• Dental Phobia Support

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Finally reached out for help, but no replies so my confidence is gone to try again

N

nickie

Junior member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
1
Finally reached out for help, but no replies so my confidence is gone to try again

I've had enough of always worrying about how bad my teeth are but I can't bring myself to call any dentists, I've tried time and time again but I can't go through with it. I always end up hanging up as I would feel a panic attack happening and if I get it under control I don't trust myself I'm likely to burst into tears and scare the receptionist. So after a year of trying because I really really want to be able to smile again and not feel embarrassed and always be worried about my remaining teeth. I tried another approach, I emailed 3 dentists explaining my situation and how nervous I am and why it's taken me so long to do something about my dental problems and how bad my remaining teeth are. I'm that nervous and shameful about what the dentist will think of me, but I want and need to do something about it. Took me a few try's but I finally sent the emails. I'm not that brave I didn't give my surname or a contact number and I even used my junk email account, just in case they think I'm worthless. I asked in the email if I could come in first to just meet them and talk about my worries ect, without them looking at my teeth and if I feel comfortable with them then we could look at my teeth and hopefully devise a treatment plan. I hoped that they would reply to my concerns and I would then feel comfortable calling or emailing them back and organising a appointment. Its been over a week now and not one reply. I'm devastated as it's taken me so long to get the courage, even though it was only in a email to finally take the first step to getting my horrible remaining teeth sorted out. I really opened up in the email trying to explain why I'm so scared and why I've let my teeth get this bad and asking if they could help me. I also said I don't have health insurance, but I'll have to pay for the treatments myself and willing. I don't think I can find the courage again to try some other dentists. I'm really upset and not sure what to do now. I just want to finally lead a happy life but the constant worrying and pain from my teeth is holding me back. The strange thing is I can call my children's dentist and go in with them for checkups (I don't look though) without having a panic attack. But I won't ask them to see me as I'm too embarrassed and I don't want my children to know about the state of my teeth.

How did it get so bad where I'm now 45 years old and have had four teeth pulled out and many more now that are broken and got cavities. I've been scared of the dentist since I was a young teenager. It started with a phobia of needles, then because I had a meltdown in the dentist about having a needle to numb my mouth, my mum gave the dentist permission to do the filling without any pain relief, it was so painful and that was the start of my phobia about dentists. By the time I was 16 I totally refused to get my teeth looked at and as I was working full time my parents didn't care as it was my responsibility. When I was twenty and newly married I asked my then husband to please come with me to see a dentist as I was worried about some pain in a tooth and not having been to a dentist for a while. He wasn't very supportive of my fears and refused to come with me and told me not to be such a baby and if my tooth is hurting it's my own fault for not brushing properly. That really knocked my self esteem, but I did find the courage to go (wasn't as embarrassed about my teeth then and didn't suffer from panic attacks then) and got 4 fillings but was told I needed to get all my wisdom teeth out. Not only could I not afford it then as my husband was out of work but there was no way I could go through that on my own and didn't dare to ask my husband to help. A Few years later and now two little children, my husband paid for his own wisdom teeth done. I plucked up the courage and asked could he come with me to see the dentist as mine needed doing and I was pretty sure I needed to get a tooth looked at that the filling had fallen out. Again was told no don't be such a baby and it wasn't his responsibility to pay for me to go to the dentist as I should have got my wisdom teeth taken out when I was working and it's my problem if I don't take care to clean my teeth properly. So that's when things started to go down hill, I didn't have money of my own to pay for treatment and on top of it was petrified of dentists. I had two teeth pulled in the time I was with my 1st husband, but only when the pain got too bad my brother stepped in a took me to the dentist and held my hand and payed for it. My husband chipped my front top tooth in anger, but I never got it looked at as I was to ashamed. I found the courage and left him, but by that stage I was really embarrassed about the state of my teeth and myself esteem was very low.

Now even though I'm happily remarried and while not rich my now husband won't begrudge the use of our savings to help fix my teeth, if I asked. But I'm still totally scared of dentists and more embarrassed about the state of my teeth and unable to share my worries and anxieties with my husband. I still find it hard to open up. I've only ever gone to see a dentist over the last 25 years once the pain from bad teeth get way to painful and then had them pulled out. So now I've lost four teeth, my front one that was chipped has broken off more and it's going bad. I can feel cavities in other teeth and have one broken one. But I'm at the stage in my life where I want to face it and get in to talk to a dentist. But as I said I just can't bring myself to call one, so I emailed 3, but no one replied. I most probably gave them too much information, but I thought it would be good to explain why I can't call and why I've let my teeth get so bad, so they most probably think I'm crazy. I don't think I can try again as I'm scared and I've worked myself into such a constant crying mess, but I really really want to feel confident in smiling again and be out of pain from bad teeth. Sorry if I've rambled on too much, it's another sleepless night worrying on what to do now and but it's good to get my worries off my chest, even though no I've got no idea what to do now.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
830
Location
UK
Re: Finally reached out for help, but no replies so my confidence is gone to try again

Hey, welcome to the forum.

First of all, there are many reasons your emails may have gone unanswered. It may be that the emails were sent to their spam filter, or maybe they don't reply to emails without contact details...I doubt it's because they thought you are crazy or worthless. They are professionals working in the healthcare field, no one is going to judge you like you think!

I'm really sorry to hear about your bad experiences at the dentist, and your bad marriage. It's unfortunately very common for abusive marriages to leave people with issues like this - your first husband made you feel ashamed, and that's a terrible thing when it's coming from someone you love, someone who is supposed to love and cherish you! I'm glad you're no longer with that person.

I know it's insanely difficult, but I really think you ought to open up to your current husband. An advocate and supporter is just the thing you need, someone to make the difficult phonecalls for you and to go with you to the dentist. There's no shame in needing help. It'll be a tough conversation for you, because it requires opening up about something that you've been ashamed of and been worrying over for a very long time, but it's worth it. You don't have to do this alone. And you shouldn't be ashamed anyway - so many people have been in your situation. Needle and dental phobias are so common, as are problems with panic attacks connected with the dentist, and throw in bad experiences and is it any wonder you ended up so scared? Your first dentist, your mother, and your first husband made the problem worse too. You're only human, you can only take so much.

I can promise you that it won't be as bad in real life as it is in your head, and also that your teeth will be very far from the worst the dentist has ever seen. In fact they will probably have seen worse that very day! My teeth were in a terrible state once, most of them broken, and I thought the dentist would at least be shocked, but they weren't. No one was. They're there to do their job and treat you, and that's all.

Hang in there :)
 
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