at a nature trail. Birdfeeders set up (lots of cardinals flitting around).


The dental assistant started off by asking what made me nervous and uncomfortable. She reiterated, several times, that I could stop at any point. If I only made it through two x-rays and decided I couldn't handle anymore - then we would stop and just schedule me to continue the rest. She was very kind and funny. We got along very well.


Once the dentist came in, the first thing she said to me was that she was very proud of me for making it in that she knew it took a lot. She also reiterated that we could stop at any point during the exam. Before she started any portion of it, she informed what she was doing, why, and what to expect. Then would pause and ask if I was doing okay. At one point I did something with my eyes (I don't even remember what) and she stopped IMMEDIATELY and said, "I saw your eyes widen. Do you need to stop?" Which just blew me away that she was paying that much attention.


As we were nearing the end, I just asked how much longer I had to go. I was doing fine but just needed to know to appease my brain. She replied that I was doing extremely well (the dental assistant agreed) and that we were nearly done.


Once we were done, she sat me up and said, "I can almost promise that the diagnosis is nowhere near as bad as you were expecting." Then she told me that I did have some (minor) bone loss but that she was unconcerned and that at this stage it was very manageable. I said that made me nervous and she replied that as long as we do the deep cleaning and I come in every 6 months where I'm at now will be maintained. The cavities are even on the smaller side as well.


They have to write up a treatment plan for me - I can either do oral sedation and get it all done in one go OR do nitrous oxide and split it into two appointments a week apart. I'd prefer the one and done.....but it'll depend on cost.
 

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