Mar 17, 2021
I have scrolled around these forums for years and it has really helped me begin to work on my dental fears. But now it's my time to go and I'm so SO scared!
I hope I can share my backstory: My fear started in grade 2, I needed a couple fillings and a tooth pulled. The tooth to be pulled was a little wiggly and they were all baby teeth so I was told I didn't need it to be numb because it wouldn't hurt anyway. They lied, it hurt a lot! I squirmed heaps, crying and was held down by the assistant and I remember her saying 'only babies cry'. From then on I was scared of all things to do with dentists. I made excuses to avoid them until I was 15. My friend (with good intentions) convinced me to go see the school dentist and just get my teeth checked. New school, new dentist and apparently she was nice so I went. Wrong again! I had about 7 or 8 baby teeth that hadn't fallen out even though my adult teeth were through (they were pushed aside by my adult teeth and not really loose at all). I ended up getting all my baby teeth removed and then needed 3 fillings. This was so painful! She numbed it using local anaesthetic which helped for the baby teeth to be pulled but the anaesthetic didn't seem to numb my molars properly and I could feel everything, it felt like my tooth was burning and really sharp pain. After trying to numb it a few times (I don't tolerate needles well) she said it must be numb and that I was just nervous, told me not to be silly and that it wouldn't be hurting if I took better care of them and continued her work. It was the worst experience and just reaffirmed in my mind that all dentists were something to be avoided. I haven't been to a dentist since. I still have trouble even just walking past a dental clinic and seeing their signs. I have never actually shared all that with anyone but I hope it's ok to share here and at least get it off my chest. If not, my apologies ?
Fast forward to now and I haven't been to the dentist in 10 years. Well until a few weeks ago. I've been in quite a bit of pain and have been avoiding certain foods so my husband decided enough was enough and booked me an appointment to get my teeth checked out. My husband promised me they would just have a look and they did, phew! This dentist was actually soo nice!! (They do exist!!) He gave me a blanket, told me everything he was going to do and waited until I was ready. I was super worried that he was going to say my teeth were beyond repair but none of them were, he said they can all be saved! I was so happy with how I went. We were about to go away for a week so we didn't want to book treatment until we got back, save me dwelling on it all holliday. The dentist said when we get back that I could come in for a free appointment to work out a treatment plan and schedule my appointments. That was 4 weeks ago. Life got busy and I got used to making excuses for why I 'forgot to call them'. *Sigh* ?
The verdict: I need 11 cavities filled, 1 root canal, a deep clean over two visits and all of my wisdom teeth removed (1 more urgent than the rest) ?
My problem: I trust this dentist, he is really nice and caring but now I feel bad because I've left it so many weeks. I want to call and schedule a time with him but I'm dreading it because to me, calling him means committing to things that have caused me so much pain and fear in the past. Calling him means finally facing what has held such a tight grip on me for so many years. I want to do this more than anything and I feel like this is the right time but it's so hard! I struggle socially and with all this fear and anxiety loaded together I'm scared I'll just start crying on the phone and totally embarrass myself. I keep starring at his business card but it doesn't get any easier to pick up the phone.
Side note: My husband works away a lot so can't guarantee he will be here for my appointments which I'm ok with because like I said, I trust this dentist. Sedation is something I have thought about but is a whole other thing that makes me 10 times more anxious about everything. I need to feel in control to be able to face this so I'm not willing to consider sedation.
Thanks for reading through my rambling (sorry it's so long), I'm in tears just typing all this ?
What made you finally do it? Any advice for how to pluck up the courage to call and make an appointment? Has anyone else struggled like this? Any help is much appreciated!