• 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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Checkup Tomorrow - to cancel or not to cancel



Junior member
Mar 22, 2023
Austin, TX
I’ve been struggling to sleep just thinking about this check up I have scheduled tomorrow. It’s my six month checkup — more like seven month now, because I’ve rescheduled twice because I’m anxious. I successfully got through two dental appointments a few months ago, which were my first times being back at the dentist since I was in first grade — more than ten years ago. I know what to expect, and this check up should go well, but I still have the urge to cancel the appointment anyways — or reschedule it for a third time.

I’m afraid of a lot of things going wrong. I’m afraid of being a nuisance because of how small my mouth is, and gagging on the x-ray equipment. I’m scared of what might be found in the x-rays themselves, and what work I might have to have done. I’m scared that the cleaning will be painful, like it was back in September. I’m scared that I will have another panic attack, like how I did when trying to go in and get my second filling. Part of me thinks that getting this check up done will be a good win for me, but at the same time I don’t know if I can go in tomorrow. I feel like a coward.
Hi Jamie

I've just read through and couldn't not reply - even if it is just to say that you are definitely not a coward, whatever you chose to do.

I don't know if it works for you but it helps me if I take one stage at a time and remind myself, constantly, that I can leave at any time if I want. There is a brilliant post on the main website here about us being 'customers' which worked as a great reminder for me. I can walk through the door (remind myself I can leave if I want). Then if I stay - which I usually do because I know I don't have to 'buy anything' if I don't want - sitting in the chair and having a chat is part 2. Then if I am offered an x-ray, for example, I can take it if I want or not if I don't want. And most importantly if something hurts I can use an agreed signal to tell them to stop. Then we can work out how to get through it, if it is a necessary treatment, without it hurting (in my case, numbing gel then a numbing injection without me seeing the needle!). My current dentist is very good and always reminds me I can come back if I want.

I've actually just cancelled a hygienist appointment which I was due to have tomorrow and I actually feel a lot better. I am going back though. I just needed time to think about how I will best manage things now ... and decided I need to have a chat with my usual dentist before making any other decisions.

I'm new to this forum (but not to dental phobia) and as I said I found the main part of the website very helpful. I hadn't realised, until I read some of the articles, how many genuine reasons I had to be scared of the dentist (due to past experiences). I am sure you have similar reasons, so whatever you decide, you do whatever works best for you and be proud of what you have managed so far (especially with a lack of sleep!)