• Dental Phobia Support

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Really need to find an understanding dentist... let down again



Junior member
Nov 20, 2013
My cheek swelled up overnight and I am convinced it is related to one of my awful teeth. After 30+ years of not going to the dentist, my mouth is not a good place, but I can't rationally explain my absolute fear of dentists.

After a whole day of searching the web, I found a dentist about 25 miles from where I live who I thought would be able to support a gentle approach. I fully discussed my fears and apprehension with the receptionist over the phone and asked to speak to the dentist. She said he was busy (which I understand) but that she would relay my conversation to him and explained that we would be able to talk on a 'one-to-one' basis, without anyone else present and not in the room with the chair.

So I drove 45 minutes to get there, waited 25 minutes to see the dentist, only to be shown into the surgical room by another person who entered and closed the door behind her. I'm sure this sounds trivial, but the amount of effort it took to get me there in the first place was huge. I said, "Didn't your receptionist relay everything I had said?" (I know she'd spoken with him after I explained what I needed to happen as I was placed on hold while she spoke with him.) He said that she'd told him I was nervous - huge understatement!!

The woman kept her hand on the door handle, blocking my way out. I said that I couldn't do this and asked her to remove her hand from the door handle so I could leave. I'm sure she wasn't deliberately blocking my exit, but it felt like it and awoke so many demons within me.

Can someone please help me? I know I've got a world of hell in front of me and it's all ultimately my own doing, but I need so much support and help otherwise I don't know where this will end, other than a worse place than I'm in today.

I live near Crewe. I don't have an issue travelling an hour or more to find the right person, who can slowly introduce me to their environment and help me adjust, and then be skilled enough to deliver all the treatment/surgery that I will need. I don't care whether it's NHS or Private.

Sorry for sounding pathetic, but thanks for anything you can do. As a male approaching 50, I'm so ashamed, terrified, embarrassed, etc.. Someone said I should "man up" - it's the only thing in my life I can't seem to do it for.

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I was in your boat about 3 weeks ago. I had a tooth that was bothering me and hadnt been to the dentist in 20+ years. My husband made an appt and I prompty told him to cancel. The dentist called back to see why I cancelled ( my hubbie told the receptionist how scared I was). I cried on the phone and told him how sorry I was and I just couldnt go no matter how bad my tooth felt. He convinced me to keep the appt and called me several more times to make sure I had the courage to go. To make a long story short... there are dentists out there that will help you with your feer. Mine did not judge me. let me cry on the phone and did not lecture me about the state of my teeth. On the day the work needed to be done he gave me ativan to get in the door and laughing gas. Both help alot.... You need to tell the next one you see that you are not nervous but scared as hell and you need to speak with the dentist BEFORE he works on you and you need to see the office. You are in charge and if this clown wants to act like he is god then let him treat someone else. He has no business dealing with phobic people like you and I. Shop around... And you can do this by the way..... We are here for you.....
Hi. I wrote a big long reply...and it disappeared so I will try again!! Firstly you do not sound pathetic! I can identify with everything you have said, and I would have freaked out at that horrible experience too. It took a huge amount of effort, worry and adrenaline (!) for you to go to that dentist today.......and it must be so frustrating and deflating to not have achieved anything positive.
You have come to the right place for support. Everyone on here will understand where you are coming from!
I am a similar age to you (ok ok Im 4 or 5 years older!) and up until 3 weeks ago, I hadnt been to a dentist for 30 years either! So I certainly don't think you are pathetic......and neither do I think you should "man up". If you are scared, you are scared....end of!
BUT there is help out there, so don't give up. I live on the outskirts of Birmingham and I would be happy to pass on the name of my dentist.....but it seems a shame to travel so far when there WILL be a local one to help you. Try just emailing some local ones, explaining as best you can, how you feel, and what you need, and then judge their response. Its easy to delete the ones you don't like the sound of......and those of them that are able to help will "speak to you" very clearly in their response! Please let us know how you get on.......and I hope you get something sorted soon. Your swollen cheek sounds miserable :(