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Crying at the dentist?



Jan 11, 2018
Has anyone cried while attempting to make an appointment with a dentist? I'm so scared I'm going to make a fool out of myself & bawl when I go to my appointment. This is only a consultation too. Starting to panic...
I always cry at home but as soon as I hit the practice I am just frozen and stare into space in the most stressfull moments. After few appointments it was always harder and harder to hold the tears back so I warned my dentist that I might cry one day and asked him if he could cope with it. He said crying is normal and the most nervous patients would cry somewhere on the way, be it from stress or from relief. He also said that it would be a very unusual week without some tears.

So I think they are really used to crying patients and will be fine with it and won't judge you for it.

Crying and making a fool of yourself is also covered in the section of common fears here. I found it very helpful, maybe it can also reassure you a bit:
I've lost count of the times I've cried. On the phone & in the surgery.

They generally keep the tissues close at hand for my appointments!

I do also tend to do the frozen rabbit in headlights sat in the waiting room.

All the staff at my surgery are unfazed by my constant booing.
The frozen rabbit in headlights sat in the waiting room! lol! :ROFLMAO: that's exactly how it feels like! And probably looks like.. lol!

You made my day, Claire..

Lexie, I know how terrible this feels and how scared you are since you are at a very beginning of your journey and that's where things look the most scary. And I also understand that you worry about crying since your dental team are strangers for you and crying in front of people you don't know well or do not trust that much yet isn't the most comfortable state to be in. But hold on and try not to worry too much. You probably will cry and very likely you will feel like a fool but believe me, your dental team won't think negatively about you, they must be soo used to this and will for sure react with compassion and empathy.

And as you see, after getting some familiarity with your dental practice and with the visits and treatments, you will very probably even be able to take it with a bit of humor.

I've lost count of the times I've cried. On the phone & in the surgery.

They generally keep the tissues close at hand for my appointments!

I do also tend to do the frozen rabbit in headlights sat in the waiting room.

All the staff at my surgery are unfazed by my constant booing.
The number of boxes of tissues all over the place and speed at which they just handed me a box tells me crying isn't really all that unusual.
I have definately cried at the dentist too. and I seem to remember possibly while making an appt and they were kind about it. I've had a few very emotional times around extractions especially not wanting to lose anymore teeth. They understood and reassured me.. It gives them a chance to show you they are compassionate and care for you and put you to ease.

I remember 2 times with 2 different dentist where they told me my tooth had to go, and there was no way they could save it.. one time I just sat down and cried , and the dentist just let me cry for a min or two and they tried to encourage me we could try to do something later in that area and I would not have to out the tooth forever but right now i didnt need that infection in there and it wasn't doing me any favors.. He tone and voice was very caring and thoughtful and calming. and there was not one moment I felt awkward after his response which was very compassionate at the time as well as you could tell from the looks on other staff face they felt bad for me to hear this news .. never a negative response, this was my past dentist office a few years back.

Another time I was going to a different dentist I liked alot and I started crying and feeling bad was going to lose and he got my mind off of this and got me to laughing and having fun.because he was a very funny type guy . I think he knew at the time that would be the way to get me to calm down and do it..it was a way back one and not visible so it wasn't quite as scary.. but I got through it... and work was always at least fun with him. even if it really wasn't he made me laugh.. so he turned my crying into laughter.. not meaning to negate it deny it but to help me move past it..

2 totally different response but 2 valid ones.. I suppose for me at the time .. I am scared too though I have not cried at my current dentist and its hard to think about showing this emotion to someone you don't know how they will react... but... I think my new dentist would be very compassionate. I hope.. based off past discssions.

We are making a very emotional decision to call and do the work at times so I agree they might be used to this and many places understand and have compassion.. and if they didn't I might run...
Plenty of patients have cried at the first appointment with me. It’s okau. It relieves stress and it’s a form of communication.
Me too.

I've cried just before I go into the dentist, through the stress and anxiety. And I've cried coming out - through sheer relief!
I don’t cry at the dentist but I have tears and anxiety the entire way there. I’m also fake when the receptionist asks how I’m doing “Great, how are you” is my stock response. Little does she know If it weren’t for my husband driving me and walking in with me I would have a hard time resisting the urge to bolt. Deer in the headlights describes it well. I stare at that door of doom and wait for the dental assistant to beckon. God let them take anyone but me instead. Yes, I’m that nuts. LOL

I’m visibly nervous and probably appear to have escaped from an asylum once in the chair, and my Blood pressure usually needs to be taken twice. The first time it’s through the roof so I remind them I’m a nervous wreck of a patient and need a few minutes to relax. I use those minutes to do some breathing and remind myself there’s nothing that’s going to happen that I can’t handle. I’m lucky they accommodate this request, because it actually does work. By the time the dentist comes in the room I’ve surrendered and can calmly (for the most part) open up and follow his directions.

When he tells me I’m all done I feel 800 pounds lift from my shoulders, my voice raises several octives, and I feel well enough to run the Boston Marathon. I’m especially stoked if I have more than a week before I need to see him again. Last time when he told me “I’ll need to see you in three months” I had to fight the urge to plant one on him. ??LOL

When I leave, I feel like I’ve just made parole, and tears of relief roll down my face the entire ride home and I feel stupid for being scared in the first place. I guess I’ve rambled a bit, but yeah...I know how you feel.
I'm hoping this dentist is good. There's 2 others here. One is newer and then other used to own the practice & his reviews are horrible.
Well, I had a panic attack in a dentist's office, and because I was having chest pains the dentist called 911. The EMTs gave me an EKG-type of thing.

After the EMTs discovered I wasn't having a heart attack, the rest of dental visit went fine. I was a bit sheepish as I left that day, but the dental staff wished me well. When I returned a few weeks later I talked with the staff about the experience. It was an uncomfortable talk, but I'm glad we had it.

I said that to say this: anxiety is all in a day's work at a doctor's office. While we should be respectful, they are providing a service. The staff members know what they are getting into. If a client is crying or having a panic attack, and they can't handle it, then they have to really consider if dental care is the career for them.

Remember: they are being paid to provide a service. We are their clients, their customers. We owe them respect and payment, but that's about it.

If they have a problem with you crying or me having a panic attack, then that is their problem. They are healthcare providers. That is exactly what they are there for: to serve us. If they can't handle dental anxiety they need to find an another career.
Plenty of patients have cried at the first appointment with me. It’s okau. It relieves stress and it’s a form of communication.

Thank you for posting that. It's nice to know dentists understand. I am having IV sedation for the first time in a couple of weeks and I'm pretty anxious so it could be me who's in tears at that time.
I have not cried at the dentist, but have acted very fearful even though I had lots of checkups during my life, some treatment,