What caused your fear or phobia?

What caused your dental phobia or fear?

  • A single traumatic experience at the dentist

    Votes: 10 13.3%
  • A number of traumatic experiences at the dentist

    Votes: 40 53.3%
  • Dentists can't get me numb

    Votes: 11 14.7%
  • Comments made by a dentist or hygienist (humiliation)

    Votes: 28 37.3%
  • Feeling powerless in dental situations

    Votes: 36 48.0%
  • Parents or caregivers being scared of the dentist

    Votes: 12 16.0%
  • Hearing horror stories from other people

    Votes: 16 21.3%
  • Movies or media portrayal of dental treatment

    Votes: 8 10.7%
  • Other traumatic experiences, including abuse

    Votes: 16 21.3%
  • Generally high levels of anxiety

    Votes: 38 50.7%
  • Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)

    Votes: 8 10.7%
  • Parents or caregivers instilling feelings of guilt about dental health

    Votes: 13 17.3%
  • Other (you can leave a post in this thread)

    Votes: 11 14.7%
  • No real reason/don't know

    Votes: 4 5.3%

  • Total voters
    75
J

Jay LB

Junior member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
1
My trauma began when I was 8 years old, receiving my very first dental extraction. Cause that time my tooth pain hinders and distracts my school performances so my parents took me into the dentist. They held me down and I was crying hard begging to get home. I felt everything, the blades, the needle, and the motion of my tooth being pulled. I even had the taste of the drug they put in my tooth before putting the needle.

After those, for years I never got myseld into the dental office again. I don't like to have any peinful experience again. I dont want to be helpless. I've been into surgeries that made me helpless and crying in agony, even my circumcision, that the doctors laughed at me while I'm crying in agony.
 
T

Teix

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
22
I never had any trauma. My dentists up till I was around 14 were lovely, gentle and kind. I wasn’t keen on the last one I had because she was stern and no nonsense so had no time for my anxiety.

But I’ve always been scared of the dentist. Maybe it was the vibes my parents gave out when we visited? Or maybe it’s because I’ve always been an anxious person!

What certainly hasn’t helped was watching those make over programmes from the mid 2000s. Or being told that my Father bites down hard on his teeth before eating to stop them falling out....
 
M

MamaSeesa

Junior member
Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
3
I have always had a phobia, I think because I have soft teeth and/ or dry mouth and thus needed work done after every checkup. I used to pray for Jesus to come rapture the church before my next appointment!
When I went to college, I stopped going for about 2 years since my mom couldn't make me. Then I was getting married and wanted a pretty smile. After 2 years of not going, I had 9 cavities, periodontal disease, and needed one molar pulled. I was still terrified, but I made myself get it all done. The periodontist is who did me in. He blamed me for my tooth decay, made me sit through an hour long video of what tooth decay does to you, and generally shamed me for needing work done. Then when he actually worked on my teeth, he forcefully jammed the needle in (and I needed it 3 times for the procedure). I was crying, the hygienist was embarrassed, and he never said a word to me. My phobia became PTSD. I didn't go to a dentist again for 15 years (tried once 10 years after, had 5 panic attacks). The needles are my trigger. I was sedated to get work done, and I came out of it crying when they were numbing me. Both sedation appointments. My daughter had to be numbed to have a baby tooth pulled and I had to turn away and have a small panic attack just thinking about what they were doing. Thankfully I found a dentist whose entire office is designed for people with anxiety, phobias, and PTSD.
 
G

Garcha

Junior member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
3
I have needle phobia not due to bad dental experiences but bad doctor experiences. As a kid my tonsils would get irritated very easily and I'd make frequent trips to the doctor. The doctor would often prescribe injections for my infection. Since I didn't have "enough muscle" in my arms or thighs as a kid I was injected in my butt ( WEIRD IK). I hated it as it hurt and I moved so much in resistance that almost 4 nurses had to pin me down every time. That trauma has turned into a fear of needles because it reminds me of that pain and trauma. I have gotten multiple injections growing up but still the fear is still there.
 
C

Chris1986UK

Junior member
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Messages
9
I had a injection in the roof of my mouth, when I was fairly young and it REALLY hurt.
I’ve had hypnotherapy since and have conquered my fear in general. An injection in the roof of the mouth would however still make me very nervous to say the least. It may not be as bad now, but it’s the only experience I have.
 
T

Timid Llama

Junior member
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
4
My childhood dentist used to give fillings with no anaesthetic. That pretty much started a lifelong fear. There have been numerous things since. Loose front teeth after surgical removal of a tooth in my palette followed by stitches being left in by accident. I still remember the dentist yanking away for ages before he realised the end was wrapped around the tooth next to it. Then there a really bad root canal where they couldn't get it numb and the pain was so bad when they hit the nerve.

My most recent experience has made me spiral even worse. I got an anaesthetic injection on the palette side of an upper back tooth that needed extracted. The dentist did warn me that it would hurt but the pain was beyond anything I could imagine. I felt a pushing/ripping sensation as he got the needle into the right spot and I started screaming, then he injected the liquid and it turned into a proper blood curdling, someone is being murdered scream. I didn't even know that I could scream, but apparently I'm very good at it!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,517
My childhood dentist used to give fillings with no anaesthetic. That pretty much started a lifelong fear. There have been numerous things since. Loose front teeth after surgical removal of a tooth in my palette followed by stitches being left in by accident. I still remember the dentist yanking away for ages before he realised the end was wrapped around the tooth next to it. Then there a really bad root canal where they couldn't get it numb and the pain was so bad when they hit the nerve.

My most recent experience has made me spiral even worse. I got an anaesthetic injection on the palette side of an upper back tooth that needed extracted. The dentist did warn me that it would hurt but the pain was beyond anything I could imagine. I felt a pushing/ripping sensation as he got the needle into the right spot and I started screaming, then he injected the liquid and it turned into a proper blood curdling, someone is being murdered scream. I didn't even know that I could scream, but apparently I'm very good at it!

That sounds terrible 😥. So sorry that this has happened to you, and that it has happened repeatedly.

Did you know that we have a section on the forum with dentists who have been recommended by our forum members? You can find the section for Scotland here:

 
T

Timid Llama

Junior member
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
4
That sounds terrible 😥. So sorry that this has happened to you, and that it has happened repeatedly.

Did you know that we have a section on the forum with dentists who have been recommended by our forum members? You can find the section for Scotland here:


Thanks for giving me a heads up. My biggest issue is needing an NHS dentist reasonably near me as I sadly still need a lot of work done. I'm so scared that no matter who I change to, will still either not give me time to feel comfortable/safe, or that maybe my mouth is so bad because of an eating disorder that no matter what they do it will still hurt, and it will be all of my own doing.
 
K

keikokeiko

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
20
I checked off multiple bad experiences and humiliation, since childhood. I wasn't very good about taking care of my teeth, I was just so naive and didn't understand the importance, and it was always thrown back in my face. My teeth are also very sensitive, so once I had spacers being put in my teeth and I was crying, the hygienist pointed to a boy younger than me in the seat next to me and said "look, he's younger than you, and HE'S not crying!". They would also do that when me and my sister both had appointments together and I was the one crying. Injections were also painful as a kid, as I've read, they simply didn't know how to administer them so they didn't hurt as much back in the 90s. The last childhood experience I had was when I was about 11, I had lost my bottom retainer and my teeth were beginning to shift. The dentist was NOT happy. I remember him pacing around me, one hand on his hip, the other rubbing his chin, while I just stared up at the light, ignoring his rants and waiting for this visit to be over. When he noticed me not looking at him, he shoves the light away and gets right in my face to make sure I'm listening to him. From there I just learned to believe dentists are there to make you feel bad about yourself. :shame:

I'm 31 now and finally overcome my phobias after finding the right dentists who are professional and care about you!
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
84
Mine is a long story, but I know how this all began.

This all started when I was really young, like around four years old, and had to do with negative experiences at the doctor. Because when I was little, the doctors always had to pull my pants down in order to give me a shot in my bottom. As a child, I remember feeling scared and vulnerable, unsure of why they had to basically strip me naked from the waist down, and I fought with them because my mother always taught me that strangers aren't supposed to see or touch those places.

It didn't help that I was being molested by a teacher at preschool. All of this combined to make me afraid of doctor visits, because they were holding me down while I was screaming and crying, usually two women restraining me and taking my clothes off. This is also how I developed a fear of needles, because when they brought out the needle for a vaccination, I knew they were going to pull my pants down, like the teacher who was molesting me.

In time my fears developed into a phobia of needles, medical procedures, hospitals, medical tests, doctors, dentists, everything and all of it. The molestation combined with the nurses who held me down and removed my clothes made me develop the phobia.

Because of this, I fear being restrained by people in the medical and dental profession, fear because I'm afraid of what they'll do to me once they have me down, fear because I have been physically restrained in the past. I feel vulnerable in any kind of medical or dental setting, and there have been times when I've had nightmares about being kidnapped and held prisoner by doctors in a hospital, nightmares about being raped by doctors.

