• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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The power of a compassionate dentist



Junior member
Mar 31, 2022
Over the course of my 50 plus years, I have had extensive restorative work done — crowns on every molar. Fillings on my upper front teeth. 2 extractions, including post-procedure ER visit An implant. A gum graft. I’m not afraid of dental work— I was wide awake during the gum graft and implant. Bit I am embarrassed by how much I have neglected my teeth, and I can’t handle being made to feel even worse.

For this reason, I’ve also had 4 dentists (and also a dental school where the supervising dentist shamed me in front of the students) over the past 12 years. Despite all of the work that I had done, I couldn’t seem to change my poor oral hygiene.

The last time I looked for a dentist, I just wanted someone who wasn’t going to make me feel worse than I already did. So I did a google search for ‘nonjudgmental dentists’. One name appeared. I looked at their website and leaned that he has an annual free community dental day where he extracts or repairs teeth for people without insurance coverage. I reasoned that he probably saw a lot of patients with neglected teeth.

On his building, there’s a sign with his name. And right below that, there’s another sign that says ‘compassionate care with q non judgmental approach.’ I just knew I was in the right place.

He came up with an initial treatment plan that was implemented over 2 years, and he has done other work since then. During that time, his staff would give me ‘tips’, but they gave the same tips to every patient so I never felt judged.

But last year, I finally achieved my holy grail— the dentist examined my teeth and said ‘I’ll see you in six months.’ It was the first time in over 15 years that my semi annual cleaning didn’t lead to additional restorative care.

At that point I became determined to hear those words again. So I became obsessive about brushing every night and flossing every day. And yesterday, I had a repeat visit. It’s now been over a year since I needed any restorative work, and I am thrilled.

But I credit this dentist. I know that if he had said anything that made me feel worse than I already did, I would have spent a few years again avoiding dental visits. I’m so grateful that he gets it.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 18, 2017
What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing, Pbandj10! Isn't it incredible, how compassion and non-judgmentalism can work wonders? I don't know in which universe shaming ever helped people and I still wonder that whenever I read about dentists like those you had in the past..


Well-known member
Oct 1, 2010
In dental heaven
Hello and welcome to the happy space! Like you, for too many years I suffered at the hands of heartless and judgemental dentists. Congratulations on your success and hope that all will continue to go well for you. Yet another example of finding the right person for the need. From dental heaven with love. Simon


Aug 23, 2019
I read your post and wanted to weigh in. I had a horrible, horrible experience with a dentist who I am convinced destroyed two of my teeth that I later lost - I researched and found a new dentist who I really really like. He listens and is compassionate. I recently went to one of his hygienists for a cleaning (he has two and I had never been to this one). Long story short - she was awful and said judgmental things to me during the cleaning and was just rude. This forum has helped remind me what I should communicate, expect and ask for at the dentist so that it is a good experience for everyone - I felt empowered and knew her behavior was not ok or a good fit for me. When I left I quietly asked the front office person to put a note in my file so that I am only ever scheduled with the nice hygienist - she totally understood and accommodated my request. So cheers to you for finding what you need - and thank you to this forum for helping some of us find our voices.