• 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.

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upcoming appt= renewed fear and anxiety



Well-known member
Jul 22, 2012
New Hampshire, USA
Hi everyone,

Some of you might remember me. I joined this group about 10 years ago, when a broken tooth forced me to seek out dental care after 12+ years of avoiding dentists.

I'm not very active on this group anymore because most of the time my anxiety is pretty low, and easily managed. I actually go to my dentist 4 times a year now for cleanings.When I'm there, I am able to make nice conversation and joke around and I feel like a normal, non-anxious, patient.

Recently though, my phobia has been creeping back up. At my last cleaning appt, my hygienist mentioned I'd need to full set of x rays at my next appt (which is in 2 weeks). Not just the bitewings, but the whole panoramic ones too.

I do not mind getting the x-rays; the process doesn't bother me. . . but I am so afraid they are going to 'find something' on the xrays that will need treatment. I've been going to my office for 5 years now, and I've only needed cleanings; no fillings or treatments at all.

I am worried if the dentist finds something in my xrays that needs treatment, I will have a meltdown right then and there. If I start crying or have an anxiety attack, I would be too embarrassed to ever go back. They have never seen me at my worst, because all the 'bad stuff' happened prior to their office.

I know this might seem silly or minor compared to the things that others are here to discuss, but I've aready postponed this appt once, and I've been having anxiety dreams about it at night, and I can feel myself starting to regress. I keep imagaining al sorts of terrible scenarios and the fear is intruding on the other parts of my life.

I didn't know what else to try.
Dear Shamrockein,

In my view, the most importnat thing to be careful of is over-treatment. Unfortunately, some dentists (a minority) due to financial motivation, try to treat as much as possible. If you don't have a problem with your teeth, certainly there is no rush to receive immediate treatment and once you have paid for your X rays, they become your property, so you can ask to receive them and search for a second opinion, even on this forum.
As far as cavities are concerned: only bite wing X rays are suitable to diagnose cavities, and it is pretty easy to see whether there is a cavity, even for a patient. So if a dentist diagnoses a cavity, ask to see it yourself.

Hope it helps.
@Dr. Daniel Thanks so much for your response. I've made similar posts a few times in the past couple years, and you always respond.

I've been at this office for 5 years now, and I trust the Dr. He told me a few years ago that I had some small cavities, but since I didn't feel ready for any treatment, he agreed that we could just monitor them. I guess I am more afraid that after a few years, the small cavities may have gotten worse, and he'll tel me I need to get them filled now.

The last time I had a filling (at a different office) I started crying and I was too embarrassed to ever go back there. I don't want that to happen again because I like this office.
Sounds like it has been a few years since your last filling. It also sounds like you have a great dentist. In other words: what happened a few years back does not necessarily happen a few later: you are a different person now, with different personal situation, have a different dentist with whom you feel comfortable with. It's a whole different ball game.
Appointment is tomorrow! Sometimes I think "It'll be fine" and then inother moments I'm sure that something will be wrong.
For anyone who reads this, everything was fine at my appointment. I did all the x-rays, and there was nothing new on them. I asked a couple questions of the hygienist (the dentist was unexpectedly out) but she assured me that if there was a concern, they would notice it and would let me know.

It just goes to show how powerful this phobia can be, and how it can psyche you out. . .even when my teeth are in fine condition, I have this terrible voice inside telling me that they're rotten, and awful-looking, and something MUST be wrong with them simply because they're my teeth and I spent years thinking that way. . .

For any newcomers who might be reading this, I wish you all the best, and I hope this forum will help you feel understood and supported.
Appointment is tomorrow! Sometimes I think "It'll be fine" and then inother moments I'm sure that something will be wrong.
I'm right there with you. Spent the day shopping for dentures online because of pain in one tooth. It's been a year since my last cleaning, but it's a new dentist and I'm sure there will be so many problems.

Thank you for updating. I'm glad it all went well for you!