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Scared of the dentist but desperately need to go...

L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Hi guys. I am so happy this place exists. I am sitting here in a panic. This is the first time I have admitted this to anyone ever. I have a terrible fear of the dentist. I honestly have no idea how long it's been since I went. I'm a 28 year old grown woman and I can't remember going. I also have 5 molars that are broken beyond repair. I think I have an impacted wisdom tooth. I think my other molars have cracks from grinding and clenching in my sleep. I have a visible cavity on my canine. I... Had a mental break down a month ago about something unrelated and now that I am feeling better... I know what I need to do. I'm terrified though. I'm terrified of the embarrassment. My husband doesn't even know. I don't keep anything from him usually but I am so humiliated. I need support to make the call and follow through. I have to go. I have to save my teeth. I'm so tired about worrying about them. I'm so tired of being afraid to eat. I have dental insurance but it isn't very good and we literally can't afford this right now but I have to do something. I'm the only one working right now while my husband gets through school. He's a year away. I know that once he graduates we will have more funds and I will be able to pay things off if I have to charge things. I just can't imagine walking in to an office and admitting that I have broken my teeth and didn't go in right away to get it fixed because of my own fear.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
636
Location
US
Well done for reaching out.

I encourage you to contact your workplace employee assistance program, and 211 (if you’re in America).

Tell them hem what you told us.

There is is a better future out there for you, if you take action and demonstrate courage.
 
S

SolitudeIsBliss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
112
Location
Australia
Hey Lex!

I'm glad you posted here because this place is such a great support for people in your situation.

I understand where you are coming from. This is how I lived my life up until about 3 weeks ago. My teeth were in a bad way, I didn't have a lot of money and I had an intense feeling of shame and embarrassment about the state of my teeth. From my late teens and throughout my adulthood I've thought about how bad my teeth are every day.

About 8 months ago I decided I needed to take action because my teeth were making my depression and anxiety hopelessly worse - I could no longer live like this. I started posting here and researching how I could fund the treatment I needed and if there was a dentist out there that could help someone like me. I came up with a shortlist of dentists and slowly started to make contact with them. Firstly sending out emails and then working my way up to calling them. A few weeks ago I had my first appointment with a very kind dentist who helps people with dental phobia and is completely non-judgemental. On Wednesday, I'll be attending my 4th appointment. I couldn't even picture this happening at all only a month ago. The biggest regret I have now is that I didn't do it sooner and that I let my fear grow to a point that put me under so much unnecessary suffering.

Here's what helped me get to where I am now...

Posting here. Like you, I was so ashamed of my situation that I never told anyone about it. Having a place like this that I could come to and be understood and accepted did wonders to me actually taking this on. Getting many years of fears off my chest felt like a massive burden had been lifted off my shoulders. The success story section of the forum is a great motivator and I spent hours reading people's stories of how they overcame this and are on the path to something better. I started a journal as an outlet of my thoughts and concerns, as well as keeping track of my progress.

Googling dentists in your area that specifically deal with people who are nervous/embarrassed/anxious/fear judgement. If you google DENTIST *YOUR AREA* JUDGEMENT/ANXIOUS/NERVOUS/EMBARRASSED you'll get websites of dentists that mention the helping embarrassed (or whatever keyword you used) patients. From here, you can draw up a shortlist of dentists that you might like to see and get in contact with them. Check out their reviews on google/yelp etc and their facebook page if they have one. My dentist had fantastic reviews that mentioned how caring they were and their facebook page gave me an idea of what they were like also.

Once you've decided on a couple of possible candidates, break up contacting them into smaller pieces. I emailed them, which is great because it is largely anonymous and you can deal with the response in your own time. I simply wrote a short paragraph explaining my situation and how nervous I was and then ended with "can you help me?". It's likely that they'll invite you to call them to book in an appointment or give you a call. To help with calling them, I did some trial runs of phoning them after hours. I finally built up the courage to call them and began by saying I was interested in booking an appointment but I was extremely embarrassed and anxious. If the dentist is the right person for you, the dental receptionist will spend a little time reassuring you and asking you some questions. If they should care and understanding, you can simply say that you want to book in an appointment and that you want to only have a chat. I did this but ended up getting a comprehensive exam because the dentist was so nice!

Sorry for the long response. I hope something in there is of some help. Feel free to send me a message if you want to chat or bounce any ideas off.

Remember, you are NOT alone and you CAN do this!

Take care!
 
Last edited:
S

Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
141
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
So glad you're here!!

You have been given some great advice. I think if you break it up into little steps, it won't feel overwhelming. First find a caring dentist who wants to help you. If you don't get good vibes from them, then find another dentist. I think having a caring dentist is HUGE in the entire process.

If you decide to keep a journal here, I would love to follow your journey!
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
Hey Lex!

I'm glad you posted here because this place is such a great support for people in your situation.

I understand where you are coming from. This is how I lived my life up until about 3 weeks ago. My teeth were in a bad way, I didn't have a lot of money and I had an intense feeling of shame and embarrassment about the state of my teeth. From my late teens and throughout my adulthood I've thought about how bad my teeth are every day.

About 8 months ago I decided I needed to take action because my teeth were making my depression and anxiety hopelessly worse - I could no longer live like this. I started posting here and researching how I could fund the treatment I needed and if there was a dentist out there that could help someone like me. I came up with a shortlist of dentists and slowly started to make contact with them. Firstly sending out emails and then working my way up to calling them. A few weeks ago I had my first appointment with a very kind dentist who helps people with dental phobia and is completely non-judgemental. On Wednesday, I'll be attending my 4th appointment. I couldn't even picture this happening at all only a month ago. The biggest regret I have now is that I didn't do it sooner and that I let my fear grow to a point that put me under so much unnecessary suffering.

Here's what helped me get to where I am now...

Posting here. Like you, I was so ashamed of my situation that I never told anyone about it. Having a place like this that I could come to and be understood and accepted did wonders to me actually taking this on. Getting many years of fears off my chest felt like a massive burden had been lifted off my shoulders. The success story section of the forum is a great motivator and I spent hours reading people's stories of how they overcame this and are on the path to something better. I started a journal as an outlet of my thoughts and concerns, as well as keeping track of my progress.

Googling dentists in your area that specifically deal with people who are nervous/embarrassed/anxious/fear judgement. If you google DENTIST *YOUR AREA* JUDGEMENT/ANXIOUS/NERVOUS/EMBARRASSED you'll get websites of dentists that mention the helping embarrassed (or whatever keyword you used) patients. From here, you can draw up a shortlist of dentists that you might like to see and get in contact with them. Check out their reviews on google/yelp etc and their facebook page if they have one. My dentist had fantastic reviews that mentioned how caring they were and their facebook page gave me an idea of what they were like also.

Once you've decided on a couple of possible candidates, break up contacting them into smaller pieces. I emailed them, which is great because it is largely anonymous and you can deal with the response in your own time. I simply wrote a short paragraph explaining my situation and how nervous I was and then ended with "can you help me?". It's likely that they'll invite you to call them to book in an appointment or give you a call. To help with calling them, I did some trial runs of phoning them after hours. I finally built up the courage to call them and began by saying I was interested in booking an appointment but I was extremely embarrassed and anxious. If the dentist is the right person for you, the dental receptionist will spend a little time reassuring you and asking you some questions. If they should care and understanding, you can simply say that you want to book in an appointment and that you want to only have a chat. I did this but ended up getting a comprehensive exam because the dentist was so nice!

Sorry for the long response. I hope something in there is of some help. Feel free to send me a message if you want to chat or bounce any ideas off.

Remember, you are NOT alone and you CAN do this!

Take care!
I started to panic today and then read your post again. I can't tell you how much hope and strength that it gives me. Thank you for taking the time to offer me so much. I feel lost and afraid but I am so thankful to be here. I am trying to decide if I should explore the dentist that my insurance will cover or if I should try to find one that is specific to nervous people, even if I have to pay out of pocket. Regardless, I know this is going to be a credit card bill and I am so upset by that but I know I have to. I have been reading testimonials since yesterday, trying to find courage. I would love to be able to reach out to you. I felt so alone in this and am finally seeing that I'm not the only one. Thank you.
 
L

Lex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Oregon
So glad you're here!!

You have been given some great advice. I think if you break it up into little steps, it won't feel overwhelming. First find a caring dentist who wants to help you. If you don't get good vibes from them, then find another dentist. I think having a caring dentist is HUGE in the entire process.

If you decide to keep a journal here, I would love to follow your journey!
Thank you so much!! Thank you for sending me strength and compassion. I feel like I desperately need both right now. <3 I will definitely consider keeping a journal!
 
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