• Dental Phobia Support

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In This Situation Again



Junior member
Nov 30, 2021
I tend to go to the dentist every 5 years, say I'll never wait that long, and then do it over again.

Around 5 years ago I got my wisdom teeth out (2/4 were infected and in need of root canals).

It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Surely after that, I'd go to the dentist every 6 months... but no I didn't. I think I've got another tooth in need of a root canal as it is hurting me more often than not. I'll wait until it is unbearable and I'm unable to sleep or eat before I actually go because I'm stupid.

I've had more bad dental experiences than I can count. My most recent was a dentist sticking a large pokey thing in a hole in my tooth, one of the worst pains I've felt. The second worst was the gummy guck needed for a crown impression. I can't handle the loss of control, and I also have severe emetophobia (fear of getting sick).

I've been to several many dentists, taken medication, seen psychologists. Nothing works for me it seems. Just writing this post I have tears streaming down my face.

I hate myself most of all for getting in this situation again. Part of me resists even taking OTC Pain pills for this pain as I feel like I deserve it for being so stupid and scared.


Sep 21, 2016
I think a large part of this is just not going for so long, the more you go the easier it gets.. I find anyway.

The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes.. the worry increases and the what ifs/consequences of not going probably spirals..

There's still things that make me more more anxious than others. I can manage a filling, perhaps due to the length of time.. I've never had RCT but I need one - It's a long time. I'm terrified.

I don't like enclosed spaces, the lack of control, the pain in my jaw after around 10-20 mins of keeping it open, the drilling sound, smells and tastes... Can heighten the anxiety. But there's ways around most things.

I can manage more now than I used to. And tbh I need help to get my mouth right so I'm there a lot more frequently than I used to be! I did go years without going at all, only went as a kid for fillings, never as a teen or adult by choice, only when in pain. I've only started going properly in the last 8 or so years, sad but true.

Perhaps I'll manage the RCT, perhaps I won't, I'm hoping I do as I've lost so many teeth and am having more problems with front teeth now.. those can't be pulled and go unnoticed as easily as the back ones! But the dentist has said if I just can't manage she can take it out, just that - some understanding helped me and oddly made me want to try the RCT.

Have you tried taking someone with you, worn headphones, tried lavender/calming essential oils...?

Why don't you go for 6mo check ups, what's keeping you away?

If it's all because of bad experiences I'd start emailing people, their answers are quite telling and show whether they care. I've had some quite detailed caring responses and made appointments off the back of that. It helps.

(I'm not sure if sticking the tool into a hole is normal(!?), I want to say it's not as I'm assuming it will likely cause pain, but I'm not a dentist and I don't know if he's testing it out to see what's what!? I have had pain inflicted by the cold/freeze spray, but I knew it was coming.
I have had some really horrible experiences in the past so I get it.
Thankfully I trust my current dentist not to do anything horrible!
You too should have the confidence to voice your concerns and let them know your limits, what you're working on and what will help.. lots of talking/descriptions, or not much at all, sitting up a little.. etc etc etc)

But I understand how much these things affect you, they stick.
I also understand the fear of being sick, that's a big one for me too esp as the anxiety alone is nauseating, coupled with the smells it exacerbates the nausea.. then the fear and anxiety!

Finding someone you can trust again is half the battle won imo. I don't believe all hope is lost and nothing will help you, I feel you can do it. I'm sure you've overcome other things, this is no different.

And you're not stupid either x
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Nov 4, 2021
The smells are the worst thing for me. I gag and get so nauseous!!
I had my first ever RCTs in october. They actually were not bad at all and pretty quick. Now the temporary crowns…those to me are worse than RCTs because theres “filing down” of the tooth and hence the SMELL. Im dreaded my second one. During every procedure i listen to an audiobook. I had nitrous for the first time today so i think im gonna do that for future appts for the temp crown and cavities….just to help with the smell.


Staff member
Jan 1, 2005
Sorry to hear that you've such bad experiences with dentists in the past 😞. What was the last dentist you saw like? Just asking because for many people, finding the right dentist really is the key to being able to go for regular visits. You're certainly not the only one for whom loss of control is a huge issue - we've got a long page on it here:

You may be scared, but you're certainly not stupid! You do deserve to be treated with understanding and kindness, and you also most certainly deserve relief from the pain you're in now :grouphug: