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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
TerrifiedWoman

TerrifiedWoman

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
844
Location
Iowa, USA
VERY bad experience as a child. Scared me half to death and I've never forgot it! The dentist was very old and not what I would call child friendly. He was rough and yelled at me..and caused me to be scared of the dentist office for life.
 
terrified_in_Toronto

terrified_in_Toronto

Member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
33
Location
Canada
Well even though I have debilitating emetophobia (fear of vomiting) which triggers full-blown panic attacks any time I even THINK I MIGHT gag or vomit, I somehow was able to go to the dentist ... as difficult as it was.

But then, 13 years ago, I had to have a root canal done and that tooth capped. Despite the freezing, I still felt everything during the root canal but the dentist didn't believe me. He said it was "just my nerves" so I must be imagining the pain :rolleyes: (idiot!). That wasn't the bad part though.

When I went back a few weeks later to get the same tooth capped, he took, without a word of a lie, 3 impressions of the upper jaw and another 3 for the bottom jaw.... FOR ONE TOOTH!!

So for a total of 6 impressions, I did okay for the first 5. On the 6th, they left it on to long because he and his assistant were chatting away... while I counted each second on the clock on the wall.... so I knew they for sure left it on a lot longer than the previous 5.

All of a sudden I start gagging. So my natural reaction is to sit straigt up and pull at that thing in my mouth. It didn't come out. The assistant's hand pulled my hands away and she tried to pull it out... nothing. Then the dentist desides to get in on the fun.

So there I am retching uncontrollably (remember I have a debilitating vomiting phobia) sure that not only was I going to vomit but that I would for sure choke on it with this huge metal thing full of pastey goo stuck in my mouth) with the dentist's fingers in one side of my mouth and the assistant's fingers in the other side... and the thing would not budge. It was dried on my teeth or something.

FINALLY the dentist was able to get his nail or fingertip underneath it enough to create an air pocket and it released. It was pulled out and I was gasping for air while my eyes were tearing and bulging out of my head like this >> :o and the dentist says, in a very calm monotone voice, "you did very very good." :mad:

After that, even the thought of making an appointment triggers a full-blown panic attack.
 
P

purplegirl

Junior member
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
7
My teeth do not go numb properly so I always disliked the dentist. It always ended up hurting badly not just regular pain but nerves getting pinged...

15 yrs ago I had always half-jokingly referred to one of my crooked molars as the one that would need to be surgically extracted...one kind and very determined dentist assured me he would be able to remove it normally...after 14 injections I stopped counting and started to sob...then the tooth broke and had to be surgically removed under IV sedation by the oral surgeon...that was the end of it...needles had never worked well for me anyway and I was so relieved to find IV sedation...dentists are allowed to look in my mouth but no pointy tools are allowed unless I am in lalaland.

I have since found out that I have a "connective tissue disorder" and am wired a little differently...this means local anaesthetics do not work effectively on me and if they do work its only minimally for a couple of minutes so I was not imagining it or being a wimp...
 
D

Dave48

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
678
Location
CHESTER
When i had to go and have nitrous oxide gas I was feeling suffocated and Banging me feet on the foot rest going under the gas.


Dave.:redface:
 
D

Dave48

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
678
Location
CHESTER
I think once I had a filling drilled without local anaesthetic although they asked me if I wanted a local anaesthetic.i seemed not to have it and let them drill and fill the filling in.:(


Dave.
 
S

sadieleela

Junior member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
1
What caused your fear or phobia? Vote in our poll (multiple choices allowed)! You can also post in this thread.
I know what caused my dental phobia. When I was 7 years old I was hit by a car, knocked up in the air and landed on my face about 50 yards away. I was rushed to a hospital where they proceeded to remove an eye tooth, it had been pushed up into my top jaw. They used a pair of surgical pliers and no anaesthetic. What followed was years of medieaveal treatment until I was old enough to decide I had enough and just stopped going to the dentist.

My usual modus operandi is that I suffer abcess for as long as I can and for as long as I can get anti-biotics until, in the end, I have to go to the dentist. Then, of course, I need lots of treatment.

I went to the dentist today under the usual circumstances and managed to have a panic attack and I even cried a bit. I told myself and the very kind dentist I am too old for all this drama, 52 and counting, but that didn't stop those horrible feelings. I hate lying down, I feel that I will swallow my tongue, my throat feels as though it is swelling up and closing. Every muscle feels shaky and more.

Later on I always feel tired, it's like all of the tension has left me weak.

The dentist I saw was so kind, he angled the chair so that it was as upright as possible, he stopped as soon as he saw I was swallowing hard and let me close my mouth. I have to go back for root canal treatment and he has prescribed me two temazepam tablets. He also told me that, on the day of my treatment, if I feel too stressed he will stop any time.

I think all the trauma I suffered as a child coupled with the letting go of control are my phobic triggers.

And yet it has always been my dream to have beautiful teeth. I feel so low for allowing something like this to affect me so much. As a child I was always told not to be such a baby etc, I don't think that attitude helped one bit. I didn't realise the difference before, I am scared of spiders but I am phobic of the dentist.

They say misery loves company but I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It was inspiring for me to read some of the success stories on this forum.

Thanks for allowing me to rant a bit

Kind wishes to all

Sadieleela:cry:
 
H

HateDntstNdBtrEv3setsteet

Junior member
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
5
Well, I remember an older guy probably the town's dentist when I was young and he was like in the next town over. Yeah small town place. He was good and thorough. I don't think mean though. Not really apologetic, as I got 4 back molars done for cavity work. I was really young though and I think he got those cavities "filled good." So, not really a severe experience altogether but as years went on as my earliest knowledge went, you never went to the dentist unless a severe reason. So, never really went on a regular basis. Whenever that mere thought of a dentist comes up, I become terrified. I might remember afterwards from young molars filled, pressure and the look of the blackness now on my teeth. Not sure why it was all happening. When I do go, my fear just kind of over whelms me and not sure why, most especially for major work done. I wind up going and getting work done and try to brush regularly of course, but no good habits growing up either, the one good thing is the male side of our family always had pretty good teeth. Other times dental work was done in military, not sure about dentists there, but at least wisdom teeth taken out from pain and cavities filled again. Just hate dentists in general I guess. :scared:
 
K

kharaa

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
35
I have NO idea, I used to love going to the dentist throughout my childhood and my early teens, cleanings were great, I never had a cavity until i was 16.

I think it might have started due to being hit with severe anxiety disorder, and pain hypersensitivity when I was 19. So I guess it wasn't paticularlly the dentist that terrified me, then I had my wisdom teeth removed, which was a miserable experiance, i woke up while they were pulling the last tooth, and all that confusion and fear I guess stayed with me?

and now i have many teeth problems, mostly in teh back, and from what the dentist told me, isn't totally my fault, my acid reflux is severe, and I guess has been desolving my teeth away for years!

add to the fact i'm a poor sob, and a disabled one at that.. I just can't seem to find the funds, or the means to get in to the dentist..
 
K

Kittycat20

Junior member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
1
I was absolutely fine with dentists until I was 10 or 11, when I first needed treatment. My regular dentist wasn't there so I had a dentist I'd never met before. I had swelling/infection, and he proceeded to try numbing me - he tried about seven times which was painful in itself - and it didn't work. Despite me telling him this, he started pulling out my tooth anyway. It was horribly painful and I was screaming and crying.

I eventually went to hospital to have it taken out. I'm pretty sure that this is what started my dental phobia.
 
biffo1963

biffo1963

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
391
Location
Milton Keynes, UK
Mine was caused by a combination of things. My father had all his teeth pulled at the age of 20 when he was called up for the Army, and he was firmly convinced that everyone else ought to do this too - "Get rid of the buggers, then you won't get any more problems with them."

My mother didn't agree with this but was phobic herself - so, although she always fretted about my teeth she never tried to find a dentist for us kids and definitely didn't dare to go herself. So the only time my brother or I saw a dentist was when the School Dentist did one of his periodic inspections and we got summoned to the clinic where they gave you the big smelly rubber gas mask and hoicked out various of your baby teeth. This was mostly in the 1950s or very early 1960s.

The strange thing was that by the last time I got pulled in by the School Dentist, in 1963, they had changed from gas to LA. I had about 10 sessions in order to get my remaining baby teeth pulled and lots of fillings in my molars, and after the first visit it really didn't bother me. I attended several appointments on my own and even took my brother along for his treatment - and I was only 11 at the time ! But despite handling all this with some ease, I still didn't go to a dentist for another 24 years - during which time most of my molars broke up (they were more filling than tooth to start with) and I lost half a front tooth to a cricket ball.

I finally sought treatment again when I got fed up with abscesses and accepted I had to have it all sorted. And as soon as I got past the first appointment I was fine with it, and I've been along regularly every six months ever since. Go figure ! :innocent:


John
 
A

amandah

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
77
Hi I have had a fear since childhood. Also I have suffered with Anxiety all of my life. But have been to several Dentists. The last one said I will take teeth out now, and i lost it and sobbed my heart out.So left with horror. I now dont have any confidence. It was only because I have a friend who is an x dental nurse and her support and she took me this last week to her private dentist.But I still feel shaky. Regards amandah
 
R

Redfield

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
20
My fear stems from an extraction I had at 11/12 years old. I knew something was wrong as soon as the dentist started 'wiggling' my tooth, the pain shot up through my head and I managed to shout "Stop, you're hurting me!", the dentist paused for a second before replying with "Stop being silly, it's not pain you can feel." She continued with the procedure and I felt everything, not just the pressure. :censored::sick::o
 
K

K-Bird

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
481
My dental fear comes from something that I think is far different from a lot
of phobics.. My parents didnt take me to the dentist very much. When my mom would finally take me, she treated it like a punishment and I think she was pretty happy when the dentist would scold me for not taking proper care of my teeth etc. I truly think she enjoyed it when I had to have fillings (lots of them) or teeth pulled and so on. There was absolutely no comforting, I was on my own...and it was horrible.
Later in life we learned that the dentist was accused of child
abuse. What a bunch of s*^&t for a kid to have to go through....
 
D

Dan1400

Junior member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
1
My dental phobia started when i was 11, i was pretty much ok with doctors and dentists until than, even thought i was always scared of needles a little bit (like just about every kid of my age)... I was supposed to get my rotten teeth extracted that time but after i got my numbing injection and was told to sit in the waiting room for a while until it takes effect i passed out, my mother said i was totally stiff and the dentist tried to "revive" me for few minutes, the dentist said that she probably gave me too big dose or injected some nerve, i tried walking few times but i could not hold balance, so they called ambulance, i spent few shitty days in hospital. It have been 5 years since that and each time i visit dentist or hospital i start feeling nauseous and pass out cold, last time when i was getting my fill i had to be on ether anestetics. Tomorrow i am going to get another fill and this time my parents want to do it without the ether, i hope it will work out well... i can go from feeling okay to throwing up and fainting in 10 seconds.
 
B

bellkurve

Junior member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
17
mine started with my first dental visit. I don't remember the vast majority of my childhood dental experiences, I just have notes in my head. They've recently been confirmed by other people who had the same dentist as kids.

The dentist I had didn't use novocain, didn't use fluoride treatments, did like making kids cry. If you cried too much, he put his hand over your mouth and pinched your nose shut until you stopped, usually by passing out. Parents weren't allowed in the treatment room and were told, "all kids cry at the dentist," and "if you go in, she'll just cry more". I got "cleanings" twice a year, and always had to go back a few weeks later for fillings and caps. I had 4 done at one time.

To this day, I hate dental picks and can't move when I get in the chair. Since getting out from under my parents, I don't see the dentist until I have an emergency, and that means being in a lot of pain. I just can't deal with the whole thing, and even the thought of going to the dentist raises my bp and puts tears of panic in my eyes.

I never go to the same dentist twice, probably because I move like every 5-8 years and only see the dentist for an emergency once during that period of time. I know I freak out their office because I just can't calm down, but once in the chair, I totally freeze. Had to have a root canal on Monday, and the thing holding the dam in place slipped, cutting into my gums. The dentist doing the root canal kept hitting it with his hand, pushing it deeper into my gums and I couldn't do a thing about it.

Interestingly, I had my wisdom teeth out at 21. Had to go to an oral surgeon. It was a couple of weeks after knee surgery and the oral surgeon misjudged the GA. I woke up in the middle of it, while the surgeon was checking the x-rays. I turned and tried to say, "you missed some" because I felt fragments in my mouth, but couldn't because there was too much other stuff in there. He freaked and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. For some reason, I don't have the same anxiety as a result of that as I do about general dentistry.

I attribute all my phobia to a combination of my childhood dentist and my parents not listening and taking us back there time and again, year after year.
 
