• Dental Phobia Support

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I want to go see the dentist, but scared and anxious of whats to come



Junior member
Jun 5, 2018
My last visit to the dentist was in my teens. My dentist was a cruel cruel man who said that a part of growing up is to tolerate dental pain and that I should stop being a baby and just suck it up. He even said that my 'bad genes" are to blame for my cavities and plagues. My parents both worked and didnt pay any attention to dental health so much. Luckily, despite mininum maintenance, not even a single toothache all these years.

I just turned 35 and have been having bleeding and sore gums since the beginning of the year. I used a new toothpaste and mouthwash which claimed to better protect my teeth and gums and ironically the problems started. Ive exhausted all herbal and home remedies I could find on the internet. I guess I have to go and see a dentist.

Thanks to this wonderful forum, I plucked up the courage to make a dental appointment for last monday. Lo and behold, last week I was diagnosed with shingles and had to cancel.

Today I brushed my teeth and blood came gushing out. Im on antibiotics and antivirals for the shingles but my GP said after 10 days I can have dental work if I want to. But the thing is I think Ive chickened out again. I keep having flashbacks of my last dental appointment which left me scarred for life.

I have a horrendous amount of calculus build up and weird bumps and growth on my gums. Plus my teeth feel so sensitive sometimes I just touch them to be sure they are not falling out.

I NEED all the support and help I can get at this point. I cant sleep and barely function... Anyone reading?
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Ah shingles: that is some hard luck.

What is the plan for going forward?

Wow.. that sounds like hard experience with that dentist..I"m so sorry and it was indeed very couragous to pluck up the courage to go after all that.Its hard to not think of those past awful experiences. I do know that once you find a good caring compassionate dentist that shows you things can be different you will think less of the old experiences and come to take in the new and trust them. Trust is earned .. over experience.. it will take time but it can happen. I know from experience. but it takes a lot and for myself I'm very picky too because of bad past experiences. I know Shingles is a battle too ,i have not had but friends have and it is hard. so I hope that it can be better quickly and you can feel up to going to take care of your teeth and making another appt soon!
I'm 37 and had similar experiences as a kid while seeing the dentist. Its awful how one terrible dentist can leave lasting trauma. I think that the majority of dentists nowadays are not like that, so more than likely you'll be super impressed with how they treat you. Just remember that you are a paying customer, and if they suck, you will take your business elsewhere and leave them a terrible online review to warn others.

Please keep us posted- let us know when you book another appointment and please tell us how it goes!
Thank you everyone for being so kind... Yes thanks to all the wonderful people here and their stories on how dentists nowadays are now more likely to be nicer and less judgemental. And yet still... I lay awake at night tossing and turning replaying every possible worsty scenario. Sigh! I will update as soon as I make an appointment. With the last one it took a few days to just pick up the phone.
Hi Ouchie,

it is very common to have a phase of extreme and intense anxiety when looking for a new dentist for the first time after a bad experience. Even flashbacks, sudden urge to cry during the day, not being able to concentrate on anything, intense thoughts about teeth and dentists, shaking, panic attacks, not being able to sit for a prolonged period of time - this is all possible. After all, you got traumatized in your childhood and your brain has no experience to overwrite this yet so it keeps sending you the pictures and thoughts of the old one to protect you from further trauma.

Try to take a good care of yourself and do things that make you feel better. For some it's music, for some it's reading of success stories, sometimes writing out all the negative thoughts and pictures helps (there is a Journal section on the forum where you can write anything that's on your mind). Just allow yourself to have all those anxiety and appreciate that it's the old experience that scares you, not the new one.

It's fine to need a lot of time to get an appointment. I remember my own journey where I would need a week to even write an email and would almost get a panick attack after hitting the send button. So going forward slowly is a part of the process.

In the mean time, it would be a great idea to find out what it is that really scares you about dentistry and what your images are telling you might happen. You might even start to think about what a dentist should do to help you or how a dental visit should look like for you. It is very helpful for a dentist to know what your fears and wishes are because all nervous patients are different and guessing is not easy.

You mentioned having made a dental appointment - how did you find your practice? Do they seem to be good with nervous patients?

All the best wishes and keep us posted
Dear everyone who has been so kind to read and replied to my post,


And it was awesome! I had three fillings (which hurt but tolerable) and scaling (which stings but went by so quickly). The funny thing is, the doctor wasnt as sympathetic to my sob story which I spat out the moment I entered his office. He nodded and sort of clapped and said "Well thats all in the past. Time to move on. Better late than never" I wanted to run screaming for the hills. Instead I squeaked "My teeth are so bad... i think I have gum disease". He smiled and said "Let me see and be the one to decide okay?" Before I knew it I had my mouth opened. And then he said the magic words "Will you let me help you? Im sorry I cant promise it wont hurt." And that was that. He talked the entire time explaining what was going on. And he said "sorry" multiple times during the painful parts.

About an hour and a lot of blood later, he said he was done. I dont have any major gum disease. Just early onset gingivitis that he will keep a look out for on our next meeting. Which is in 6 months as long as I dont feel any pain or develop another cavity. And that was that.

My teeth are now plaque and calculus free. Gums still bleeding which the nurse said is to be expected after such rigorous scaling. I cannot tell you how relieved I feel at this very moment. Im freeeeeeee!!!!! And actually looking forward to the next appointment.

I can say that this forum made me face the biggest and most debilitating fear of my life. Thanks a lot you guys! ???


Congrats..I can really feel the freedom in your post!! So glad that even though there was a bit of pain, you made it through and your dentist wasn't too hard on you and well enough you are looking forward to the next time!! So awesome!

This is great!!

Well done.

You are an inspiration.
This is fantastic to hear! Well done!

I've recently overcome this massive fear that I've had for nearly 2 decades, too. I don't know where I'd be without the patience and support of the people on this forum. I've got a long way to go but this forum has helped put me on a path to changing my life for the better.

Weirdly, I'm starting to enjoy going to the dentist now. The first appointment I was sweating and ready to run away at a seconds notice. lol
Than's great news, Ouchie, very well done! :jump:
Glad to read that your dentist could impress you with his honesty and concern and that you were able to tolerate even the uncomfortable parts of the treatment.
wow, what wonderful news to hear!! You did something that you were absolutely terrified of- not much people can say that. How empowering! I'm so glad it went well and now you can let go of the "what ifs" because everything in your mouth is okay now. :jump: