• 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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Small or large steps



Well-known member
Jun 21, 2010

I'm due to see a new dentist Monday ( 15 min checkup ) but i know i need fillings and a root filling that I've been putting off for years.
Do I start of slow and request small jobs first or do I jump straight in with the root filling? Everything I read says face your fear head on, but the thought of "the big jobs" ....
Hi Kayduck!

I believe this is something you have to discuss with the dentist or the treatment coordinator if there is one. But in my experience, it starts with whatever’s the most urgent or highest priority and you gradually go down the list until you reach the lowest priority.

So using myself as an example: my highest priority is the extractions I need done + partials, while my lowest priority is my wisdom teeth that need to be removed (they aren’t bothering me, or anything, so they can wait.) This was worked out with the dentist and treatment coordinator.

I think just communicate with your dentist! Talk about how anxious the big jobs make you, and ask about what the priorities will be and if you can ease your way up to the bigger treatment (baby steps are always encouraged with exposure therapy for fears.)

All the best!
Hi @kayduck, I'm not sure where it says to face your fear head on, I don't think it says that on our website? Of course, it's fine to start with baby steps - unless there's a pressing reason to jump straight in (such as getting you out of pain, an upcoming wedding, etc.).

Here are some tips that may come in handy:

Hi Kayduck,
Hopefully, you dentist will make a suggestion based on his or her assessment of all the factors you mention and taking into account your feelings. He or she will have the knowledge to weigh up the pros and cons of each approach. One thing we can be sure of, is there are now black and white answers to your question. Dentistry, especially for somene who is apprehensive, needs to be tailored to their particular individual situation.
Hope if all goes well