• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone with a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    It's a supportive space to talk to people with similar experiences, and get advice and information.

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Well I finally did it...

JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
My name is Johnny and I have a deep dentist phobia. The last time I went to the dentist was 8 years ago in 2013. Before that I hadn't been to the dentist in probably 4-5 years. When I was a kid I often preferred to scrape the food and "gunk" off my teeth with my nails instead of actually brushing. Regardless of my poor habits the dentist would always tell me I had great teeth. Besides a few cavities I had straight teeth with no major issues.

When I was 18/19 I noticed that my bottom front teeth started growing a gap. I also noticed visible plaque/tartar but I ignored it. This started affecting my confidence. I started trying to hide my teeth whenever I spoke. This caused me to mumble because I wouldn't enunciate.

I finally decided to visit the dentist in 2013. The staff was super friendly and ended up cleaning my teeth and removing the tartar. They told me I had possible periodontal disease and gum disease and scheduled a future appointment to continue treatment. I was ecstatic that my teeth looked visibly better! I was able to talk freely and smile more often. I was so happy that I decided to ignore my future appointment and settle with my "fixed" teeth.

Fast forward 8 years later and now my gap is much larger and I have twice the tartar build up as before. My self confidence is down the drain now and I feel terrible! I am now so afraid that the damage is beyond repair and I am embarrassed to have anyone look at my teeth. Every time I look in the mirror I notice the huge gap and yellow tartar on my teeth. I go through phases where I brush intensely, floss, use mouthwash, and try to care for my teeth. Then I have other days when I don't brush my teeth for a few days or until I have some where to go. I am so depressed!

Today I saw a picture of my friend and his pearly whites and I began to feel so ashamed of where I let myself go. I want to feel confident again. This pushed me to request an appointment at my local dentist office. I might regret this later but I am nervously waiting for the call to confirm my date and time. I just hope I don't hit the ignore button and avoid the dentist for another 8 years.

I decided to start this journal to share my new journey and hopefully success story!

Any words of encourage and support are highly appreciated! Thank you!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,036
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
JohnnyAppleSeed,

I am so happy that you are taking these steps to self care and out of shame. Shame is just awful to live through ,, I say this because I know.. that feeling of being ashamed, of the way your teeth looks for whatever reason, is very hard.. and at times paralyzing.

Congratulations, on taking the step of making that appointment! It is so huge.. I really hope your dentist is kind and caring and can help you in whatever ways you need in a very nice way! I hope they see your effort in this and wanting to take care and make yourself feeling better about your teeth.

I give you so much credit.

I have had varying degrees of shame about my teeth for various reasons.. but have also in that found several dentists that really listened , care and were compassionate to help me in my journey, so have that same hope for you!!

This is the best place to be to talk about your journey, glad you are doing a journal!

:grouphug:
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
JohnnyAppleSeed,

I am so happy that you are taking these steps to self care and out of shame. Shame is just awful to live through ,, I say this because I know.. that feeling of being ashamed, of the way your teeth looks for whatever reason, is very hard.. and at times paralyzing.

Congratulations, on taking the step of making that appointment! It is so huge.. I really hope your dentist is kind and caring and can help you in whatever ways you need in a very nice way! I hope they see your effort in this and wanting to take care and make yourself feeling better about your teeth.

I give you so much credit.

I have had varying degrees of shame about my teeth for various reasons.. but have also in that found several dentists that really listened , care and were compassionate to help me in my journey, so have that same hope for you!!

This is the best place to be to talk about your journey, glad you are doing a journal!

:grouphug:
Thank you for your kind words! I know at the end of this process I will be much happier than if I stay where I am. I am so relieved and happy that I found a community of people who share similar experiences and feelings as me. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one going through these struggles.
 
T

TKB1974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
126
Location
Washington
Best of luck to you! The hardest part for me was that first visit back after so many years. My mind just wouldn’t settle and I envisioned all of the worst possible scenarios/outcomes. The truth of the matter was that I needed a lot less work done than I’d anticipated, everyone was so kind and reassuring, and my teeth look and feel amazing. The best part? The 24/7 worrying about my teeth is GONE! The peace of mind has truly been the best thing ever! I wish the same for you. Please go keep us posted. This is such a lovely place for support. ?
 
SolarDentures

SolarDentures

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Ohio
JAS-

I too put off my dental issues for about the same amount of time as you. I always brushed & flossed regularly but my teeth just got worse and worse. At a young age, I had massive amounts of painful oral surgeries and 7 (yes 7 years) of braces that were painful the entire time. I eventually developed a huge phobia of the dentist and just stopped going regularly.

I found the shame to be the worst part of living with bad teeth. The pain I could handle, it was being in a room where everyone had perfect teeth and I was the focus of the attention. (I wanted to crawl under a rock)

Be proud of yourself for taking steps to feel better. I know it may seem scary, but after starting my journey, Ive found it’s not as bad as we make it in our heads. It’s no cake walk, but also isn’t the end of the world.
100% rooting for you to answer that appointment call ?
Best Wishes - Sunny ?
 
SolarDentures

SolarDentures

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Ohio
JAS

You also inspired me to start my own journal. Your share really spoke to me. Thank you - Sunny ?
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
UPDATE: Well I finally got the call and I picked up! The receptionist seemed fairly nice and asked for my general information and insurance details.

My first appointment is set for July 14th at 7:50 AM!

I am nervous but also excited.

Wish me luck! More updates to come. :)
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
JAS

You also inspired me to start my own journal. Your share really spoke to me. Thank you - Sunny ?
I'm glad I was able to inspire you to start your own journal. I will be following along. Thanks for your encouragement and kind words.
 
Y

Yorkie

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
105
Location
Yorkshire
Hi Johnny,
Just wanted to stop by and show some love.
Sometimes just picking up that call is the hardest part. You've taken the first big step of booking the appointment. Between now and then be good to yourself and try not to beat yourself up any more. You've taken the first step on your new and exciting journey.
I've been there myself and understand all the emotions and feelings you've had and I can tell you it gets better. I look forward to following along on your journey.
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Well.. I went in to the dentist office today for the first time since 2013. I know, I know! I told everyone this was for July. I ended up going on a last minute trip so I had to reschedule. Anyways the important thing is that I finally saw a dentist!

The visit included X-rays and a conversation about my history and concerns. The hygienist was super nice and understood my anxiety.

I was told that I have gum disease and need periodontal scaling. I'll also need some cavities filled and a root canal on one teeth. The dentist assured me that I shouldn't experience any major discomfort or pain. I have confidence to proceed with the treatments.

I will keep everyone updated as I go through with this process.
 
L

LauraQ68

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
105
Location
California
That’s fantastic! Congrats! Please don’t fear the root canal or even the periodontal scaling. I’ve had both and they were truly no big deal. My anxiety was the worst part. You will be so happy with the results. But, you have to make a promise to yourself now, just like I did: “I will go to all the visits and I will not skip another dental cleaning!” ?
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Minneapolis, MN
UPDATE: Hello! It's been a couple months since I last posted (and I am sorry about that!)

Since the last time I posted I've had two periodontal scaling sessions, a root canal, and a few cavity fillings on right side.

The dentist office is becoming my new normal and now I don't have as much fear or anxiety. The staff at my local dentist are super nice, patient, and very respectful. They also allow me to ask questions and bring up any concerns I have.

I made it guys! I have one more session to fill in cavities on my left side and will only need to go in for routine cleaning as long as I keep up with maintenance. That is the one thing my dentist stressed! FLOSS FLOSS FLOSS! That is one of the main reasons for dental issues, not flossing.

I hope to stay connected more often to keep encouraging this community.

Thank you for sticking around. :)
 
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