• Dental Phobia Support

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I'm In a state of panic!



Well-known member
Mar 4, 2012
I am in such a state, I haven't been to the dentist for over 25 years and am due to go on Tuesday because a crown broke. I haven't had any back teeth since my late teens and have the 11 teeth that I do have are all crowned. Today I have been feeling sick all day, I am not eating or sleeping properly and keep having panic attacks - all at the age of 53!

I am petrified of what is to come, and cant even fill in the medical form that I have to take with me. I know I wont be able to fill it in there. My husband has been great, but if I am really honest, he tries to, but doesn't understand. Will they say there and then what needs to be done - OMG I really cant handle this. Am dreading the weekend passing as it will bring me even closer to Tuesday :(
I'm 54 I told you because you told us your age, so now were equal. The dentist should discuss with you what can be done with your teeth. Things have changed very much in the last 25 years and all work can be done without pain these days.

Do you know what frightens you so much?

When I first went to see my dentist in Sept I was shaking so much, I started to fill in the form before I went in, when I came out I was still shaking, not from anything he had done, I was just that wound up I didn't stop shaking for some time after leaving. I couldn't remember my phone number, I couldn't remember my house number, and I couldn't spell even the simple words, I thought they are going to think I am a right nutter, and I apologized for the state of my writing and I told them to ring me if they needed me to translate anything.

I have had a tooth removed and 2 root canals since. I managed to have this work done because the dentist has made sure I have been numb and has taken things slowly with me, I am still nervous but I can go, and the practice and everybody there are very good and go that extra mile to help.

I wish you the strength to get there for your appointment, you will feel so much better. What is the worst thing that can happen?
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Everything frightens me so much - the smell, the chair, the dentist, the drill - you name it I am scared of it. I never, ever went to the dentist when I was a child and didn't have to get anything done. I used to have to go every 3 months and always went. My mum and dad and sister had dentures in their 20's and my two brothers had poor teeth and loads of work also.

My teeth used to break off when I ate and I had crowns by the time I was a teenager, all my back teeth removed before I was 20 and they were going to take them all out then, but I said I wanted to keep my crowns, so all in all, not good.

I truly admire people who aren't scared, and all I have ever wanted was to have good strong teeth. I am embarrassed, and although not an overly confident person anyway, have absolutely none now.

I have been awake since 3.30 this morning and feel so bad again. Its hard to explain as my sensible head is telling me not to be daft, but my irrational head has taken over control:(
I would also love not to be scared, I think I have been nervous for so long and even really phobic at times, but with the right dentist I can manage to have work done. It is not easy and you are not daft, it is a valid fear. The dentist I go to does not smell of dentists and I never hear drills, unless being used on me, they are fairly quiet now compared to what they used to sound like.
I hope you can get the courage to contact a few dentists and see if you would fancy going to see any of them.
There are a lot of people on here that have felt hopeless and not knowing what to do and they make that one appointment and take it from there. Don't think about treatments see if you could just go and see the dentist for a consultation where you could just talk to him/her.
Today!! Just an hour to go!!!!!!!
I hope everything went well for you, and you should have got it over and done by now. I'll be very pleased to hear that you did well and feel much better, fingers crossed.
I eventually got there yesterday, despite a massive panic attack just before I went. I think even my husband (who was great) was even surprised how bad I was. I saw someone different to who I was supposed to see, and he was ok. He didnt use the proddy thing like I asked and says I need the broken crown replacing and a thorough clean. He has referred me to another dentist for sedation, but this doesnt come cheap, and for this work to be done, as it cant be done on the NHS is going to cost over £500. As the tooth has broken, I will have to have a post put in. Has anyone ever had this done while awake, and if so, what was it like.

He was ok, and it wasnt half as bad as I had built up in my head. The nurse was lovely, and really reassuring all the time. I dont think he fully got why I was so scared, as I didnt get that feeling from him. Dont get me wrong, he wasnt horrible or anything, just seemed a bit, well I dont know how to describe it.

That over, and I felt quite relieved for a while. However...... on to next worry. He noticed my gums were very red and swollen, but didnt mention anything about gum disease, and I am now worried that when I have to get impressions for the crown, that the mould stuff will pull out/break some of my other crowns. Also, with the thorough clean, that could also happen, as I wouldnt be able to afford replacements if I cant get them done on the NHS.

So, I am now panicking about all of this, and the thought of paying all that money, to then have to go and get further crowns done while I am awake!!

I will say one very positive thing tho' - through this site I have come across a dentist in Edinburgh (Craigentinny Dental Care)who specifically deal with people like me, and I e-mailed them a query, and one of the dentists, John has been very understanding and has answered some of my queries, which has been fantastic.

If anyone else has any advice, I would be really grateful.

Oh yes, and I have made an appointment to see my GP to get something to calm me down for the next time, as I thought I was going to have a heart attack!
Well done Kimbo ! To get yourself in there and have all that checking done after a mahoosive panic attack is awesome.

I am now worried that when I have to get impressions for the crown, that the mould stuff will pull out/break some of my other crowns.

My (non dental professional) thought on this is that it is very unlikely. I've had quite a few impressions done over the last few months and they were done with 1 temporary crown (with only temporary cement holding it in place), 1 permanent crown, 1 temporary filling and 1 temporary overlay in place. None of them budged a bit, basically they shouldn't really pull the mould and gel off, but losen it and break the seal around the teeth and then ease it off with a backward/forward tilt (does this make sense?). I know it does feel like there is some major suction sometimes as it comes off, and it is an odd feeling...I too thought that I would have something 'come off' in the mould, but it didn't. I don't know if this helps, but, if your crowns are that dodgy that something comes off in the mould then the chances are that they could have broken and come off with your next meal - besides they can re-adhere crowns and provide temporary crowns very quickly there and then.
Hi Kimbo you did it and lived, CONGRATULATIONS:jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump: I am so pleased to read this. How well did you do. You've taken the massive step of the first appointment and now you know what you are dealing with.

You can have crowns done on the nhs, they come under the £209.00 band. What you can't get on the nhs from what I understand is the sedation, so I think if you need further crowns done, if you could have them done with only being numbed after this one, they could be done on the nhs. But you can leave all that until later. At the moment deal with what you know, not what if.

Your gums can be sorted out hopefully with a hygienist clean or cleans, and with regular cleaning done by you as well, will also help get rid of the redness, I always like to use warm salt water rinses to help out when gums are red and sore.

I think now you have a dentist :jump::jump: he will advise you, the best way to deal with things. It will take time but it will be worth it in the end.

I bet you feel really proud of yourself, you should :jump::jump::jump::jump::jump:
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I will say one very positive thing tho' - through this site I have come across a dentist in Edinburgh (Craigentinny Dental Care)who specifically deal with people like me, and I e-mailed them a query, and one of the dentists, John has been very understanding and has answered some of my queries, which has been fantastic.

If anyone else has any advice, I would be really grateful.

Hi Kimbo - we've had lots of positive feedback here about Craigentinny and John, the dentist who replied to you, has also had very positive reactions from people here. So my advice would be to meet with him, discuss your problem, and see what you think :). Then you can always make a decision on how you want to proceed afterwards.

Well done for going though - I know how hard that must have been for you :respect:.
Oops, sorry I just noticed in your profile field that you are in Hertfordshire rather than in Edinburgh :redface: - that was a bit thick of me!! please ignore my previous comment!

It would be a good idea to meet with the dentist you have been referred to, just for a chat, and see if you feel comfortable and happy with them :). It's so important that you like and trust your dentist!
OMG I just typed loads and lost it. Thanks letsconnect - you made me smile a no tooth show smile :)

I went to the docs today and she has given me Diazepam after I broke down in tears and was having a mini panic attack (5mg)

My worry is now that I have another appointment next Thursday 11.15am with the dentist who will use sedation. His letter said that nothing will be done on the first visit, but I knew nothing would happen on my previous visit and still had the most horrendous panic attack. My husband says that I should be able to do the appointment without taking the medication, but I cant fact the thought of another panic attack like the last. I already have high bp and it was really high when my GP took it today.

I dont know what effect the tablet will have, and now dont know what to do - any suggestions please??

I said to my husband that the only way I can explain how I feel is that I am a very young frightened and petrified child inside the body of a middle aged woman - not a nice feeling :cry:
Hi kimbo it's me again, cheer up if by taking the tablet you feel you can go to see the dentist, then take it. One tablet is not going to get you addicted to them and for the first few visits if they help until you can build up a trusting relationship with your dentist, then no harm done.

It is hard for someone that isn't dental phobic to understand, if there is something that bothers your husband and gets him in a panic like spiders or mice or whatever, you could try and explain that how he feels about something that bothers him, is how you feel x 100. He may get some idea. I don't always understand myself, so it is hard.

I wish you well with your next appointment and do what ever it takes to get there, and work with the dentist to help you get the work done you need. Keep us posted, and we have all been there and different things work for different people. You have done well so far, keep going.:grouphug:
My husband says that I should be able to do the appointment without taking the medication,

I have to say, that is the sort of the thing my husband would say ! BUT I jump to the conclusion that he means I am being weak and should just 'get over it', when actually he (in his typical rather befuddled way where communication is involved) is trying to say that I am stronger than I think and can manage things myself if I develop a positive attitude and - well - generally he thinks he is being positive but it SOUNDS negative and sends me doo-lally. Just saying that his thought process behind it might not be as hurtful as it sounds ?!

Anyhow, regarding the effects of the medication - could you not just try one beforehand and see how it makes you feel ? Mind, I guess you won't be facing a high anxiety situation like a dental visit so an effect will be hard to judge. I think if I was you I would take it as the major panic attack has really distressed you and you are so scared of it happening again.
Thank you Jaylah Carole & Carys for your input. What you have all said makes sense, and I think what I might do is see how I am on the morning of the appointment. It is not til 11.15 I think and I will no doubt be up long before that. Part of me is worried that if I take it, the dentist wont fully understand just how scared and frightened I am, and the other part of me is worried that I will have another mammoth panic attack without it.

When I saw my GP yesterday who I have known for many years, she suggested CBT but told me that I wouldn't get that within a week and then looked at me and said, 'look, what is the worst that can happen to you' which I felt was a rather stupid thing to say, because as I said to her, my rational head understands that, tho' after my panic attack, I could have a mahoosive heart attack and die, so I have to bear that in mind, but my irrational head is a different kettle of fish. When I got in my car after my appointment I had to sit and wait for 10 minutes or so until I calmed down and wasn't shaking so much.

Then when I got home I had my husband and daughter who neither really fear the dentist questioning why I would need the medication when the letter clearly said that nothing would be done on this appointment. I felt like I was being 'ganged' up on. Anyway I had some time on my own with my daughter last night, and was trying to explain how I feel. At first she just didn't get it, but when she saw the state I was getting in just trying to explain to her how I felt, I think it started to sink in.

I have had a conversation today with my husband along the same lines. I still don't think he gets it or ever will, but I have told him that why would I go to the doctor to get help - and if you knew me you would know that that in itself was no easy task - if I had no intention of using it.

My husband is a lovely man and has only the best intentions, but I think it was you Carys who said about your hubby saying things in a befuddled way, that is a very good way of putting it. I think it is also to do with his upbringing. He comes from Scotland and from a family who are all 'just get on and do it' type of people.

I am feeling better today than I have over the last couple of days mainly I think because I don't have to go and see anyone today, and have just the best and most supportive small group of friends who I met through work, and now you good people on here giving me your advice support and suggestions. It doesn't mean that my feelings wont change as the day progresses when I start to think of things or look at the letter again, but at this moment in time I am ok.

