• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Well-known member
Aug 25, 2007
Hi everyone, :hidesbehindsofa:

I am new to this site, but thank God I found it! I have had gum disease for some time, I had deep cleaning by my last dentist, (who had no sympathy for dental phobics whatsover, basically saying I was stupid !) about 6 years ago, since I moved, I never registered with a new dentist in the area as just the mention of the word puts ice in my veins! :scared: My top front tooth has alawys been 'shaky' but last night, I fell to sleep, then suddenly awoke, snapping my teeth together very hard, my loose front tooth fell out in my hand! I now have a major gap in my front teeth and I feel like The Elephant Man! :censored: I squeeze the tooth in during the day when people can see me, even tried dental paste for £13.00 this didn't work at all!! I am now terrified at what I might have to suffer at the dentist. It's Bank Holiday here at the mo, so can't even call till Tuesday, just the thought terrifies me!! The whole tooth and root has come out, leaving a 'v shaped' gap in the flesh of the gum, I am so ashamed what will this dentist think of me ? My husband is lovely but can't understand why I won't smile and am so fearful of the dentist, I just hate the smell, the instruments and the look of disgust, which in my mind will be evident when he/she sees my awful teeth..!! I just can't see what the dentist can do when the root is out and damage done to the fleshy part of the gum. What a mess, I feel such a coward when they're are other people in the world dying of cancer etc..I just feel like a failure, I'm crying as I write this just thinking about the dentist vist.. :scared:

Please can anyone out there give me some encouragement, I feel so alone. even my family can;t understand my irrational fears, as they call them.

Sorry for waffling..!!

Hi Jools and  :welcome:

You are in good company here!  Most of us can completely understand how you are feeling and all of us are in one stage or another of dealing with our dental phobias.  You certainly aren't alone and I for one understand how frightened you are probably feeling.  You will get through this though and we will be here to offer you support if you need it!  :)

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with your last dentist.  It shouldn't be that way and you don't deserve to be treated badly.  The good news is that most dentists now do not look down on you or judge you on the condition of your teeth.  If one does, that's a sign to leave and find a new, compassionate dentist!  Also, in many offices they have ways of eliminating that "dentist smell," and if they are used to dealing with fearful patients will keep the instruments out of the way so you don't have to see them.  The key is to find someone who takes anxious patients and for you to share your fears with them so they can take steps to make things easier for you.  If you aren't able to voice them over the phone, a written e-mail or note taken with you will ensure that you don't forget anything.  

Do you know of any kind, compassionate dentists, either through friends and family, or research?  Hopefully you have someone in mind but if not, someone on here may be able to suggest one.  

Don't be ashamed of losing the tooth or the condition of your teeth.  The dentist is there to fix any problems and get your smile beautiful and healthy again.  In regards to the tooth you lost, there are probably a few different ways to fix that right up.  The more expensive route, an implant would take a little longer while a bridge or a partial can be done rather quickly.  Either way, I've seen loads of the before and after pictures of dental treatments and you never can tell that a person has a missing tooth because the replacement looks so realistic.  My front tooth was broken in half in an accident when I was younger and my freshly bonded "fix" looks exactly like my other teeth.  

I've rambled on quite a bit but I just wanted you to know that you will be o.k. and you are not alone!!  

Take care,


Many thanks Pam!

As you can see, I am not sleeping well at the moment (it's now Midnight!) just thinking of picking up the telephone on Tuesday!

It really helps to hear everyone else's experiences, I always thought that the dentist had all the control and I just sat there and put up with it! I realise now reading everyones stories that I don't HAVE to do that. I am so, so afraid I can't explain how much, think of me please Tuesday and I'll let you know how I got on (unless I have a nervous breakdown before !)

Any more advice / encouragement I would be most glad of..!!!

Thank you :XXLhug:

Jools, you are not a failure at all. You are very very brave because you have opened up and admitted you have a problem, that really is the very first step. I too had a similar problem in that it was only when a front tooth (bottom) fell out that I told myself that I just had to do something about it. In my case though I had left it far longer than you - more than 39 years since I last went to a dentist, such was my fear, preferring to kill myself with possible sceptacemia than face a dentist, but vanity prevailed in the end. For all those years I hadn't been able to mention the tooth or dentist word and had to go out the room if anyone so much as mentioned the words. Even though I knew I had to get to a dentist now, it was only by finding this site that the support from so many lovely people made it possible for me to make that first call to a dentist. Then it was not only the fear, the fear of the dentist, the smell, the tools, so many thinks which you try to rationalise but just can't, but I think the overriding fear by that time was the shame and embarrassment of it all. However, finding the right dentist is paramount. Thankfully I found my perfect dentist - albeit having to travel 250 miles up to London and then back which adds considerably onto the dental bill - but it is so worth it. I am near the end of my treatment now thankfully. You too can do it. Writing your journal on this site is such a great help, waiting for comments and help from everyone else is a great comfort - we're like one big happy family, only better because we all understand what each other is going through, something we couldn't tell our families because if they don't have such a phobia they can't understand. Anyhow, good luck on your journey, it will get easier and easier, and we're all here every step of the way with you. :grouphug:

Hi there,

It's me again!! Just as I got used to the idea of picking up the phone to make THAT call Tuesday, (my front tooth (upper) having fallen out Friday night due to gum disease) I had to visit the in laws today, reluctantly, as my tooth was just wedged in and kept falling out when I spoke. My Mother in Law looked at my gum where the tooth had come out and said "Oh my God, that looks terrible, you'll need some work done on that, it's eaten away the bone where the root was, I can't see what a dentist will be able to do with that !" I am now in full scale panic, yes it has left a v shaped dent in the gum above the tooth, but I now feel even worse, as my Ma in Law isn't usually so thoughtless, I know it must be bad!! If she thinks it looks so awful, what on earth will a dentist think of me.....here we go again..I'm more terrified than before..!! :censored:

Dentists have seen much worse! You may feel you are the only one who has lost a tooth due to neglect, but just read the stories posted here. I have a loose front bottom tooth now and need to make that call to the dentist, have an upper denture so I know what's comming for the lower! I never neglected my teeth for too long but my gum disease was pretty progressive.
People here on this board are so supportive, so keep in touch.


Many thanks for that, it just really doesn't help when someone looks at you as though you've grown another head and then tells you how awful it all looks!!

I feel such a baby being so phobic, believe it or not, I used to be a Police Officer!! Even then found it hard to talk to dentists.!!

Tuesday will be the day for calling a dentist for help and I'm already counting the hours !!! (How sad am I ?) :confused:


Even funnier, I'm a nurse and still terrified of the dentist!


jools said:
If she thinks it looks so awful, what on earth will a dentist think of me.....here we go again..I'm more terrified than before..!! :censored:

Don't let this put you down. The dentist is more likely used to seeing such things than your mother in law. He certainly wouldn't be that shocked. There are dentists who don't judge their patients, who just want to do their best to help them not just with their teeth, but also with getting rid off their fears. Besides the most of the dentists nowadays know that if they can comfort their patient, it will be easier for both.

Before I met my dentist I was scared that she would judge me, treat me with no respect etc. But when she came out of her office, smiled at me and invited me inside, I knew that none of this would happen. The first time in my life I could open up and share my fears. And she was wonderful. It was such a relief. However strange and ridiculous it may seem, I felt so how I'm getting relaxed and soothed when she sit next to me. She was so gentle and caring. And instead of judging me she treated me with respect. With everything she said and did I knew she was there to help me.

From the posts I've read here I know that such dentists are all over the world. I wish you good luck in finding one of them.  :XXLhug:

Hi Jools,

Try not to let what your mother-in-law said scare you even more. Like the others have said, dentists are used to seeing teeth that have fallen out, gum disease, wobbly teeth etc and are there to repair your smile for you. I agree with Liberated. The right dentist will surely be able to make you feel comfortable. Some dentists are very used to, and very able to deal with anxious patients in a really understanding way. That will be the most important thing. I don't think any (good) dentist will look down on you, and if you feel they are at any point then don't go back after the appointment. I know it's so hard but try not to worry about what the dentist will think. They have no right to judge you. They are there to help you, make you happier and healthier and take away your teeth worries.. I know that's hard to believe sometimes though! :hug2: :XXLhug:

I hear ya, Steffi...I'm a nurse too, which makes me feel SO much more ashamed of my phobia for some reason!

Hi Jools,

Don't give up!  You can do this and you will be fine!!  :)  As for others that don't understand your fear....that's normal.  There are people that are afraid of spiders, snakes, flying, clowns, the dark, you name it!  If we aren't afraid of that object as well it's difficult to fully understand why someone else is.  By no means does it indicate that there is something wrong with us because we happen to fear dentists.  Try not to feel bad about it, rather focus your energy on thinking positively that you will be able to make an appointment and will soon get your teeth fixed so you can smile with confidence again.  

