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My story so far; I'm scared (sorry it's long)


scared rotten

Junior member
Aug 8, 2008
I am terrified of seeing the dentist. I used to go quite regularly and I even had braces when I was a young teen. The orthodontist made comments about me not brushing my teeth as frequently as he liked and said it was like me not changing my underwear. That comment stuck with me and made me feel gross. After the braces came off he put on some kind of permament wire at the back of my front lower 6 teeth. I was 17 when I last had a cleaning and check up at the dentist. I'm now 29 turning 30 soon.

Since then I neglected my teeth, ate a lot of sugary foods and pop. I didn't brush as much as I should have and battled depression throughout my late teens into my 20s. My teeth were the last things on my mind and I was frequently thinking about killing myself so I didn't care if my teeth were getting worse. The way I thought about it was what was the point of going I was going to be gone soon anyways.

During a year of not being depressed when I was 24 I had to go to the dentist because I was having such pain from a molar that had broken and decayed. I decided on a dentist that was close to me and in a low-income/inner city type area. I figured that they wouldn't judge me for my bad teeth because they must see a lot of that in a poor area. About a month earlier from that a front tooth broke off because a small cavity years before turned into a big one and so it broke off. So I had that molar pulled and the rest of the front tooth pulled. They promised to get me a partial if I let them do the rest of my needed dental work. The dental person (not the dentist) drilled and filled some teeth including the middle front ones. I was pretty happy and felt better even though I still had work to do on my teeth.

Then a month or so after that, the filling in between my top middle teeth was loose. Then it feel out. I meant to go back to that dentist but I was afraid again and I didn't have much confidence that they knew what they were doing since the filling fell out. So I didn't go back. I moved to another city too.

About a year after that while I was eating one of my molars chipped off because of decay. It was a little hole so I just ignored it. Then a year later I was in so much pain because of that hole I screamed and cried and was so frightened. I went to the hospital and got pain killers. I couldn't sleep and it was the worst pain of my life. My fiance helped me try find a dentist that would be sensitive to my fear. He called one and they said they would see me and be sensitive to my fear; an emergency appointment.

I went into that dentist office and he looked at my mouth and acted disgusted and said "you really need to take care of these teeth". He took an x-ray and it showed the decay all the way into the root. He gave me a card with the number of a specialist on it to call and said you won't be able to get an appointment for 2 months at least. He gave me the xray of my tooth and that was it. His staff was rude too, the way they looked at me like I was a pig. I asked what about the pain and he told me to take tylenol or whatever. I cried after that because my worst fear came true; I was treated like a leper by a dentist because of my rotten teeth. My fiance was devastated and blamed himself because they lied to him.

I was in so much pain. I felt so foolish that I was so gross that the dentist didn't even want to treat me. My fiance contacted another dentist and I went to see them because the pain was so great. That useless dentist that I saw before billed my plan and used up my emergency allotment so this dentist had to do an exam ( to use a different portion of the dental plan).It was a young newer dentist and she extracted my tooth although it was a difficult extraction because my wisdom tooth was almost touching the one that got extracted. I got a dry socket and she came back after hours to pack it with cloves. I went back for another appointment and she did fillings and then I was so busy with work I never got around to making another appointment. Then I moved back to my hometown.

So now here I am 3 years after the latest treatment and my teeth are horrible. They're yellowish. That middle tooth where the filling fell out is rotting away and black. I have lots of decay all over the other teeth. Pieces of my teeth have been chipping off slowly and I know I have to see the dentist before the pain starts. I know I am going to loose my middle teeth and probably other ones. I am terrified. I am shaking just thinking about going to the dentist. What are they going to do about this wire that's in my mouth behind my front middle teeth? There is decay going on there. I can't even smile properly or laugh! I am afraid to eat certain things because it might break my teeth off. I am afraid to kiss my fiance. He understands and he says he loves me even if I had no teeth but I am afraid! I don't know how to go about finding the right dentist for me.

I am afraid of getting one who only cares about the money. I am afraid of getting one who gives me fillings that fall out again. I am afraid of getting one that is going to make comments about how ugly and disgusting my teeth are. I am afraid of the pain. I am afraid of their assistants making comments or making faces. How do I even go about finding one; how do I know before hand if they are going to be insensitive to me or make it even worse. Is it even possible to be put under when getting dental work done? I am scared rotten. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. I really want to smile again. I don't think I can do this. I still always think about killing myself. I WON'T do it but I think about it as a solution. But I won't because I love my fiance too much and I do want to live.

Firstly can I say how wonderful your fiance sounds, you are very lucky to have him supporting you like this :)

I think you should find a dentist (can you ask friends etc for recommendations) and explain that you have neglected your teeth through fear after having a bad time at a dentist and you have been to scared and embarrassed to return. I am sure that you will find an understanding dentist who would like to help you as believe it or not nice dentists do exist :)
Hi scared rotten

You have a found a great web site here, the people are great and you will have alot of support.

Tell your fiance not to blame himself, he is supporting you and that is fantastic, just what you need. My husband was there for me every step of the way even speaking for me when I couldn't.

Once I had found a dentist I believed to be understanding with phobics I sent them an e-mail explaining everything ..... and I mean everything.
Dr.H rang me back and I TOLD HIM that I wanted to go and see but under MY terms, he agreed to everything I said - we both talked in the reception area the first time I went.
He turned out to be the most patient and understanding man, a man I now trust 100%.

There are dentists out there so, take a deep breath and with the help of your desire to have nice teeth (maybe for your wedding day?), your fiance and the computer you WILL find the right one for you.

Good luck

hi :welcome:
Just wanted to say myself and lots of people on here have had bad dentists or rude ones and thay are exactly what causes these problems and help people to become phobic. Im terrified of dentists thanks to mine but after 9 yrs ive finally found a lovely dentist who see s me as a challenge and says he will help me all the way i totally trust him and i now think the right dentist is there for everyone its just finding them. Try a couple ring or send an e-mail ask how they are with phobics then go for a chat if you don't like them try another till you find one you do.
i hope you find the dentist you need cause thats the most important bit
all the best
emma :)
Hi Scared Rotten,

I just wanted to say hello because I'm from Ottawa, a fellow Canuck.

I'm appalled at the experiences you've had, APPALLED!! How can people get into a helping field when they have the attitudes that you described? And I don't care if it's the receptionist or the dentist - if you work in a field that is supposed to help people, part of your job should be putting them at ease - much less judging. SHEESH, that makes me angry!!

Do you guys have insurance through work that will cover this work? I am only asking because that will take some of the pressure off. It's one thing to have to find a caring dentist, and find the courage to go, and another if it also has to be paid for out of pocket, so I'm just hoping that worry is something you don't have.

I wish you lived in Ottawa so you could go to my dentist, but there HAS to be good compassionate dentists in your area, it sounds like you've had horrible luck finding one though.

And whatever you do, don't waste one second of your precious life feeling bad about yourself because of how they made you feel, DO NOT give them that kind of power over your life!! You've got your whole life ahead of you with a fantastic fiance and you deserve to find a caring dentist and be happy!!!

Do you have friends, family, co-workers etc that may be able to make a recommendation? Does your fiance have a dentist?

You know what I do before I ever make an appt. with a dentist? I go to the dental office and ask questions at reception and try to feel out the office a bit. I know my dentist would NEVER hire a staff that was anything other than compasionate and caring, so I figure you can pick up some vibes just by doing a casual drop in.

Is it possible for you to do this? Maybe if you could start with a recommdentation from someone you know, then drop by the office and feel it out a bit?

PLEASE don't give up, there is a dentist in Saskatchewan for you!! Well I'd like to narrow that down a bit, Saskatchewan is a pretty big province, so I'm sure there is one in your area.
Hey scared rotten and :welcome:,

I'm sorry you've had such awful experiences in the past. There's really no excuse for that sort of behaviour :(. It sounds as if you've got a powerful ally in your fiance - that's brilliant :thumbsup:! Could he maybe ask around colleagues/friends/acquaintances for a dentist who is good with people who are very fearful of dentists?

There's also a website called ratemds which seems to have a lot of reviews for dentists in Canada and which might help with finding out some potential names. If your fiance was prepared to visit the practices which may be good for you, he could ask for the dentists' e-mail addresses so that you could contact them from the comfort of your home, with no obligation or cost, just to check them out to see what they're like? You can often tell a lot from the way someone replies to you.
I'm not familiar with Saskatchewan (though it sounds very exotic to me, lol :)), and have no idea what size your town is or how far away it is from other places. I do hope though that, with your fiance's help, you will be able to find someone who's right for you - and that you will be able to smile again really soon :).

There are some tips for finding an empathetic dentist here:


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