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My dentist phobia has ruined my teeth

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NessIMA

Junior member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
5
Lurker for some time, but finally decided to make an account. Need some words of encouragement! Ever since I was a little girl..the dentist was my personal hell. Not sure how the phobia started, but I even remember biting my dentist when I was 6 or 7 years old. I'm 33 years old now, and I am VERY ashamed to admit the last time I went to the dentist. If you saw me smile today, you would not be able to tell the real state of my teeth. My back molars have pretty much all fallen out, and now other teeth have become rotten. It is shameful. The worse my teeth get, the more anxious I get about a visit to the dentist. In my head..the dentist yells at me, or makes me feel worse than I already do.
Tonight a tooth that was "healthy" chipped, and enough is enough. There is a well known sedation dentist in the area, and I went ahead and requested an appointment via their online system. I made it for December 15th. My anxiety is at an all time's high. What if I start sobbing in front of him? what if he shames me? what if I can't afford the entire treatment? I feel like I've been hiding a secret, and this is my reveal. I can't live with this...mouth anymore. The thought of walking in ...opening my mouth to show him my teeth...it almost cripples me. Words of encouragement/experiences appreciated! Thank you for reading..

.PS. After doing some research, I found a dentist in my area (Miami, FL) that contributes to this forum -- Dr. Raymond D. Kimsey-- I will be calling on Monday morning to make an appointment with him instead. Makes me feel a tiny bit better that he is involved in this great forum!
 
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lauralou32

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
108
Location
USA
Hi, welcome and congrats on facing your fears of the dentist!! I know how hard it is to take the first step and this site really helps! I had not been to a dentist for 24 yrs due to extreme fear and shame. I was not worried about pain or anything like that I was just worried about what he would think when I opened my mouth! I went for years of crying on and off and hiding my teeth from other people I never smiled! One day my front lower tooth fell out due to gum disease. I knew it was time to do something! I tearfully called a local dentist and made an appointment. I was fine in the waiting room but when I sat down in the dentist chair I began to cry and it's then that 24 years of shame and fear came out. I explained my fear and the dentist was very kind to me! I was able to open my mouth and he acted like it was no big deal and that he seen it all before! since then I have had six extractions and a lower partial put in, which has worked out great! I will be going back in January to have more extractions on the top and an upper partial put on. my fear and shame are gone and I have total confidence in the dentist and at least I'm able to smile again. Believe me if I can get through this anyone can I was petrified. So don't allow your mind to play tricks on you most dentists are very kind and will not Shame you or judge you. also you may not need as much work as you think you do sometimes your teeth are in better shape than you realize after an x-ray so just wait until you get in for your appointment before you worry. Best of luck to you I'm sure things will be fine feel free to send me messages if you need to vent or talk more we are all here for you!!
 
N

NessIMA

Junior member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
5
Hi, welcome and congrats on facing your fears of the dentist!! I know how hard it is to take the first step and this site really helps! I had not been to a dentist for 24 yrs due to extreme fear and shame. I was not worried about pain or anything like that I was just worried about what he would think when I opened my mouth! I went for years of crying on and off and hiding my teeth from other people I never smiled! One day my front lower tooth fell out due to gum disease. I knew it was time to do something! I tearfully called a local dentist and made an appointment. I was fine in the waiting room but when I sat down in the dentist chair I began to cry and it's then that 24 years of shame and fear came out. I explained my fear and the dentist was very kind to me! I was able to open my mouth and he acted like it was no big deal and that he seen it all before! since then I have had six extractions and a lower partial put in, which has worked out great! I will be going back in January to have more extractions on the top and an upper partial put on. my fear and shame are gone and I have total confidence in the dentist and at least I'm able to smile again. Believe me if I can get through this anyone can I was petrified. So don't allow your mind to play tricks on you most dentists are very kind and will not Shame you or judge you. also you may not need as much work as you think you do sometimes your teeth are in better shape than you realize after an x-ray so just wait until you get in for your appointment before you worry. Best of luck to you I'm sure things will be fine feel free to send me messages if you need to vent or talk more we are all here for you!!
Wow this is so incredibly helpful! I will take you up on the messaging. I will need all the support leading up to the actual appointment! I think my "dentist/pain phobia" definitely became a "ashamed to open my mouth in front of dentist" phobia. It just seems like a lose-lose situation. The more I wait..the worse it'll get, and then the worse it gets..the more embarrassed I will be. Thankfully, I found Dr. Kimsey who posts here..and seems to really understand. I am going to call his office on Monday and make an appointment (I'm in the U.S, so it is Thanskgiving holiday weekend.) I have nightmares of my front teeth falling (like it happened to you!)--I've been "lucky" so far...that my molars have been mostly affected, but I can see my teeth closer to the front of my mouth..starting to get worse. Thank you for making me feel better.
 
TerrifiedWoman

TerrifiedWoman

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
843
Location
Iowa, USA
Hello! It's been probably a couple of years since I stopped in here, but for some reason decided to today. Your post caught my attention, so I decided to say hello. Trust me when I say I know how you feel. When I first came here my teeth were beyond bad and I hadn't stepped foot into a dentists office in DECADES. The longer I put it off, the worse my teeth got and the worse the thought of showing them to a dentist got. One day I knocked out one of my front teeth and decided I simply could not ignore the issue any longer. I had numerous friends who went to a dentist here in town, so I made the dreaded appointment. I, like you, figured I wouldn't even be able to explain my fears, so I wrote them out in a letter, which I took with me and handed to the dentist. Long story short, it wasn't anywhere as bad as I thought it would be..although I ended up with full dentures in 2010. There were simply no good teeth left to save. Yes, I was scared to death during the whole process, but I lived to tell about it. ;) I honestly wish I had done it all sooner, even if it meant still having dentures. I have spent the past six years SMILING at everyone I see and it feels SO GOOD to no longer be ashamed of my teeth or my dragon breath! Trust me..you'll do just fine and before you know it you'll be wondering why you waited so long. Best of luck!! I do have a journal here. http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/showthread.php?11772-TerrifiedWoman-s-Journal-Journey It might help you in your journey. (And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here!)
 
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NessIMA

Junior member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
5
Hi Letha, for some reason I cannot reply directly to your message. Thanks for taking the time to share your journal and words of encouragement. I've started to read your journey! I know that the longer I wait, the worse my teeth will get. I am hoping that some can be salvaged at this point. I do feel a little better than I am taking steps to make my situation better, but still panicking at the thought of opening my mouth for the dentist to see :(
 
S

Suzannah99

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
81
Location
UK
I cried like a tsunami and shook like an earthquake at my first consult and check up..so do not worry about that at all! :)

He said I needed to make an x-ray appointment and I asked if he had time right then.
He took me through, and he just said 'your story, you've had a rough time and I want to fix your issue and help you.' I burst into tears again! I'm 47 and this was 4 weeks ago!

Still..I had spotted this site so I asked my doc for diazepam as I saw a post about it while doing a mini browse on here (at that point I was too scared to even join the site!)

It helps me immensely to have a drug to really calm me and I could not have got through my 4 extractions, partial denture, some cleaning (to be finished by the dentist and he is giving me injections for that) and also could not have gone to reception to pick up a prescription without the diazepam either!
But my dentist is also extremely careful to make sure I am numbed totally for anything.

I was terrified this morning - 3 teeth (front uppers to be removed), one had already been taken out 3 weeks ago but glued to it's buddies so I had no gap.
Partial denture fitted immediately today.
I am not great at eating but I have managed 4 work based phone calls today and I can sound OK - even I can tell I do.
I haven't been looking in the mirror and am just getting used to the feel.

I grew in adult teeth and they were twisted at the front - twisted but then also two others were really high in my gum.
I had braces which always fell off/slipped. My school dentist turned out to be an alcoholic and died of it soon after I left school.

At 16 I was diagnosed with gum disease and have had periodontal treatment over the years but only when I could afford it. It's been the worst treatment, really expensive and no injections made it unpainful. It hurt so bad. But my new dentist - he checks - he gives me just one more injection - I even had injections for my impressions for the dentures on my four ropey teeth.
I had 8 back teeth out as a kid in hospital and I couldn't breath. I tried to get their attention but they thought I was acting dazed. I eventually just opened the car door on the drive home so that my folks stopped the car.
I was turning blue and I had a huge blood clot sitting happily down my throat. Mum pulled it out. It was huge!

You aren't alone, they have seen worse.
Just be really honest and open - refuse to sit in the chair - I did! I was not gonna sit down until I got listened to!
It helped me massively to be open, totally honest and also just give in to a phobia I have.

PS. About TerrifiedWoman (who posted above)- go look in the before and after pics stickied thread in Support - I saw hers tonight - Wow! She is amazing!
Seems a fluke that she has been away so long and just came back - maybe when we need some moral support!
I also intend to read her journal. She is a braver woman than me - that is for sure! Beautiful smile she has too! :)


I have to go back Thursday for cleaning - I hate cleaning! The dentist is doing it so it's serious cleaning and injections are involved - he's already told me!
I'm gonna have to see my doc too as I only have enough diazepam for that next appointment!
I need more in case of any emergency appointments!!!

OK, honest - still scared but if I know I can be not so utterly terrified and feel more like I am scared/nervous then I can cope.
Speak to your doc about anti-anxiety drugs.
My docs told me it's a very very common request.
Oh, and I broke down at the doc's reception too in public (!!!!) and luckily a friend took me and spoke for me - I was crying like a baby getting so anxious about trying to tell them about what I needed to have done. The reception lady was so kind - she grabbed my hand and just held it tight while my friend spoke for me.
 
TerrifiedWoman

TerrifiedWoman

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
843
Location
Iowa, USA
Trust me..I know that terror all too well. I was SO ashamed to open my mouth for the dentist, but even though I'm sure he was disgusted, he was really nice and didn't make me feel any worse than I already did. I'm sure you'll discover the same. Hang in there!

Hi Letha, for some reason I cannot reply directly to your message. Thanks for taking the time to share your journal and words of encouragement. I've started to read your journey! I know that the longer I wait, the worse my teeth will get. I am hoping that some can be salvaged at this point. I do feel a little better than I am taking steps to make my situation better, but still panicking at the thought of opening my mouth for the dentist to see :(
 
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LittleLynnie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
280
Location
Canada
I've read so many things on this forum that sound just like me (I barely open my mouth when I speak because I don't want to offend people due to the ugly condition of my teeth and the dragonbreath that Letha describes). What is too funny tonight though, is that Suzannah refused to sit in the chair until she was heard first. I did this too, and none of my friends or family members could believe that I did. I actually told the assistant who led me in, that I would NOT sit in the chair and that I was there for a consultation only. I think that she was stunned, but just mumbled, "Okay". After speaking with the specialist (about my neuralgia concerns, and how that would affect multiple extractions), I allowed her to "look", but not touch. She referred me to her colleague, an oral surgeon, and I have an appointment with him soon.

That appointment is actually on December 15th, like yours NessIMA, and am also afraid that he'll shame me when he sees the state of my mouth. I had a lot of dental work done from my teens until my 30's, but then only went for emergencies for about 10 years after that, and then not at all for the last 10. My teeth are gone to the gum on both upper back sides, and the front teeth have chunks missing now from decay. I was shamed about 30 years ago, by a couple of dental specialists who tut-tutted when they looked in my mouth, but I think that dentists these days are more sympathetic. I hope so, and am thrilled that you'll be seeing a dentist who actually participates on this board. I'm sure that HE will definitely be kind.

Good luck on the 15th, and we can both report on our experiences when we get home.
 
N

NessIMA

Junior member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
5
I cried like a tsunami and shook like an earthquake at my first consult and check up..so do not worry about that at all! :)

He said I needed to make an x-ray appointment and I asked if he had time right then.
He took me through, and he just said 'your story, you've had a rough time and I want to fix your issue and help you.' I burst into tears again! I'm 47 and this was 4 weeks ago!

Still..I had spotted this site so I asked my doc for diazepam as I saw a post about it while doing a mini browse on here (at that point I was too scared to even join the site!)

It helps me immensely to have a drug to really calm me and I could not have got through my 4 extractions, partial denture, some cleaning (to be finished by the dentist and he is giving me injections for that) and also could not have gone to reception to pick up a prescription without the diazepam either!
But my dentist is also extremely careful to make sure I am numbed totally for anything.

I was terrified this morning - 3 teeth (front uppers to be removed), one had already been taken out 3 weeks ago but glued to it's buddies so I had no gap.
Partial denture fitted immediately today.
I am not great at eating but I have managed 4 work based phone calls today and I can sound OK - even I can tell I do.
I haven't been looking in the mirror and am just getting used to the feel.

I grew in adult teeth and they were twisted at the front - twisted but then also two others were really high in my gum.
I had braces which always fell off/slipped. My school dentist turned out to be an alcoholic and died of it soon after I left school.

At 16 I was diagnosed with gum disease and have had periodontal treatment over the years but only when I could afford it. It's been the worst treatment, really expensive and no injections made it unpainful. It hurt so bad. But my new dentist - he checks - he gives me just one more injection - I even had injections for my impressions for the dentures on my four ropey teeth.
I had 8 back teeth out as a kid in hospital and I couldn't breath. I tried to get their attention but they thought I was acting dazed. I eventually just opened the car door on the drive home so that my folks stopped the car.
I was turning blue and I had a huge blood clot sitting happily down my throat. Mum pulled it out. It was huge!

You aren't alone, they have seen worse.
Just be really honest and open - refuse to sit in the chair - I did! I was not gonna sit down until I got listened to!
It helped me massively to be open, totally honest and also just give in to a phobia I have.

PS. About TerrifiedWoman (who posted above)- go look in the before and after pics stickied thread in Support - I saw hers tonight - Wow! She is amazing!
Seems a fluke that she has been away so long and just came back - maybe when we need some moral support!
I also intend to read her journal. She is a braver woman than me - that is for sure! Beautiful smile she has too! :)


I have to go back Thursday for cleaning - I hate cleaning! The dentist is doing it so it's serious cleaning and injections are involved - he's already told me!
I'm gonna have to see my doc too as I only have enough diazepam for that next appointment!
I need more in case of any emergency appointments!!!

OK, honest - still scared but if I know I can be not so utterly terrified and feel more like I am scared/nervous then I can cope.
Speak to your doc about anti-anxiety drugs.
My docs told me it's a very very common request.
Oh, and I broke down at the doc's reception too in public (!!!!) and luckily a friend took me and spoke for me - I was crying like a baby getting so anxious about trying to tell them about what I needed to have done. The reception lady was so kind - she grabbed my hand and just held it tight while my friend spoke for me.
"I cried like a tsunami and shook like an earthquake at my first consult"!! That will be at my appointment! But it made me smile! It made me smile, because I finally found a place where I can relate, and I don't feel like an outsider. I think at my first appointment I am going to have a whole speech prepared before I open my mouth! "PLEASE HEAR ME OUT!" :) The dentist I found actually posts on here (a BLESSING), and I've messaged him that I am seeing him, and he said he is looking forward to helping me and my journey. Definitely helps.

I think I will need earplugs for all of my appointments! I can't stand the sound!
 
N

NessIMA

Junior member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
5
I've read so many things on this forum that sound just like me (I barely open my mouth when I speak because I don't want to offend people due to the ugly condition of my teeth and the dragonbreath that Letha describes). What is too funny tonight though, is that Suzannah refused to sit in the chair until she was heard first. I did this too, and none of my friends or family members could believe that I did. I actually told the assistant who led me in, that I would NOT sit in the chair and that I was there for a consultation only. I think that she was stunned, but just mumbled, "Okay". After speaking with the specialist (about my neuralgia concerns, and how that would affect multiple extractions), I allowed her to "look", but not touch. She referred me to her colleague, an oral surgeon, and I have an appointment with him soon.

That appointment is actually on December 15th, like yours NessIMA, and am also afraid that he'll shame me when he sees the state of my mouth. I had a lot of dental work done from my teens until my 30's, but then only went for emergencies for about 10 years after that, and then not at all for the last 10. My teeth are gone to the gum on both upper back sides, and the front teeth have chunks missing now from decay. I was shamed about 30 years ago, by a couple of dental specialists who tut-tutted when they looked in my mouth, but I think that dentists these days are more sympathetic. I hope so, and am thrilled that you'll be seeing a dentist who actually participates on this board. I'm sure that HE will definitely be kind.

Good luck on the 15th, and we can both report on our experiences when we get home.

I just replied to Suzannah, that before my first appointment, I will have an entire speech and powerpoint presentation (jk! ) prepared! I feel really lucky to have found a dentist who participates on the board. I will have to see what he says in my initial consultation, as I don't think he takes my dental insurance, but I am willing to pay out of pocket, slowly but surely...if it means healthy teeth and a CALM happy heart. My back teeth (molars mostly, i think?) are mostly gone to the bottom as well. two on each side upper and bottom. It has not reached my front teeth yet, but I can see decay reaching teeth that are towards the front..and that was the wake up call! Good luck to both of us on the 15th!
 
L

LittleLynnie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
280
Location
Canada
I just replied to Suzannah, that before my first appointment, I will have an entire speech and powerpoint presentation (jk! ) prepared! I feel really lucky to have found a dentist who participates on the board. I will have to see what he says in my initial consultation, as I don't think he takes my dental insurance, but I am willing to pay out of pocket, slowly but surely...if it means healthy teeth and a CALM happy heart. My back teeth (molars mostly, i think?) are mostly gone to the bottom as well. two on each side upper and bottom. It has not reached my front teeth yet, but I can see decay reaching teeth that are towards the front..and that was the wake up call! Good luck to both of us on the 15th!
You're very funny, and that should help you going forward on your journey, lol.

Yes, good luck to us both and I'll report back on the 15th.

:D
 
TerrifiedWoman

TerrifiedWoman

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
843
Location
Iowa, USA
PS. About TerrifiedWoman (who posted above)- go look in the before and after pics stickied thread in Support - I saw hers tonight - Wow! She is amazing!
Seems a fluke that she has been away so long and just came back - maybe when we need some moral support!
I also intend to read her journal. She is a braver woman than me - that is for sure! Beautiful smile she has too! :)
Just saw this. Thank-you. I still can't believe I found the guts to post a "before" picture, but I truly wanted others to realize that no matter how horrible it is (and my teeth were truly HORRIBLE!)..there's always hope for a bright and perfect smile. :D
 
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