• Welcome to Dental Fear Central! This is a place for mutual support and any questions you may have that are related to dental phobia, fear or anxiety. It is run by volunteers with first-hand experience of dental phobia and anxiety together with dental practitioners who like to help. The "Verified dentist" badges will tell you whether an answer has been provided by a qualified dental practitioner. If you'd like to use all the features of this forum and share your own experiences, or if you are a dental professional who would like to contribute, register now.

    We strive to promote a safe, friendly and trustworthy environment with our team of moderators monitoring all discussions daily.

Things you do/say to hide your phobia...

T

thisisme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
200
I’m trying to distract myself from my appt. tomorrow, so what are some things you do to hide your phobia (if you are choosing to hide it):

1.) Look up a name of a local dentist, so if anyone asks, you have a name.

2.) Reply: “Oh man, that stinks” whenever someone mentions they have an appt, and then, immediately change the subject.

3.) Pretty much agree with whatever anyone says about the dentist, so you won’t need to explain yourself.
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,006
I avoid all conversations about dentists and dental work.
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
2,194
Location
Massachusetts, USA
I used to just say ‘I don’t go to the dentist’ as if this was something that non-phobic people just decided. Lol! Recently, I’ve been really surprised about how many people there are who have anxiety/are phobic about going to the dentist. When I’ve dared to share my fears with others, I am most often met with a ‘me too’ which I find incredibly comforting and normalizing.
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
458
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I used to just say ‘I don’t go to the dentist’ as if this was something that non-phobic people just decided. Lol! Recently, I’ve been really surprised about how many people there are who have anxiety/are phobic about going to the dentist. When I’ve dared to share my fears with others, I am most often met with a ‘me too’ which I find incredibly comforting and normalizing.
Same thing for me. I had a colleague pick me up after a sedation appointment and he was surprised to see that a now retired colleague was also there. We were talking a few weeks later to someone that worked with that retired colleague and he told us that a few people from our office used to go at the same dentist office as I do. Felt better to know that other colleagues had enough anxiety to choose a dentist office that specializes in sedation.

On the other hand, I had a roommate who didn't understand my anxiety and would always tell me she found it so nice that she would fall asleep on the chair. At my old job a colleague tough people where weak to need any sedation. I tend to try to avoid conversations with those type of people.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,686
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I would previously just avoid the subject, change the subject, just didn't discuss at all.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,548
Location
United States
I’ve noticed more open discussion about it over the years among colleagues and friends both in person and on social media but it tends to stay more in the realm of “I hate the dentist” versus “I am scared of the dentist” but I think in most cases, that’s what they really mean. It’s just easier to say you hate something versus being afraid of it as fear tends to be associated with weakness. i used to change the subject or briefly acknowledge and move on. I overheard my new boss say yesterday that she’s “excited” about going to the dentist soon...I almost asked her to elaborate and then decided I’d rather not get into it. She’s brought it up twice now that she has a pending appointment. She also mentioned that it is a new dentist as hers retired so maybe she’s a bit nervous and that’s her way of expressing it. I guess I find it hard to believe that anyone could not be nervous on some level...especially with a totally new office/dentist.
 
Sol

Sol

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
264
Location
USA
I would agree its more common to hear people talking about dental stuff casually. Might be surprised when you engage people about it. Overheard coworkers talking recently and one was saying he was taking the next week off. He was going to take his phobic wife to an appointment and be home for her while she recovered.

I can only remember avoiding the discussion a couple of times before I started going regularly to the dentist again. A friend that I've known since high school used to tell me how much she loved going for cleanings. The practice she went to had mounted TVs so she liked to watch Disney movies while at her cleanings. Remember giving her a raised eye brow. Later in life learned that she finds fillings "scary" so that made her seem a bit less crazy. :grin:

When I was first hired at my job, some else who was fairly new sat with me for lunch. She had a microwave dinner (mashed potatoes, chicken (?) and mixed veggies). She offered me the veggies but I declined saying I wasn't that hungry. Asked her if she didn't like the veggies. She surprised me by saying that she had holes in her teeth where the veggie would get caught and it hurt too much to eat things besides the mashed potatoes. Offered her sympathies but wasn't able to say much more at the time. Think I was too stunned that she told me about her teeth considering we had not known each other very long. Might have also felt a bit weird to say I was afraid and hadn't been in awhile considering I wasn't in pain like she was.
 
kitkat

kitkat

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,548
Location
United States
I’ve noticed more open discussion about it over the years among colleagues and friends both in person and on social media but it tends to stay more in the realm of “I hate the dentist” versus “I am scared of the dentist” but I think in most cases, that’s what they really mean. It’s just easier to say you hate something versus being afraid of it as fear tends to be associated with weakness. i used to change the subject or briefly acknowledge and move on. I overheard my new boss say yesterday that she’s “excited” about going to the dentist soon...I almost asked her to elaborate and then decided I’d rather not get into it. She’s brought it up twice now that she has a pending appointment. She also mentioned that it is a new dentist as hers retired so maybe she’s a bit nervous and that’s her way of expressing it. I guess I find it hard to believe that anyone could not be nervous on some level...especially with a totally new office/dentist.
So to follow up on this, my new boss brought it up AGAIN (for a third time) but this time shared that she felt like something was wrong with one of her teeth so I think she really means that she’s nervous about it.
 
Top