• 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.

Waiting to make first appointment!



Junior member
Feb 25, 2008

Like so many of you im petrified of going to the dentist for the first time in about 10 years! I have 4 teeth which are really bad (borken/rotted away) at the back of my mouth and im afriad of what the dentist will say! I know it sounds silly. Just looking for someone who was or is in a similar position and got through it etc


Jenny :rolleyes:
Hi Jenny, and :welcome:!

I think you will find that pretty much everyone on this board has a similar story. Our teeth may be in varying degrees of health but we're all afraid of the dentist and of what the dentist will say.

In my case, I was probably more afraid of what the dentist would say than I was of the dentist herself. I was embarrassed by my teeth and by my fear. It had been 20 years since my last dentist's visit when I finally plucked up the courage to go.

I was terrified. I just knew that the dentist was going to think that mine were the worst teeth ever; that she would berate me for not coming in sooner; and that she would give me some terrible prognosis.

None of that happened. She was sweet, gentle and kind. She applauded my courage for going into her office. She said that my teeth were far from the worst she'd ever seen. And, in my case, the prognosis was incredibly good for such a long absence from dentists.

My journey with all of this started in October and while I still get a little nervous when I visit the dentist I've actually almost gotten to the point where I look forward to going.

Just take a look at the various journals. You'll see that there are plenty of success stories. Embarking on this journey is one of the best things you'll ever do for yourself.

You're not alone, Jenny. You're among friends now and we'll help you every step of the way. :grouphug:
Hi Jenny and :welcome:

You're not alone this is the best place to be you will get much support here. It was 20 years for me since I went to the dentist. The best thing I can tell you is find one who will work with your phobia and not say anything bad about your teeth and how long you have waited.

Best of luck with finding a good dentist :cheers:

Hi Jenny,

I'm in the same boat, only it's 30 years and more than 4 teeth!!!

I just last week went to my first appointment, and even tho the dentist was lovely to me, it was obvious that my teeth are realllly bad. She's advised me to have them all out and go for dentures... that's how bad they are. But she was so nice about it, never once was she judgemental, never once did she talk down to me, never once did she make me feel bad or ashamed for the state of my mouth. No dentist worth going to will do that.

You'll find there are a lot of us in the same position here. Most people are lucky in that their teeth aren't anywhere near as bad as they thought, others like me have pretty much a spot on self assessment (which is what the dentist told me). But regardless of how good/bad our mouths are, I'll bet we'd all say the same thing... if your dentist talks down or makes you feel ashamed or afraid, go to another dentist!!!!!

Where in the world are you? If you're near any of the members, maybe they could recommend someone?

I can highly recommend Jenny Pinder if you're anywhere near London :)
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies!

I am in Aberdeen, i have found a dentist just got to make that first appointment! I am worried they say I have to have all my teeth out too. What were wrong with your teeth for them to say that to you? (if you dont mind me asking.

I know that once I go I will be fine its just the thought of them saying how bad my teeth are etc and i need to get them all out......


As everyone so far has already said, you are definitely not alone, we all very similar stories to tell - in my case an absence from the dentist of 40 years (but really more because that was only when I was in agony). And so, because of our fears of going to a dentist when we finally made it to that first appointment we were faced with another fear, the fear of embarrassment at what the dentist might think, or worse still, say, about the state of our teeth. Not to worry though, they have always seen worse - even in my case after such a long absence and once you can find a dentist and have opened your mouth for the first time and shared your problem with someone else, I tell you the relief is a treat. For years I carried the burden of what I had done to my teeth and the sheer embarrassment and then in a second all the embarrassment was gone.

You will get tremendous strength by posting on this board, your feelings, your fears however trivial you may think, we know it is not trivial at all. We are of like minds, we know exactly what you are going through and what you will have to go through to get to that first appointment. By reading some of the journals and the success stories and obviously the replies and support you get from others when you post, it will help you through. We are all at various stages of our dental journeys, some like you just starting out, some having made that next step and found themselves a dentist, on the point of going for that first appt and others who are in the course of treatment. Then there are others who have actually finished and only have to go back for six monthly check ups. And without doubt there is not one of us who hasn't said, "If I can do it, then anyone can". I bet it won't be too far in the future before you too will be able to say that. So welcome to the board, welcome to the best place in town - any town, any country.:grouphug:
Hi Jenny,
Welcome to the best board on the net :) I'm another one that hadn't been to the dentist in over 20 years. My first appointment was January 31st, and today was my 4th appointment. I also thought my teeth were the worst that the dentist would ever see, but I was wrong. While I do need a ton of work, it's okay. I'm worth it, and I'm kicking myself for not getting in sooner. My fear consumed me, but it's slowy going away. It's no longer paralyzing. What happened to me was my fear turned into shame, and then my shame turned into fear of the unknown, and then the shame came back! It's a vicious cycle. The good news is that I'm only losing 9 teeth. Yes, that's a lot of teeth, but thank God it wasn't more. My gums were in pretty bad shape, but I was told today that they can already see a vast improvement. I guarantee you that you are probably thinking the worst and the truth will be better!!
Like you, it had been 10 years since I had last seen a dentist. My motivation came when a broken molar had become infected and just had to come out because of the pain I was in.

Of course before that first appt. I feared the worst, and the reality was that my teeth were no where near that point. The outcome from that first appt? My gums are completely healthy, I had 5 cavities, a filling that needed replacing and a wisdom tooth needs to be removed. Oh.. and I need to floss more. :p That's it! Pocket change compared to the diagnosis that I was expecting!

Since that first appt. last month, I've made it through 3 fillings (only 2 to go, wooo!) and a replacement of an old filling. Once I got past the fear, it was a breeze!! Really.. a BREEZE!

Making the appt. is really the hardest part. I know I put off making that appt. for my fillings for a few weeks because I was so afraid! I can assure you that in 10 years you probably have not done as much damage as you think and they have without a doubt seen worse!
JLS, glad you've found a dentist: is it one you've been recommended to, or heard about and have you been able to look it up on the web to find out something about it. I know it's one of the scariest things of all when we begin our dental journeys to actually pick up the phone or email or however, to make that first appointment and we all have those same initial fears of the dentist saying to us, they they're absolutely the worst teeth on the planet, they've got to all come out. The reality however is usually that they definitely are not the worst, that probably far less needs doing that you are worrying about, perhaps a cleaning, a filling or two, but it is very rare that one needs to lose all of one's teeth. Dentists will do all they can to save teeth and can perform miracles these days to do just that. OK one or two of us may have had to have all our teeth extracted, like me, but I left it for 40 years (and then some) since any treatment was done, so in my case I left it too late. You have left it only 10 years which may seem a long time to you but probably is not long enough to have done lasting damage. But, until you make that first appointment and have your worst fears allayed, you will be thinking the worst.... another reason to make that appointment - peace of mind. All the best and do keep us posted.:grouphug:

Thank you all for your support and replies etc got my appointment on the 7th March! seems like ages away!!

Jenny :rolleyes:
Hi Jenny, so glad to hear you took the first step. You are much braver than I am. I did my initial contact in baby steps.

I tried for weeks before I could actually pick up the phone to call the dentist's office to make an appointment for a consultation. I was shaking & crying so bad that I had to hang up before completing the call. Then after perhaps 10 phone calls I managed to stay on the phone long enough for it to ring ... a few hang ups before they could answer ... then finally I spoke to the receptionist (in gasps and with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and a pounding chest). Somehow she understood what I was trying to say and was extremely kind, patient and understanding.

Prior to that I had to e-mail the dentist (just to feel him out) to ask if he would be compassionate toward me and he was kind enough to reply telling me that he understood. He also promised me that he would not poke at me with the dental probe ... and a few other things which I was terrified of.

My appointment is in 2 days for 2 extractions plus cleaning & stuff. I'm having IV Sedation which apparently puts one into a state of amnesia. Sounds good to me.

If you are like me you will want to reach out to us from periodically as your appointment time draws near ... that's what we're here for girl so don't hesitate to let us know what your feelings and fears are, some of us will have already gotten through that and can offer some support. Remember, we're all as terrified as you are.

Group Hug for Jenny
Thanks for that, I just wish it was sooner (in a way!)

Hope everything goes well for in a couple of days time im sure it will ;D

Hi Jenny, I know you wish it were sooner (even though you're dreading it). I think it was back in October or November when I got the nerve to contact the dentist and go in for a consultation. So I've had to wait since then for the work to be done. I pushed it out of my mind for long periods of time then every once in a while I would remember that February 28th is fast approaching and begin to have a meltdown. Hang tight ... we're here for you.
Do you mind me asking what is wrong with your teeth ie what sort of state are they. It seems silly but the only part im dreading is the dentist telling me off for the state of my teeth and the fear of them being the worst teeth he has ever seen!


Hi Jenny, first let me say that it's been way over 20 years since I've been to a dentist. The last time I went he did a filling. It fell out within a week and I sure wasn't going to go through the terror and pain again so I did nothing.

So, over 20 years later I have 2 upper molars that need to be removed. The one that had the filling has had half of the crown fall out. The other molar on the opposite side split and the dentist wasn't sure if it affected the root or not ... well in the interim, part of the crown of that tooth came out. So I have two jagged molars that are cutting my tongue and mouth, etc.

I also have decay in almost all my teeth, they don't look horrendous but if one were to look closely they could see they really do need work. I have a crack in one of my front teeth and it looks kinda dark ... you get the picture huh?

... and people ask why I don't smile in pictures. :rolleyes:

Many here in the forum have said that they feared the dentist would make them feel really bad for letting their teeth get into the state they are but have said that the dentist did not do that. Many here have found kind, compassionate dentists who understand phobias. Check out the posts here, you will see that others were worried about the same thing you are.