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Need to get a new dentist, but lots of anxiety and a mild grudge against dentists...



Junior member
May 10, 2018
Need to get a new dentist, but lots of anxiety and a mild grudge against dentists...

I haven't been to the dentist for a while. I basically stopped bothering around college and now it's been 6+ years. I don't want to go back to the one my parents use because all their dental technicians are a mess and sprayed water all over my face (and I have glasses and nothing drives me crazy like wet glasses). I'm also mad at my previous dentist for never suggesting braces until I was literally living out of town for college and starting to drop off on going to the dentist because I was busy. Like you could have suggested all of this during high school. My teeth have never been perfectly straight. And even though I'm nearly 30 at this point, I still get confused for 17 or 18 a lot at work and I work on commission and I'm just really salty about people who don't want to buy from me because they think I'm some stupid teenager the company hired yesterday and braces would make it worse so I'm really noooooooooooo about braces.

I also am having massive anxiety shopping for a new dentist...

I thought about sedation dentistry for like 5 minutes, but I feel like "you're too knocked out on drugs to stop the lunatic poking your gums with a metal pick" makes it even worse...

I hate hate hate phone conversations. Like everyone has a stock e-mail form on their website like I can tell it's literally the same one, but the dentist's actual e-mail response time could any quality, y'know? I guess I can type up one message and send it to every dentist in a 15-minute drive radius... Now I'm a mess trying to figure out how to tell a dentist "hey I'm a giant weenie and I need to know what you're gonna do about that because I don't respond to negative criticism. It's been 6 years, I know it's a mess in there and I won't like you if you talk to me like I'm an idiot." in more adult-y language.

I know I don't want too much of a cosmetic focus from my dentist since it's like... I don't need freakish Actor Teeth. ((honestly the women in toothpaste commercials look disturbing no one's teeth should be that white. And they never show anyone with actually bad teeth kind of like how women in razor commercials are always shaving nothing...)). I just want structurally sound teeth for chewing on food???

I am generally pro-science, but I will believe like any article or anecdote I see about flossing being pointless because it makes me feel better.

I'm really bad about taking care of myself. Like I also skipped the eye doctor for years and only went back because I got tired of my current pair of glasses and forgot where I put my prescription. On the flip side, I have taken my pets for the veterinarian more times than I have taken myself to any doctor.... My current veterinarian is really nice. Like she was really understanding that my dog was nervous about being touched and tried to figure out how to get him to chill at least a little without pushing him too hard instead of just manhandling him through an exam and really good about explaining everything..... I need the dentist equivalent of my current veterinarian.

Anyway, venting helps a little...
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Re: Need to get a new dentist, but lots of anxiety and a mild grudge against dentists...

Hi and welcome florence,

wow.. you seem really to be done with dentists! From what you write it sounds like a massive grudge again dentists if not even against doctors in general, but I understand that this is all based on your previous experiences.

The good news first: a good dentist for nervous patients will really work like your veterinarian. He/she will know about the 'crimes' and traumas a bad dentist can cause and he/she will understand it. They won't judge you, they wont try to take an advantage of you and they will always treat you with respect, as an equal and as a unique person. And they will understand how scary it is to face a new dentist or a dentist in general and they will do their best to make you comfortable.

The bad news: you will have to find such a dentist first and you will, on your way, find a lot of websites and practices that just do not fit into this approach. It's easy to start to believe that the whole dental profession is somehow spoiled, but that is not the case. Actually, there are more and more dentists who understand the dynamics of dental fear and are ready to help.

By the way, a nervous patient friendly dentist will put your comfort and your anxiety first and will want to take care of your dental health. Cosmetic dentistry is the last thing to focus on and if any dentist would make you feel otherwise, it's the wrong place.

Sedation dentistry is an option, but if a loss of control is something you do not enjoy (and from what you write it sound so) then this is not the best idea. Sedation is also not the best thing to get rid of the fear because if you cannot remember the treatment that you have no positive experiences and no trust to your dentist can be build. Taking things slow, step by step and at your own pace during several visits would help you more.

You seem to be at the very beginning of your journey (however making the decision to find a dentist is already a huge step), so here is the link about 'how to find a dentist'. It is a good map of where to start and also what things you should pay attention to: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/find-a-dentist/
There is also a recommendation section on the forum, you might find a recommendation for your area there.

There are kind caring dentists out there who can help you and will be happy to serve you as a partner and company on your way to reach your goals, no matter how science-fictionish that sounds for you right now.

All the best wishes, let us know how you are doing and feel free to vent whenever you like :)
Re: Need to get a new dentist, but lots of anxiety and a mild grudge against dentists...


I totally agree with Enarete and know first hand you can find a dentist like you say your veternarian is.. and who will be patient, gentle and find the best way to put you to ease and not judge and help you get your work done because they truly care as a person.

You do have to sift through so many.. and where to start.. there are so many dentists out there.. I found mine on emergency, but when I looked up his profile it did say he had special experience with anxious patients and the receptionist told knew me from another clinic and I asked her if he would be good for this and she said oh yes.. for sure.. anyways.. I don't like the sedation etiher and want to know what is going on..

This dentist not only earned my trust little my little.. but really it was a quick thing where I came to trust him because of so many factors.. But he immediately made me feel cared about and at peace and didn't judge or try to push anything. He shared stories that helped ease my anxiety as well as used humor at right times which really was great. anyways. I believe there are more out there like this I know some friends who have amazing dentists in other parts of the country and the world so they are out there and hope you find a really good one.. And don't settle for one you don't feel a peace with or doesn't fit what you need and want. The more you can be at peace with your dentist and who they are as a person.. the more easier the work is to get done.. I can say now most of my fears of the actual work are almost to zero the only thing I would fear would be losing my awesome dentist I am comfortable with.