• Dental Phobia Support

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So scared...finally going in today



Junior member
Jul 1, 2011
Well, I've not been to the dentist in about 5 or so years. I don't remember the last time, to be honest.

I have always had a huge fear of dentists, but my biggest trauma was being held down for cleanings and fillings as a child every 6 months. Even though I was cooperative, I would be strapped down. Being an abuse victim, this scares me to death. My other fear is the pain, as I am on long-term opiate therapy for chronic pain (my spine is just totally obliterated) stemming from an accident and cancer.

I know I have many problems with my teeth, and it is humiliating to go to the dentist. I have a lot of decay at the gum line, I know I have periodontal/gum disease, and I have many cavities I can feel, esp along the molar gumline on the lower jaw. I also have one tooth that cracked off halfway but that never has hurt. I have been eating Motrin like candy for a month, putting this off. Just thinking about calling a dentist made me go into panic mode. But finally I cannot take this lower jaw pain anymore. I know I have impacted wisdom teeth and several huge cavities on that side that hurts. The motrin doesn't help at all anymore, and although most would probably think that with my narcotics I wouldn't feel pain...I do. It doesn't touch the tooth pain whatsoever.

I don't even know what the cause of my jaw pain is...the whole right lower side hurts. I have TMJ problems from an accident in which I hit my lower jaw on the steering wheel as well. So many problems!!!

Besides the fear of the dentist, my "rationalization" for so long has been that I don't have the money to get these fixed. I know it truly doesn't make sense, but...it was my excuse. For what little income I do manage to get, through selling things and whatnot, goes toward my two young kids. I avoided the dentist for so long because I had such a hard time finding a dentist that would accept payment plans, etc. My mom had to help me call places. Finally I found one yesterday, and I am hoping they will be able to help me. It is there that I will be going this morning.

SOrry for the length of this post. I have not slept all night, partly from the pain of my jaw, but mostly from sheer terror. I am also extremely worried about the pain, as I cannot just get narcotics from anybody. They all must come from my pain management doc, but he is not in the office until Monday. So that just adds one more level of fear on me. I hope and pray the dentist is kind and gentle, cause otherwise I may lose it!

I really appreciate finding that there is a forum out there for people who fear the dentist as much as I do. One of my friends goes to a sleep dentist, and gets knocked out for everything. She has a bad needle phobia as well. I dont' care about needles, I just fear the dentist in general! lol I wish I could afford the thousands of dollars it cost to see a sleep dentist. I will be happy just to be able to eat again and not suck down a bottle of motrin like candy. :(

The worst part is, I feel like such a hypocrite for being so adamant about my kids brushing and flossing and seeing the dentist. When I haven't gone for ages. I had so much trouble as a child with teeth problems that I am always telling my kids "You don't want to have teeth like mine!".

I apologize for the long, rambling post. It sure feels good to know I will be understood here, though. My family thinks I'm crazy for avoiding the dentist. To them, quote "I should just get over it." That's their answer to everything. Suck it up and go.

Thanks for listening.
Well, 3 hours later I am home. I can't believe it took so long.

But I found out what I need, which is very extensive work. Nearly every tooth has some problem, whether a very tiny cavity or a 3-surface one. Or root canals, of which I need. I need 3 extractions (all wisdom). I need deep scaling done for gum disease. Total price: 5,740. Which just isn't possible.

Without income, and with no spouse, I am in desperate need of help. At this point I am willing to just rip all my teeth out to stop the pain. I know that if you get dentures that eventually all the bone is resorbed and the denture don't fit right. At this point, I don't care.

The dentist was nice enough at first, but with my history I expect gentleness. I am after all, paying out the wazoo for service. He was so rough with my lips today that I got tears on both corners of my mouth, and my gums were ripped, as well as my lip got caught. He was working on a back molar (right hand side, lower), and he was pulling so tight on my cheek and lips I was in tears. I know he was frustrated with me because I couldn't open wide enough for him all the time, but...I have a very small mouth. So small I've had to get teeth pulled to fit in my mouth. It's been a problem at every dentist I go to, but I've never had one be so rough.

Getting the filling done was awful as well, as my teeth are so sensitive and I have so many cavities that the cold air hurt like heck. That made me cry. I was shaking so bad when I left there that the whole waiting room was staring at me as I walked out. I dont' ever want to go back there again, but I have an infected wisdom tooth that must come out soon. THey couldn't get me in until August. Who knows what my jaw pain was from, the dentist couldn't tell me. I just picked a tooth to fix today and that's what he did.

