• 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.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Need HELP! In pain & scared!



Junior member
Aug 28, 2008
Ok here goes....I am a 25 yr old single mum (of 1 very wonderful little boy). When I was about 10, my dentist had to fill 2 molars but drilled too deep, causing abscesses on both sides so I had to have the teeth removed. They gave me a local anesthetic but due to the fact I had abscesses, it didn't take (not that they gave it any time to take anyway). So I had 2 teeth removed in a painful and traumatic way (the sound alone would have been enough).

As well as this, my mum has a very difficult dental history and is currently undergoing major treatment having part of her hip!! implanted in her jaw to make a foundation for fixed dentures. She has undergone a lot of painful stuff. It seems that most of the people who have dental work done come back worse off, at least to begin with, and that only makes me shy away more.

I had a filling when I was about 14 but this broke taking half my tooth with me. My very last visit to the dentist was when I was about 16 and she was going to fix my tooth and fill another. I thought I would be fine, she gave me the local anesthetic and I felt very faint and she couldn't carry the procedure out. Ever since then, my fear has stopped me returning.

Last June one of my wisdom teeth broke, and I am left with very little tooth but a black and horrible hole. As well as the broken filling and other teeth that need seen to. I know my problem will only get worse if I don't tackle it but I can't find any support anywhere!. I spoke to my GP who said she "didn't want to hear it" but did give me a script for diazepam and told me to take it beforehand. I have looked for a dentist who I feel would take my feelings into consideration and be patient and gentle but I can't find any on the NHS and I just can't afford private treatment. Even if I do find one suitable, I just don't know how I will take that next step which I fear will just lead to months of work needing done and pain!

Sorry for the rant!!

Sorry to hear about all of this happening to you! Not sure why your GP was so rude like that though :confused: Unless they just wanted to let you know they don't know much on teeth? I dont know, it just didn't sound very nice.

When I go to my dentist I request laughing gas for even my cleanings. It costs about 40 dollars more but it's so worth it. I hope you're able to go soon :hug2:
Even if you do need more work after the first visit at least you will be catching up on a problem that is long overdue for attention. If you can find a good dentist even major work will probably not be nearly as bad as you might fear.

It could even turn out you need much less work than you anticipate but the only way to find out is to go. I bet you wouldn't let any other aspect of your health go unattended.

It's why I'm going to the dentist now after 15+ years: I accept that I must take care of myself even though it means dealing with my fear. I am responsible for my own health and I can't let an important part of it slide by any longer.
I spoke to my GP who said she "didn't want to hear it" but did give me a script for diazepam and told me to take it beforehand. I have looked for a dentist who I feel would take my feelings into consideration and be patient and gentle but I can't find any on the NHS and I just can't afford private treatment.
First off :welcome: and sorry to hear about your extremely traumatic childhood experience which simply shouldn't have happened.
I have a theory that your GP is not a fan of dentists herself :) hence the refusal to discuss but script for diazepam!!! This could help you a lot to be honest, to go to an NHS dentist in your area who is still taking patients. Contact your local PCT for details.

Another thing you could do is find out whether the Community Dental Service in your area has phobics in their remit as if anyone can help you, they can - we have never had anyone report back negatively on them on this forum - they will work with you with TLC, chat, desensitisation or can use all sedation options up to and including GA.
Dental Access Centres have also had good feedback on here although sometimes the problem is they only deal with the immediate emergency and don't do all the necessary treatment to get you back to dental health.

The problems you have can probably be fixed very easily by any competent dentist (NHS or private) but you have to feel comfortable enough in their company to allow this to happen (the diazepam could really help). The real downside to NHS dentists is their lack of time and the fact that they may be newly qualified (not always though). Have asked around for recommendations?
Obviously I don't know your exact situation but not all UK private dentists charge ridiculous amounts so maybe you could save in another area maybe and get yourself sorted out privately and then go back to NHS for maintenance mode. If this is an option you could look for a recommended dentist on our Dentistfinder:

It is best to get things sorted out before you are in real pain and forced in an emergency to go to whoever can squeeze you in. You can also check on the BDA website by inserting your postcode for dentists interested in helping anxious patients - some could still be NHS. Good luck :grouphug: Who is your Mum's dentist? Is that an option for you?
Sorry I meant to add - your main fear is PAIN understandably - all modern dentistry can be done comfortably - they shouldn't have extracted your teeth if you weren't numb but given more LA to get you numb (advanced techniques exist to numb infected teeth) or if that didn't work, give you antibiotics to clear the infection first. What happened could have been avoided but how are you supposed to know that? Again feeling in control at the dentist's would help you, by knowing if you raise your hand they will stop and discuss your issue (need a break or slight discomfort so more LA please).
Last edited:
You have had some unfortunate experiences and it is things like this that turn us into dental phobics. It can be so hard to shake off those childhood memories but.... you must try to have a more positive frame of mind. Dentistry has improved in leaps and bounds and in combination of finding the right dentist for you who has the right, caring, understanding manner in whom you have complete confidence and can confide in, and expert in their craft with all the latest uptodate equipment, there really isn't any procedure that cannot be carried out completely painfree.