I'm going out of town for a couple of days so I won't be on here but I will be thinking of you and sending you best wishes from afar.  Keep reading and posting, the support will help make things a little easier!  I don't know if I could have done it if it hadn't been for all the wonderful people on here!  

Good luck on Tuesday!


You can and will do it!! So many of us have been exactly where you are now, with the same thoughts and fears. I was just the same as you only 2 months ago and really can't believe how far I've come since. Take no notice of what people who don't understand your fear may say, just be aware and concentrate on all of us on this site. We are with you all the way, we are all sending you positive vibes and thinking of you. You are not alone: once you've actualy got to the dentist and he/she's had a peep in your mouth, you are going to be so delighted with the fact that you've probably got nowhere near as much wrong as you are worrying about, and your dentist is going to be so pleased with you for being sensible and coming along to start looking after your teeth. You will be relieved, happy, its an unimaginable feeling to be able to say the words "my dentist" and you will feel like you've got a new best friend. All this might seem impossible at the moment, but believe me, it will happen. I know. It happened to me. Just keep posting here, even if you think you've nothing particular to say, it does help and we are all here to read and support you in whatever way we can. Good luck, we all have confidence in you. :grouphug:

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your kind words. It's 24 hours before I make that call and I'm trying to be positive, thinking about the fact that whatever happens I'll be able to smile again!!

I'll be posting again tonight I know, as the nearer the time gets, the more nervous I feel. I've looked on the dentisits website and it does say that one of the services they have is for anxious patients, (that's an understatement on my part!!) so I'll make it known to them when I call that that's what I am and more..!!! Then I'm worried what if I can't get in ?! Can't walk around like Steptoe all the time!!

I'm shutting up now because I'm winding myself up again!!!!!

xx :scared:
Re: Its the night before THAT call -  HELP!

Well, it's the night before THAT first call and I'm terrified. My husband has gone to work and I am sitting alone imagining the worst torture scenes in my head !! I can't talk to my family as they don't understand, (all except my sister who is like me but would probably make me feel even worse!!) So I'm turning to all you lovely fellow phobics out there once again.

I feel slightly crazy that at my age (42) this phobia tends to rule my life to the point that I would rather be in pain than visit ANY dentist. I NEED to call tomorrow as I look awful and can't open my mouth because the huge gap at the front is extremely obvious. My husband is taking me and has promised that if the dentist is awful to me, he will speak to him/her and take me elsewhere, (my hubby is a kind, placid man, but had seen me in tears many times when describing my last experience with an awful dentist who more or less insulted me with a few minutes of opening my mouth) I know I wouldn't have the strength to fight my corner alone and I'm just hoping I won't have to.

I apologise if once again I sound irrational, but as the hours tick by and my tears fall more, I feel completely alone and also a little stupid.

Thank you all for listening to my drivel...


Not sure if this should be a new topic, but I've just made THE appointment!! I've told the receptionist that I am phobic about dentists, she promised to pass it on and said she would give me the lady dentist.

Please all of you think of me at 11.15am as I begin my journey!!!! :scared:


Good luck thismorning - i will certainely be thinking of you :XXLhug:
I'm sure it will go ok :)

I know how u are feeling,coz i'm seeing a dentist tomorrw !

Let me know how it goes :XXLhug:

I'm trying to iron my clothes and I'm shaking like a leaf, also keep shedding tears of fearand I'm worried I'll end up crying like a baby when I got there (How embarrasing would THAT be?!! :redface:)

I'd rather have gone to work today than do this, come to think of it, I'd rather wrestle crocodiles @ 11.15 today than go!!(Not many in the UK though)

Send me a thought at 11.15 and I'll let you know what happened as soon as I return :scared:



Don't worry about crying, it's perfectly natural :XXLhug: I've been crying on & off sice last night. And will proably be crying during my appointment tomorrow.

I tend to think the anticipation, is worse than the actual event. Atleast u don't have long to wait :XXLhug:

I'll be sending u a positve thought at 11.15 & i'm sure u will be ok :XXLhug:


10 minutes to go and I'm on my way.... :cry: I feel terrified beyond belief, how I hate teeth !!! I hope I'll be smiling when I return..!!

Here we go.................!!!!!!!!!!! :scared: