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Getting fillings tomorrow - High anxiety



Junior member
Sep 30, 2014
Hi guys. So I have really bad anxiety in general, but I am especially terrified (yet still doesn't beat doctors) of getting work done on my teeth.
I'm fine with the dentist. I actually like getting my teeth cleaned. It's just any work that involves drilling into my teeth, sedation, needles, etc. terrifies me.
I have to go in 12 hours from now to get two fillings done, then back again in two weeks for the other two and I'm so scared. I'm practically in tears and nauseous at the thought of going in tomorrow.
Over the past year we've been to three different dentists trying to get these done, and I've had a full blown panic attack each time.
I'm so scared. What if the Novocaine doesn't work on me? Last time they said they gave me laughing gas but I was still fully alert and was able to figure out when they were about to give me the shot.
I got a few done when I was little and was fine, but that was before I knew that they were actually drilling the teeth.
I don't know how I'll get through this. I want to get it done though.
I had three done over a year ago from when I had braces from 8th-9th grade and I got them done with the laser and I was fine but these are deeper than the other ones. When they tried to do these I freaked out.
Does anyone have any tips on how to get through this with such bad anxiety?
Hi :waves:

I'm so glad I found your post. I was actually coming on here to make a similar post myself as I'm also getting two cavities filled tomorrow! I'll be going in around one in the afternoon, I think.

My cavities are very deep and my latest experience back in October was nothing short of horrific, so that's why I'm apprehensive right now. However, mind you that in the end it will be alright. I wish I could be there to hold your hand through it-- trust me, I would if I could :) It's not so bad, honestly, especially if the decay is at a minimum. It all depends on your dentist, but believe it or not if done right you won't feel a thing when given a shot! I've been told my current dentist gives good shots so I guess I'll see.

To to me the worst thing is probably keeping my mouth open, and I hate it but it seems like almost every single dentist I've ever been to talks to their assistant and jokes around through the whole procedure like they're not even at work... :( my mom and pretty much everyone I know has had the same exact experience. My current dentist, however, seems pretty...uh....stiff, I guess you could say? So maybe that won't happen this time.

My best advice to you is to keep your eyes shut through everything. It helps a lot! I've heard some people say it heightens your senses when you do that but I've found it to be untrue, at least that's my personal experience. I can't see what's going on (I have bad social anxiety and can't stand looking at the dentist or anyone, especially up close) therefore I just try to relax and wait until I heard those magic words:

"Alright, finished."

You could try bringing something to hold onto during the procedure, like a small stuffed animal or rubber ball or what have you. It can help relieve stress. Also, you could bring a jacket/hoodie to wear. It's really hot around here right now unfortunately but I always feel that much safer when I've got long sleeves on. Again, I think this is probably an anxiety thing lol, but hey, it works.

Also, you could ask to listen to music. I've always been too nervous to ask, especially since I would hate for the dentist to overhear whatever song I was listening to, but I'm sure most dentists would permit you to do so. Plug in those headphones and start jamming...mentally, of course. You wouldn't want to start dancing in the chair while they're trying to work on you!

You could watch funny videos before you leave the house as well. Laughing beforehand might make you less nervous. And please be sure to eat something! When I went to my dentist they had a sign on the wall that said to eat before every appointment so I'm sure that it would be a good idea.

I've got a lot of dental work to be done after this still, but if you only have the two cavities then just think to yourself, "Hey, once this is over I won't have to have any more fillings done!" I'm sure that if that is the case then you'll feel great after the whole thing is over.

I hope everything goes smoothly for you! You can do this :cheer:
I couldn't do it. I chickened out again.
She showed me the drill, and now I'm not scared of the drill anymore but my phobia of needles got to me. I wouldn't let them give me the shot.

Now I have to get sedated next time I go in.
That's alright...I'm sorry it didn't work out. You know some dentists can give you something for the anxiety before the shots...have you asked about that? I just found out today that mine does if need be and I definitely think I could use that next time. I promise the injections really aren't bad...I freaked out today when I was getting mine even though they're not bad at all. You hardly feel it, honest. Do you like your dentist and feel comfortable with them?

If you absolutely have to get sedated then that's fine, but the shots really aren't what you might expect. They put lots of numbing gel on the gums before they give the shot to you and the most you will feel is a light pinch at first, oftentimes not even that. In fact, it makes me laugh afterwards when I start getting numb because it feels so funny.

Im sure you could do it :) do you have a friend that could go with you maybe for moral support?