• 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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Losing This Fight



Jul 16, 2011
Surrey, BC
I don't know what I'm looking for posting this, maybe I just need to vent to people that understand what I'm going through. I'm 20 years old and until 2 years ago I never had any issues with my teeth. Never had to go into the dentist except for cleanings. In the span of 2 years I have now managed to have 17 cavities. One of which has gotten to the point where I can see down into my tooth and gum. At least 5 of them need to be removed, and probably 8 of them need root canals.

I have anxiety about everything, and have a severe phobia about any medicine. I feel like I will have a bad reaction to them. I feel like there are no options anymore, I am far too afraid to go to the dentist right now and I am in pain every moment of my life. All my front teeth have small cavities and everytime I smile I feel ashamed.

I'm at the end of the road, and it all seems so hopeless. Almost every tooth in my mouth needs work on and I'm just not able to do it right now.

Sorry for the long post but I'm just wondering if anyone has found counselling to be helpful, or have any advice for me. I don't want to live anymore if this is the way it stays.
I forgot to say, what I really want to do is get general anaesthesia so I can get it all done at once. Amazingly I found someone that would do it but I'm terrified of GA, scared that it won't work fast enough, scared I won't wake up, and scared that I will feel high after I wake up.
Ok, you are 20 years old, and only just starting lifes exciting adventure.

I know right now that you are desperate and feel there is no-where to go and have no hope. You must be in dreadful pain and that in itself can make you incredibly miserable, let alone the other emotions associated with your teeth that make you embarrased to smile and show them.

I'm at the end of the road, and it all seems so hopeless.

...OR....you could be at the beginning of the road, a new road to recovery and dental health. There are many people here, past and present, who have felt that future dental treatment is impossible, the fears unsurmountable. They have had intensive support from dentists who specialise in phobic patients; taking things at their own speed and building on small successes bit by bit. There are dentists who can work with you slowly and intensively in order to help you overcome your phobia/s. I know that apart from local anaesthetics there are partial sedations before coming to general anaesthesia, maybe that could be something to bear in mind ?

I can relate to the fear of medicines, my own journal begun in Jan documents similar fears -

Maybe rather than viewing it as EVERYTHING needs doing, you could view it as 'I could work on one thing at a time. If you were able to have a check-up (no work done!) and see exactly what the work is that needs doing then a plan could be put in place that the most critical issues could be dealt with first. It also may actually not be as bad as you think and some things might be quite minor !

If you really feel that you can't live like this anymore, then your dental health is affecting you to the point that you must find a way forward, as there is so much future to come !!! It doesn't have to be like this, really it doesn't, but sometimes I think you have to reach the lowest point in order to start taking control of the situation and building the ladder out of the hole.

Keep posting here and we will do our best to support you in your journey ! :hug2:
Just wanted to give you lots of ((((hugs))) and know that we are all here for you. I'm so happy you found a dentist that does sedation, i've had it done and it works very well. The hardest part is making the appt but I know you can do it. You don't need to worry about the sedation at all and definitely speak to the dentist or staff about any of your concerns. I've had conscious sedation but the fact is you won't remember a thing. I know this must feel like a lot to handle but you will get thru this and on to other things in life. The best thing is to really use your dentist and the staff as a good sounding board. Stay strong and go in to that dentist office and like the last poster said just go at it one thing at a time. For your first sedation ask how many and what can be worked on and get thru that first step. Once you see how helpful sedation is I think your be ready to take the next step. Stay in contact with the dentist and let them help you thru this, that is what they are there for. For your fear of medicines, I know I feel that way and so do a lot of people. Tell yourself if you need to take any medicine it is there to help you and it's not forever. And if you do have any problem with it ask if they can change it to something else. You will get thru this, there is a full life ahead for you and one day you'll be helping someone with the same issues. BTW i was reading an article on the actress Diane Keaton and she said she went to the dentist (years ago when she was a lot younger) anyway she went to the dentist and they told her she had 24 cavities. You hang it there and work with your new dentist I'm sure they will be happy to help you thru this. and keep posting on the website! when i'm having a tough time i listen to this scene from the last Rocky movie on you-tube and it just pumps me up when i feel swept away by life. go to you-tube and type in Rocky inspirational speech. i think you'll like it. (((hugs)))
Hi viennarose :) - everyone has given great advice and support! One thing I was wondering when I read your post was how suddenly all this has started (you mentioned that you had no problems until 2 years ago). Although you also mentioned in another post that you "suck at oral hygiene", there might be something else going on. For example, dry mouth can cause decay and there might be some underlying medical condition. Things like acid reflux and bulimia can also play havoc with your teeth. Or it could be a sudden change in diet, especially things that stay in your mouth for a long time, like lozenges or mints that aren't sugar-free.

It would be a good idea to find out and/or address what's causing this so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel once you do manage to get started on getting things sorted out. It will also help you buy time if you can slow down or stop the problems you've been experiencing :).

A counsellor sounds like a great idea :thumbsup: - nothing really beats the one-to-one support (both emotional and practical) a good counselor may be able to provide (as much as I love this forum, lol :p). But the other vital ingredient is a kind and caring dentist, whom you can trust and share your fears with, and come up with solutions together.

Wishing you lots of strength

Today I tried to call a dentist and ended up having to hang up in tears. And to top it off my tooth is now causing the worst pain I have even been in my life and is emitting an intense rotten taste. I just can't take it anymore.
If you feel you can't talk on the phone to the dental practice e mail them, explain how afraid you are and whatever else you would like them to know, a lot of people have managed to communicate this way, working up to making and attending their first appointment.

Good luck I hope you manage to be able to make that first appointment soon. :)
Sounds like you have a/some infections going on somewhere, you really don't need to be in this pain....life will look like a much much brighter place once you have started taking action that will get rid of this pain. Please try calling again today, or emailing, as this misery you are feeling (and it must be awful being in pain so much of the time) can be addressed. I know it is frightening, but most people find that once they take that first step, in making contact with a dentist, that they can slowly take successful steps towards better oral health. Dentist are there to help you, they are your friend and not your foe !
The first thing you should think is that it is not your fault. You cared for your teeth better than most people I know. By the sounds of it, it sounds out of your control in regards to how your teeth are now. Might be genetic, I don't know. Just don't blame yourself. Second, I was put under for Wisdom teeth, and I have to tell you it was great. It felt like I time travelled, a bit trippy but really cool. Sometimes I wish I could just do that when I'm waiting for things. Don't worry its cool, doctors do it alot. Not waking up won't happen, you won't feel a thing this way. I'm going in for a IV sedation tomorrow, that is new to me but I'm afraid too, but it is a little different I'm not asleep but I won't remember. Either way, I know the fear, and I'm usually worked up about it.

Please don't feel ashamed. Once you get at least some of these taken care of, your mouth will feel better and you'll see there is less and less to do. Also being put under will allow them to do more in a single visit. Maybe take care of all the cavities at once. Then the root canals over another 2. After one visit, the end will be in sight.