• Dental Phobia Support

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Extremely nervous



Junior member
Jun 13, 2023
So I feel like I’m just gonna spew whatever comes into my head right now because this is something I’ve been dealing with for years but very few people know my fears. I’m 31 and haven’t been the dentist since I was about 20. My teeth are in awful condition… I have a lot of fillings from when I was a child and a few of those teeth have snapped around the filling. I would suspect I need 5 teeth out. I’m also certain I have gum disease and one of my teeth has receded to the root. My bottom teeth are definitely worse than my top and I have quite a lot of plaque build up behind them.i have quite a substantial overbite too that I’ve hated my entire life. I did actually have braces when I was a teenager but didn’t wear the retainers so they moved back.. I would love them sorted but don’t even think I’ll be able to. I know for a fact I will lose 3 teeth on the bottom 😭 I’m just sick of constantly looking at them in the mirror watching them get worse, my bottom teeth are so dark inbetween they just look horrible and I’m SO SO self conscious about them. I can only also eat on one side of my mouth and even then I have to be really careful, haven’t been able to eat anything crunchy for years. I have enquired about booking a consultation with a local dentist who comes very highly recommend but the thought of even walking into a dental surgery makes me feel sick to my stomach and I just want to burst into tears. I’m so ashamed but I am so so done with living my life like this, I’m miserable. I don’t even think it’s the pain of the procedures I worry about… it’s the judgment, the awful news that I might need all my teeth out, the dentist telling me they can’t do anything about them. There’s no real point to this post, just needed to get it out! Thank you!
Hi there ☺️

I’m so sorry you’re going through all this worry. I can definitely relate to “it’s not the pain it’s the fear of bad news” line that you mention. I’d love to have all the answers but I think you’re very brave contemplating making changes and moving forward with things.

There are lots of things that can be done with teeth now so it may well be that matters are much more treatable than you think when you go! It might be worth explaining your fears to the practice in advance and see their reaction. If they respond positively, fab! If they don’t seem like a good fit, keep looking. Best of luck!
Hi @Loren182 and welcome!

So sorry to hear that you're in such a dark place. I can also relate to the fear of being judged, and the shame and embarrassment that a consultation with a dentist would entail.

@Featherblade2007 has given some excellent advice here:

It might be worth explaining your fears to the practice in advance and see their reaction. If they respond positively, fab! If they don’t seem like a good fit, keep looking.

That sounds like a great idea!

Would it change things if you knew in advance that the dentist wouldn't judge you? You might be able to contact the dentist personally in advance to let them know about your fear, and see how they react. You could also make a first appointment just for a chat, rather than an actual check-up.

We've got a walk-through of sorts here which might be useful:


I’m so sorry you are in this state. I feel a lot of the same things. At this point I have such shame around my teeth that my distorted thinking doesn’t believe I deserve good teeth. Like this is all my fault and I should have to just live with it. I had a run of poor mental health for the last couple years that has definitely impacted my oral hygiene and I have been too ashamed to see a dentist.

But we’re wrong. No matter what we have or haven’t done in the past we deserve good teeth and nice smiles. We just need to find dentists who can meet us where we are. They do exist.

One thing that has helped me a great deal is recognizing that I am in charge of my care. I can say no and I can tell them what I need. For example when they call out numbers and stuff it is very very triggering for me so I now tell dentists not to do it. If they can’t agree to that they aren’t the right dentist for me.
Just an update - not sure if anyone will be interested but I like the fact I can kinda document it here for myself.
So I finally visited the dentist today after 10 years. I can’t describe how anxious I felt, I was sweating, my face was flushed and I felt like I could vomit. When I walked into the examination room and saw the chair I just wanted to run away, but I didn’t. The dentist was very friendly and gestured towards the chair when I walked in the room.. I very hesitantly sat down ha. Straight away I blurted out that I hadn’t been the dentist in years, that my teeth were a mess and that I was so ashamed of myself. The dentist was so lovely; he made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal and just asked me questions about why I felt that way. Then the dreaded examination and the outcome i expected. I need 5 back teeth out, 1 filling and a real deep clean totalling £1400 😬 he then went onto talk about my options afterwards because I mentioned I’d like to fill the gaps so I’m potentially going to go with dental implants and I also have a consultation for braces (something I’ve wanted for a long time) it feels like ALOT and I’m absolutely dreading having 5 teeth extracted at once because they’re not gonna be straightforward due to how broken they are. The dentist ended the appointment telling me that my teeth aren’t as bad as I probably think they are and we will get them sorted. I do feel as if a massive weight has been lifted as I think the biggest aspect of my phobia was the initial appointment and receiving really bad news. Now I feel so stupid for leaving it this long and not getting them sorted sooner but I’m so glad I built up the strength to get myself seen now.
Another update… again just for me really ha. I had my hygiene visit and a filling last week which I was dreading. The deep cleaning hurt SO much because I had quite a bit of plaque build up along my gum line. The filling didn’t hurt a bit, didn’t mind the numbing injection and it’s also a good job I went when I did as they said it was quite a deep filling and I didn’t even realise I needed one 😬 my teeth already feel/look a lot better and my gums have returned to a pinkish colour rather than looking red and inflamed. My next appt is Thursday and I’ll be getting FIVE extractions 😱😱 I don’t know if I have it in me to go ahead or if I’ll cancel because I am TERRIFIED. I know I need need need to have them out tho because they’re literally crumbling whenever I eat. Next step after this is hopefully going to be 4 implants and braces. This is something I’m actually really excited for… despite the fact I’ll be paying them off for about 5 years 🙄 I’ll update again after my extractions!
Also to add… I think I’ve mostly overcome the fear that was holding me back from going for so many years and that is the judgment from the dentist. Now I’ve found a nice dentist who hasn’t judged me that fear is no longer there… obviously I’m still terrified about the extractions but I think anyone would be.
Keep it up! You have the momentum now! You can do this. Power through and youll have nothing to worry about anymore. Just had a deep cleaning myself so i totally feel you.
Soooo 5 teeth have been extracted. Luckily I didn’t need to have my gums cut/stitches as this was a possibility and something I was really really dreading. It took 15 minutes to remove them all and wasn’t actually as bad as I was anticipating. I think the needles they used to numb my gums were worse 😭 right now tho I have a mouth full of blood and the numbness has nearly worn off. No pain yet really but have taken codine to kind of pre empt it. I have an appt booked for jan to talk about implants. I’m so so proud of myself for doing this because last year the thought of even making a dentist appointment filled me with dread and was something I never thought I’d be able to do. I was miserable, knowing that my oral health would only decline and wondering what would need to happen to me before I’d see a dentist. I feel so much relief now, and can finally look to the future not dreading how my teeth will end up!
Well done! You got this! You should be super proud of yourself. Keep pushing, finish the treatments strong, and commit to great home careand you probably won't have to be in this position again :)
Well done and thank you so much for sharing.
You mention implants in Jan - will this be top or bottom and are you wearing a partial denture in the meantime please?
@Gems hey, so it will be likely 4 implants on my bottom jaw. I’m missing 2 molars and 1 premolar on my bottom left side (was already missing one so had the 2 remaining molars extracted) and a molar and pre molar on the right bottom side. I still have one molar remaining on the right side so will have implants to replace those 2 I lost. I also had 1 molar extracted on my upper left side but I’m not going to replace that as I have a wisdom tooth coming in that will compensate for that I guess? Im not missing any teeth from my upper jaw otherwise. I don’t feel like I need a denture tbh as I’m able to eat okayish and you can’t actually tell that I’m missing any teeth as my mouth is quite small fortunately, meaning you can’t really see past my front like 6 teeth. It’s jarring to look at in the mirror tho, I hate it. I also think it’s making me speak differently, I feel like I sound like a ventriloquists dummy for some reason! Xx