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Scared of what everyone will say/ think



Oct 4, 2017
Hi all. ..I've posted before, but not for awhile so I'll give a quick recap. To put it short my teeth are an absolute wreck. I'm a 39 year old woman who has zero confidence left because of this. I have numerous teeth decayed or broken in the back of my mouth(thank goodness it is not terribly noticeable). I have a bridge also in the back lower teeth that I have a feeling will fall out any time now. There are obvious problems going on underneath the anchor teeth and that area has been giving me pain.. My top front teeth now have a noticeable gap between them which has slowly gotten bigger in the last 2-3 years. I have a tooth that a crown fell off( which I never found). All my teeth are showing some sort of decay mostly at the gum line, Etc etc etc. The last few days I have been having a lot of jaw and ear pain and I know my time has probably come where I need to be seen. Im not as much scared of any of the procedures, but i am so terribly embarrassed. I know dentists have seen it all, but it doesn't make it any easier for me. The next issue I have is the cost. I barely make ends meet now being a mom of 3. The holidays are always a hard time anyway , so adding on extra bills seems impossible. Besides those issues the biggest thing holding me back is what people will say. I know some of my issues are noticeable to many, but I don't think anyone realizes how bad it actually is and that my only choice will most likely be dentures. I don't know how to break it to my kids, fiancee, friends, co-workers and everyone else I deal with on a daily basis. They all have perfect teeth. I'm so ashamed of how far I have let this go. I can't just show up with new teeth one day and think they won't notice. I don't want to have to explain this to people. I've tried to think of any excuse i could use as to why I need dentures, but there are none except that I was too afraid and ashamed to do something right when I started having issues. I've even contemplated leaving the job I've had for 15 years because I don't want them to know ( I work with my best friends so that would mean losing those friendships too). I'm just a wreck right now and if anyone has any advice about how to go about dealing with my greatest fear of explaining my situation to people I would greatly appreciate it. I know my friends will be understanding but that doesn't make it any easier. My kids make comments about people with bad teeth/ dentures so how do I tell them that their mom is in that same boat?? I don't know how much longer I can go on like this. Every morning the first thing I do is look in the mirror to make sure all my teeth are still there. I'm tired of living like this. Sorry for rambling, but I had to get it off my chest. Thanks for listening
Hi Gfan,
You are definitely not alone in any of these fears you have mentioned. Embarrassment is a big hurdle for many people. I know it is easier said than done, but you cannot allow the thoughts/judgment of others to dictate your decisions. This is your life and you have to do what’s best for you and forget about what other people may think. As for an explanation, you don’t owe one to anyone. We all have our battles that we face and your family and real friends will be happy to know that you are dong what’s best for your health. If you feel like you need to provide an explanation, you could keep it very simple with something like “I’ve had lots of trouble with my teeth over the years and my dentist and I decided that it was in my best interest to get dentures.” It’s not their mouth, so it’s really none of their business. Speaking from personal experience,I have never lost a friendship over a pair of dentures and you shouldn’t either. You are still the same person you have always been and will be an even better version of yourself when this is taken care of! If your friends judge you or look down on you than they are not friends worth having around. Financial concerns is an ongoing problem for many members on the forum, there are a few options depending on what country you live in.

to start with, I invite you to watch my video about fear of feeling embarrassed during a dental appointment:

i am guessing you are from the US. I once was in a student exchange program (in sun Francisco California) and there I learned about the statistics of people in Amerika wearing partial dentures. No other country measures. It has to do with the fact that a denture is a very fast, cheap and easy way to add more teeth. I believe that if you make a survey around your social circles you will be surprised to realize how many are wearing partial dentures.
You also mentioned comments and jokes about people with dentures that children make (and adults for that matter). Surely you would agree that in a different social set up they might talk differently about people with dentures. Context matters. It is not as if something someone says really represents their opinions about anything.
This has also been on my mind a lot. I know dentures/implants have come a long way but am afraid that maybe they can't be made to look exactly how my teeth are and someone will notice my length/color is slightly different. Honestly though, if you noticed a change in one of your friends would you call them out on it and ask them to explain why their teeth look different? Probably not. You would probably assume they had something done and not say anything.

I have decided that if anyone comments I'd simply say "I had work done". They do not need to know about specifics. I have one very blunt friend that I know will comment out of pure nosiness but I know I wouldn't lose her as a friend when I don't give her every detail of my dental procedures.

My husband does not even know how bad mine are but if I were to have to get dentures/implants he would be THE ONLY one to know until I made the decision.

I too am not afraid of procedures but only of embarrassment so you are 100% not alone.
This has also been on my mind a lot. I know dentures/implants have come a long way but am afraid that maybe they can't be made to look exactly how my teeth are and someone will notice my length/color is slightly different
First of all, maybe your front teeth do not need to be replaced. That’s only a dentist after examining you can answer
When the front teeth are replaced or changed with a crown/filling, everyone will notice a change in the persons outer look but not always be able to point out what it is. When people realize that a dental work has been done on the front teeth they are usually very impressed because it means that the person took care of their own body, health and appearance. Dental care and esthetic dental care are not only legitimate and common but also a status symbol.
the thing is that with many patients there is a huge gap between how they perceive a change in their own smile and how they perceive a change in a smile of others: for many patients,needing dental work is a sign that they did not do well, they did not take care of their teeth and now they need a dentist. It can cause self-blaming, shame and embarrassment as long as it is their own teeth but they do not use this interpretation when it comes to other people who get dental treatment.
Welcome Gfan! This was one of my biggest fears too. But the only people who knew I’ve started going back to the dentist after a 16 year absence was my family. And they only knew because I’ve told them.

I’ve had no cosmetic work done (yet) but like you, my main problems weren’t visible. I had a cracked back molar and 6 other teeth... some with pretty substantial decay. I thought I wouldn’t be able to hide having dental appointments, but as it turns out, I didn’t have to “hide” them. I became like just any other person who has a dental appointment. I had to get a severely decayed wisdom tooth pulled and I enjoyed telling people... partially for the sympathy and partially so they could see how brave and awesome I was. Not a single person ridiculed me for having dental work done. And none of them knew it was my first dental work in 16 years.

You are the only person who knows that number. Your friends and family don’t have to. Take care of you and forget what other people think. I’m still hesitant to get braces but I know one day, I will. I watched a YouTube video done of an adult who just got them on and she said “just do you and forget about the others.”

I think that’s great advice for any dental work. Just do you.