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Extreme Phobia of dentist and needles



Junior member
Jul 24, 2021
I have amelogenesis imperfecta, (no enamel on teeth, open bite on one side and weak teeth. Had veneers and crowns several times when a child before anyone had ever heard of them. Felt like I was experimented on in dental hospital. Now not been to dentist in 15 years, except the time I ran out the room when he said extraction. Have lots of broken teeth stuck in my gums which are also receding badly and my jaw clicks now. A new tooth broke a couple days ago and is loose now I'm to scared to eat because it hurts.

I've no option but to go now and face some extensive work but my fear of dentist and needles is so much, if I think about it when I'm at home, I get emotional and cry and just feel unwell all round. I won't leave the house or even my bed most of the time. Its so embarrassing and nobody is interested in helping.

How do people get over this.
Welcome Tony555 ?,

So sorry to hear about your terrible experiences in the past, and about the pain you're in ?.

It takes two to get over this - a dentist who is skilled in helping you get over your fears, as well as you finding the courage to seek help. From what you're saying, it sounds as if you've basically made up your mind that you want (or need) to take some sort of action. Are you actually in Scotland? If so, we've got a list of recommended dentists here:https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/forums/scotland.37/

Some offer only private treatment, but some do offer NHS as well I think. Also, the community dental service is an NHS service, and the dentists there are trained to help people with dental phobias (and needle phobia). NHS waiting times are longer though, so if you can afford it, it makes sense to look at private options.

If you have a look around our website, we've got lots of information, including tips for getting over a phobia of the dentist, descriptions of common fears (including fear of painful injections/needle phobia) and how to tackle them, and lots more.

When you're saying that nobody is interested in helping, do you mean you've approached people and they brushed you off?
Thanks for the help, Yes I'm trying to accept the fact it has to happen now. I'm in Scotland and it's hard to even find a dentist. People just act like I'm over exaggerating it or I should just get over it or its not even a real thing and brush it off, including all my previous dentists. That's why I registered to the forum.
Very happy to help - do let us know if you'd like us to do some searching in your area (Scotland is quite a big place!) ?
Any help would be good. I emailed 8 dentists in my area only 1 replied telling me to phone, and its quite far away. I tried reading the links u posted but think I had a panic attack reading it and sobbed for hours after it. I can't think about it or even write on here without turning into mess
That's understandable, no need to push yourself if it stirs up too many bad memories ? .

If you like, you can always send me a Private Message (they're called "conversations" on Xenforo). Just click or tap on my username and hit the "Start conversation" button. I can ask some of our dentist friends here if they know of anyone in your area who might be able to help. No guarantees, obviously - Scotland is a big place...
I've been reading your posts, and I just want to say that I completely understand how you feel. I have a horrible fear of doctors, dentists and needles, so much so that I ran from the emergency room when they wanted to do blood tests. So I can definitely understand what you're going through when you say you ran from the room when the dentist said the word extraction.

It's hard for me to visit this forum because I have such anxiety just looking through these posts. I know how you feel. There were times when I started crying and having panic attacks just from talking about my problems here. My hands would start shaking while I was typing, and I'd be crying and unable to calm down long after I stepped away from the forum.

But I stay because I want to support people like you. I want to help so you don't feel so alone. I'll tell you truth, that I have started crying and screaming while visiting the dentist because my fear is so intense. I've had panic attacks just trying to call a dentist and make an appointment, I've started crying while I was on the phone with them, and when I got off the phone I had to run to the bathroom and throw up. I actually had to hang up and run to the bedroom once because I was hyperventilating so bad I was on the verge of passing out, and then I couldn't get out of bed for a very long time.

It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens. It's more common than you think. On here you'll find a lot of caring and compassionate people who are willing to take the time and listen. That's one thing I can say is that the people here are very nice, and that's it's okay to go at your own pace when you are ready.

Myself, I'm not ready, even though I've needed treatment for close to ten years now. I have broken wisdom teeth that have been infected a number of times, and I've learned to live with it. I'm too afraid to do anything about it. I've accepted that. I'm okay with it. But I'm still here for others when they need someone. ?
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My appointment was due in a couple days to start getting my teeth fixed but I cancelled it.

I still can't bring myself to do it. Now there's a lot of blood and feels like my tooth will fall out.

I Honestly feel like I'd rather end my life on my terms than deal with health problems
Hi Tony.

Let me first say, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. It is completely valid and you've been so brave to start taking the steps to start your dental journey. You did an amazing thing taking the time to e-mail those dentists and make an appointment. You can take all the time you need and proceed when you feel comfortable.

I understand what it's like to be afraid of medical professionals. I have severe white coat syndrome stemming from a period of my childhood when I was severely ill. During that time, I visited many doctors and specialists. None of them could figure out what I had. I was subjected to many procedures, medicines, and tests. Some of those things made me sicker. That meant even more doctors visits. Sometimes, I felt like you did. Like the doctors treated my condition like an experiment.

