• Dental Phobia Support

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Newbie here, looking for some support



Junior member
Jun 8, 2016

This is pretty long, so bear with me...

I've been lurking on this site for a while and have finally gotten up the nerve to actually post something. That should tell you my state of mind when it comes to going to see a dentist!

I haven't been to a dentist in about 25 years -- since my senior year of high school. I had some really bad experiences with dentists and my orthodontist as a child, and my fears followed me into adulthood.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of needles and feared getting Novocaine. That set me off and I had a terrible relationship with my dentist, who was very nasty. My orthodontist wasn't so nice, either. I once winced in pain when he cut my lip and made it bleed... and he said, "This is nothing. It's not like you're going through childbirth right now." Nice, right? Ironically, I'm childless, so I never did go through that!

When I was 14, I had four wisdom teeth removed. They couldn't do it in the office because even after they put me under, I was apparently fighting the surgeon. I then had to go to the hospital to have them removed and woke up during the surgery. I wasn't in pain; I couldn't really feel anything, but it was a scary experience.

As I got older, I suffered from depression and various eating disorders, and ended up becoming morbidly obese. I let my health and my appearance go, and the bad food only made my teeth worse. In 2011, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

Well, in 2013 -- a few months before my 40th birthday -- I decided to get my life in order. I began walking and eating well, and have lost over 100 pounds. My diabetes is under control and I have participated in several long-distance walking events. My husband and I did a 39-miler in October and just finished an 18-miler this weekend. My next goal is to speed walk a marathon.

I also began seeing doctors regularly. I got a mammogram, finally went back to my gyno and see everyone else on schedule... all except the dentist. I feel like he or she is the final piece I need to complete my "healthy" puzzle.

Oddly enough, I'm not scared of needles or pain. I think I can handle that. As a diabetic, I had to inject myself (but am off insulin, yay!), so I'm now used to needles.

I haven't really discussed this with anyone, not even my husband. He needs to see a dentist, too, but it's not fear that's keeping him. It's more like he's forgetful about making doctor's appointments and needs me to set the example. Every so often my dad will ask me, "So, have you seen a dentist?" and I abruptly change the subject. I HATE when he checks up on me. I feel like he's digging into a part of me that I don't want to be reached.

I'm concerned about a few things: A) That the damage to my teeth is beyond repair. One molar has fallen out and my front two bottom teeth have separated. My top teeth look OK, but my bottoms are an absolute mess. I'm picturing the dentist having to remove every bottom tooth. B) That said, I'm worried about the recovery time. I know that fixing my teeth will make me healthier, but I don't want to be laid up in pain for weeks and have it cut into my walking program. I don't want to go back to my old size. C) I'm also concerned about the cost. I found a recommended "caters to cowards" dentist, but I don't think he takes insurance. My husband and I both work for ourselves. We have insurance, but even with that, getting various procedures is going to add up. D) Embarrassment. That's been covered a lot on this board, but I'm still angry at myself for waiting for so long. E) Finally, my biggest concern is that I'm a musician. Specifically, I play flute and am afraid that having my teeth worked on will end my music career. I don't want to have to stop playing!

Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough. I KNOW I need to see a dentist and that it'll only help me in the long run. I keep telling myself to make the call, to do it this summer, but I came here first. I hope that checking in will give me the shot of courage I need to do it.

Thank you for listening.
I wouldn't sweat it they see it all the time Im sure. We are all human and we have emotion. Just get it checked out before it gets painful, its better to fix it then be in pain for weeks and weeks, A little pain is better then alot of pain. I wouldn't worry about Embarrassment because homeless people have to see a dentist but . Youll be ok just let them know what your problem and they should help. Alot of times dentist see alot of work as money signs so they don't want you to go to somebody else

You'll be find once you make the first visit
Let me try to address all your points

A) That the damage to my teeth is beyond repair. -
You never know what teeth are savable and which ones are not. It's best to go to the dentist now and beat decay to the punch. Also, I've had one tooth that was not savable...i ended up getting an implant on tooth 30. I don't regret getting the ugly decayed tooth out. I'm so much happier with it gone. Talk to your dentist about your fears and let him know you want to learn all the options! There's so much that can be done nowadays.

B) That said, I'm worried about the recovery time.

For normal dental procedures (fillings, crowns etc) the recovery needed is less than a day. That's from experience and I do Xanax and laughing gas. The next day I'm back to my old self!

For dental surgeries, it varies a bit. My molar extraction (not wisdom) took me about 3 weeks before I felt back to normal. I'll tell you though, you are not going to go back to your old weight in 3 weeks. even if you gain 5 pounds back from all the sitting, you're so awesome from losing 100 pounds (WOW GO YOU!!)that you are just going to slap those pounds back off in no time.

Honestly I LOST weight recovering from the surgery because I wasn't as hungry and it's a little difficult to eat (this was mostly due to me not following directions exactly). I also think I would have felt better by 2 weeks if I had followed the doctors directions exactly. Just get lots of rest, follow doctors orders exactly and eat lots of soup!

Implant surgery was easier. I was back to my old self 1 week later. Also it helped that I dedicated myself to taking a nap the 4 days after surgery.

C) I'm also concerned about the cost.

The cost will be SO WORTH IT. Several posters have commented that they wished they didn't go so cheap. you get what you pay for. If you are in USA, Caremore Credit will be your best friend. I don't regret the money spent on my smile. All my teeth are fixed and it feels great.

D) Embarrassment.

Dentist see the worst of the worst. You're not the only phobic out there, but I can understand the fear of embarrassment. All the dentist should care about is fixing your teeth, not judging them.
Hello & welcome,

From someone who is now suffering with depression & anxiety, which is partly to do with self-blame in waiting so long to get my bum to the dentist, please get yourself there a.s.a.p. I wouldn't wish my current mental health on anyone. (I know everyone is different but then I didn't expect to feel this way either.)

The good point is that if you go before you get pain then they are likely to be in a state of repair.

You can do it. You can beat this just like you have turned everything else aroun!

Good luck

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