• Dental Phobia Support

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Terrified, depressed and embarrassed..



Junior member
Feb 4, 2016
I'm a 23-year-old female who is absolutely terrified of the dentist and no matter how hard I try I can't see a future where I won't embarrassed or not in pain with my teeth.​
I'm in so much pain with them all the time sometimes I feel like what's the point in going on when im so exhausted and tired all the time.​
I am completely responsible for the state my teeth are in, I didn't look after them properly as a child and ate and drank a lot of sugary foods and drinks, even through my childhood I had a large amount of fillings and by age 19 I'd also had extractions and a root canal.​
Now at 23, I am absolutely terrified of the dentist to the point I feel like I'm going to have anxiety attacks and I literally cry in the dentist. After ignoring my problems for two years (after having two wisdom teeth and two back teeth out sedated) I decided to finally take the plunge and get back into the dental scene.​
I went to a new dentist as I lived in a new area, I went in feeling confident that I was making this change for myself and the dentist was horrific, as soon as I walked in the room he made me feel uncomfortable, told me he wouldn't help me if I was frightened and I had to leave my dental fear in the waiting room and told me off for being late when in fact I was 30 minutes early for the appointment, I left this appointment crying and being told I needed two fillings and two extractions.​
This experience worsened my fear but after support of my family to go and get the work done I went ahead and had the treatment done, he did the two fillings and two extractions at the same time, I was literally crying my eyes out and felt like I couldn't cope, one of the extractions was physically painful and one filling the tooth just soil don't numb, after a number of attempts he went ahead and did the filling.. I left the dentist sobbing but relieved I'd had the work done.​
Three months on its apparent all the work that needed doing hasn't been done, the tooth that couldn't be numbed is causing me complete agony with the new filling, and I've had toothache in different teeth, I even feel like I can see cavities forming, my front teeth are horrendous and I am so embarrassed of them, nothing I do makes them look better and it makes me feel so depressed, sometimes I can't even bear to leave my house on my day off work because I'm so embarrassed. I work in the customer service industry and I'm too scared to smile, and sometimes the pain in my teeth is so bad that I feel like I can't move out of bed.​
I want to go back to the dentist but the last experience really shook me, I'm so scared but I feel like I'm going to end up with no teeth in my early twenties, the worst problem is I recently graduated with a science degree and university has left me in so much debt I can't even afford to get my teeth fixed properly,​
I just really don't know what to do, I feel like I'm in this downwards spiral leading to this black hole I just can't get out of.​
Hi Emma,

What other work do you need done?

I think the first thing you need to do is to find another dentist. There should be NO PAIN for a filling and my dentist told me of all the drugs he has to make painless dentistry possible. That dentist should have NEVER went ahead without you being numb!!!

Please, find another dentist and explain what happened. That will make all the difference for you.

I know it's easy in your mind to think the worst, but waited until my late 40's to finally go to the dentist and I thought I'd be climbing a mountain and instead, just a hill. Also please keep in mind that stains on teeth can look like decay.

You may just have ONE tooth bothering you but the pain travels in the nerves underneath. I just went to the dentist 2 days ago with pain because I thought it was a tooth. Three teeth eventually throbbed and there was a brown dot on the tooth in question. The spot was a stain (my cleaning isn't until the 24th) and the pain was caused by an irritation on my gum. He prescribed an oral rinse and the pain is GONE. In my mind, I was preparing myself for a root canal--because I can be my own worst enemy. LOL! That's the fear that still lives inside of me that still will rear its ugly head every so often but at least I can make that call to the dentist now and get my butt in there. This is the kind of fear I wouldn't wish on my own worst enemy.

I think we mostly have a fear of the unknown. So maybe try to go in, get x-rays and just find out what needs to be done. You still are under no obligation to do anything. Just find out. And then you can even take baby steps. YOU ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL! Have a meeting with the dentist and staff before anything else and see if they are compassionate--then discuss your fears. If that's a go, then do some x-rays.

I'm here if you need me. Patti
Don't be embarrassed! I'm 27 and so scared that I can't sleep at all, and that's over a mild painless ache in one tooth. Numbing shots for cavities (every single one of them hurt despite the use of topical gel) and painful wisdom teeth extractions have left me in such a state that when the dentist suggested cleaning, I ran for the hills and am still running even though I know I should do it. I can't dig up encouragement and comfort for myself, much less other people, so I'm really sorry about that!

However I have to say that dentist you talked about is an ass! He shouldn't have treated you like a little kid being totally unreasonable, and even if you were, he still shouldn't have acted like that! I guess he has no sense of empathy. Sometimes I think people who act that way have never really been scared themselves, truly scared, if at all.
Also, you're so much braver than I having asked for help from your family. Frankly I'm too scared to do that myself, it's almost as if I'm physically unable to.