• Dental Phobia Support

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First dental appt in 20yrs and terrified

L

Lifebeginsat45

Junior member
Joined
Jul 28, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Kent
Hello everyone. I'm so glad I found this forum.
I have been plagued by dental phobia since I was 15yrs old. I am now 45. Won't tell you my experiences but basically I have been terrified of the dentist ever since, and as a result have let my teeth go really down hill and at times they are extremely painful.
I am sick of feeling self conscious when talking to people, seeing them judge me, and because of this I only leave the house when absolutely necessary. I have become a hermit. It's crippling. It's socially paralysing. It affects every aspect of my life, including eating.

Having spoken to a friend on Facebook about it, I re-read what I wrote to them and decided, why the hell should I live like this, I deserve better. Today I took a massive leap of faith and contacted what I think is a very reputable phobia specialist dentist in Kent where I live. I initially wrote an email explaining my experiences and why I am so terrified of trusting someone again. They replied very promptly and sympathetcally, and asked for my phone number so we could just have a little chat. I don't know about you guys but I find it extremely difficult to talk about my phobia, but I thought I'd give it a go. She called me and was lovely. I was in tears and she said don't worry you're not alone. She picked a dentist that she thought would be best for me to see, and I now have an appointment booked for a few weeks time. It's a 30min appointment and a quick exam.

I am excited and terrified. I keep bursting into tears when I think about it. But I now have hope and can maybe get my personal and social life back. I haven't lived life for so many years.

All of this was bourne from a nasty comment made by believe it or not a relative. I've had enough of the snide remarks over many many years, so rather than wanting to curl up and die, I need to do this for myself. I will keep you posted but I am at last confident the future is going to be better than not talking to people and worming my way out of public functions due to embarrassment and shame.
 
Wow.. this just made me tear. You are so inspirational and an encouragement. Good for you! Sounds like they are really comforting and understanding where you will go.. I remember going to my first good dentist and she used to tell me I shouldn't have to hide my smile because its beautiful, I certainly didn't believe that at all. But through her, i got rid of some awful teeth , had to get bottom dentures which was a big step, but it started me getting compassionate kind dental care!! You deserve that.. I had some real crappy non compassionate. traumatic uncaring dentists from the time I grew up until 30 yrs old myself. It makes such a difference..Sooo proud of you for taking care of your self in this way , its a HUGE STEP.... and hope the dentist she picked is wonderful!!!
 
Wow.. this just made me tear. You are so inspirational and an encouragement. Good for you! Sounds like they are really comforting and understanding where you will go.. I remember going to my first good dentist and she used to tell me I shouldn't have to hide my smile because its beautiful, I certainly didn't believe that at all. But through her, i got rid of some awful teeth , had to get bottom dentures which was a big step, but it started me getting compassionate kind dental care!! You deserve that.. I had some real crappy non compassionate. traumatic uncaring dentists from the time I grew up until 30 yrs old myself. It makes such a difference..Sooo proud of you for taking care of your self in this way , its a HUGE STEP.... and hope the dentist she picked is wonderful!!!

Oh wow you sound like you've been through the mill yourself! Well done for regaining your beautiful smile and for going through the surgery to get it. Think my upper denture needs replacing because my gums have shrunk over the past 20 years and only my crappy lower teeth show when I talk. But not for much longer. I have hope but I also have this huge feeling of impending doom. Really hard to explain, but thank you so very much for taking the time to read and reply to me. It really does mean a lot.:) Don't let your fear overtake your life again. Don't just exist like I do. Have the happy, smiley and full life we all deserve :)
 
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And to all you secret phobics out there, PLEASE write a letter to someone you trust and share your fear with them. Or just write your feelings down and read it back to yourself. Reading what I wrote to my friend is what prompted me to get it sorted once and for all. I can't emphasise enough how much it helped me. Please don't bottle it all up for countless years and become a jibbering wreck like me. Have a long and healthy life. Lots of love to anyone going through this. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it will only get brighter my lovelies :)
 
Hi I can emphasise with your dilemma.

I hadn't visited a dentist in 20 years due to severe anxiety and fear as well as embarrassment, however in Feb I decided enough was enough.

My teeth were extremely bad, a lot were broken, there was a huge calcium build up behind the front lowers and the top teeth were all dead.

Firstly please be brave, a dentist that is worth their salt will never scold you in regards to your teeth, it takes a very courageous person to sit in the chair with the level of anxiety they have and they respect that. They are there to help you and will respect that you are trying to help yourself. Dentists aren't at all like they used to be.

I had 3 extractions in the dentist chair then surgery at the beginning of May to get all my uppers removed and now have a plate and this is the best thing ever! I can now smile. Keep thinking of being able to smile and have no pain, focus on this and try to take each appointment as it comes.

I had no pain with my visits to my dentist he was extremely good. The only pain I had was after surgery but this was due to an infection.

Once you take the step and start the journey you will think to yourself how easy is this? sounds daft right now but honest you will.

Good luck and please let me know how it goes xx
 
Hi I can emphasise with your dilemma.