There are different sedation methods these days, painless injections and it is always you, the patient, who is in control and can say stop at any time if you are not happy with anything. These days it isn't just a matter of walking into the dentists, sitting in the chair and having things done to you - more like meetings where you have discussions with your dentist so he/she tells you exactly what he/she advises needs to be done, and you agree exactly what and when you want things done.

Your doctor unfortunately does not seem to be of much help to you, but believe me, finding the right dentist will enable you to go through whatever needs to be done. If you have not yet found a dentist, have a look at the dentist finder link at the top of this page. If you do not yet feel you can ring and make an appointment, look at dentists' web sites, perhaps email them, that is a good start and the way many of us started our dental journeys. If you feel even when you get to make an appointment that you can't talk about your concerns, write them down so you can hand the paper over and above all, don't bottle up your feelings. Be completely honest and then they will be able to help you best. :grouphug:
Thanks for all your help and support. I have found a possible dentist quite close to me. Can't call today as it's Saturday but I have resolved to call on Monday when I am on lunch at work. Thankyou all so much, I realise i need to take control of things, and face the problem.
Glad you've found a possible dentist. Hope your courage doesn't wane over the weekend but was wondering if this dentist has a website on which they would have an email address and you could write an email, explaining your situation and saying you would like to make an appointment. I'm not saying your nerve will give out and you won't ring on Monday but I know if I were in your position I might try to email if possible then I would know I've sort of gone and done it and couldn't back out. Anyhow, when an appointment is made, do let us know so we can all be thinking of you at the appointed time and sending positive vibes your way. It really does help when you know other people are thinking of you.
Well I am really going to have to do something about it tomorrow anyway. I have been in a lot of pain this weekend. Have had to take a painkiller because its affecting my whole head, it feels like its about to explode.

I will phone them tomorrow although I don't know how it's all going to work out. I am supposed to be working a full day tomorrow whilst my son goes to his Nanna's, that would be the perfect time to take the first step considering the pain I am in and my usual childcare issues. But work know about my aversion to dentists and I am sure they will feel my sudden need for a dentist is self inflicted and it won't go down well (especially as I work for a GP practice!!)

Do you work at the same practice where you are a patient? Can none of the doctors there recommend a decent kind dentist in your community?
Hi, I don't work in the same place as I am a patient. But I have spoken to quite a few of the docs and none and very helpful, perhaps they don't want to get involved.

Anyway, I have phoned and booked an appointment for them to have a look on Wednesday coming up at 2pm. I am taking my son, so that takes some of the heat off me, although not sure what I am going to do with him when it comes to my turn to have my teeth looked at that. He is nearly 2 and a livewire, I can just see him clambering all over the place and opening a cupboards & drawers!! I will try and take a friend with me, maybe
his antics will take my mind off the situation anyway.
Wishing you all the best for today's appointment - do let us know how it all goes - much better than you are fearing we all hope!
Hi guys, thanks for your support! Went to my appointment. It was upstairs so couldn't take the baby's buggy with me, resulting in him running around the place like a loon! I had arthritis in my shoulder as well which didn't help, as I was trying to fill the forms in and everything.

Anyway, my son had his teeth checked quickly and then the dentist had a look at mine. She only had about 30 seconds because I had to tame my son again! Its unfortunate there is nobody who I can take with me or look after my son but I am going to have to rectify that in the future obviously else I'll never get anything done! It was a useful distraction though, but I am worried the dentist won't fully appreciate my fear as I was too busy sorting my son out to have a real conversation.

The dentist was really nice, the brief chat I did have with her, but she is very pregnant and now going on maternity leave!!! She said I had a small infection so has prescribed antibiotics and asked me to make a 20 minute appointment for a full assessment when I finish the course.

So I haven't had to go head first into anything which is good, but trying to organise childcare is causing me stress. So I can't book the appointment yet, I don't finish the course till at least the middle of the week but even so,I need to go back quite quickly otherwise I will likely get another infection. On top of that, I know it will be a different dentist and I will have to discuss a plan of action in terms of my teeth, which really frightens me!!

Sorry for the long rant!

Congratulations! I don't remember your background so I have to ask: as you can't organise the childcare, are you a single parent or is your husband too busy at work to help with the kids or what? Can any of your friends or relatives babysit? Or could you get a paid babysitter? Or something? Now that you've actually gone there and ready to go on, you shouldn't let your kids stop you! Your motivation must be better than ever...

Yes I am a single parent. Grandparents & baby's father are around but all work & busy at times the dentist is available. Besides this, he is a real livewire-a lot of energy rather than naughty- so nobody likes to offer to take him. I can't afford paid childcare and to be honest, I wouldn't like the first time I arrange for such a thing to be out of the blue for both him and me, not knowing a person's background and having to rush into things. I am hopeful I will find a way around things, it's just finding someone who doesn't work or who has a day off.