• Dental Phobia Support

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I have a lot of missing teeth, gagged on impression tray



Junior member
Sep 14, 2019
I have really bad dental phobia. After 8 years, I finally got to the dentist. He extracted a lot of teeth and then tried to take impressions.

I was feeling very anxious and kept gagging. He got frustrated, told me to leave, and then sent me a bill. I paid it but now I'm afraid to go back. The dentist said to return when I am "ready"...but I am afraid I will gag again.

I am embarrassed by my missing teeth and try to avoid talking. What can I do?

First of all all credit to you for going back to the dentist after 8 years having dental phobia . That is certanly courageous and then to go through many extractions is a big deal.

Honestly this dentist to me sounds like a shaming bully who doesn't understand dental anxiety but just wants to go on autopilot and do procedures. and wants people to fit into his "ready" box.

Impressions are hard.. I had issues with them for years.. well I am 50 and just 2 years ago I had the first one I didn't gag on and had plenty of work where I have. I think his attitude would definately made me more anxious and less able to relax enough to take impressions.

Is he the only one in the practice? anyway to switch dentists within the practice to someone more anxious friendly? or have a more friendly patient assistant help at the very least?

Either way you deserve kind compassionate care. Not impatience and anger and shame.
Sorry you had a poor experience with a dentist that wasn't willing to take some extra time with you. Gagging is not uncommon so hope you don't feel too down about it. There is a page here with tips to help with the gag reflex and, like krlovesherkids777 said, maybe someone else at the practice can help next time.

Hi lucyandtank,

I second krlovesherkids and Sol. Reading about how your dentist told you off I guess things only can get better with any other dentist. Stress worsens gag reflex so anyone acting unpatiently makes things worse. Hope you find someone willing to help you.

All the best wishes and let us know how you got on
My dentist had told me that the lab he uses can do a digital scan for the impressions if they tough the dental impression we did in the office was not good enough due. It apparently was good enough, so I didn't need to go for the digital scan. It might be an idea to look for that option.
Sorry - that dentist sounds like an idiot. I had impressions a few weeks ago and my doctor explained very carefully how it might make me gag when they do the top ones and what to do if it happens. He even had me practice sitting up and leaning over to help with gagging. Sounds like you’d be better off finding someone who is less of an impatient jerk and can help you, not cause more stress.