Camisa

Camisa

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
212
Location
USA
-bad experience with a pediatric dentist

- emetophobia :sick:

- seeing my mother get 18 teeth removed at one time - awake - bleeding out

- being abused by school teachers in 2nd and 4th grade (held down, hands behind my back, school nurse held my mouth open while another teacher was shoving teaspoons of mylanta in my mouth) :censored:

- more bad experiences with a dentist at a clinic for the very poor:scared:

- more bad experiences

- more bad dentists

- raped at age 19

- losing total and complete trust in the medical field when doctors labeled me as a drug seeking addict when they forced me to become dependent upon sedatives and then cold turkeyed me off of them a year later :o

- bad reactions to the local anesthesia. :hic:
 
V

viv1969

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Messages
61
Location
Kent, UK
I remember being 10 years old and my dentist being very old and very mean.
I had to be fitted for braces, and having the impressions was just so awful it still makes me cry just thinking about it. He was so forceful and I choked so badly that I threw up, which sent him into a RAGE. I then had to have 8 teeth removed before the braces could be fitted and not all of the local anaesthesia was effective, but again the dentist proceeded without a care. It was awful.

It all just spiralled after that until here I am at 42 with front teeth ehich are about to leave my mouth under thier OWN volition. BUT....I AM on the road to getting everything put right, and I have (so far) found a dentist who actually cares.
 
shelzmike

shelzmike

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
79
Location
Virginia, US
See, with me it is tricky because I do not have pure dental phobia, per se. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Panic Disorder since 2001, though thinking back - I remember having issues well before then just didn't know what they were. As it stood at that time, it was merely generalized - no real root or cause known. Doctor's even chalked it up to perhaps a purely overactive adrenaline gland. However, most of my worst anxiety is caused by health issues. For the most part, I am quite healthy and always have been. I am not a hypochondriac really, but am constantly worried about my health when things crop up.

After much self-reflection and memory conjuring :p I have narrowed it down to a few issues.

1.) When I was 19 I had a swollen lymph-node in my groin area just below my waist. I was going through loads of stress and partying a bit more than I probably should have. No insurance, so I went to free clinic. I was told point blank that I had one of 3 things (and it was presented this were the only three options) since I didn't have mono. Either cat-scratch fever (which was ruled out immediately), HIV, or Lymphoma. I knew I didn't have HIV, so that pretty much left one thing. I thought I had cancer at 19 with no insurance and my first child on the way...yikes! Turns out that was not anywhere close to the problem - it was just a simply infection - however, the long-term damage, mentally, started to creep in as my earliest remembered instances of symptoms was shortly thereafter.

2.) Also, when I was 19 I was standing in a store waiting for my sub to be made. Felt fine, just a little hungry and was probably not sleeping as I should. I remember it vividly - the lady turned around to ask me what kind of chips I wanted and all of a sudden everything went black and I completely passed out and fell backwards. I was only out for about 1 second bystanders said, but I refused to go to the hospital. I have not had any issues with this type of thing since - it has been 13 years now and think it may have been just a fluke, but this was one of the biggest instances I think that started my anxiety.

3.) Just about 3-6 months before I was diagnosed with GAD w/panic disorder I was having the symptoms of sudden onset panic attacks and went to the doctor. They didn't even consider anxiety and immediately put me on a holter monitor and sent me to a cardiologist - again, no insurance.

4.) I had a massive panic attack in May 2001 - had to call the ambulance for me. The next year was a living nightmare because I was caught in a horrible whirlwind of the "circle of anxiety and panic".

So all of these things sort of add up to my anxiety problem. Like I said, it is more centered around health issues and my biggest phobia is of passing out (feeling dizzy, lightheaded, etc. - which is great right since anxiety causes all those symptoms!) - I think it was just the sudden unexpected lack of control that came with the first (coupled with not actually going to the hospital to get checked out) that causes this.

When it comes to the dentist, my biggest issue is fearing the anxiety, which I am sure you all know what I am referring to. It is not about the needles, not so much about the pain, not so much about the gagging (though I do not like that) - but just a pure realization that those situations cause me anxiety and I do not like experiencing that!

Mike
 
S

snapper

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
169
I know what has caused my dental anxiety/phobia but I just can't discuss it with any one. I wrote a letter to my NHS dentist to try to explain but he never ackowledged my letter or my fear, in that way I suppose he did not have to deal wth it. It stays with me.
 
E

emz43

Junior member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
8
Location
Reading
painful memories of dental treatment as a child, for some reason they experimented on me with some kind of numbing spray which tasted awful and didn't work so I felt all of those fillings that I had. I also have visions of a gas mask they used on me and the liquorish smell which made me go dizzy.
 
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