• 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.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Can't stop crying so scared

H

Hollyharvey

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
74
Hi everyone.

Brief background I am 49. As a child had a terrible dentist. My parents even admit that they think the one parenting mistake they made was not finding me a different dentist. The result is a real fear of dentists.

From leaving home until when I was 29 I only went to the dentist only if I had toothache. Then at 29 I went and had treatment, then again in 1992 and had veneers on the front teeth.

Since then I had pain in 1998, went to a dentist who whas horrid. He just kept asking why I had let my teeth get so bad, and asked if I was prepared to take treatment seriously. I ran out of there in tears.

Since January 2005 I have had terrible pain. Five teeth are not teeth, just little black bits of decay left sticking out. On each side I have one upper and one lower molar all of which hurt, and now two of the front ones have decay (although the veneer hides this), and one of the front ones is causing the roof of my mouth to swell up.

In May 2005 I broke down in tears when a GP did a home visit because of my depression and agoraphobia and told her all about it. She tried to get a dentist to visit because I have depression and agoraphobia but she could not.

Since 2005 I have been buying antibiotics abroad and getting them shipped in, this seems to stop a lot of the pain as it prevents an abscess forming, as is is keeping any infection at bay (I know about the damage I am doing to myself over this).

Today I phoned the local NHS helpline and got the number of a NHS dentist in the area, and they gave me an appointment for next Monday (24th November), and I am so scared!!. I am so embarrassed about the state of my teeth, and so scared about any treatment. They do not know I am nervous - or more to the point that it is far more than that.

I have tranquillisers I can take (lorazepam) as I have them for my depression, but even my friends don't know about this fear and I don't feel able to talk to any of them about it, and I can't speak to my doctor now, as I have moved and it is a new one, I don't feel I can admit how bad my teeth are to.

I just don't know what to do, I am in total despair, and have even had fleeting thoughts that I would rather die than deal with this.

The NHS lady also told me they may refuse to treat me when they discover how much work I need.

Anyone that has read this far, thank you for taking the time.

Holly
 
Hello Holly

I can fully understand where you are coming from, I haven't been to the dentist for 23 years due to my severe phobia. I found this forum a few weeks ago & they've been very supportive. Through this forum I found a dentist who was willing to " just have a look" at my teeth as I was finding the pain unbearable. After a while I plucked up courage & with the help of valium & my husband I went for my "check up". The days preceeding were awful, I cried, was sick etc and wanted to cancel but went through with it. The dentist was lovely, very kind & understood my fears. Anyway, I need a root canal (to begin with) & I have to go on Wednesday (19th) and once more I'm terrified!! He's giving me tamazapan an hour before the procedure but, I'm still really scared.
So I'm not a huge help to you at the moment but wanted to tell you "you're not alone" with your phobia & fears. I will let you know how I get on & maybe that will help you. There are so many people who are frightened of dentists on this site, it makes you feel better. None of my friends like dentists but they're not phobics so they don't understand.
Good luck, I hope it all goes well on 24th.
Patsy x:redface::hidesbehindsofa:
 
Hi Holly and :welcome:!

Like Patsy said, you are not alone. You've found a place where no one looks down on you for your (well-founded) fears. You're among friends here. This forum has helped me overcome my fears. My teeth are horrendous! I only have 5 teeth that are above the gum line; the rest are worn and broken. It took me a long time to see a dentist because I thought that he/she would lecture me about oral care and/or berate me for letting my teeth get so bad. Neither of those things happened. He was understanding and supportive. He also let me know that, no matter how bad my teeth are, he has seen worse. Be sure to find a dentist you're comfortable with. That one of the most important steps.

Good luck and take care:XXLhug:
James
 
Reading your story is like reading my own, I too avoided the dentist for many years, prefering to just put up with the pain and the infections. I eventually plucked up the courage to visit the dentist in september, it wasn't as bad as i thought, got to have 4 fillings and an extraction. I've chosen to have the treatment done under sedation as i'm not brave enough to have it done without. It means i have to wait until january, but i figure whats another couple of months when i've been suffering with my teeth for this long. I'm not looking foward to the treatment and i know i'll be in a terrible state when it com es round, dont even know if i'll have the guts to go through with it. But i know the only way i'm going to get rid of the pain is to go for it.

Maybe the option of sedation is one you could look into? If your own dentist doesn't offer it they should be able to recommend one who does.

Anyway sorry to ramble on about me, just wanted to let you know you are not alone, everyone here is really nice and we all support each other. Good luck with your appointment, i will be thinking of you.
 
The NHS lady also told me they may refuse to treat me when they discover how much work I need.

Holly

It must be very daunting for you...if they do decide they don't want to take you on for whatever reason - make sure they refer you to the Community Dental Service in your area which would be able to help appropriately with sedation options for treatment as required.
NHS dentists are very time-pressured and work to fixed fees for set amounts of treatment.... and do not get extra payment if they do more than is covered by the maximum fee. They are not really very well geared up to help phobics except by referring on elsewhere. Why not take a sympathetic support person with you to ensure you come away with an appropriate referral -you have the right in UK to take someone into treatment room with you if you want to.
Expect your NHS experience to be ok at best and you may be pleasantly surprised. The optimum methods of restoring your smile may not be available on the NHS so you or your support person should ask about all options not just NHS ones so you can make an informed decsion e.g. implants v partial denture maybe. Sometimes given the years of not spending anything on dental care it is worth making it a priority area of spending if atall possible to get yourself back on track. Bereassured there is someone out there CDS or private sector who can help you in a stressfree manner but you may not meet them at your first attempt.
Good luck.
 
Thank you for your replies and support.

I just discovered this morning that the dentist that owns the practice was in trouble with the BDA as he had treated a lady incorrectly when fitting a bridge and crowns and had left her in agony - although that it the newspaper headline so it is probably a bit over dramatic. He did admit at the hearing that he had 'made errors' and this hearing was only in May this year. That would account for why the practiee is now seeing NHS patients when it never has done in the past, it may well have lost a lot of patients earlier in the year. I was not booked in to see this man (who is still working there), but a lady dentist. However, that has really put me off going there at all. So I have cancelled that appointment and made one for Wednesday 25th November at another practice. The receptionist was more helpful than the other one, and said that she would make a note that I was dental phobic and that the dentist that I was booked in with was good with nervous patients.

I was thinking of private treatment as Brit said, but when I looked at a few price lists on some dentists in the area we site, I made it at least £4,000 which I just do not have.

Thanks for the comments so far. This forum is really great I have spent a lot of time reading other peoples stories and it really helps, in particular to read how someone coped in the end.

Thanks Holly
 
Holly, you won't believe me now but you've done the hard part by getting the ball rolling.

I hadn't been in over 20 years - and only once in 15 years before that - when I got my teeth sorted this May. I had everything done in one sedation appointment and if I'd known beforehand how easy it was, I'd have done it YEARS ago! (I had a wisdom tooth out, a crown and a lot of deep fillings, so many I never dared to count!)

My dentist reconstructed a tooth I thought was totally gone years ago! So you'd also be amazed at what they can do.

Take it a step at a time, and keep reading the success stories. Everything you read there is true and has really happened to someone just as phobic as you!
 
Holly, you won't believe me now but you've done the hard part by getting the ball rolling.

This is so true.

Once I made my first appointment, I felt a bit of the burden leave me. After my first appointment, I felt as if I could handle anything...and I had nothing done. Now after two cleanings, seven fillings, four tooth extraction, I feel as if I have climbed the Mount Everest of anxiety, and maybe I have.

BUT....all of that took the first call.

As for which dentist you choose, you must feel comfortable with him or her. You also must feel that you do not need to resign yourself to someone if they do not treat you as you need to be treated. Keep control of your dentistry, and I think you will feel much of the anxiety dissolve with that knowledge alone.
 
So I have cancelled that appointment and made one for Wednesday 25th November at another practice. The receptionist was more helpful than the other one, and said that she would make a note that I was dental phobic and that the dentist that I was booked in with was good with nervous patients.

I was thinking of private treatment as Brit said, but when I looked at a few price lists on some dentists in the area we site, I made it at least £4,000 which I just do not have.

Thanks Holly

Your alternative dentist sounds much better....how can you know what treatment you need though? Extractions are pretty cheap usually...partials do not cost £4000. Remember you are in control...keep an open mind. You can check out your new dentist on the GDC website - it shows where and when they qualified for instance.
Good luck.:grouphug:
 
You have made a big step by making your appointment. I totally understand how you are feeling, I was so embarrassed to open my mouth and for anyone to see how bad my teeth were. But I found a wonderful dentist and he didn't judge me at all. I have had 5 extractions, periodontal surgery, bone grafts, a root canal and lots of fillings. I still have some work that has to be done but I'm not embarrassed to let somebody see my mouth anymore and that is a wonderful feeling. I had to go to the doctor a while back for a sore throat and I wasn't ashamed when he looked down my throat. I am not in pain anymore,I eat anything I want, my gums don't bleed, my breath is better and I smile at people all the time. There are so many benefits and you will feel so good about yourself when you start getting everything fixed. I know you are scared and it's hard to focus on the positive right now. I have horrible panic attacks and in the past had periods where I couldn't leave my house. I was able to have my husband come in the treatment room with me the first couple of times and it really helped me. Talk to the dentist and maybe something like I did would help you too. And always remember you are in control and you can stop whatever is going on anytime you want to. It really helped me when I realized that..thanks to this forum.
 
Hi Holly,
I'm beating you , ive got about 7 teeth left !! :innocent:

Seriously i read your story and it mirrors my own and so many other posters around the world,

the best treatment i ever had was about 17 years ago,
i needed a lot of teeth out, they was that bad and unsaveable,
i went to my then dentist and sat in his chair,
after a few pleasentries he checked my pulse with an instrument and applied a sort of tourniquet around my arm,
i didnt even know or feel anything but he must have injected me with something and asked me to count to 10,
i started counting and remember saying something like 'its working'.
the next thing i knew a nurse started talking to me about what movie i was going to watch that night when i would be at home resting,
everything was finished !
i was a little bit light on my feet so had to get someone to take me home and later i actually sat and laughed about all the anxiety that i had felt beforehand i was that relieved.
i was a little sore later but the pain was almost nothing,
it really was that minute that i didn't even have to take a painkiller.
i took the day off work even though i didn't need to just to be sure but the day after i was back at work and lving my life as normal

N.H.S dentists have now stopped doing this and i had a bad experience afterwards that has lead to a dental phobia the same as yours but after the story ive just told you would you be interested in getting a treatment exactly like this?

its so hard in the U.K to find a N.H.S dentist to treat people like us and i know that dentists have stopped using this method on the N.H.S now but my pain is so bad i promise you that tomorrow i will track down this elusive treatment,

would you like me to keep you posted of events with a view to having this done yourself?

Peter
 
Hi Peter

Thanks for replying.

I think I could cope with what you had done before.

I have an appointment with an nhs dentist at 10.45 a.m. tomorrow morning. They do not do I.V. sedation, but if they feel that I need it they can refer me to another surgery that will do it on the NHS. This clinic specialises in this and has a contract with the local PCT do do any NHS minor oral surgery (like root removal) of which I know I need four of those removed.

The other option I have is go to another dentist up the road who do IV sedation at their surgery, and if you are an NHS patient you can still have the IV sedation if you are prepared to pay for it. At the moment as a plan B that is looking good.

I thought I would go and see what the first one said about what needs to be done though.

The trouble is I am getting so worked up already and its still 24 hours to go. I am shaking and feel sick now.

Holly
 
N.H.S dentists have now stopped doing this and i had a bad experience afterwards that has lead to a dental phobia the same as yours but after the story ive just told you would you be interested in getting a treatment exactly like this?

its so hard in the U.K to find a N.H.S dentist to treat people like us and i know that dentists have stopped using this method on the N.H.S now but my pain is so bad i promise you that tomorrow i will track down this elusive treatment,



Peter
The treatment you are talking about peter sounds like iv sedation. It is still available on the NHS as i have a sedation appointment booked in january with an NHS dentist. It's only costing £45 for one extraction and 4 fillings. It would definitely be worth looking into.
 
Hi Jo,

yes thats the one lol,
i researched it on the internet last night.
i made a lot of phone calls today and will now post my findings in my ''is there something wrong with me'' thread so i don't derail Holly's topic.