Thank you all so much for your support, it really is appreciated. There is just one thing to ask, although my user name is Kimbo, can I please be called my proper name which is Kim :)

Thanks again you guys.
Only too happy to oblige KIM will do. I am glad you are feeling better today, I am sure you will get through the appointment and be fine. I think maybe the more you go the less scary it gets, I am and will always be nervous but the more I see a dentist the better it gets. Hopefully one day you can go in a state of nervous not panic. I hope so.
I wish you well. :)

You can always change your user name to just kim, unless the reason you couldn't use just the kim part is because it is already being used, but you could always do kim1 or 2 etc...
Thanks Jaylah

To be honest, I took one the other night before going to bed as I simply haven't slept properly for so long. I laid in my bed for ages and didn't feel anything, and the next thing I knew, I had woken up and had slept all through the night! Then yesterday, the day after having taken the tablet, I felt fine all day, even when I thought of it, so must have still been working. I have woken up today, and am all over the place again :o and my tummy is doing somersaults!

I have been telling myself that this is a surgery that specifically offer sedation for nervous patients, so they must be used to dealing with people like me, but they don't know me, so wont know exactly how frightened I am. I think I am going to have to see how my week progresses, and if my stress levels increase, then I am going to have to go with the pill option - I just don't want that option to make the dentist think I am not so bothered if I go in so laid back I'm horizontal!

I will keep you posted.

Take care.

:(A bit more stressed out today, Kim
I have been telling myself that this is a surgery that specifically offer sedation for nervous patients, so they must be used to dealing with people like me,

Exactly the right thing to be telling yourself ! :)
Hi Kim My first visit to a new dentist last year I went to see him in a right old mess, my mouth needed urgent attention. For months I had been so stressed about going to the dentist, in the end my tooth broke and I had to go find a new one to see. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think about anything else, it took over my life completely, I wouldn't eat a lot of foods because of my teeth.
I rang and got an appointment, I could barely talk on the phone, when the day came for me to go, off I went I felt sick I was shaking I must have looked really odd even my head was shaking that was before I even got there. When I did get there it felt like it was somebody else in my shoes my feet were so heavy and I felt like I was going to be sick and pass out. I had half a dozen steps from car to dentist door and it was the longest walk. I made it in and the receptionist welcomed me with a smile and asked me to fill in a form, I couldn't remember my phone number and everything I knew the answers to. I was called to see the dentist and I had to go up some stairs and then down some stairs, you know when you see these bent over old ladies in the cartoons with walking sticks and all shaky that was how I felt getting to the dentist room, I don't know how the hell I made it. But I did and the dentist knew how nervous I was and he was lovely.

Well since that day I have had a tooth removed and 2 root canals, I am still a bit nervous but I have built up a trust with the dentist, he has not hurt me at all, I have always been numb for whatever I have had done.

Dentists these day are well aware that a lot of people are really nervous, but more to the point they are trying to make dental visits as stress free as they possibly can.

Unfortunately for me my dentist is leaving, so I will have to get used to somebody else after March, but although I will feel a bit nervous about seeing somebody new I will not be the mess my now dentist had to face. I'd like to bet when my dentist saw me he was probably as afraid as I was, if he was he didn't show it though.

Do whatever it takes to face this appointment and get the work done, then at future appointments you can build a trusting relationship with a dentist.

You will be okay, they see more nervous patients everyday than you could imagine, and they are used to dealing with it. I wish you all the best for your appointment. :)
Thanks for this Carole

Some of what you have described is how I felt last Tuesday when I went. And yesterday I didn't feel so bad, but today, I can feel the panic setting in more and more. I have just been shopping with my daughter and on the way back said I was feeling rubbish today, and she said everything would be fine, and that was me, driving home through tears again!

All I want is my husband to come home from work and give me his protective hug. I feel as if I am getting on people's nerves, as I sure as hell am getting on mine!!

I cant help the feeling of being silly, tho' my best friends are telling me I am not being silly - it is a genuine problem, and I am lucky to have found this site, as it shows me how un-alone I really am, tho' you are not all here holding my hand. :)

Well, I am going to go and try to take my mind off of this - tho' I also know that ain't going to happen!