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Chronic fear of going to the dentist



Junior member
Jun 23, 2021
Stockton california
I am going to tell you what had brought me to be so afraid of going to the dentist. It's not the drilling ,pulling ,but just the going in it's self that I been putting off for 16 years. Let's start at the beginning .
In 2004 I was robbed at a gas station .I was pregnant at the time so when the guy pointed a gun to my face all I though was it might go off and without thinking, I told him I was pregnant and pushed it out of my face. It must of caught him by surprised because he dropped it. To give you a better picture of how it went down . This is while I was leaving the gas station and waiting at the intersection to go into traffic a guy opened the passenger door and started to get into the car his partner in crime opened my door and upon seeing the gun fall out of his friend's hand started to hit me with the gun in his hand . They were trying to pull me out of the car and ended up having a tug of war. They gave up and took my phone and left.After leaving the hospital with 12 staples on the back of my head and several of my tooth broken and cracked I was given a referal to see a dentist. I just had my face rearranged so I went home and cry about it. About a month later I went to see the dentist and was told I would need to get dentures and cosmetic work and several of my broken tooth pulled so it won't cause an infection. I couldn't afford the price or plan that they offered I didn't have any dental insurance coverage at the time. Years went by and no matter how much I tried to take care of what I had left. My front tooth that was cracked and still in my mouth started to fall off leaving the other half behind and I stopped smiling and my mental state went down from there. The infection got worsted and all I did about it was live through it and now it feels like I am just waiting to die from it. I know I need treatment but don't go. I have even sat out in the parking lot of a dentist office telling myself I need to do this and not get out of the car. For some reason I developed a fear of going . Someone would have to drag me or knock me out and carry me in there . I have panic attacks now thinking about it. And I think the infection has spread through my body. I know it has because for a few years now I get these on and off bumps under my chin and my checks. And my legs have swelled up and i could feel that this is going to kill me but even when I am desperate to save my life I have done nothing. Plsase .someone . Anyone tell me something . What is wrong with me ?
Hi DyingBcuzOfDis:welcome:,

thank you very much for sharing your story with us. I am sure it took tremendous courage and stired up a lot of heavy emotions. What happened to you is heart breaking. I’m deeply saddened that you had to endure this. I’m tempted to go ahead and comment on what you shared about your thoughts and feeling regarding the dentist, but there is something else that I can’t get off my mind reading about what happened.. you don’t have to answer, but may I ask you whether your baby survived what happened at the gas station?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with you, but I know it must feel like it. When it comes to your fear of the dentist, my first thought was whether this may be an aftermath of the assault. When things like this happen, awful things that are way beyond what we ever thought may happen to us, our minds have to find ways to deal with it. And what happens very often is that we get oversensitive towards any reminder or cue of it. Sometimes we get over-flooded with emotions that seem to have no reason at all. That can feel like you’ve lost your mind, but it just a survival mechanism. So these are my thoughts reading it, but I don’t want to go too far into interpretations, because there is more to your story and your life than what you ever could share in one post.

The good news is, that it doesn’t matter where are you at with the dentist right now and it doesn’t matter where it comes from, there is help out there. Many people here on the forum start from a point of not being able to even walk past a dentist’s office, but if you take a look around, you will find that with the right approach and step-by-step, it is possible to find a way to get the treatment you need. Maybe jumping into going is not the best next step. Maybe there is something that is easier to do. Something that doesn’t give you panic attacks. You will find plenty of articles and advice here :) It is a journey, but your being here is the first step.

I was wondering whether you got any help back then in dealing with what happened. Friends, family, a therapist, anything that helped you get through it?

Last thing: an infection won’t kill you. You can read more here. It’s a question we get very often and a misinformation that seem to be very difficult to convince people about, but bacteria in the mouth don’t wander anywhere. The link I sent is from our FAQ, but now and then you will spot this worry in other posts as well.

Sending hugs, hang in there and feel free to write here as much as you like:grouphug:
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I was robbed in 2002 of wallet car keys etc with gun held to my chest. They also took 1k in cash. I have pepper spray and metal rod for protection next time. The depression you describe is worse than any dental appt. Dental appt surgury procedures take an hour and u are numbed. I wish people focus their anxiety on the aftermath of dental hygene. That is what is tough. I brushed once a day for 40 years. Now I have to brush twice, floss after every meal and mouthwash. Its extra work daily. I wanna avoid eating many times to avoid the extra work.

Btw..my infected root canal was leaking and I also eventually had pain to my ear wondering if I will eventually die so I had tooth pulled and bone graft 4 to 5 years later! I said im not gonna live life w infection. Yes I eat soft food and have to do extreme oral hygene which is depressing for me but at least I dont have infection any more and having to drain blood every other day after eating. I hope you take my experience positivily to move your life forward. Lets enjoy the years we have left!
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Thank you Enarete for reading my post and I don't mind answering your questions. I didn't have any problems with my baby. I ended up giving birth to a baby girl. We named her Denise . She just turned 16 in Dec. And is going into her sophomore year. On her birthday her dad got kinda sentimental brought up what had happened and how close we were to losing her . It was the first time she had heard about it. She started to cry and instead of wanting to cry with her I got mad that her dad brought it up. I was so angry I didn't talk to them for the rest of that night. After reading your reply I felt a sense of relief. Like looking at a picture and you can't make anything out because their no outline so everything is blended together and suddenly this line traces the objects in the picture making it easy to see . I didn't get any help about the robbery and we didn't talk about it or told any friends and family. Me and my husband had been together for four years and been trying for a year to get pregnant so we didn't want them to worry and cause us to worry . The pregnancy was my whole focus . Things went from there . I thought about it allot too myself. Not nightmares and scared to go outside kind of thoughts more should of / could of thoughts . Locking my doors when I got in the car, paying more attention to my surroundings then I might of noticed them eyeing me , or did they follow me there and i would get angry . Angry that no one shouted something they didn't have to jump in of course I wouldn't if I saw a gunman robbing someone but i would of hid somewhere and shouted "i called the cops " so they would stop and leave but no one did that . Well at the time I was angry about that but I shouldn't of been . Someone had called the police because they showed up. There is so much more and I want to thank you for pointing that out because it makes so much sense now .
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