I hadn't visited a dentist in 20 years due to severe anxiety and fear as well as embarrassment, however in Feb I decided enough was enough.

My teeth were extremely bad, a lot were broken, there was a huge calcium build up behind the front lowers and the top teeth were all dead.

Firstly please be brave, a dentist that is worth their salt will never scold you in regards to your teeth, it takes a very courageous person to sit in the chair with the level of anxiety they have and they respect that. They are there to help you and will respect that you are trying to help yourself. Dentists aren't at all like they used to be.

I had 3 extractions in the dentist chair then surgery at the beginning of May to get all my uppers removed and now have a plate and this is the best thing ever! I can now smile. Keep thinking of being able to smile and have no pain, focus on this and try to take each appointment as it comes.

I had no pain with my visits to my dentist he was extremely good. The only pain I had was after surgery but this was due to an infection.

Once you take the step and start the journey you will think to yourself how easy is this? sounds daft right now but honest you will.

Good luck and please let me know how it goes xx


Oh wow! You've done brilliantly! I have to say that as the date gets closer (21st Aug) for my appointment, I am actually excited because the surgery has hand picked the dentist they think should work with me. I'm excited to think that my misery and pain may soon be over. It'll probably bankrupt me but at least I'll have a renewed confidence to go back to work and feel worth something after such a long time.

i can't wait to be able to smile and am very much hoping my appointments will be over by Christmas so I can finally enjoy the season rather than be a wall flower once again.

This first appointment is just a 30 min consultation and brief exam. What's the worst that can happen :)

i too have an upper plate, but it's ancient and requires loads of fixative to stay in place. I am hoping to get it replaced with something more realistic and comfortable.
Ill be sure to come back after my consultation. Had trouble finding my original post so apologies for the delay. Thanks so much for your encouragement. It makes such a difference to hear from those who have been through the dark tunnel and found the light :jump:
 
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Having a few glasses of wine now, tomorrow is the big day! xxx
 
Hi, my story was very similar. I had not seen a dentist for 24 years! I had so much anxiety about seeing a dentist that I would cry almost everyday. The thought of someone actually looking in my mouth was unbearable! I had so much shame! One day I had a front tooth fall out! Not sure why, it had only been loose for a year lol! Any way, I called a local dentist and made an appt., I felt immediate relief because I took the first step but I was still full of shame. I won't bore you with all of the details but I did it!!! I sat in the chair, I opened my mouth, I had a ton of work done. No one judged me or made me feel bad. They just wanted to help. I now have a full upper denture and lower partial. I can smile, I eat pretty much anything, and I've never used adhesives! It's been at the least an adjustment but it was all worth it! I no longer hide. I have conquered the fear and shame! So good luck to you, I just wanted you to know that things do get better and you are on your way!!! Best wishes! Keep me posted!
 
Hi, my story was very similar. I had not seen a dentist for 24 years! I had so much anxiety about seeing a dentist that I would cry almost everyday. The thought of someone actually looking in my mouth was unbearable! I had so much shame! One day I had a front tooth fall out! Not sure why, it had only been loose for a year lol! Any way, I called a local dentist and made an appt., I felt immediate relief because I took the first step but I was still full of shame. I won't bore you with all of the details but I did it!!! I sat in the chair, I opened my mouth, I had a ton of work done. No one judged me or made me feel bad. They just wanted to help. I now have a full upper denture and lower partial. I can smile, I eat pretty much anything, and I've never used adhesives! It's been at the least an adjustment but it was all worth it! I no longer hide. I have conquered the fear and shame! So good luck to you, I just wanted you to know that things do get better and you are on your way!!! Best wishes! Keep me posted!

Wow, it never ceases to amaze me as to how many of us suffer alone for years on end. I'm so happy for you that you've had all your work done and can enjoy life again! What an inspiration xxx

My appointment was much better 'stress wise ' than I had ever imagined. The dentist and nurse were incredibly sweet and understanding. I'd go so far as to say they were empathetic.
I've been given two dental plans:
they both involve three 'must have' lower extractions. The rest is for me to decide whether I have all my lower teeth removed and a full lower denture, or to retain my two lower canine teeth a have a partial lower denture which clips onto them. I've heard nightmares about lower dentures so am very undecided right now.
Edit: having mulled things over for a few hours I think I'm leaning towards the partial lower denture as it sounds more secure, but I still welcome any advice please.
Any experiences of either partial or full lowers are very welcome please :)

A big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to help me through this. It's gonna be tough but I'll get there xxx
 
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Well done. I had my first appointment today too. I rewarded myself with cake afterwards. Can't wait until I can eat something other than soft food again though. Good luck with your next visit.
 
