feeling so ashamed

  • Thread starter Hopeless&Terrified
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Hopeless&Terrified

Junior member
Joined
May 25, 2018
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1
I am a 48 year old woman who is educated, has a good job and take my kids to the dentist..yet I can not bring myself to go to the dentist. I haven't been in 30 years..and on the surface, my smile seems normal and healthy to the outside world, but on the inside, I have 5 molars that have completely rotted away below the gum line. I have deep, black gaping holes where my teeth should be. As a child, I was never taken to the dentist and as I got older, the fear kept me away..then it morphed into the fear of the humiliation and embarrassment of the condition of my teeth. I am afraid the dentist and the staff will be horrified and judge me. Has anyone out there who is a dentist that has seen someone like myself? Anyone a patient that is like myself that can offer some advice? How do I explain myself when making an appointment? I feel hopeless and anxious..I haven't even told my husband as he is very judgmental and often makes comments on people with bad teeth. I feel like running away or hiding under the covers forever. I don't know what to do..it all feels too overwhelming and scary.
 
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daliro

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Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
8
I was in a similar situation until a month ago. I hadn't been to a dentist in over 20 years, due to previous bad experiences and shame at having neglected my dental health for so long. I too was afraid I would be judged and shamed for waiting so long to get treatment, as well as scared at how bad my teeth must be. Due to the help available on this site, I made an appointment, first communicating my situation with the receptionist. Long story short: The dentist and his staff couldn't have been nicer or less judgmental. Most surprising, my teeth turned out to be fairly healthy; I needed only a cleaning and a small filling, despite having convinced myself that I would be receiving dentures. I hope this helps you to feel less anxious and ashamed. It can be a scary process, but I encourage you to face your fears. It will be much better than you think!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,518
Welcome Hopeless&Terrified,

We’ve got a new section with personal stories on our website, and you’ll find there are many people with very similar stories:


There’s also a guide for making sure that you won’t be judged by the dentist and their staff (among other things):

 
M

Million dollar mouth

Junior member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
3
Hello Hopeless & Terrified,
My Mother in Law as a child experienced bad dental visits herself. It took her several tooth aches, and lost teeth along the way to finally make an appointment w/an dentist. She stated the staff & dentist were more than understanding with her dilemma. Before she knew it, she was a regular patient and had to go the " implant route" eventually. She is now brave to go to her dentist and is very proud of her new smile. I encourage you to go for a check up. Your teeth are a very important part of your overall health. Best of luck to you, and please keep us posted 😁
 
drhirst

drhirst

Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
727
Hi Hopeless&Terrified,

I, and all the dentists I know see people who have not been for years on a weekly basis. And yes, many of them will say their fear of being judged, is as great as their fear of the treatment. From your description there is nothing in your mouth that would shock a dentist. Unless you are unlucky enough to see an uncaring dentist, you will be made to feel at ease rather than made to feel bad about yourself. It's our job to fix mouths. We love doing it, we need people like you!

When your car breaks down, and you take it to the garage do they tell you off for not having checked the oil and water? When your garden shed falls down because you did not put wood preserver on it, does the workman fix it, or tell you off for letting the old one rot? Similarly, the plumber did not have a go at me when my heating broke down because I did not do whatever it was I "should" have been doing.
Dentists are no different to Mechanics, Carpenters and Plumbers. We understand, and are just pleased to help you by doing our job. If you want to be made to feel guilty simply confess your sins to your local priest, imam, rabbi or vicar instead ;).

Now, you need to ask around a bit to ensure that you see a dentist who has the right attitude. When you do see him, tell him or her exactly what you have shared with us here, and I guarantee you, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Good luck, we are all rooting for you. Let us know how you get on.

Lincoln
 
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