• 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 dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Crown trouble...


Civil Talker

Apr 12, 2010
Hi all. First post; be gentle with me.

Not ever so sure what I want to get out of this forum...maybe a little reassurance from people with no vested interest in my personal well-being. The wife is a tower of strength but you know how it is.

I'm 38; when I was 11 I was tripped during a boisterous game of football played on asphalt and went front-teeth-first into the ground. Chipped one tooth in half and cracked the other front tooth across. Had a crown done when I was 16, after a couple of years of braces to correct my wonky teeth.

This lasted until I was 24 when it came off and started throbbing, forcing me to visit a dentist, who turned out to be the rudest man I ever met (and I've been around). He said whoever did the crown before was useless, he'd do a fantastic job, and I shouldn't act so ridiculously as there was nothing to be afraid of, and he was the best in town. He did NOTHING to calm my fears, ground the tooth to a peg, took out the root, put a temporary crown on, all without the slightest concern for my emotional state or needs, and I legged it, vowing never to return. It's no exaggeration to say I was traumatised by the whole experience.

Needless to say, nothing lasts forever, and the temp crown came off January 2007. Had to go to an emergency dentist who put another temp crown on but sealed the back of it. The root canal became infected, my face swelled up like I'd gone 10 rounds with Rocky Marciano, and I had to rush back to the emergency dentist (a different one, who said the previous two dentists that had seen me were obviously dreadful, but he would sort it out). He also said the tooth would last 6 months, tops, so I'd better get it sorted out, and he would ring me and get me in to his private practice and sort it out once and for all. Needless to say he didn't call. And the phobia thing got in the way of me calling a dentist.

3 years on, and my front teeth feel increasingly...odd. The crowned one needs fixing, I know that, but the front tooth next to it seems to be caving in backwards, gradually; maybe it's not being propped up enough to stay put. And it's starting to get a little tingly and almost painful, like my teeth used to feel when my brace had been tightened.

I'm terrified of calling a dentist. My wife's been in touch with one, and will go with me, but still - the fear. I'm rational enough to know that not all dentists are like the ones I've had, but a phobia is by definition something rationality doesn't rub along well with. I know something needs doing; I'm just very scared of potential pain, the helplessness of being in the chair, and the propspect of my front teeth having to be pulled out, and goodness knows what other work they find needs doing. I've never had a filling or an extraction because of decay before. I'm petrified of having to have false teeth...surely it means the start of an unavoidable downhill slope into decrepitude? I've been smiling with my mouth closed for years, and it would be nice to have healthy looking teeth, but I'm very worried about what the dentist will say. I'm a bit ashamed I've only ever been when in pain, and could have made everything a lot worse.

Sorry to go on so much, it's all come flooding out. Any input would be very gratefully received.

Thanks for reading.

Stress Doc

Dec 10, 2008

Welcome to the forum. :welcome:

Sorry to hear about your poor past dental experiences. The good news is you have choices.

Your teeth will not get better on their own and the longer you delay the worse the fear and teeth will become. Phobias cause you to feel hopeless and helpless. They become stronger with avoidance.

Dentistry has come a long way in the past number of years and can be totally painless. It is great that your wife will go with you to your appointment. The first one is a consult. During this appointment you can see if the dentist is a person you can work with and is empathetic to your situation. If they are not, then leave and go find another one. You are in control.

It is also helpful to write down any questions you have and take them with you. No one can force you to do anything you do not want to do. You will be amazed at how much dentistry has changed.

I have written a 5 lesson "Taming the Dental Fear Monster Course." I use this with my dental phobia clients to help them overcome their fears. If you would like the course, send me a PM and I will send you the link to download it.

You will do great. It takes courage to face your fears, well done.

Blessings :)