• 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.

Panic attack in dentist chair.



Dec 19, 2018
Had my third appointment today to get some fillings done. I was less nervous the night of and going into the office. I did relatively okay during the injections and drilling. But then out of nowhere my whole body began to shake uncontrollably and they had to stop working, let me sit up and try to gather myself. They gave my some orange juice and oxygen to calm me down and raise my blood sugar. Overall they were extremely nice and reassuring during this meltdown.

I feel horrible right now, filled with so much fear, like I'm trapped and I'm still trying to get myself to relax but all this dental work is really hitting hard for me. This would have been my last appointment until my cleaning but I got to the point of hyperventilating and the dentist recommended splitting the work up into 2 appointments. I dont know if I can go back after feeling this way. It has started to bring back suicidal thoughts which I haven't had in a few years.
So sorry to read this, MoonRabbit. It sounds like there was quite a lot going on at the visit and it got you quite unexpectedly. I am particularly sorry to read about you having suicidal thoughts again.

First of all, it sounds like you could need someone to talk. Do you have a friend or a close one you could talk to right now just to get your thoughts out, maybe to cry a bit? It is ok to feel defeated immediately after an experience like you just did but it's good not to be alone with it. If you would like to get some help over the phone, you can find some important numbers here, including Samaritans: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/depression/

If it helps, you can also write it all out in a journal here on the section, writing it all out helps a lot (talking from an experience).

Once you processed the worst part you can still think about how to approach the further appointments. What I feel is important now is to be kind to yourself and to make the heavy emotions some space. Again, if you find this all being too overwhelming, please do not hesitate to contact the Samaritans.

Sending you a virtual hug, may you feel better soon..
MoonRabbit please do not be too hard on yourself. I think our brains become hardwired to experience the “fight or flight” response automatically when presented with certain environments or situations and the panic is not our fault. It is more of an involuntary response. I have had experiences where I have physically felt very anxious while also feeling very comfortable and familar with the procedure. Also on one occasion in my case, treatment had to cease because I was shaking so uncontrollably even though I felt fine til I had to open my mouth. It can be extremely confusing and frustrating...especially when you are just starting out and trying to make sense of your emotions. I used to view these episodes as setbacks but they are NOT...they are a physical reaction and in no way a reflection on you. Also just because it happened this time, does not mean it will happen again. I am not a psychologist but I liken these events to PTSD. Please don’t give up on yourself when you have come so far. :XXLhug:

What I see first of all is it is your 3rd appt.. Give yourself some due credit for this for sure . Despite being anxious you managed to get to the 3rd appt and take care of things.. step by step. Anxity and panic attacks are real. We all react differently. and like kitkat said about the trauma responses and ilke ptsd , our bodies just react to simliar situations in this way.. For me I freeze.... just dissociate a bit , or I run..but our physical bodies definately react to this and you did amazing just going through it as hard as it was. Great wording how you put this Kitkat!

Sounds like they helped you through it well too tending to your physical needs to stop and get you right physically and ok with what was happening and stopping .

Give yourself grace to take your time in going back and don't push it. I agree with Enarete to give the emotions some space and time to process all this before maybe sitting in the chair again if you are able .