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thank you, but still afraid



Junior member
Feb 27, 2012
Hi Everyone...

I have been reading stories of fear and embarrassment of visiting the dentist and have found myself trying not to cry from knowing there are others out there just like me. (Like most of you, I have felt very alone with this fear/embarrassment and of the lectures I was to expect by seeing a dentist again.) I have kept this in for so long just because friends of mine never seem to have a fear of going to a dentist/doctor, or if they do, they suck it up and just go. I do envy their courage.

In the past, (I moved to a new city 5 years ago) I was able to visit the dentist and also wore braces for 8 years and did not fear the monthly visits to the orthodontist for my adjustments. However, there have been some major changes in my life and some very negative ones to say the least. I thought by moving away and getting a fresh start things would look up, but unfortunately my fear, panic attacks and the coping methods I used to just get by have stopped me from going to the dentist. I have dreams and fears of my teeth falling out, breaking, etc. and I try to pump my courage up to just make that phone call and go to the dentist, but then I talk myself out of it saying tomorrow I will do it. Well, that tomorrow hasn't come yet. I know I need to go, I want to go, but my fear/embarrassment is quite high right now that I don't want to end up having to run out of the office because of a panic attack. I started having those at the chiropractor now and have avoided going to see him for the last 4 months because of it. (I know that nowadays people understand more about panic attacks/etc. but that doesn't always make me feel better when I am having an attack....I really don't want to bring any negative attention to myself because of it).

I keep getting newsletters/brochures for a new female dentist in my city that isn't far from my house and they talk about calm dentistry, etc. to help the fearful patient. They offer things such as sedation, "laughing gas" and possibly taking Ativan or Valium prior to an appt. I am more terrified of any type of drug having to be taken because of the after effects. I had taken Ativan before to help with my anxiety and the after effects were hard on me.

I guess I am just rambling here, but am hoping that just by admitting my fear/embarrassment to others, it will give me the strength to muster up the courage to do something that I know will benefit me for the good and it isn't going to harm me. I am sure if I can get through just 1 or 2 appts. and feel comfortable with the dentist, it will calm my fears, but because I get panic attacks at the chiropractor now, my fears are even stronger.

Thank you for listening to me. :shame:
Hi Morganj

You are probably causing yourself more stress and worry by thinking about getting in touch with the dentist and putting it off until tomorrow. It might be an idea to give your self a week or two off, decide to do nothing for say 7 days or however many you decide on, make it as short as you can.
Lets say that you are not going to do any thing until 5 March, then on that day, or whatever day you have decided on, e mail some dental offices and explain, the same way you have on here, how you feel.

Go through the replies and decide which one's you fancy having a look at, you can arrange an appointment just for a check up or just to talk and see if you think you would be able to work with the dentist to get any dental work done you may need.

I hope this helps you a bit, just give yourself a break for a few days, come on here and talk all you want, I suffer panic attacks as well and I have found a lovely dentist that is caring and gentle, and you will too. It's a bit nerve wrecking at first but after you have made that first visit you will feel like a great weight has been lifted.

You can do it, good luck :XXLhug:
I understand I go through similar things even with the chiro. I have finally been able to get some teeth done but everyone in that office knows I have panic and they are so good with me and patient. Don't be ashamed that you suffer this, its not a fun thing and you should never feel bad about yourself. The thing is with our phobias the only way to get through it is to do it despite how much our little negative voice in our heads scare us. I tell myself I am in control and I can get up and leave if I want too. I do it in steps. I get the novacaine then I get up and take a short walk to burn off a little of that anx I built. I think you should tell them and ask all the questions you need to ask and ask them to go slow with you. I really do have the same reaction as you all the physical feelings of the panic but if you try not to feed it with more bad thoughts it does lighten up. Good luck!
Hi morganj

I totally agree with you that drugs are not a solution. Reading your thread, I have the impression that in your case it might do more harm than good. Having said that, a laughing gas might be a good mean to lessen the stress (at least in the first appointment) because it does not alter your consciousness, you are still in control and can choose and act during the dental appointment.

These panic attacks you were sharing with us about: did they ever took place besides the chiro/dentist? If so, it would be better to start dealing first with these attacks (I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy). If these attacks happen mostly in chiro/dentist environment, can you tell us what is exactly the trigger for such an attack? what can make an appointment easier?

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