• 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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Well-known member
Oct 13, 2022
Hi all,

I have really bad procedure anxiety. I finally found a dentist from searching through offices near me and reading through their reviews and etc. I went in for my first exam in 16 years. I felt so horrible but she and her assistant never once made me feel bad and said it wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. Fast forward to the list of stuff I need doing.
~Deep cleaning (wasn't surprised)
~some small cavities (but WHAT QUALIFIES AS SMALL?!??? She assured me they are small.)
~Wisdom tooth extraction because it's bumping the tooth next to it (wasn't super surprised because I was told I needed it done 16 yrs ago and that probably was a big reason for why I avoided dentists for so long)
~root canal (I tried hard to stay calm when told this. But inwardly I was screaming at the top of my lungs and crying.)
~then the big one, my root canal I had as a teen had failed (I'm 36 now) and would have to be extracted and I need a bone graft but they'll make me a false tooth to fill the hole in the front till it heals and I get an implant. Everyone get implants now, it's not like it was years ago, right? RIGHT? I'm just screaming deep down inside at this point and want to just curl up under a blanket.

Trying to look at the positives
I survived the deep cleaning! With just the numbing swishy stuff but even the numbing made me feel uncomfortable. I kept thinking WHAT IF IT WEARS OFF!
I survived the x-rays and the awful thing you shove in your mouth and not running away when I gagged and burped TWICE.
I managed to drive myself to and from without needing to pull over and cry, I did that when I got home.

I have to get the cavities filled next week. I'm terrified of needles and have imagined that they're just going to skip the numbing agent and I jab me which I've been told really only happens in cheesy horror movies but that doesn't stop me from waking up freaking out in the middle of the night.

I'm worried about the rest of the list. I KNOW I need to get them done. Logically I know I am safe and I have finally found by some cosmic miracle an amazing dentist who (probably) won't be annoyed at me for being scared but I keep thinking of all these scenarios and wavering between "I can totally do this, (good) dentists are our friends not the grand inquisitor" and going "I cant do this. I don't want to do this. I'm not strong enough to do this and that sounds so lame but I can't."

If anyone has any words of encouragement or advice I'd really appreciate it.
Hey I'm happy you're doing it despite your fears! That's amazing. The last time I saw the dentist I had 2 teeth removed and I was so scared they were concerned about my blood pressure and had to give me more laughing gas lol. I was still scared despite the gas and they had to numb me 3 times. I don't remember a numbing gel but I only felt a pinch each time so maybe I was numbed? I absolutely hate needles but at that moment I wasn't thinking much about it I just wanted to run away lol.

I hope you are doing better! I'd love to know any updates!
@honeybee91 thanks! Emotionally I'm still super up and down. The dentist I'm going to knows a lot of my anxiety has to do with my deep avoidance of anything procedural. To put me at ease about any possible underlying infection I have to get a blood panel which is a whole other can of anxiety worms and that's tomorrow.

Wednesday I get the fillings in and we look at how I do with that and to the next step, wisdom tooth extraction. I'm telling myself we're doing this one step at a time, not like that one dentist who had this "just do them all in one day" attitude (don't care how highly recommend that place was... He was AWFUL and condescending.)

Someone told me anxiety is when you don't know what to do or what is going on. Once you know what is going on you have to let go of the need to be in complete control. It's not like I want to be the one doing the procedure on myself so I need to trust the dentist and I need to trust myself that I picked a good dentist. I think that part is one of the hardest, harder than letting go of control. It's believing in myself that I picked a good and understanding dentist. The rest after that is just fear and everyone is afraid of something. It doesn't mean I should run away from it because the problem isn't going to go away just because I really want it to. And being brave doesn't mean not afraid anymore but that it means I know how afraid I am but I believe I can do this and I believe in the other person that THEY mean me no harm and they are in their job for a reason. No one becomes a dentist who doesn't want to help people, it's just finding the right one that fits with me as a person.

I've learned (often times the hard way) that all health related things aren't a one size fits all and just because someone had raving reviews from friends or family doesn't mean they are a good fit for me. Just because they have a sparkly new and super popular office doesn't mean they are great at understanding what I need. Often times they're more interested in treating me like a fast food customer ordering off a menu than a person with unique to me needs.
You certainly are showing your bravery by pushing ahead despite your fears. Congratulations on starting the process. I'm having my evaluation tomorrow. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Wednesday procedure. :)
@CarolinaAnne thank you and I wish you good vibes and courage tomorrow.
How'd it go?
@CarolinaAnne it went really well. There were a couple of panic gripping the arms of the chair moments but the dentist that worked on my fillings apparently LOVES doing fillings like it's full-filling to her and she really strives to make it as uninvasive (which is very definitely not a real word) as possible. I have a post about it here