However, I was incredibly fortunate to be referred to a kindhearted doctor who recognized the fear, pain, and anxiety I felt. She took extra time to just sit and talk to me before starting her exam. She made me feel like she cared--like I was safe and comfortable. Then she made sure I knew I was fully in control of whatever happened. She did her exam slowly and took note of my every reaction. In the end, that doctor was the person who cured me.

Despite my positive experience with that amazing doctor, I still have a lot of fear and anxiety about going to the doctor nearly two decades later because of the experiences I had during my illness. I feel dread in the pit of my stomach and my hand shakes when I pick up the phone to make an appointment. My file at the doctor's office has a special tab on it warning the assistants about my white coat syndrome. My blood pressure can't even be taken in the office, I need to pre-measure and bring readings to my appointments. It's the memory of that one positive experience that gives me the courage to go back.

The biggest recommendation I can give you is this: find a kind, compassionate dentist that's skilled in handling people with dental phobia and anxiety. Those dentists know exactly how to reassure you and go the extra mile to help you feel comfortable. They'll take the time and effort to help you calm down, destress, and make your time in their office a LOT more pleasant. It's worth it.

Next, remember that you are 100% in control of what does and does not happen. You are the person in the chair, the teeth being worked on belong to you, and you know exactly what you are comfortable with. Nothing happens without your approval. Before the appointment starts, ask your dentist if he or she can let you know exactly what they're going to do, then tell them what you feel you can handle. Work out a non-verbal signal you can give them so they know that you're not comfortable--maybe raising a hand or a wave. When they see that, they'll know to stop. In my experience, most dentists are happy to accommodate.

Do not feel pressured to start treatment immediately. The dentist will likely do a cleaning, exam, and x-rays at the first appointment. After that, they'll talk to you about what needs to be done and print up a list of suggested work. You can take the treatment plan home, think about how to proceed, then keep going. You can wait a few months, gather courage, and then proceed. You can ask the dentist questions. You can choose not to proceed with any treatment. Remember, nothing happens without your consent.

Finally, remember that if you don't like the dentist you went to or want a second opinion, you can consult another dentist. You might not find the right fit immediately. That's okay. You'll find it eventually.

If you ever feel overwhelmed or anxious, remember that you can always come here and post again. Like Catie McBain said, there are so many caring and compassionate people on this forum who are great listeners. They give awesome advice.
Im so sorry you are dealing with this! Anxiety/fear is so awful to deal with and Its SO overwhelming. Going to the dentist for the first time in years this past September triggered a lot of anxiety for me. So much to the point where Im on a medical leave from work.
Finding the right dentist is key. I found mine on Yelp (Im in the US, not sure if that app is active where you are). The right dentist will help you address your fears. Theres so many options to make your treatments less scary- laughing gas, IV sedation. You can even go through your regular doctor for anti-anxiety medication.
whats really been helping me is cognitive behavioral therapy….reframing my thoughts and addressing my fears. I highly reccommend the Sanvello app. Its helped me a ton! Best of luck to you- youll get through this for sure.
I already found a good dentist, probably the best in the UK at dealing with anxious patients. I was going to have sedation treatment but it was 3 months wait after the check up. I knew I wouldn't show up on the day so cancelled it. I started convincing myself that if I ended up in pain I would deal with it myself.
Really sorry to hear that you felt unable to go through with it ?. Do you think it might have been different if the wait hadn't been so long?
Yeah, Probably. The longer I waited the less and less likely I was to go.
Obviously I don't know, maybe you've totally made up your mind about not going ahead, but for many people, it takes more than one attempt (a bit like giving up smoking). Just wondering if there's any chance of having a talk with your dentist and letting them know what happened, and see if the two of you can find a way forward together?
Obviously I don't know, maybe you've totally made up your mind about not going ahead, but for many people, it takes more than one attempt (a bit like giving up smoking). Just wondering if there's any chance of having a talk with your dentist and letting him know what happened, and see if the two of you can find a way forward together?

I totally second this. If you had an exam and then three months nothing and then sedation scheduled, it's almost guaranteed, that you won't feel able to go, given the level of your anxiety. It would be really worth it to discuss this. How did you like the dentist and how were you able to cope with the exam?
Managed another year of ignoring my teeth problems and the inevitable has finally happened. One of my teeth, which is actually a retained baby tooth, suddenly went very loose now I can't eat or barely talk incase it moves. Every time I feel it move, it feels like I will pass out with total panic. I still don't have a dentist so hoping it will fall out itself and don't know what to do if it does. It's either that or end up in hospital from not eating. No dentists are interested, even the anxiety specialist recommended from here.
I was in the same situation a year ago. I can tell you the waiting is worse than any procedure. I had 14 extractions in one sitting. Had not been to the dentist in over 25 years. They gave me valium to take prior to the appointment. Had numerous injections which I was so afraid of. Did not feel a thing. 14 extractions took about 45 minutes from the time I walked into the office. It was the best decision I’ve made. Kept my eyes shut so I never saw the needles or when they were going to do the injections and blasted music into my ears. Please go. Again the wait was 1000 times worse than the shots or the extractions. If you want to talk message me. You can do it.

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