• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

TRIGGER WARNING re needles: Extreme Fear of dentists



Junior member
Sep 9, 2013
Hi guys,

My name is Josh, 15 from Australia.

I have a serious fear of dentists - and growing up I really had no care and ignored my parents in terms of dental hygiene. I recently visited a dental therapist who referred me to an actual dentist for the extraction of a molar with part of it's external structure missing from decay. Yeah, I've done a fair bit of research. It was a massive struggle right from the start. I have a fear of the needles. I thought, I have to tough it out - if I leave it any longer the tooth will be missing and it will be a completely difficult extraction - so I thought I would get it over and done with.

The dentist herself seemed very uncomfortable and looked fresh out of uni. She was a smaller girl, very young. After getting to the third and final needle, halfway through I started gagging. At this point, I was breathing very heavily and felt extremely nauseated and light-headed, aswell as being hot and flustered. We stopped for a good fifteen minutes while they put a wet towel on my head and opened some windows for ventilation. She said; "Do you want to continue?" to which I replied yes, because I was not getting another 3 whole needles the next day after that extremely terrifying beginning (yes, I'm terrified). She continued the small remainder of that vial, before letting us wait a few minutes. After checking that I was numbed, she began to loosen the molar. She loosened it enough, as loose as the only other extraction I had, and began to tug it out. She complained that despite it being extremely loose (she could rock it completely), that the roots were stuck and just weren't coming out. She stood there clenching her fist whilst giving herself a break, she seemed very shaky. We went through multiple types of forceps, before (I think) my tooth collapsed/broke. She continuously was removing fragments and she seemed worried, but wasn't too vocal. Eventually, I felt her remove the entire tooth (so I thought) and roots. This was on Thursday, today is Monday the following week so it's only day 5. I've read that the pain would subside by day 5 but I'm still in a decent amount of pain. The site of the extraction has gotten a lot smaller, and the gums have expanded into the hole a lot more so the hole isn't massive like it first started out to be.

Anyway, I was already worried after this scab-like thing, yellowy-white in colour was on the inside of my gum at the extraction site, to the side of the socket, leading into it. It's quite sensitive and tender, and even scraping it with my tongue can be quite painful and stings. I was feeling around that area to feel if it's healing properly, and felt something stiff. It wasn't the next tooth or anything, but the gum. Confused, I decided to use my finger to feel very lightly and gently around the top of the hole. I felt something very sharp and hard, sticking straight up vertically. I tried to tug it but it's small and stuck in there like a normal tooth would be. I've pushed, tugged and done everything but it's still there. It's not a floating fragment, but it's legitimately stiff as hell and stuck into the socket. I'm already worried about the needles, competence of the dentist aswell as general pain and tools, let alone an incomplete extraction. Is it normal to have this in my mouth?

I have 5 fillings that need to be done, and I am so worried. I hate the pressure feeling and the low-grinding sound of the drills - I can't even stand the grinding sound of ice, both sounds alone give me shivers. I don't want to even be awake but my dad tells me to tough it out - and I usually do but I don't think I can anymore. I've tried a lot and after this most traumatic experience recently, to the point where the dentist (yes, the little female dentist) had her entire body shaking - I don't think I can visit the dentist and go through it all again. I don't want the needles, and I don't want the drills... I just wish I could be asleep just like my tonsillectomy. I really wish I could be put under general anesthesia - yes, I've read the articles here about IV sedation - but I don't even want to be conscious, I don't want to hear, I don't want to see. I've tried closing my eyes. I'm just scared shitless to be quite honest... and a return visit isn't what I can see myself doing.

Oh and please don't say GA is probably out of the question. I'm aware, it's expensive, risky and used only on serious, serious cases. I just want some suggestions as I find the dentists unbearable... and these problems I've had so far aren't helping :/

edit: a pic can be seen below. After much frustration I decided to inspect the "scab". It turns out a sharp part of the tooth was sticking into the gum as its below the gum line, so it's causing pain... Not a sensitive scab. The tooth part that I talked about is a lot bigger than I thought, the white bits visible on the left (tongue side) of the socket is actually tooth I believe, very very hard and won't move one bit. The other white bits are soft and just pus or something, I haven't put my finger in the socket, I just used my tongue to rub over the top of the socket to feel it.
Last edited by a moderator:
Re: Extreme Fear of dentists

Re: Extreme Fear of dentists

You need to go back to the dentist and ask to see someone else at the practice, explain to them what happened. They should get someone else to see you. I would not want to go back to see the dentist you saw and I would try and persuade your dad that you need to see someone else. :butterfly:

Has your dad seen your mouth?
Re: Extreme Fear of dentists

I don't have time to answer your post fully right now but just wanted to say one thing. You describe the needles as being giant, in fact much larger than needles used in medicine. I once asked my dentist to show me the needle and in fact the needle was about 1cm long and very thin. Much smaller than the needle used to eg take blood or give a muscle injection. The syringe might seem large though - maybe that is what you are seeing?
I would echo Carole though - go to another dentist - this one is not for you. And read through our common fears section and peoples journals - you are not alone :)
Re: Extreme Fear of dentists

Yes, I've shown him. We're going back on Friday as I have a catch-up appointment. I don't recall automatically having one for the last extraction. I think she knows she did a bad job? Did she?
Some bone fragments are normal during extractions. They should work themselves out but if they are causing discomfort they can be removed.

I am sorry for the anxiety, I know how you feel!

It's possible that the dentist wasn't expecting to encounter a difficult tooth and your anxiety coupled with her inexperience maybe frazzled her. The pain might indicate an infection which could be caused by anything (did they prescribe antibiotics?) so I would definitely mention that.
Hi Josh. I don't have much to suggest, but I'm also very noise phobic, and it's really one of my bigger issues with the dentist. I listen to music while the dentist works. I don't have the money for any sort of expensive noise cancelling things, but I've found in ear buds to work better than head phones for this. I get the ones that you actually sort of jam in your ear canal a bit. At times I turn it up extremely loud if I am very afraid of the sound, and no dentist has had much of an issue with this yet. If they need to speak to me quickly to tell me something, I just take one out. For quick directions they'll often just use a hand gesture to show me. I've had numerous people work on me this way, and they have all been able to work with it. It keeps me from majorly panicking, so I won't deal with a dentist who won't work with it.
Glad to not feel so alone. I have gone back and she has put a medicated dressing in, not sure what it does though. She also gave me another damn needle before drilling some more, she also cut my tongue a bit. The reason I go there is that she is the only dentist in my local area where they actually seem to care for you. You see, they are government ran so they don't need to worry about time wasting as much, because its not a sole practice where the dentist needs to manage his time efficiently in order to make money. This dentist has really been considerate of it all, and does little things like letting me lie and recover for 15-30 minutes after the appointment. They seem to be so compassionate and all, it's great. The others are foreigners who you'd swear can't even communicate in my language. I have 5 fillings now, not sure how many they'll do at a time but I can tell you, I'm not excited!
Hey guys,

Just an update. Turns out it wasn't tooth but it was actually bone sticking out. This caused the socket to be very wide open (as usually it would get smaller and close up, to an extent), thus creating a dry socket, aswell as an infection where the bone was digging into the gum.

The dentist drilled it out and *sigh* in the process somehow managed to cut/drill my tongue. *sigh again*

It's a government dental service and the same dental therapist who was very nice who referred me to this dentist, the one who had the complicated extraction - was the assistant there.

She was very nice. Anyhow, after that I had a filling scheduled at the dental therapist's clinic for a filling to be done.

Now, in this particular appointment I discovered something great that really, really helps with the anxiety to an unbelievable extent. I think that because of my past experiences with dentists, the whole surgery feel, the perfect white room, all sealed up, people walking around with masks - is very daunting and triggering.

Anyhow, due to the clinic being inside a hospital which is actually a historical building, the surgery had folding doors, that opened up to the garden and the main road. I'm sure you could argue with the sanitation having the doors wide open, but my jesus it helped. I felt so much more relaxed and comfortable, less of a surgery feel and it was just better on so many levels. I really recommend if you live in an area with a dentist surgery that has similar capabilities, definitely request having doors / windows wide open - it's relaxing.

This dental therapist was actually very talkative - she asked what I did and didn't like... for example, I told her the slow drill/bur was very uncomfortable, and when she sprayed oxygen onto the tooth being filled - that it felt cold and uncomfortable, she'd do it to a minimal extent.

I honestly can't argue - if your dentist isn't as helpful as you'd like - find another one, this one was very talkative and talked to me throughout the procedure - she didn't say things like "I am going to put a needle in to numb", she'd just have a general conversation to actually distract me from what's happening. Top experience!
I like listening to the chit chat between the dentist and the nurse, my dentist also talks to me like a person and not just a patient. I am glad you had such a comfortable experience after suffering with your mouth. I hope things clear up soon.

Good luck for the next appointment :clover::clover::clover:

Well done :jump::jump::jump::butterfly:

Similar threads