3 people in that office came in and tried to get me to sign up for a credit card, but I tried to tell them, I HAVE NO JOB. I have no way or working, no income, and no way of getting income. I have used up all my savings, all my retirement (thank God I started saving when I was 19), and since my health is so poor, I doubt I'll ever work again. My doctors just don't see it happening.
How am i supposed to get a credit card? I feel like such a total loser for being disabled, and unable to work. People have called me a loser for it, too. I am so depressed about the state of my teeth, the state of my health, and my inability to do much about it. I was hoping for some sort of payment plan, but that is not possible they said. I don't know what I'm going to do.

The last thing that really bothered me, was that I told them 3 times about my pain management doctor and the meds I take daily for pain. Plus that they cannot write any controlled substances for me since that would violate my contract with my PM doc (which I never, ever want to mess with as he saved my life). Yet when I walked out, they told me to take Tylenol. I can't take that due to my liver, which was discussed and clearly written on my history (as well as the form I give all my doctors with my rather extensive and complicated medical history). They don't LISTEN!!!! I felt so disheartened as I left that office, at this point I'd rather die than ever set foot back in a dentist's chair. I know that may sound extreme, but it's the truth.

I wish more than anything I could just sleep the rest of the day away, but I have kids to care for, dinner to cook, etc. My jaw is throbbing, the novocaine is already mostly wore off. I wish I never would have gotten sick in the first place. My whole life went downhill from there. Sometimes I think it'd have been better if I'd died. I am in such terrible pain every day. PHysically and emotionally.
I'm sorry to hear that you're in pain. Do you know if you can take ibuprofen? It usually works better for toothache than tylenol.

Your dentist should be able to make a treatment plan that you can afford, there are many ways to fix bad teeth. Offering only the "best" treatment isn't helping the patient if the patient can't afford it. Taking out some bad teeth is way better than suffering constant toothaches and infections, even if they were salvageable with RCT. Selling a more expensive treatment plan is a way for them to make money on you.

I find it very helpful to write down what I want and what kind of priorities I have before I go into the dentist's office. I can write down "I'm NOT getting a RCT in my wisdom tooth, just forget it!" or "If I'm ever in pain or uncomfortable during my appointment, I'll tell the dentist straight away and not suffer in silence" or how my symptoms have been since last time. I call it my cheat sheet, and I don't show it to the dentist, Just the fact that I wrote down what I wanted makes it easier for me to say it. I'm really the kind of person who just freezes up when I'm scared, and having a plan helps. That way I'll just say no if they come up with suggestions that I don't like.

Very small cavities can sometimes heal themselves if the patient improves oral hygiene. Some dentists will want to drill those cavities, others won't, that's another reason to get a second opinion.

I think you need a different dentist who can help you resolve your pain problem first and then take it from there, at a pace and cost that works for you.

Best of luck, toothaches are no fun!
I have always had a huge fear of dentists, but my biggest trauma was being held down for cleanings and fillings as a child every 6 months. Even though I was cooperative, I would be strapped down. Being an abuse victim, this scares me to death. My other fear is the pain, as I am on long-term opiate therapy for chronic pain (my spine is just totally obliterated) stemming from an accident and cancer.

When did this abusive dental treatment last happen to you? Have you considered taking legal action about this?

They have no right to do that to you. Do you happen to know if your parent signed some kind of consent form to agree to your being restrained like that. Look at that link and ask if they can evaluate, it is a Group action they are mounting.

That kind of treatment would cause psychological trauma to any child so the fact that this happened to you on top of other abuse you have mentioned is unforgivable.

I agree with Norwegianchick that there may be a cheaper treatment plan which can work for you but the figure you have quoted is not that high if you are in the USA where the fees can be very high.
From the way you were treated (with little gentleness) it sounds like you hadn't found your way to the most phobic-friendly establishment in your town.

You are not a 'loser', you are just unfortunate to be living in a society that doesn't financially help those in such a position very effectively.

You need to decide what you can afford I think and treatment plan from that point. Remember it is ok to deal with the most urgent things first such as any teeth which are causing you pain at the moment and leave other stuff until later.

If it helps dentistry in other parts of the world does not allow dentists to strap kids down for treatment with or without their parents' permission so it is not all dentists who are rotten to the core, just the ones you have encountered and others who would still do such things in your location but even they are likely acting illegally outside the guidelines of their professional bodies.
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