Of course, I've also heard horror stories about dentists who rape their female patients while they're under anesthesia. I've already had some really bad experiences, and although I know the chances of that happening to me are slim, I always think what if I'm next. And that's why I'm afraid. That is why I have panic attacks and can't tolerate having injections or any kind of medical/dental procedures.

My mother has also told me about a time when I was a baby and had to be restrained with a straight jacket while at the doctor's office. It was because I had stuffed a bunch of fuzzballs from my blanket up my nose. So they held me down, put me in a straight jacket, and then shoved a long pair of tweezers up my nose to get the fuzzballs out because I had developed a sinus infection. I have no memory of this, but for all I know it could have started me down the path of fear and anxiety, remaining somewhere in my subconscious.
 
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B

BooBoo99362

Junior member
Joined
Jun 5, 2021
Messages
11
I'm brand new, hi......(basically giving the Readers Digest abridged version here).......

One of my first memories was my Gramma taking me to the dentist, starting very young, we during our childhood, we spent every summer with both sets of grandparents and assorted aunts and uncles.... My Gramma's guy didn't believe in Novocain , and would slap my legs if I moved while he was drilling multiple visits over 3 or 4 years, I had bruising from him every time (I learned not to cry also), as a small child.

Fast forward to me at 16, bucking hay and needing a root canal, 95+ degrees, bucking bales from the break of day till sunset. On antibiotics and went in. They did not get me numb. I was doing an involuntary back crawl trying to get away from the drill (the pain is indescribable) He got up in my face, with his 3 Martini lunch breath and told me he would follow me right out the door with his drill in my mouth.

Fast forward many years later. I have had extensive work done over the years in 'pockets of time' when I found a dentist who wasn't a sadist and brushed my teeth like a fiend to avoid any Dentists (who I suspect could be nice people, the majority, you just can't tell who is safe, and who isn't)

My world had blown up, things (monsters) I had suppressed for decades were now running free in my head. I was diagnosed with CPTSD, Anxiety Disorder and DIDNOS, an alphabet of hot mess to be sure. My Body fell apart, and my Doc found I had NO 'good bugs' in my gut and I had heavy metal poisoning (at 48) Started what would be 4 years of Chelation. I knew it would be trouble, as much as i loathed going to the dentist, my old (mercury) fillings needed to be replaced.

Made the appointment, I knew enough to know I was a hot mess and was VERY clear with the staff, I was a hot mess and had trouble when it came to Dentists. They couldn't have been nicer on the phone. Went to the appointment, made sure the front desk knew I wanted a consultation only (as I had made VERY clear in the first phone call) That apparently was okay with the staff, but NOT the Doc. She took at least 20 minutes out of her day to chew me up one side and down the other because I wasn't fitting what she wanted in a patient. That was 2017, I never went back. I tank the staff and never returned. My teeth fell apart despite my efforts at home (it was bound to happen, Chelation is called Chemo light for a reason)

Last week I had the last of my destroyed teeth pulled and immediate dentures put in. I am a wreck of a woman right now...... (please pardon any typos, spellcheck is my bff, but I am Dyslexic and tend to just pick the top suggestion, I do try to proof read my posts)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Booboo99362

:welcome: First let me say, I am very sorry what you experienced as a child growing up with awful dentists.. sounds like it could have been the same one I went to. Never had Novocain anesthetic either and would drill tell me to shut up and i'm making up any pain . well thats the nice version. I feel what you went through. and sorry you had to. :( . Also with the dentist chewing you out.. after having a little hope due to the nice staff.. It doesnt' leave people with alot of hope at all.
Shame never helps anyone , or berating it just doesn't . agh.

Do not worry about typos here,, you are in good company , none of us are perfect typers and all of us have dental fear /anxiety. Maybe different types and different situations. But you are in the right place.

Its okay to be a mess for a while. you have had a lot of dental trauma despite your best efforts. It sounds like you tried all you could , but one really doesn't want to go back to a traumatic place.. I know I didn't.

Was your last dental office you went to last week any better or more graceful? How are you doing with the dentures? I"m sorry for your experience .. We are here to support you.. :grouphug:
 
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BooBoo99362

Junior member
Joined
Jun 5, 2021
Messages
11
Booboo99362

:welcome: First let me say, I am very sorry what you experienced as a child growing up with awful dentists.. sounds like it could have been the same one I went to. Never had Novocain anesthetic either and would drill tell me to shut up and i'm making up any pain . well thats the nice version. I feel what you went through. and sorry you had to. :( . Also with the dentist chewing you out.. after having a little hope due to the nice staff.. It doesnt' leave people with alot of hope at all.
Shame never helps anyone , or berating it just doesn't . agh.

Do not worry about typos here,, you are in good company , none of us are perfect typers and all of us have dental fear /anxiety. Maybe different types and different situations. But you are in the right place.

Its okay to be a mess for a while. you have had a lot of dental trauma despite your best efforts. It sounds like you tried all you could , but one really doesn't want to go back to a traumatic place.. I know I didn't.

Was your last dental office you went to last week any better or more graceful? How are you doing with the dentures? I"m sorry for your experience .. We are here to support you.. :grouphug:

First, thank you, just that, thank you

I am sorry that you can relate, I wish (honestly) no one could, it is hard and awful.

The last 'Dentist' I saw was okay, he was careful to explain every move ahead of time (I had been CRYSTAL CLEAR about what was going on with me, though, he did look at me like I might be a bomb ready to go off 😉) The staff was very nice. The Denturist is okay, i think. I am pretty dang good on 'getting a read' on someone, he is a little tougher to get that. he is 1st generation Nordic, and their culture, it's a hard 'read' for me. But so far, so good.

The dentures, Well, I am living on goat milk, food hurts, even mashed taters, scrambled eggs, and soup (!!! for Pete's sake!) the friction from them moving a little and them 'dislodging' when I try t 'chew' is really off putting (btw, I own dairy goats, and make goat cheese that I sell, so the milk is fresh and so good, not a drop of 'stinky icky' goaty milk from my girls) I know it will take more time to settle with them, it is just hard. With past trauma I didn't list in my 'Readers digest version', having a unyielding 'thing' pressing against my pallet sent me places in my head, I didn't want to ever go. didn't cross my mid it would be an issue, but here I am, and like everything else, I will have to plow through, and work through best I can. It is getting easier to sleep, it was hit and miss up until this week, got 5 hours in one chunk last night, and another hour or so later on, that is a good thing in my world, the dark of night is not my friend mostly.

Again, thank you for your kind words.
 
W

weez1990

Junior member
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
2
1. A dentist I saw when I was about 7 or 8 who said I wouldn't have any teeth left by the time I was 16. I guess that was a load of baloney because I'm 30 now and I still have every.single.one.

2. Seeing my younger sister get a milk tooth pulled with no anaesthetic and crying in pain.

2. That damn Ren and Stimpy cartoon, specifically the episode about Ren's teeth. This cartoon is loathsome, vile, and disgusting filth even at the best of times (sorry, not a fan), but that one episode scarred for me life. I think it gave me a mild form of PTSD. If you have any kind of dental phobia, do NOT watch it. I saw it as a child, thinking it was a normal cartoon...boy was I wrong.

I feel sick even thinking about it.
 
K

Kookiepbo

Junior member
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
2
What caused your fear or phobia? Vote in our poll (multiple choices allowed)! You can also post in this thread.
My reason for my fear is basically shame. Severe, paralyzing shame. I had severe depression for four years and frankly didn’t take care of myself at all and didn’t even notice but during that time my mouth and teeth deteriorated to a very very horrible point. Now it’s bad, multiple broken teeth infections and abscesses. I feel like I would rather die then let another human being look at my mouth. I’ve always been overly concerned with my image and what people thought of me. And after becoming disabled four years ago, and being forced to quit my teaching job the depression hit and it hit hard. Now that I’m medicated and coming out of that depression, I’m so ashamed of my mouth. I can’t let anybody look in my mouth and see/smell that- I cannot. And I do need to I just don’t know what I’m gonna do. Sorry that that’s where my fear came from. I’m ashamed it got to this point, I’m ashamed that I didn’t take care of it when I first kind of noticed things to years ago. I’m ashamed at my stupidity and my lack of motivation that led me to this place. I am ashamed and I can’t imagine someone else seeing this and judging me. It isn’t rational but it’s so strong I canceled like for dentist appointment so far.
 
A

anxiousintexas

Junior member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
9
I think my fear of the dentist began when I was a child; my mother told me the dentist would give me a shot and then the filling (my first) wouldn't hurt. It did. That set me up with the perception that the dentist's office is a scary place where everything is unpredictable and anything can happen. I am coming off of the worst dental experience of my life just yesterday (I'm in my late 60s so that's some time), so I don't want to elaborate any further. However, I do want to say that one thing that really angers me is when it hurts and the dentist says it's just a little bit of pressure. It is not. I am a big girl, and I know the difference between pain and pressure.
 
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