• Dental Phobia Support

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Severe dentophobia and even worse dental problems



Junior member
May 29, 2023
Sorry this is gonna be long

Throughout my life, I've battled a severe fear of dentists, which has taken a toll on my dental health. To counter this anxiety, I became obsessed with maintaining extreme dental hygiene during my younger years. Surprisingly, my devotion became excessive, and dentists even advised me to dial it back as I was eroding the enamel on my teeth

As life took a dark turn, I found myself entangled in drug addiction during my late teens and early 20s. Neglecting my oral care became the norm, as I hardly bothered to brush my teeth, let alone maintain a routine. By the time I started on the path to recovery, the damage had been done, and my teeth were in a sorry state. It was clear that taking action was necessary for both my dental health and my journey toward recovery.

Summoning every ounce of courage, I visited a dentist, a monumental challenge in itself. The consequences of my neglect became apparent during that grueling appointment. I faced the extraction of eight teeth and had cavities that required filling in nearly every tooth, primarily along the gum line. The entire process was traumatizing, intensified by my already overwhelming dentophobia. Despite the distress, I knew it was a crucial step forward

However, just two days later, I made a troubling discovery. The cavities on my bottom teeth had been thoroughly cleaned out but left unfilled, leaving gaping holes along my gum lines. In a panic, I contacted the dentist, only to be informed that the next available appointment was nearly four weeks away. To make matters worse, a scheduling mishap caused me to arrive one hour late for the rescheduled appointment. Despite acknowledging their mistake, the dentist insisted on a $50 missed appointment fee before they would reschedule, an amount I couldn't afford even if I searched every nook and cranny for spare change. Trapped by my insurance limitations, I had no alternative but to endure the deteriorating condition of my teeth.

Now, at the age of 34, I face the harsh reality that my only viable option might be full extraction and dentures. The mere thought of it terrifies me, not only due to the complications of my dentophobia but also the potential bone loss in my jaw that full extractions cause

So here I am, years since that disastrous dental visit, desperately needing to return to the dentist. Over time, my teeth have deteriorated to the point where decay has claimed every single one.

Over the years I have applied for smile makeover contests, never winning (obviously). I desperately want All on 4 dentures, to combat all the problems that surround regular ones, but my insurance doesn't cover it and my financial situation remains bleak. The aftermath of my addiction continues to haunt me, leaving me financially destitute with no credit to secure financing.

As I stand at this crossroads, the daunting reality that I'll never have a smile I'm proud of again looms before me. I need to just get it over with and schedule a full extraction, with all the drawbacks that accompany such a decision. I just can't bring myself to do it. I keep thinking I'll magically be able to afford the $40k it would cost to get a full mouth of All on 4s, but it's never gonna happen for me. Even if I were to do like a gofundme, I'd have to explain why I need them, and no one will donate to a recovering addict for something they did to themselves even if shitty dentistry is partially to blame too. I need you face reality, but it's already difficult to go to the dentist, just the thought of someone looking at my teeth now nearly throws me into an anxiety attack

Sigh. This vent of mine turned out to be quite lengthy, and for that, I apologize. But it felt good to release my frustrations.

:welcome: to DFC, You are in the right place.. with alot of people who identify with your story and struggles, You are not alone for sure.. I hope you see the courage you have stepping out and writing this and even coming on here and thinking about starting the process is huge.. Its hard... after all you've been through. I so get it and others do too. Also it sounds like you have come out of addiction and recovering. that is sooo huge and takes a strong person!

One step at a time I encourage you, I hope you can find a kind compassionate dentist to start with , it will make all the difference. My teeth were in really rough shape due to horrible childhood/teen dental experiences, I just wasn't interested in going and also liked my sugery drinks and candy.. not a good combo.. but when I got to the point I was ready, I was very blessed to find a young woman dentist who was just starting out, she was so kind I walked in with my hand over my mouth for the first appts and was so ashamed, she told me, you shouldn't have to hide your smile dear.. I started to trust her little by little and she helped me to get my dignity back a little with some work, though it wasn't easy to come to grips with. She was only the first kind dentist there were a few others along the way that just made a huge difference.

The financial part is so hard.. it really is!! agh. so get that , I wish it was more affordable.. its hard when someone gives you a big pricetag , and it just seems so unattainable.. there again are some dentists who will really try to be conservative and try to help as much as they can.. There are also some programs like mission for mercy in the US that give free dental care for a day or two, they do cleaning, fillings, extractions even some partial dentures and root canals,, all for free. They are dentists who sign up because they care and want to help. might be worth checking to see if your state has one?

I just hope you know how worthy you are of good care, and how strong and resiliant you are to come this far and ready to put your foot forward!! We are here for support.. sometimes it may take a few days, other times a few moments but.. you are in good company! :grouphug: