• 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.

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Severe Health&Dental Phobia Ruining My Life!!!



Junior member
Aug 18, 2012
Hello everyone I found this site some time ago and read posts and success stories wishing I could be the one to overcome this fear. I have had a bad abscessed molar for (*YEARS) now and it recently developed a abscess on the gum this week. The last time I had any dental work was 5 years ago and I have never experienced anything traumatic just alittle uncomfortable I dislike the numbing sensation and I also have a medication phobia (thinking I will have the most severe allergic reaction or death)....
I have visited 5 dentists about this one tooth, one dentist twice and everytime they get the med.needle close to my mouth I freeze up and tell them I can't do it!!! Well this happened today and I ended up crying like a child in front of medical staff and really got myself worked up to the point I have felt so drained and sick emotionally and physically.

All my medical/ dental phobias developed after I became ill 4 1/2 years ago with a condition called POTS, I went thru alot of grief with the whole long DX process and it doesn't help when you don't look sick but you feel very bad, No doctors believed me and when they were running hundreds of tests I lost faith in the medical field thats where my fears developed and slightly because ***epi**** always made me feel real weird and not right, guess now I know why. SO when I went to this dentist today I tried to explain my fears and told him I need NO EPI he said" OK" and mind you the nurse was already in the other room preparing MY shot that contained EPI because she had no knowledge of our conversation...He was going to use it anyway!!!!! That made me sad/angry/dismissed and he even said before that, that I am making more out of my medical condition than I need too....I should have walked out right there!!!! SO here I am worn down with this phobias this abscessed tooth and meds up the wahzooo that I am terrified to conquer. BTW I am newly in therapy lol he is the face your fears head on approach....

Hope to hear from you guys I really wanna get better and have a healthy mouth!
So Glad sites like this exist otherwise I'd feel so alone:(
I am a fellow POTsie, diagnosed five years ago! Welcome to the forum!

Believe me, you've taken a huge step joining the forum and posting about your fears. We all share a dental phobia to one extent or another and this is a group of sympathetic and understanding people.

You may not think so, but you've had a victory just by getting yourself to the dentist. So you couldn't go through with it today...no shame in that. Sounds like you need to find a more knowledgeable and sympathetic dentist for your future work.

POTS is a very big deal and you definitely should not receive any numbing agent with epinephrine. My doctor also recommends a salt/fluid load before any dental work (which I neglected before my recent extractions but that's another story!)

Glad to have you here...if you ever want to talk about POTS, let me know. :thumbsup:
Thanks ReallyGinny:) A fellow POTSy isn't that something! Glad to hear you got thru some extractions, I always feel misunderstood when I try to explain what is wrong with me and what it causes, the recent dentist had no clue and said well they haven't said you have a deadly disease right???...I just dropped my mouth and felt so foreign and it just increased my fear because then I started thinking : OK what if something does go wrong is he going to know what to do??? Does he even have benedryl *sp* on hand and what if my heart starts racing and won't come down....Yeah my fears are pretty extreme but very possible they can happen..thats what makes these type of phobias so hard. I just found a dentist thru googling about an hour from me locally that deals with phobic patients along with medical conditions so maybe this tooth will be history soon!

And sure we can talk about POTS sometime:)
Hi lissy,

As you've hopefully found from reading other posts on this forum, you're definitely not alone in your fears or your condition. To echo reallyginny, you should feel very proud of yourself for having the courage to even go to the dentist, and for sharing your story here. :welldone: No kidding, for many people (and for me up until a few months ago), doing either of these things is almost unthinkable and a big distant goal. So you might feel small and scared, but you're a role model to lots of people here already.

It's weird how dental phobia develops; a lot of people don't have a particularly terrible experience to point to as the origin of their phobia. It often just starts as a general avoidance of the dentist, and then develops into a fear of being shamed or dealing with the consequences of not having been to the dentist in a while, and snowballs from there. Add a condition like POTS to the mix and the whole thing can leave you feeling hopeless and helpless.

A huge step towards dealing with dental phobia is finding a compassionate dentist who will work with you. That can take a little research, which it sounds like you've done, and also you'll probably find it helpful to describe your fears and your history a little in an email or letter to the dentist beforehand. It sounds like trust is an issue for you, so you definitely want to talk to the dentist beforehand about that, and make sure you establish some good ground rules. (For instance, lots of people have conditions that require them to avoid EPI, so that shouldn't be an unusual request for the dentist to hear.) Make sure the dentist understands you have special fears and ask him to describe the medications he's using. There are also some options like "the wand" that are alternatives to needles, and may be easier for you. And if POTS is an issue, he can recline you slowly and in steps, to avoid a sudden change in position.

But the bottom line is, establishing a trust relationship with your dentist will go a long way towards keeping your mind at ease. You deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, and if you have special needs, you deserve to have those catered to as well. Having your dentist ask permission, explain procedures, and repeat back requests can help you build trust in him/her, and the more you trust your dentist, the easier everything gets. And the more your dentist is willing to talk and listen to you, the better you'll understand each other.

Good luck with your phobia dentist, that sounds like a great idea. However you go, just remember that there's no "right" pace for coping with dental phobia. You're already making huge progress, even though it might not seem like it. Give yourself lots of space and be patient, and keep looking for that compassionate dentist. It can be done, it just takes us phobics a little longer and a little more courage to get there...

Hi I don't think you realise how hard it is to go to the dentist scared, get into the chair agree to a procedure and then because they don't listen or understand how you are feeling, get up and walk. That is so hard to do, :respect: I think you should be giving yourself a pat on the back, it took guts to do what you did.
This dentist was not right for you at all and good on you for knowing and reacting in a positive way for you.

I would have thought a course of antibiotics would have been given first to calm the tooth down, but the fact they were just going to carry on, is not a good thing at all. All surgeries do have allergic kits, but they have to recognise the allergy first, this means listening to you.

When you go to the next dentist treat the first appointment as a meet and greet, like Steve says maybe send an e mail first and explain as you have on here how you feel and why and also about the POTS. Only agree to treatment that you feel comfortable having, even with a check up, over time you can build up a trust with a dentist and this will make it easier going for treatment.

I don't know what POTS is so I cannot comment on that, but you did the right thing in walking away from this dentist.

Good luck with the next one :butterfly:
Hi lissy and :welcome: from me too. You are really doing brilliantly trying to work through not only your fears, but living with POTS - like Carole, I didn't know what it was and did a quick 'Google' and found a site in the UK which briefly states the following on it's front page:

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) can be a life altering and debilitating chronic health condition. The simple act of standing can be a challenge for people with PoTS as their body is unable to adjust to the pull of gravity when upright. PoTS is characterised by orthostatic intolerance (the development of symptoms when upright that are relieved by lying down). Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, palpitations, sweating, nausea, fainting and dizziness and are associated with an increase in heart rate from the lying to upright position of greater than 30 beats per minute, or a heart rate of greater than 120 beats per minute within 10 minutes of standing.

Just thought this may help people understand, so I hope you don't mind. You certainly have your own mountains to climb, and I am truly inspired by your courage with tackling these issues as you are.

I wish you well.

Take care.

Thank You all for your understanding and support. The abscess is not going anywhere as expected:( and I have another appointment with a previous dentist I seen a few months ago on Tuesday of next week, when I called to make the appointment they lady tried to schedule me for the following day for extraction!!!! I was like NO WAY I need to just have a appointment to talk to him 1st and then she put me on hold and said I'd have to pay a small fee, so I agreed.
My worse fear is a allergic reaction and I hate the numbness feeling.
Sedation is a NO GO.

Any facts about local that can give me some reassurance???? That would be helpful:) Thats what I plan on discussing with him on Tuesday, but if anyone has some helpful information I would definitely appreciate it:) Thanks again everyone.
And BTW the special phobia dentist never contacted me back....:(:confused:
I am glad that you have managed to get an appointment with a nice sounding dentist, they sound like they are ready and willing to listen to you. I'm sure I read on here somewhere that they can give you something to help you thaw out quicker.

Look at you getting all positive and standing your ground, good for you, I think this sounds like it might be a good appointment and that you will be able to discuss everything you want and need to know. Ask if you might need some more antibiotics before they pull the tooth if it is an infection. It will calm the tooth down so it can be made numb. The dentist will know if this is necessary for you. Try not to worry, you have done really well, GOOD LUCK :clover::clover::clover: :butterfly: