• 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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May 19, 2007
California, USA
Hi everyone,

After 21 years of avoiding the dentist, I finally gathered up my courage and sent an email to a dentist in my city that does IV sedation. It was a lengthy email - I explained my fears, described the state of my teeth and asked if he could help me. Having to think about my situation in such detail and write it all down was so difficult - I was crying all over the keyboard and I could hardly see the screen. I was so scared and ashamed that I almost didn't hit send, but then something came over me and I just did it. I sent the email!

I immediately received an auto response, saying that they would soon be contacting me about my inquiry by phone. I'm sure you can guess the problem with that... I didn't leave my phone number, of course! For a moment I thought about sending another email with my phone number, but that thought didn't last long. They might actually call me and then what would I do? :o

I assumed that once a real person had read my email and realized that I hadn't left my phone number, that they would write me back. How could they read what I had so painfully written and not try to contact me? So I waited... and I waited. I checked my email several times a day. After 10 days I figured they weren't going to reply.

I'm just not ready to talk to a dentist on the phone and I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm so discouraged and I feel like they didn't even care. But I'm also terrified that eventually I will get an appointment with a dentist and it will be horrible. And extremely expensive. What should I do?
My dentist office has email also, but they seem to never use it or never check it, because I tried to email them also. Perhaps they do not check it, and they prefer you to phone them. :hidesbehindsofa:
I myself hate phoning the dentist, because I hate the words "How about Tommorow" or "Can you come in on....." :scared:
So it's quite possible that they didn't ignore your email, but simply didn't read it at all and just have their auto response on. I'd call up...on the phone, and say: I'd like to make a consultation appointment: "Just to "Speak" to the dentist". Meaning not looking into your mouth. :censored:
Hi hugmedan, thanks so much for your support. I'm sure you're right and they aren't ignoring me ~ I guess I'm just overly sensitive about this. And it completely sucks! :mad: I'm usually a sensible, intelligent person but that all goes right out the window when it comes to even thinking about going to the dentist.

So, what happened in your situation when you wrote the email and the dentist never replied? Did you feel discouraged, like I do? Did you end up calling them?

Thanks again for your reply :)
Lol..no, I wasn't discouraged at all! I was like..YAY!! :jump:In all honesty I'm a "Procrastinator", like big time! Especially when it comes to dentists and doctors! I really do hate calling them for the reasons I gave in my previous post. But I did call to make an appointment because of the temporary filling in my root canal tooth fell out. Temporary fillings don't involve needles, so I was ok to go. But then when I got there, he wanted an xray of the tooth in front of it, which I found out was badly infected. Then he started rattling off what else was wrong with my teeth...10,000 dollars worth, none of which I would be able to do without Halcion.
You might ask when you call if they even got your email at all. Or perhaps they don't read their emails anymore. I know calling is the worst part...my heart races every time I dial the number! :scared:
Good Luck, and let me know if you called them and how they responded. :XXLhug:
You could resend the email by snail mail.  (aka post: sorry, I just like describing it that way for obvious reasons ;))
Maybe put in it your phone number, or explain that you'd rather they write or email you?
Well, I didn't call.... yet. But on Thursday I sent another email, again without leaving my phone number.:rolleyes: This email was short and I just explained that I had sent them an email previously and didn't leave my phone number because I felt more comfortable communicating by email at first. Again I got the auto response, and no other reply as of yet.

At this point, I really don't expect to hear from them by email. I'm even starting to wonder if they would have called me if I had left my phone number. How would they know who to call if they don't even bother to read their email? And if they do read their email, the fact that they don't care enough to write back doesn't inspire much confidence.

Even if they just emailed and said "Please call us" at least I would know that they read my email and maybe even understood my situation and wanted to try to help me.

I'm debating whether I should send another email with my phone number this time, or if I should just pull myself together and call them, or if I should just try to find another dentist to email. :( But I'm afraid time is running out ~ I really want to get at least my front teeth looking good again so I can smile by my 1st wedding anniversary which is July 29th.

Thanks again for your help ~ it means so much to me :XXLhug:
Hi Anti and  :welcome:!

Your initial post really hit home for me as I started with an e-mail to a sedation dentist and was a complete mess when I did it!  You should be very proud of yourself for sending not one, but TWO e-mails!!  I spent months freaking out about the thought of going to a dentist and imagined over and over again in my head what I would say if I ever called one.  I just wasn't ready to take that step so I wrote an e-mail and was crying so hard I could barely read what I wrote.  It was so real to me that I was actually going to take a step towards going after many, many years and I was petrified.  I had my husband read it and finally sent it with him giving me a hug and telling me how proud he was.  (It didn't help but it was sweet!  ;))  Here's the funny thing; I was so wrapped up in what I was writing that I filled out all the information without even thinking about the fact that I was giving them my phone number.  I kept checking my e-mails but a day later the phone rang and their number was on my caller ID.  Panic!!  Luckily the receptionist was so sweet and kind and patient with me while I blubbered on about how scared I was.  The rest is history, she talked me into just coming and in now I'm on the road to becoming a regular attendee!

You can do this and don't let the lack of a reply get you down.  Every time I've been in the office the reception area is hopping with phone calls so perhaps they are just extemely busy and haven't had the time to get back to you with a written response.  If you aren't comfortable calling can you have your husband call and talk to them for you?  Mine offered but I really wanted to face my fear head on so I didn't take him up on it.  

I understand your fears because I've been there.  Dental care is expensive but many dentists will work with you to help you pay for things.  I was able to get a low interest loan and unfortunately I'll be paying on it for 5 years but that's a small price to pay to get your smile back.  I just happened to need a ton of work but then again I was always getting fillings growing up.  Sometimes people find out that the work they need done is not nearly as much as they expected.  I think you'll find that after 21 years, much has changed!  They can do so much more to restore teeth and have better methods to make things pain free and much quicker.  

You are off to a good start so don't give up!  It's great that you have a goal of getting your new smile underway before your 1st wedding anniversary.   ;D  Early congrats!  :cheers:  You sound determined and there are a lot of great people on here who will support you!

Best wishes!
Hi takingflight, thanks for the welcome and the encouragement. It's really great to have the help of supportive people who truly understand what I'm going through.

My husband is really great, too. He's very understanding and supportive, but he doesn't understand the way you guys here do because he doesn't have this phobia. Yesterday, when I told him I was concerned about how much the sedation and all the work might cost, he didn't even hesitate and said "Whatever it takes. The money isn't the hard part." What a sweetheart!

Thanks again ~ I think I can do this :thumbsup:
That's the spirit!!  ;D  You CAN do this and I'm sure you will!  Having a sweet supportive husband will go a long way and the fact that you are facing your fears, attempting to get things started and posting here just shows your level of commitment!  I know how hard it is but we are here for you!

Stay strong!
OMG, I don't believe it! I just got an email from the dentist! He said he's very busy right now but the best way for me to get a sense of what can be done for me is to come in for a consultation. He said that they won't do anything to me at that time, we'll just talk about the possibilities in his office, and he won't charge me for it.

He said that he's been treating phobic patients for 30 years and most are comfortable with that gentle introduction to his practice. He said they offer IV and oral sedation and that I would be very comfortable getting dental care in that setting, but if I can't bring myself to have a conversation with him, then he doesn't know what he can do to help me.

What do you guys think about that?

I'm so nervous I think I'm gonna throw up now
Hey, that's great! :jump: Congratulations! :party:
A doctor who is willing to listen and to talk to you would be a good sign for me.

For me appart from fear of pain, facing the dentist, shame and a fear of the doctor's reactions were the big issues. By seeing the doctor first and having a treatment next time, I could face it one step at a time. But after meeting my dentist I wouldn't mind to start immediately. I was actually looking for my next appointment after the first one. Couldn't wait to start fixing my teeth.

You know what is cool? You have absolutely nothing to loose. You can just earn. If I were you I would definitely give it a try. If you don't feel comfortable with this dentist, you don't have to come back anymore. But I'm sure you will do great.

Anyway, no matter how you decide, keep us up-to-date.

Fingers crossed for you, go for it and beat your fear! :thumbsup:
On reading your last posting Anti-Dentite, I was going to say your husband sounds great, can I borrow him, then read further to see your first appointment is going to be free! Even better, can I borrow your dentist. Then I saw where you are, so as we are in different continents,I think I'll have to rough it and stay where I am. ;D
That is Lovely. What a nice thing for the dentist to do. I would go for it. Especially since he has been actively treating phobic patients for years, and has IV Sedation, and Oral Sedation. You can't get any better than that. Go for it. :respect:
OK, guess what I did?! I called and made an appointment! :o

I go in for a consultation on Monday morning. The receptionist was very nice and understanding. She made me feel like it's perfectly normal for a 42 year old woman to have avoided the dentist for 21 years because of paralyzing fear. She also said the dentist is very good and that I'd be very comfortable, and that everyone always leaves the office saying that making the appointment was the best thing they've ever done.

Believe it or not, I feel ok about it right now :thumbsup:
Way to go!!   :jump:  It sounds as though you found a good practice too!

I'll send lots of positive thoughts your way!!

I'm starting to freak out

The receptionist called me to confirm my appointment and said something about the x-rays and exam the dentist would be doing. I thought we were just going to talk! I'm sure that he wouldn't have said there would be no charge if he was planning on doing x-rays and an exam.

Now I don't know what to expect... I hope I can do this :shame:
Can't u ring them back & tell them excatly what you want.? If u want to onlt Talk then tell them that :)

I know at our Family Dentist (although i haven't been in 10years) Check-Up's are free. Not sure about X-rays - coz i've never had 1 :(

U are the important 1,not ur Dentist. Don't feel forced into having an Exam & Xrays,if u only want a 'Chat appointment'

I'm sure everything will be ok :XXLhug:
Well, I went to my appointment on Monday and I had x-rays and a chat with the dentist and an exam (in that order). And before I left I made an IV sedation appointment for next Wednesday the 18th. If my husband could have taken the day off, I would have had it done today!

He gave me a prescription for Halcion ~ I'll take one pill the night before the appointment and one pill in the morning an hour before I go. I'll be having IV sedation once I get there. I'll have 7 extractions (4 wisdom teeth and 3 others), a couple of fillings, root planing, and impressions for 2 bridges and something called a stay plate. It looks like a retainer with 2 fake teeth attached to it. I'll wear that for 6 months while my gums heal and then I'll go back and have the 2 bridges done and one implant with a crown over it.

Everyone in the office was very nice, and I liked the dentist. And I trust him to listen to me and to do a good job and make my teeth healthy and pretty. But I'm still scared and I wish I wasn't.