Holly,
I'll be thinking of you this morning and wish you all the luck in the world,
Try not to worry about it safe in the knowledge that they will only be looking at you,they won't do anything to you.
please let me know how you get on,
from my many hours of looking into I.V sedation last night i would strongly recommend this for you but please don't take my word for it,
ask the many experts and friendly people on these forums and your dentist tomorrow and see what they think.
 
Hi everyone,

Well I made it! With the aid of diazepam! When I got there it wasn't that bad at all.

However: I don't know what to do.

In 1998 when I saw a dentist and didn't go back he said I needed 4 roots removed (I have lots of little black bits of remaining tooth in 4 places. This one said he wasn't going to remove them, he proposed to just leave them. They look awful, at least one is so obvious.

I also have pain in one of my front teeth that you can see from the back of it needs a filling, and have lost a filling from the back of one of my front teeth three years ago.

Also I get a lot of pain from the teeth - they all take it in turns to become infected.

The last dentist proposed dealing with all of those things plus some other treatment and then making up a partial denture. The one thing I am certain of is that my teeth have not got better on their own!

He didn't take any X-rays, and just said that I needed a clean and polish that he could do but not on the NHS so book a private appointment for next week. This I did - I think I was shocked and paid the £36 up front that they asked for.

Now I don't know what to do. I know I need treatment from before in 1998, and the pain I am in. I said to him that I was in pain, and he said that the clean would help with the pain and that he couldn't see the wood from the trees at the moment.

I went to another dentist on the way home and booked an appointment for Thursday just to see what they say..................but I know I need treatment. I need to get this sorted.

What do you think I should do? Now I am scared and feeling confused about it all.

The diazepam is wearing off now, and I am thinking that I really can't go through this again on Thursday. Yesterday evening I was in tears most of the time, and seriously weighed up the possibility of ending my life rather than go through this, I suffer from bad depression to the point that a consultant psychiatrist visits me at home every six weeks, and this is all making me feel even more depressed.

I am really upset now. The thought of going through it all again is just too much for me to think about. I just don't see how my teeth that have holes in them, little black bits sticking out of the gums, and keep getting infected can be healthy. I phoned the local PCT who said that if another dentist on Thursday considers that I need work on my teeth I should complain to the surgery and send a copy to the PCT.

Is there any way that I can find out if the dentist has ever been in trouble because of his work. I googled his name and it came up as a private cosmetic practice in a town about 25 miles away, and where I went this morning they said you are seeing Mr................our new dentist.

Holly
 
Last edited:
Hi Holly

I can see some positives from what you have just posted so its not all doom and gloom,

You went today and even made an appointment for Thursday with someone else so in my opinion thats a fantastic achievement,

I think that this dentist suggested a treatment for you today based on his own opinion and his opinion was right,
but when you go to your other appointment that dentist's opinion will also be right,
people just see things a little differently,
the most important thing now is to try not to get too upset about today's visit and see what the other dentist has to say first,
remember they are not going to do anything to you just look,
at the end of the day its now your choices have widened as you have two dentists to visit now.
do you want them to work on your teeth or would you be happy with just getting rid of them all and having false teeth?

you say you have a psychiatrist visit you? i know you will probably have already mentioned your dental fears but could you possibly get him/her to pull some strings for you and get some N.H.S I.V sedation that i have mentioned? anything is worth a try.

please keep posting and letting us know whats happening or if your feeling down,
your not alone and are in our thoughts,

Peter
 
I think that this dentist suggested a treatment for you today based on his own opinion and his opinion was right,
but when you go to your other appointment that dentist's opinion will also be right,
people just see things a little differently,

So if both opinions are right, then which is the right one to choose?

Sorry, no offense intended..both opinions may be the correct conclusion based on what that dentist OBSERVED, but I think it is incorrect to say that both would be right.

Holly should get a second opinion, and then decide which one is looking at the complete picture. One opinion may actually lead to more problems down the road, while the other may lead to a happy mouth.

This I found is what is so important about choosing the correct dentist. We must choose one whom we feel or who has shown that he or she will make the right decision about our mouth.

When we have a dentist we trust, we lose much of our dental phobia.
 
Hi

Peter: - Yes there are some positives from today, the main one being that I actually went to the dentist, and felt surprisingly calm throughout. I think I went into the second surgery in a sort of haze, I just can not believe that I do not need any work done.

However, if nothing else it will be interesting to see what the dentist on Thursday says. However, I am sure that I need treatment, if only because of the pain and dental infections, there is a pretty ominous swelling and the accompanying throbbing starting on one tooth now :cry:.

The surgery on Thursday does do IV sedation at £90 per hour, and if I need this I would be able to have my dental treatment on the NHS and just pay for the sedation, so that is something in favour of this surgery.

The GP has promised that if I can't cope with treatment without IV sedation she will refer me to the Community Dental Service, but they do have a five month waiting list, so I think if I can get it sorted this way I will. If only to get it out of the way. I will just spend five months worrying!

NotAloneISee: You have made a very valid point about seeing a dentist we trust. The one I saw today was very understanding when I explained about my dental phobia, and did do his best to make it as easy as he could for me.

Until the point that he said that I didn't need any treatment (how many of us would be over the moon to hear that normally) I was thinking that I might have struck lucky with him.

I think all I can do is see what happens on Thursday. If the dentist on Thursday thinks that I need work similar to what I was told I needed in 1998 (or even more work) then I guess I go with him, because although I would love not to need any work carried out, I know that I do. It is only because it has got so bad that I am even at this point, I have been in pain for years now, and because of the phobia I am sure that if I was not in any pain I wouldn't be trying to overcome this phobia.

I will post with what happens on Thursday.

Holly
 
Hi everyone.

I am just back from seeing the second dentist this afternoon, and not unsurprisingly I need a fair amount of work doing.

This dentist took xrays which the other one didn't, as well as identifying work that obviously needed carrying out.

Looking at the treatment plan it says:-

3 root fillings
4 type 1 surgical extractions
1 3-surface composite filling (I opted to pay the extra private fee for this)
5 porcelain jacket crowns
2 partial (skel type 1) metal dentures
1 special tray (upper)
1 special tray (lower)

I felt really relaxed with this dentist, and his nurse was so nice as well. I told him about my phobia and he was just so kind. He just said, do you feel able to sit in the chair, or do you just want to talk a bit first! I was amazed. Then when I was ready I sat in the chair, and he said that he would just use the mirror to have a gentle look around - and he stuck to that. Then when I said I was ready he had a bit more of an in depth look. Then the nurse took me off for xrays. She was really nice, talking to me about things I could ask the dentist about with regard to my phobia, and asking if there was anything that she could do to help.

He pulled up an office chair next to him at his computer while we waited for the xrays to come through the computer, and he asked if I was ok, and what any of the staff at the surgery could do to help me with the phobia and treatment. We talked about IV sedation, but he could not do it at the surgery even though they do offer it because of some of the medication I am on, but he was happy to refer me to the hospital if I wanted.

In the end we agreed that I would use lorazepam that the GP has prescribed for the treatment appointments. We identified that I seem to be better when I get there, and that a lot of the anxiety comes from thinking about the appointment and worrying over it. As I only live about 10 mins from the surgery on foot, we have agreed that if I find it hard but can get halfway there if I phone the surgery his nurse will come and get me.

So all in all I am very happy with the dentist and his approach to a patient with a dental phobia.

I am still terrified about the treatment I need, but will be relieved to get rid of the pain on the 10th December and by the end of January he thinks I should have a proper smile again. More than I have had for over 20 years.

OK...................just the fear to go then!

Holly
 
Hi Holly

Well done, I have been following your progress on these forums and I am so pleased that you have found a kind dentist and you have been given a treatment plan. Like you I am a terrible phobic and after 23years eventully went to the dentist last week. I know how terrifying it is and when I have to go again for another part of my treatment I will still worry for days and be a wreckon the day!! although I have found a lovly dentist. My only problem regarding him is he's private and I can't really afford him but there are no nice NHS dentists around here.
Once again well done I'm so pleased for you.
Best wishes

:jump::cheers:
 

Similar threads

S
Replies
1
Views
2K
Sevena
Sevena
L
Replies
2
Views
2K
Ihatedentistss
Ihatedentistss
J
Replies
3
Views
3K
drummerswife
D
Back
Top