Hi Life begins.. soo. I had a partial put in lower when I was 30. I really didn't want to and was frightened but my front teeth were REALLY bad and really wasn't much left anyway. I trusted my dentist so i did it.. she was so nice about the whole thing.. and althought its harder to get used to .... well.. I think the lower ones weren't has hard as maybe uppers might be? I really like the partial with metal clasp. I had to have mine redone when i lost two more teeth in back and add more to the denture. tried the valplast, hated it.. gross. gaggy.. didn't like that.. the partial with metal clasp though has been doable and looked better than my other teeth..

p.s. yorkie girl. i always reward myself with treats.. chocolate, cake whatever.. :) I even told my hygenist i was going to the bakery right after on my last appt with her lol.. ha.. she was right with me.. too .. it was funny. so good for you for rewarding yourself.. it makes me feel better when I do that..


Wow, it never ceases to amaze me as to how many of us suffer alone for

years on end. I'm so happy for you that you've had all your work done and can enjoy life again! What an inspiration xxx

My appointment was much better 'stress wise ' than I had ever imagined. The dentist and nurse were incredibly sweet and understanding. I'd go so far as to say they were empathetic.
I've been given two dental plans:
they both involve three 'must have' lower extractions. The rest is for me to decide whether I have all my lower teeth removed and a full lower denture, or to retain my two lower canine teeth a have a partial lower denture which clips onto them. I've heard nightmares about lower dentures so am very undecided right now.
Edit: having mulled things over for a few hours I think I'm leaning towards the partial lower denture as it sounds more secure, but I still welcome any advice please.
Any experiences of either partial or full lowers are very welcome please :)

A big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to help me through this. It's gonna be tough but I'll get there xxx
 
Well done. I had my first appointment today too. I rewarded myself with cake afterwards. Can't wait until I can eat something other than soft food again though. Good luck with your next visit.
Yorkiegal, a massive well done! Funnily enough I just sent my boyfriend out for cheesecake and wine as my reward lol. Thanks for the good luck, gonna need it as it will be my first of three extractions. Gotta summon all my strength for it. Best wishes, and big hugs to you xxx
 
Hi Life begins.. soo. I had a partial put in lower when I was 30. I really didn't want to and was frightened but my front teeth were REALLY bad and really wasn't much left anyway. I trusted my dentist so i did it.. she was so nice about the whole thing.. and althought its harder to get used to .... well.. I think the lower ones weren't has hard as maybe uppers might be? I really like the partial with metal clasp. I had to have mine redone when i lost two more teeth in back and add more to the denture. tried the valplast, hated it.. gross. gaggy.. didn't like that.. the partial with metal clasp though has been doable and looked better than my other teeth..

p.s. yorkie girl. i always reward myself with treats.. chocolate, cake whatever.. :) I even told my hygenist i was going to the bakery right after on my last appt with her lol.. ha.. she was right with me.. too .. it was funny. so good for you for rewarding yourself.. it makes me feel better when I do that..

Hi KR, thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. I think I'm definately gonna try the partial so long as my existing canines can support the metal bit. You're a trouper thank you xxx
 
Thanks Lifebegins. we are all doing this... troopers .. let us know how it goes.. its all an adjustment.. i'm right now afraid my implant isn't going to take and get dense enough or integrated enough.. super nervous. but giong to try not to think about it and go with the flow trusting my new dentist..
 
Gosh, I can't imagine how the procedure for implants works but it sounds very invasive. I sincerely hope it works out for you. It's so hard to shove our worries to the back of our minds when we live with the consequences every day, but I'm a great believer in distraction too. A good old Netflix binge can work a treat :)
best of luck with your implants xxx
 
YES to Netflix binge.. well .. i'm a Lostie.. totally addicted and .. one of my distractions in the dental chair is just trying to picture and focus on Naveen Andrews.. Sayid. lol usually too much going on.. but its a good distraction try.. :p.. and then i watch Lost after... I think the worst of it is the worry outside the dental chair.. and the what ifs... but the first part for me was frightining drilling that screw into my jaw .. by my sinus too.. ugh... well.. thats done i just hope it will work... its not healing right...
 
Oh it's not healing? Is there anything they can do to help it hun? I'm so sorry to hear that after what you went through to get it xxx
 
YES to Netflix binge.. well .. i'm a Lostie.. totally addicted and .. one of my distractions in the dental chair is just trying to picture and focus on Naveen Andrews.. Sayid. lol usually too much going on.. but its a good distraction try.. :p.. and then i watch Lost after... I think the worst of it is the worry outside the dental chair.. and the what ifs... but the first part for me was frightining drilling that screw into my jaw .. by my sinus too.. ugh... well.. thats done i just hope it will work... its not healing right..

Oh yeah, I haven't seen Lost for several years, but I'm with you on Sayid...yummy! :)
 
By the way, a third option was mentioned for me, it is to clean up my existing lower front teeth, but the dentist made it clear that it would only be a temporary fix because my gums are badly receding and the teeth are already quite loose, so I'm not sure I could sit through any work which will need to be corrected at a later date xxx
 
By the way, a third option was mentioned for me, it is to clean up my existing lower front teeth, but the dentist made it clear that it would only be a temporary fix because my gums are badly receding and the teeth are already quite loose, so I'm not sure I could sit through any work which will need to be corrected at a later date xxx

If it's a quick fix and I'll have a smile by xmas I might just do it
 
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