• 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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Hey Guys



Mar 31, 2007
Hello everyone. Ok, I have had some horrific experiences in the past. When I was 10, the dentist literally shook me in the chair when I flinched from a shot, then later on I had a dentist pull teeth that he said he was not going to. So needless to say, it makes me sick to think of going back. I know I have some back teeth that need a lot of work. I am carefully trying to find a dentist, preferably one that is not judgmental and who is caring I have pretty good insurance, but if I can find a dentist who is good, I do not mind paying more. My wife has been so understanding, and I feel horrible b/c we are expecting our first child in June and she is a trooper with everything and here I am struggling with this. Any advice? Everyone on this site has my upmost support!
Hi Lucas and  :welcome:!!  

First off, congratulations on the upcoming arrival of a little one!   :jump:  You must be very excited!  I'm sure, based on your post, that the excitement is mingled with apprehension of getting back into the dental chair.  Luckily you have an understanding wife and now you will have the support of a bunch of people from here.  Hopefully you'll be able to overcome the nervousness and get things underway so you can let go of the worry and just enjoy the new baby when it arrives.  If you've been reading some of the posts I'm sure you've noticed how many people have gone from completely terrified to thrilled that they got their teeth fixed.  I'm sure you'll soon be joining the club!  ;D

When I first started my journey I researched everything, including visiting tons of websites of dentists.  One of the things I read most often was that they understood dental anxiety and realized many people avoided going for years.  Then I found this forum and learned that most commented that their dentist was not judgmental.  Having a dentist as a child that would "tsk, tsk" me when he found a problem and then berate me as though I broke a piece of fine china left me feeling the same way as you are.  I can truthfully say that most dentists are no longer like that.  Hopefully you can find someone you are comfortable with who will appreciate your concerns.  If you go to someone that doesn't meet those qualifications then you have every right to leave and go elsewhere.  One of the best pieces  of advice I got in the beginning was "you are in control."  That was something I never felt when I was younger and it was empowering to feel that way when I went in the first time.  Luckily the first time was a charm. I hope you find the right person the first time as well, but if you don't, try, try again!!  :)

Because of my fear I knew that I would need additional help to get through all the work I needed so I went the sedation route.  It was more costly but well worth it for me.  It's not for everyone though, some prefer to be completely alert and in control of the situation.  I just wanted to be in control during choosing a dentist and agreeing to the work. Once that was over I was more than glad to be off in "la-la land" while the work was done!!  

I'm sure there will be others that can offer you words of wisdom.  There are a lot of great people on here sharing their stories and advice.  

Best wishes!
Pam, Thanks a lot!!! I've already been on a lot of web sites and have been asking around for who my friends see. If that does not work, I will try the 1-800- Dentist. I plan on continuing my making an appt. very soon! I know I can do this. Once things get started I plan on journaling all the way through on this site. I feel a bit better knowing that I am taking that first step. I will keep everyone informed.
I think journaling is a great idea.  I found that the more I wrote about my experience the less threatening it felt!  Recommendations are a very good way to find a caring dentist but if that doesn't work, don't worry.  A lot of us found our dentists through research and then corresponding or setting up a consultation to meet them.  

You have taken a big step by posting and starting to look for a dentist.  You also sound very determined so I'm positive you will be able to get through this!  If the biggest wimp in the world (Me!  :p) can do it, so can you!

Keep us posted!
Lukas, you can do it! :jump:Up untila couple of weeks ago it had been 17 years since i had been to the dentist :censored:i was terrified and horrified to go :shame:but i made that appointmnet and went and it was great! I have a wonderful dentist and i have had 2 cleanings(one being deep) and 8 extractions and i have yet to this day felt one ounce of pain from any of it! So not what i expected ;)i have 1 more deep cleaning and 6 fillings along with a polish and i will be through! I am so proud of myslef and i actually like to go to the dentist more because it is such a feel of accomplishment. I also have to have 2 crowns but i am gonna have to save up for them ;)I hope you can find a kind and caring dentist as I did :XXLhug:Good luck! Danielle
Hi Lukas, You can do this, I had not been to the dentist in years until about two months ago. The key is finding a dentist that cares and will listen. I did my own research online and talked to the office staff before my first appointment. I now have made it through deep cleanings, a root canal and wisdom tooth extraction. I still have some work to be done but I am taking it step by step with support from here and the dentist and her staff. I can hardly believe how far I have come and you will also. Every appointment has been worse in my mind than what has actually happened. Nitrous Oxide is a wonderful thing. Good Luck and I will be sending you positive thoughts, Steph :grouphug:
Hi Lukas...I want to congratulate you on the impending arrival of your little one as well.

As the others have said try researching the dentists. See if you can get email addresses of a few and try corresponding with them first. I tried the 1-800 Dentist site as well, but see if they can provide email addresses for you.

Set your first appointment up as a "chat only" visit. This is a very good way to see if you feel comfortable with the dentist first, if not, you can always try someone else. The most important thing is to find a dentist that is caring and you can trust. You will be amazed at how much finding the right dentist will help with your fears.

If you feel you can not verbally tell the dentist about the fears you have, write them down and have the dentist read them. That way the dentist will be able to address all of the fears you have and be able to better help you.

Hope this help...sorry I did not respond earlier, but I am recovering from oral surgery myself. Good Luck :thumbsup:
Ok, I have spent the weekend checking web-sites and sending out e-mails to dentists explaining my situation and how I am feeling. That is a start. I really think that I am going to go with some form of sedation. I am hoping that I can find a good match for me. I think that is half the battle. Thanks again EVERYONE. :jump: I will keep you all informed. I really want to have a consult appt set up this week. Am going to give it a shot. This web-site has already been very helpful...
Waiting Game, Advice???

Well, I finally have a plan for the road to better teeth. After hours, and hours (really hours) of calling and searching, I think I found a dentist who is understanding. He was right by my house, my mom actually went to school with this guy and apparently is wonderful. I have my eval. set up and I already know the Oral Surgeon that he may have to send me to so that I can get some teeth cut out. The Oral surgeon has a very good reput. and does use sedation. I seem to have found some good people, but I am still pretty nervous about going. It is two and half weeks away :scared: Part of me feels good that after all this time I have finally taken the first step. I get sick to my stomach thinking about it. I am def. doing this, not only for myself, but for my new son coming in June. Any advice to try and not worry day in and day out until the appt???? My thoughts are with all of you going through similar things. Glad I am not the only one out there.
Re: Waiting Game, Advice???

Congratulations on getting this far :jump:. It sounds like in 'choosing' you explained your concerns and they were able to reassure you which is even better.
It's completely normal to find the waiting difficult :( and until you become more comfortable with the whole concept of going to the dentist or until you are dentally fit and therefore do not expect to have to hear any unwelcome news, its bound to be a bit nervewracking.
The first time is often the worst though because you are going to a new place and meeting for the first time people you don't know...so provided you find you like them and how they treat you...it will get easier......but if you need treatment then first procedures could well be a cause for concern too..until you've got your confidence in their ability to provide good care.
I suppose there are no easy solutions (probably why no one else has replied yet!) distraction is the main thing which springs to mind and be kind to yourself, schedule some favourite activities and promise yourself something as a reward for actually going along....good luck and remember if you are not happy, you can go elsewhere...I think you may be on the home straight though which is very positive.

 Thanks for the advice. I go through waves of confidence, followed by waves of nervousness. I have been keeping myself busy and working on the baby's room anticipating his arrival. I think that may be what helps me get through this. We actually got to see a 3-D ultrasound and got to see his face. I am doing this for Logan. Some of the best advice I have heard and will borrow is that moments of discomfort are worth a lifetime of feeling good and not worrying about what is going to go wrong next. To add to that, I think if we all would actually journal the times that we have had our teeth bother us in the past, the hours would add up longer than getting the treatment at the dentist office.
Losing Sleep

Looking for some support. I have made an appt. with who is susposed to be a great, understanding dentist. The problem is that it is not until April 26th. I figured I would rather wait for one with a good rep. rather than randomly pick someone out of the phone book. That has partially gotten me in this mess... I have been losing sleep over what he is going to find. I already know that I am going to need some extensive work with my back teeth, bridge work probably.... and it is getting ridiculous how many times I wake up at night and how I have let this consume me. There are times when I know I can do it followed by times of panic.I know I am not the only one who feels/or has felt like this. Any advice??? I know I have taken a big step, but I feel terrible. :scared:
Re: Losing Sleep

What you're feeling right now is completely normal :). I know that doesn't help much, but you're definitely not alone in feeling the way you do. As you say, you've taken a big step so it's natural to feel nervous about what's coming next... fear of the unknown, being unsure about the new dentist because you've not met him before etc.

Try to keep focusing on the times when you know you can do it... you can do it - otherwise you wouldn't have those times when you feel as though you can (if that makes any sense! :p). From my own experience, it can feel overwhelming at times like this because you've got so many "what if's" going round and round in your mind that the whole thing seems huge and scary, which then makes you feel terrible :(.

One of the things that I've found helpful before, is to make a list of everything that's worrying me. Write it down on paper - and then see if you can come up with a way to sort each thing out. Perhaps it might help to view the appointment as a sort of "get to know you" type meeting... you don't have to do anything you don't want to if you're not comfortable.
Re: Losing Sleep

THANKS A LOT!!! I will certainly give those suggestions a shot. One thing that is keeping me motivated is that my son is due in June and I am doing this for him too.
Take it from me...a bit of 21st Century painless dentistry is nothing compared to what your wife has in store shortly, to get your son into the world.....both events will bring with them their own rewards....just in different ways.
Good luck to both of you (tell her to ask for an epidural if she wants to minimise the pain :p)

Yeah, that's what prompted me to take that first step in making an appt. I am sure that I can handle anything in the dental chair compared to child birth. I always say that women are much tougher than men b/c of the childbirth factor. It's the truth. Everyone has been wonderful on this site. This has been a blessing to find. Even when my long journey is complete, I will def. check back to make a difference with someone else (just as you have with me) who is going through the fear of a dental visit. Thanks again!! Will be in touch.... :)
Lukas76 said:

 I always say that women are much tougher than men b/c of the childbirth factor.

Not all of us...some of us take the relatively painfree way out.
You would be crazy not to take the less painful route. My wife is truly my hero with what she has gone through during her pregnancy. You are being too hard on yourself