• 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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Need a Little Help...



Junior member
Mar 25, 2021
Saint Louis MO
(I'm new and have never been great at forums so if this needs to go elsewhere, let me know.)

Okay. I've reached out to the people I trust most and the resounding info I got back was, "It's going to be disgustingly expensive, good luck.", "If it doesn't hurt don't bother. Too expensive.", and my favorite: "I don't know. Google it?"

The last time I went to the dentist was because I had a hole in my tooth that hurt justttt enough that my parents noticed I'd changed my eating habits to accommodate it. In typical me fashion it wasn't as bad of a visit as I'd expected. Which was great, but that was about seven-ish years ago. I've never had a TERRIBLE dentist experience, but I've had some not great ones. Dental hygiene was never a big deal growing up. My parents never really watched me and almost always took me at my word. (When I found out I could scrub my teeth with TP and it would fool my mom? I was so proud.) Which fostered some...less than great habits. After a failed stint in braces (My younger sister needed them far more than I did...?) and us moving away from the 'family dentist' things really fell to the wayside. I took care of my mouth, but only just barely. Didn't really have a cavity issue until high school. And doing much more than once or twice a week was a chore. As I got older and moved on to college it got worse. I'd go weeks without brushing. The hole in my tooth happened and I got it and some cavities fixed at the same time. No big deal. But no matter how many times I said I'd do better, be better...I never managed it more than a month. I'd brush them when they were dirty with food or when I felt like it so...not very often. The last year I HAVE been better but mostly because I noticed things were changing in my problem area. The was no pain and minimal other issues but it wasn't right...Fast forward to now where I'm on the phone talking and a chunk of...something flicks off the back of my problem area. I grab it, panic a little, and end the call to investigate. I can't see where it came from well and absolutely nothing hurts, is loose, and nothing is happening. It's just a little rough to the touch.

I know this is probably the beginning of what could become a pretty big issue but I'm terrified. Of judgement, of pain, of the cost. I know I need to go before whatever this is gets any worse but I feel almost too terrified to move. I don't have any insurance and I'm not exactly raking in the cash. And I don't even know where to start. The last dentist I saw is close to me but I'm friends with his kid (who now works for him) and I'm worried he'll judge me for my lack of care even worse than a total stranger.

Just looking for some help. Or something. I'm not really sure.
Hi salamanderginger:welcome:,

there seems to be a lot going on so I am not sure where to start. First of all, I wished you would have had a bit more support as a child and a possibility to form better habbits. I was also wondering whether your dental care was the only habit or whether you have been struggling with self-care in other areas as well. Many people have. Overall it sounds like you are trying hard and making progress and that's all that counts.

I'm not sure what is happening with your tooth or the problem area, but I know that fear makes us catastrophise. For cost, it's always good to take things one step at a time. Dental treatment can be expensive in US, but still, before you start worrying about not being able to pay it, it would be good to first find out, what the "it" is. Dentistry is not all or nothing. It's about taking a look at the situation and find out, what is necessary, what is urgent and what can wait. It's also about what options you have for the different things that need to be done. A good dentist will do their best to accomodate your needs and find ways to design the treatment in a way that is affordable. You can for example spread the treatment and start with most urgent things.

When it comes to embarassment, I can only recommend you to take a look at our article about embarassment. You may find out that good dentists won't judge you for the state of your teeth or for your habits. They are here to help and accompany you while you fix things.

I see how you would like to go to a practice where they don't know you. Being a stranger has some advantages when it comes to fear of judgment. It seems to me that the best start may be to look into practices that are in your area and see whether there is a practice that has a good vibe. You could then get in touch with them and explain your situation and see how they reply.

There is help out there and no matter how hopeless or scary your situation may look to you now, I am sure you will get through this! :grouphug: