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What caused your fear or phobia?

What caused your dental phobia or fear?

  • A single traumatic experience at the dentist

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • A number of traumatic experiences at the dentist

    Votes: 17 53.1%
  • Dentists can't get me numb

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • Comments made by a dentist or hygienist (humiliation)

    Votes: 15 46.9%
  • Feeling powerless in dental situations

    Votes: 17 53.1%
  • Parents or caregivers being scared of the dentist

    Votes: 6 18.8%
  • Hearing horror stories from other people

    Votes: 7 21.9%
  • Movies or media portrayal of dental treatment

    Votes: 2 6.3%
  • Other traumatic experiences, including abuse

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • Generally high levels of anxiety

    Votes: 14 43.8%
  • Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • Parents or caregivers instilling feelings of guilt about dental health

    Votes: 7 21.9%
  • Other (you can leave a post in this thread)

    Votes: 3 9.4%
  • No real reason/don't know

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    32
L

loubyyy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
140
Location
Lincolnshire
I don't even know what caused my phobia! :/
I don't remember... i just know ive always been scared and its built up? not sure there was anything that caused it...
 
S

ScaredJulie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
209
Location
Essex. United Kingdom
My phobia came at the age of 17. Dentist said I had to have 4 teeth removed to allow wisdom teeth to come through and that he he would do them 2 at a time, ok no problem. Went in needle in arm. Woke to find not only had he taken all 4 out but another 4 to go with them:o I was in agony for 2 weeks. He told my dad it was because there would still not have been enough room, wrong I had 4 perfect gaps when wisdoms came through
 
robotguy

robotguy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Nr Cambridge UK
A few things built up to trigger my phobia:

Constantly being told I wasn't doing things right, feeling a failure.

Not being allowed to pause during treatment.

The dentist not believing me when I told the truth. (ie ''I felt that, or 'I brush every day').

Not trusting a dentist to do what they said they were going to do.

Never, ever, having a pain-free examination with the metal pick thing.

Finally now this is a strange one but it was a big infulence; not having my mum coming with me as an older child. This sounds odd at first reading, but after a few years of visiting the dentist I felt a total failure at looking after my teeth, my dentist tells me I'm not doing it right at every visit. To have my mum not wanting to come with me makes me think, that she sees me as a failure too. As a child I wanted to please everyone else and be praised, dental visits for me were the total opposite, so it was easier to just avoid it when I got older. As the damage to my teeth gets worse and the shame of failure builds up too much for me to go and get it fixed.
 
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
Mine started in childhood.
My mother took me to a dentist who I am comvinced not only knew nothing about working with children but did not evlll me to get my coat. en like them. He was not the least bit friendly and made no attempt to be gentle either. Everything he did hurt terribly and, frightened and in pain, I tried to escape, He and his dental assistant would forcibly hold me down in the chair while he yelled at me "Shut up! Stop that! Sit still! " He would shove a metal appliance in my mouth that forced my mouth open and he would go to work on me despite my screams of protest. His dental assistasnt would periodically cover my mouth and say "Stop screaming, your not being hurt"

After what seemed like an eternity, I was retunred to my mother who sat calmly reading in the waiting room. She seemed oblivious to the nightmare that had been inflicted on her child. Did she not notice my eyes, red and puffy from crying? Couldnt she hear my screams of fear and pain? Apparently not because she would cherrfully thank the dental assistant and tell me to get my coat.

I tried to tell my mother what this man was doing to me and her only response was "Well, if you would just learn to copperate it would much easier for him" When she would say it was time to go to the dentist, I would collapse on the floor and cry hysterically pleading with her not to go but she would scold me sayong "Oh stop that! your acting like a baby. Straigten up"
And so my torture continued throughout the rest of my childhood and adolescent years. Feeling utterly trapped with no escape and no one to protect me not even my own mother, I retreated inside myself and became an extremely shy child and teenager. I trusted no one especially men.

When I was in college, I had a tooth break and it had a jagged edge which was rubbing the inside of my cheek so I gathered up all my courage and went to a dentist in my neighbirhood. Big mistake. This man was no better than the dentist who had totured me for years. He put a rubber dam in my mouth which, in itself, was terrifying but he put it too far back and nearly sufficated me. Self-preservation takes over and I rip the thing out of my mouth while he yells at me 'Dont do that!. Just relax you're fine" I ran from the office and that was it for me. I was done with dentists. For me "dentist" was just another word for pain and terror.

Fast forward 15 years and I meet the man who is now my husband and he causally mentions one day that he has a dentist appointment and asks "So who is your dentist?" I give him an evil look and say in a defiant tone "I dont do dentists" He could clearly see this was a sore subject so he dropped it----for the moment.
 
S

ScaredMama

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
98
Location
Alabama
I've never had a bad experience at the dentist.
I have generalized anxiety disorder and I'm scared to leave my home, much less go to the dentist. So I'm not sure I have a true dental phobia, or I'm not sure it started out as a true phobia.
But NOW.....I have a mouth full of problems, I've never had dental insurance, I have 5 kids and can't afford one visit much less thousands of dollars of work, even on payments. Thankfully my teeth never give me problems, even though they are in bad shape. So now, I definitely have dental phobia because I don't want all this work done that I know needs to be done PLUS I can't afford it. Major stressors for me!
 
k1ndz0n3

k1ndz0n3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
105
Location
NW Oregon,USA
I believe my phobia began when I broke my left front tooth, just after it came in. That left me with a 'temp crown', that was repeatedly taken loose by orthodontic work, for four years during high school. The embarrassment caused by the braces themselves was traumatic enough, for an awkward teen. The entire session of orthodontic work had me in pain, for the duration it lasted. They used the barbaric metal bands, pounded on with a hammer, and strung together with rubber bands, and heavy wire connecting each tooth, to the next one. I spent hours each day trying to remove the stuck food from under those bands, and between my teeth, with brush, and water pick. It did not seem to help, as my teeth decayed under each metal band, wrapped around each tooth in my head. I was in chronic pain 24 hours a day, for four years from that treatment, and it did not hold it's position due to another health condition I suffer from. I have EDS (Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome) which causes all of my joints to be loose, and easily dislocate. My teeth shifted right back to their original crooked positions. I was tortured for four years worth of constant pain, with no benefit, and only more damage done to my mouth. I have never had a pain free dental experience ever. Even when the last extractions were done under oral sedation, the dry socket afterwards, drove me insane with pain. I have had dental work done, drilling/filling cavities, while being told that "you can't possibly feel what I am doing here, I gave you two shots of Novacaine." I felt every single thing done, and had tears running from my eyes the entire time. I remember him saying afterwards" You were such a good patient." and thinking to myself that I wanted to reply "And you are a butcher, and cruel human being !", but had to hold my tongue out of 'respect' for the 'doctor's' superior knowledge, training, and position of power over me. I will be working towards establishing a relationship with my new dentist, that will hopefully help me progress, with what needs to be done. I think this gives a beginning, as to what started me on a path to dental health neglect, and dental phobia. I think 4 years of torture is a reasonable cause, for my fears, and resulted in some form of PTSD. I will repeat this post in a journal, when I get one started.
Thanks for reading,
<KZ>
:o
 
Last edited:
D

drummerswife

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,251
Location
omaha, nebraska
Kindz,
Sounds like you have certainly been through a lot. As I read your story, its clear that you are a strong person.
I just recently learned this past year the intense reactions I have toiwards dentists is a form of PTSD. Finding this forum and a compassionate dentist have been a god send for me. :)
 
A

Audio.Amour

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
106
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
A few things built up to trigger my phobia:

Constantly being told I wasn't doing things right, feeling a failure.

Not being allowed to pause during treatment.

The dentist not believing me when I told the truth. (ie ''I felt that, or 'I brush every day').

Not trusting a dentist to do what they said they were going to do.

Never, ever, having a pain-free examination with the metal pick thing.
These are pretty much the same things that started my phobia, except it was my father who stopped taking me, I felt like he was dissapointed in me every time we did go.

And being held down, I dont know if there is a worse thing you can do to a phobic child. I remember on a few occasions being held down as I flailing and screaming trying to get away.

What a way to calm someone down!! I was never offered anything to help my anxiety no valium or gas or anything, instead they thought they would hold me down and I'd get calm... good logic there.:rolleyes:
 
C

Clem

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
160
Going to the dentist for a week, every day, at age 5 to fix all the cavities I had incurred because no one every taught me to brush correctly. The next dentist who ridiculed me with my mom out of the room, even though I tried hard to please him. Dentists who don't listen, don't understand and don't want to understand. Dentists who lie to you. The horrible needle. Being surprised about a procedure/not being adequately informed. A dry socket that I was not warned about. Never feeling completely warned, informed, prepared for the procedure.
 
A

April

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
281
I can relate to so many people here, all with similar stories of dentists who went to the 'you WILL sit there and shut up, no matter what' school of dentistry

My dentist had been a family dentist for years and my parents wouldn't go anywhere else ....... my mother at 80 now goes to the son of my origional 'butcher'
He would never let my Mum come in with me, told her it would be better if she didn't. I was nearly always given gas for extractions because I couldn't keep still and without fail had my hands held behind my back by that dreadful nurse, god she was evil - and those horrendous dreams while I was under. When I woke up I was ordered out of the chair, barely able to walk, blood everywhere, stumbled out to the waiting room, met by my mother who was told by the dentist to take me home and give me a good lunch ....... think thats where my phobia of vomiting came from, I reacted so badly to the gas that I would be violently sick for days.
Most fillings were carried out with me fighting the nurse (and her friend on occasions) crying and being told I was stupid and a baby.

I remember one day crossing the road with my parents on the way to a family dental appointment when I saw a car coming, I laid down in front of it ... poor guy, he got the shock of his life - I would rather have died than go to the dentist.

Eventually the dentist told me that I had far to many teeth in my mouth but I would need to have part of the roof of my mouth taken away to get them out .......... bye bye!!
I was about 14 then and I think my parents had given up with me so I managed to avoid all dental visits until I was forced to go at 18 (to a different dentist) for a filing in a cracked tooth, then again at 34 for a root canal and then my final journey started when I was 46 ..........

How times have changed - thank goodness!

:D
 
S

SamRockz

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
47
Location
North-East Uk
I'm not really that sure, where it came from.

When I lat went (when I was 9) my dentist was nice :/ Never yelled or anything. :/ (I'm a bit confused) But, when I used to go my mum was always nervous, like biting her nails and stuff. After I turned 9, my mum stopped taking me. I realized at the beginning of this year, that I need to go and get it sorted out.
 
A

amandah

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
77
Hi I have always been a nervous person since early childhood. My late parents were both alcholics and never had much time for me as a child. I used to have to go up to London too see a dentist and dreaded going and now my Anxiety and panic attacks are not great.I find that Aromatherapy does help and also reiki, but do find it difficult to chill out. regards amandah
 
B

Birdbrain

Junior member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
1
When I was 15, I saw a dentist who refused to believe I wasn't numb, and he did the work anyway, with me screaming the whole time. I remember feeling everything (I was having about 6 cavities filled.)

Due to inhaled medication I take, I have terrible teeth. I've got very little enamel left, and so I often need dental work. So I started going to a dentist (we'll call him Dentist B) who did IV sedation.

After two failed root canals - he mangled both teeth and one of them got so infected it literally shattered into my gum after a week of me being in pain so bad I was throwing up - I gave up on him. Tried to have regular dental work done without sedation and had a complete panic attack and passed out.

I haven't been to a dentist in about 3 years. I have a panic attack just walking in.
 
B

bumpthumper

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
238
Location
Godley, TX
Mine isn't really a DENTAL phobia, it was being scared to death of needed to be sedated for any type of dental procedure.

Mine started at the age of 10 or 11 I think (maybe a bit younger, I don't remember, exactly). When I was 9 or so, I went to have a baby molar removed and they gave me gas to put me to sleep for it. I had THE most horrible dream from it, that I remember to this day! Then at 10 or 11 my Mom was taking me to have another tooth out, and we heard on the radio on the way to the dentist that a 12 yr old girl had died while at the dentist, due to laughing gas. I told my Mom right then, that I didn't want to be put to sleep to have this tooth pulled. Luckily for me, my Mother saw my fear and said that she'd talk to the dentist about it.

When wr got there and I was taken to the room (my Mom came with me), and they were about to have me "blow up the balloon", I told the dentist I didn't want to be put to sleep. He told me not to be silly, he had done it to me before and it would be alright. My Mom spoke up then, and said if I didn't want to be put to sleep, not to put me to sleep. The dentist told us both, that if I made any noise or scared anyone in the waiting room by crying or screaming, he'd NEVER WORK ON ME AGAIN!! Anyway, without even a local, he pulled the tooth. I didn't know he was done, and he told me I could close my mouth. I asked him if he was going to pull it out, and he said that he already had . . . and I hadn't felt a thing!!!

Ever since that day (and I am 43 now) I ALWAYS was awake for ANY dental work - without fear . . . until this year, when I had to have all my upper teeth (9) and my last two lower molars out with IV sedation, and I was getting and immediate upper denture as well. I was scared out of my wits, and I asked the oral surgeon if he could do the extractions while I was awake. He flat out said NO. With the number of extractions I was having, it would be safer for both himself and me, if I was sedated. I liked this surgeon, so I decided to trust his opinion and have the sedation. AND I DID JUST FINE!

Now, I only have 6 teeth left in my mouth (the dentist ended up pulling one in her office a few weeks ago due to gum issues, and infection) and I am looking forward to having a lower partial denture made. At some point in the future, I would like to have implants for the lowers done, but I cannot afford them at the moment, and if IV sedation is offered to have that done, I will go under with this oral surgeon without any problem!!!
 
R

RP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,835
Location
USA
I've kept this all hidden from my journal, partly because I don't want to hurt anyone and it's very difficult to talk about, I love my parents very much. Part of the process I went through with Stress Doc as my dental anxiety coach was writing my dental history back as far as I can remember. Well those memories of age 5, 6 etc are as vivid as if they'd happened yesterday- 40+ years later -that's the post traumatic stress part. So not only did I have the childhood/adolescent horrors of not being numb during dental work but I also ended up being the one to take my little sister to the dentist and listening to her cry and scream, not being numb either and feeling helpless to save her, despite her begging and pleading with me, I froze. I was a teenager, I didn't know what to do. She is dental phobic too. I still sit here crying typing this, but I have forgiven myself with Stress Doc's help. . Why was I put in that position- my Mom is dental phobic. My Dad used to take me, but he was a strict disciplinarian, get it done or get it when you get home. I had no one to comfort me- Stress Doc's theory - abandonment.

So I guess even being able to type this and talk about it is healing, I've yet to tell the whole past history story....some day..

Why tell it now? because there are quite a few young mother's on here, please make sure your kids feel loved and secure in their trips to the dentist. I took my kids, not as often as I should have but I got lucky, none had any cavities, so it was only cleanings and the orthodontist. They're OK...


rp
 
L

leggy

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
83
Location
southwell notts uk
Although I have been over my dental fear for nearly 30 yrs now, i vividly remember how it started.
My Dad took me to his dentist when i was very young, he told them to put me to sleep if i needed any work. The dentist still pulled a tooth,whilst i was awake, he then dropped it in my mouth!! he was fishing around for it, i was screaming & crying, he then angrily dragged me to the waiting room & told my Dad not to bring me again,as i was upsetting his other patients! What a guy, i even remember his name,Proctor.
Next scary visit was school dentist, they did put me to sleep & that,to me, was horrendous, the horrible mask,something in my mouth, to keep it open,then lots of vomiting from the gas.
I then developed a fear of being put out.
Finally, at 25 i had to go to a dentist due to an abcess. I was so ashamed of my teeth, but he assured me he had seen much worse, i begged him not to give me gas, he said no,no i will freeze you up.I :)thought it was so fantastic to be able to have a positive dental experience, i have never looked back.
Reading other peoples stories on here makes me feel so lucky to get over it as i did.
 
G

GrahamDee

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
530
Location
Hampshire, England
Mine come from a mixture of things. My childhood dentistry came from those dentists thought it was the 'norm' or even fun to shout, belittle, moan and humiliate thier patients, especially if you were a kid like me. There was never any conversation, it was just "sit down, keep still, open wide and you are stupid for not brushing your teeth properly"....and that wasn't the worst of it.

Like many of that time, I had extractions under gas. If it had been done 'properly' and a bit of effort, I could have taken it quite well. But being dragged in, forceably put in the chair, held down and forced to breath through an already-blocked nose (dentist hand over mouth) meant it was not so much the gas which eventually put me out, but the suffication due to lack of air. Screaming, kicking and fighting for breath was met with more brute force and resistance. So I would wake up, mouth bleeding, disorentated, and covered in brusies and sprains where I fought off my assailants - Which is why I developed a massive and overwhelming dental phobia, and for many years, dental treatment has been on a need-to-have-only basis i.e. toothache.

Things did not improve when I had to have teeth out without GA and I had the privilage of laying back and hearing and feeling my teeth snap, twist, crunch, pop and break off, only to have them come out sideways by cutting open the gums and digging them out. The last time I had a tooth out 'cold' was at a private practice where not only did I have to fight with every trumatic emotion going and pure and utter refined terror (Sorry - I can't help it), I had to put up with the dentist's impatience, muttering under breath, rolling of eyes and near-sarcastic comments and glaring face-pulling, because I am resisting her. THAT made me feel a whole lot better and pushed up my phobia to another higher level and magnified the truma of the whole thing many times. After all. I didn't ask to be like this.

My last tooth came out under IV sedation. My new regular dentist gave up on trying to pull it out (again, my 'chair' resistance got in the way) and referred me to a dental sedation clinic. That was the best thing ever. I am due to have another one out at some point and awaiting the appointment. But no person on this planet will ever come near me with thier pliers (extractors..whatever the term is), without giving me an armful of drugs first. I would even go for GA if it was on offer.
 
M

MichelleBradley

Junior member
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
15
Mine started when I was 20 and had toothache.

Went to a new dentist and he told me that I needed a tooth out, he injected my mouth but instead of waiting for me to be numb he just got right in my mouth and pulled the tooth out, he pulled that hard that he was actually pulling my body off the chair while I was shouting that I was in agony.:cry:

I vaguelly recall giving him a peice of my mind afterwards and just running out the office.
 
T

Triple_S

Member
Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
53
I've never had a good visit to the dentist. be screamed at to open my mouth. being screamed at for crying
 
S

scaredhuman

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
25
Mine started with a horrible experience when I was a kid. Then to make things worse I was not told when i was going to the dentist as a child so i was not sure what i was getting done (cleaning, cavity, or even a tooth being pulled). So needless to say i have an appt coming up and i am crawling out of my skin wanting to cancele the appt as we speak.
 
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