• 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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I never thought this day would come

C

ChockFullONuts

Junior member
Joined
Jan 17, 2024
Messages
15
Location
Long Island, NY
I did it!
I never thought I could do it. The first time I came to DFC and read all the success stories, I thought "wow, good for them... but I'll never be able to go through with visiting the dentist. My fear is too great". Well, turns out I was wrong. And if you're reading this thinking what I was thinking, you're wrong, too.
I hadn't been to a dentist in over 30 years. I had three broken molars, two of which were down to the gums. I was petrified to think of the surgical procedure that would be required to fix my teeth, and that was only the teeth I knew about! For all I knew, there were lots of other fun problems that needed to be addressed. The possibility of that didn't help.
For years I was dealing with these broken teeth. I endured so much pain with them because visiting the dentist was simply not an option. I avoided opening my mouth for any reason because I was so ashamed of the condition my teeth had gotten to, all because of my fear.
If your story sounds like mine, let me tell you something: everything you read on this site is true. All of it. Here are the things I read here that helped me through the process:
1. Find the right dentist by reading reviews. I chose my dentist because 1) they offered sedation, and 2) I read a Yelp review written by a (formerly) nervous patient who recommended that office.
2. Meet the dentist to see if they are the right fit for you. I used to be afraid of flying, and the fear of flying forum advised me to meet the pilot. I thought that wouldn't help at all, but the next flight I took my wife asked the pilot if he would meet me and graciously he did. And you know what? The forum was right, I've never had a flying fear since. The same thing works for the dentist. Once I met the dentist I immediately felt much more at ease. Their confidence in their abilities and their willingness to address my fears made me feel much much better.
3. Don't worry, the dentist will not judge you. They want to just fix the problem. They want to help you. This is what I would tell myself whenever I felt I was getting cold feet about my dreaded upcoming appointment: don't worry, they want to help you. My dentists made sure I knew they had my comfort and well-being in mind at all times. And it really does make you feel better to know that.
4. Sedation is great. I did the oral sedation because this office doesn't do IV. However, it was fantastic. I was so chill the whole procedure (three extractions and fillings in all 4 wisdom teeth). I honestly didn't think I would ever be sitting here typing "the three extractions weren't nearly as bad as I thought they'd be" but here we are.
5. The actual experience is not nearly as bad as you're imagining it will be. I used to wake up in the middle of the night worrying about how bad my dental experience was going to be when I finally went. Years of that take their toll. But when I finally went through with it, it was nothing like I'd been imagining. 30 years of fear. Poof, gone.
6. If i can do it you can. I've read that numerous times here, and I would think "I wish it were that simple". Well, it's true. Think about how long 30 years is. The last time I went to the dentist George Bush Sr was president of the USA. Not W. His father. That's how long I lived with my fear. And I beat it because I wanted to. If you want to beat it, you can, too.
7. Just the act of being here reading things is progress. I didn't really believe so, but it's true. Without coming here I don't think I'd ever go back to the dentist. The fact that you're here means there's something inside you that wants to beat this fear. And trust me, if you hang around here long enough it will happen for you, too.

So my journey has been completed. I'd like to thank everyone involved with this website, you have all finally rescued me from my phobia!
 
Thank you for this post! I’ve been really struggling lately and reading post like yours have been so helpful. I’m hoping someday soon I can get over my dental phobia like you have!
 
@Anxiety Riddled You can do it! You have to believe it, because it's true. Don't forget the dentist wants to help you get to the place you want to get to. There are amazing dentists out there, find yours!
 
@ChockFullONuts I have one in mind but my first step is getting my wisdom teeth out. My appointment with the oral surgeon is on May 30th. I’m nervous but it’s been about 6 months of suffering at this point so I’m almost looking forward to it now. Hoping for some relief afterwards. I haven’t been to the dentist in years, this will be my first dental experience since I was a teenager. I’m anxious about it but I know it needs to be done. I’m hoping that this will give me the courage I need to make an appointment with a general dentist. My thought is if I can go through having 4 wisdom teeth extracted then why wouldn’t I be able to go to a general dentist to receive care…
 
That's great that you're taking the step of having the wisdom teeth out! I think that once you go through the wisdom teeth extractions you're going to feel a lot less anxiety about the general dentist. I think part of the fear comes from the unknown, and once you've gone through a procedure and you see that it's not as bad as you built it up to be in your mind, you'll be confident enough to make that appointment. Remember the dentist wants to help you. Also, think about the relief you'll feel after you've gone. I know you can do it!
 
@ChockFullONuts thank you! A big part of it definitely is the fear of the unknown. I am really hoping this extraction surgery provides some relief. I’ve been incredibly uncomfortable for months and I would just like to feel like myself again. If this experience gives me the confidence to overcome my phobia that would be a big bonus!
 
The worst part about a phobia is how much you feel like it's in control of you. But there's no greater feeling than overcoming it. Once you walk out of that dentist's office you're going to feel like you can do anything. After my procedure when I walked out I felt euphoric, like my feet weren't even touching the ground! (Although maybe that's because the sedation hadn't worn off yet LoL)
Anyway, just focus on how good it's going to feel after you've done it, knowing you put the phobia in its place and now it can't control you anymore.
 
Thank you. I needed to read this today. Im so worried about being judged or work being done whilst im trapped.. thank you.
 
@ChockFullONuts that’s the hope! This wisdom teeth extraction surgery is a huge thing for me. I’m terrified of getting a cleaning at the dentist so you can imagine what the idea of this is doing to me. I’m at the point now though after dealing with months of pain and discomfort that I know I need to do this so knowing that has helped me prepare my mind for the procedure. I’m just hoping it goes well (as good as it can go). I’m concerned about recovery due to the fact that I’m quite a bit older than the recommended age for removal. Of course I tainted my mind with horror stories online when I first started having issues with my wisdom teeth..
 
@kayduck Trust me, they see a patient's mouth differently, just like a virtuoso piano player sees a piano keyboard differently than you or I do. (Unless you happen to be a virtuoso piano player, then kindly substitute some other instrument...perhaps a contrabassoon?). Remember this is what they love to do: help people and make them healthy. They're focused on remedying the situation, not how it got there. I was worried too, but thinking this way helped.
 
@Anxiety Horror stories seem to be everywhere, but that's only because people don't usually post pleasant experiences. If they did you can bet the good stories would far outweigh the bad ones. When I was afraid of flying, stories of plane crashes flooded my mind and I thought I would never be able to fly again. (In a plane, not me actually flying)
But then I realized: the news doesn't print a story "Routine flight from JFK to Chicago lands safely. All passengers are fine, but they're not looking forward to waiting in line at the car rental counter". It's just not exciting. I think dental horror stories are kind of the same thing, so I just don't pay them any mind.
 
@ChockFullONuts im obsessed with reading all his reviews now and most are great but its the odd one that isnt that sticks out. Next Wednesday is the day so wish me luck xx
 
@kayduck "Most are great" is a good sign, sounds like you're going to the right place. Remember if the vibe is off you can always leave and find someone else. You're in control.
 
Thank you. I want to feel like you do now. Im fed up of ferling anxious about my teeth its robbed me of so many good days. Thank you..
 
@ChockFullONuts yeah that’s why I became a member on this forum. People here focus on the good. Reading the success stories has helped a lot. This forum has been such a helpful form of therapy for me since I can’t afford the traditional kind.
 
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