What caused your fear or phobia?

What caused your dental phobia or fear?

  • A single traumatic experience at the dentist

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • A number of traumatic experiences at the dentist

    Votes: 11 61.1%
  • Dentists can't get me numb

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Comments made by a dentist or hygienist (humiliation)

    Votes: 9 50.0%
  • Feeling powerless in dental situations

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • Parents or caregivers being scared of the dentist

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • Hearing horror stories from other people

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Movies or media portrayal of dental treatment

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Other traumatic experiences, including abuse

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Generally high levels of anxiety

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Parents or caregivers instilling feelings of guilt about dental health

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Other (you can leave a post in this thread)

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • No real reason/don't know

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18
A

Adhira19

Junior member
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
2
It's fine dw I'm sure it's a normal thing. I get worried just sitting in the waiting room getting ready for my name to get called out. I'm scared stiff of dentists. I hate when they put their instruments down ur mouth and look through everywhere whilst ur sitting awkwardly. It's normal to hate yourself for it as I really don't want braces or anymore surgery.
 
M

MountainMama

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Jul 1, 2018
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1,401
I have always had difficulty getting numb for dental procedures. As a kid, I had overcrowding and had to have teeth pulled. I would cry because the shots hurt, then cry and say it still hurt when they were pulling, but the dentist kept telling me it was just pressure.
Then I had to have oral surgery and I woke up during the surgery. Thankfully I couldn't feel anything, but it was terrifying to not be able to move and have people with drills and tools in my mouth and I was aware of it. The oral surgeon kept telling me to go back to sleep.
Every dentist I have ever been to, I have told them that I have a hard time getting numb. They always say "well we will try the usual dosage first, and see if you feel it". As soon as they drill, I feel it! It has been a terrifying experience and I dread going to the dentist. When I hear that I have a cavity, it sends me into a panic attack.
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

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Apr 23, 2015
Messages
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I seem to remember when I was eight or nine my childhood referred me to hospital to have a few teeth remove not due to decay but to make room for adult teeth, I was kind of lied to what was going to happen, was put to sleep in a chair, when I was ten when I had a few more removed not make room for the rest of my adult teeth, was done over two sessions at the dental hospital but not put to sleep.

I think I good bad teeth now at 34, few fillings lost an adult tooth, one re-root canal, nurmous pit/grooves in my teeth and stain, still got the overcrowding problem.
 
F

FeellikeJob

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Joined
May 16, 2018
Messages
7
I'm also absolutely terrified of being degraded or humiliated. My teeth are bad. I mean bad bad. They are bad bad. I know they are bad. I know why they're bad. Please god don't 'yell' at me or embarrass me.

I've basically worked through part one. I don't like it, but I can do it. Part 2 comes into play? I'm sobbing in the chair having a full on panic attack and we're done.

-- And reading this, I think I need to just tell the dentist he can talk to me before, he can talk to me after, but I need to be left alone and basically not spoken to more than absolutely necessary to give instructions or find out if I'm numb or whatever. If there's talking, do it while I'm sitting upright and there's no one looming over me.
I was so surprised at how much things had changed since my last visit years and years ago. There was no lecturing (? dentist).
I’ve always been claustrophic - from lots of MRIs for MS. Conquered that (eventually and lots of Valium later) by telling myself I was in a small tube but it was in a very big room. I don’t like being surrounded by people, and equipment, and knowing I can’t escape. I have to use a rollator to walk, and I came from the ambulance in a wheelchair. I told the dental nurse how I felt. Wonder of wonders, she listened. Big room, natural light, only one other person in the room. Left alone to while the numbing needles did their job.
Find a good dentist, and good luck!
 
happycheeks93

happycheeks93

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Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
8
Location
England
I'm not really sure to be honest. Something must have made me anxious in the first place. I just don't like the sounds and the environment, it always make me anxious. It's the not knowing whether I am going to feel pain or not.
 
B

bahblah

Junior member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
13
I had bad parents who had no business having children. I found out about the dentist as a child because of the offered free dentist check-ups in school. I asked my parents about it -- they essentially told dentists makes holes in your teeth with a drill and it usually hurts a lot and I don't have to go if I don't want to. Not sure if they also had a phobia or worried it would cost a lot. Who knows. My parents also never taught me to brush my teeth - I only started to because my friends in school mentioned it -- and its taken me ages to get it to be a habit. I have a fear of all doctors though.
 
A

Airi

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
24
Location
Malaysia
i don't specifically has any fear to dentist physically, but it from other people story that makes me scare of the procedure.. like when they got fillings they say that they cannot eat anything hard for a week, when the pull out a teeth blood will not stop for a whole day and so much more.. but after going to dentist the fear is gone, now i'm looking forward for my next dentist appointment.. so i can ask them a lot of question..
 
M

marynyc

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
58
I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately. My mother probably also shouldn’t have had kids, but she was fastidious about our dental hygiene. We went for cleanings every 6 mos like clockwork. But she’d also use scare tactics and use the dentist as a punishment. It’s hard to fully describe though. Threats of being left alone and pain and needles.

When I was a child and teenager, I had cavities filled without LA because I was terrified of needles and they look particularly large and intimidating at the dentist! They weren’t painful, the dentist always said if it hurt he would stop. Some got uncomfortable but I don’t remember them as painful.

I also brushed my teeth and took care of them, and still had cavities. Dentist said I would always be prone no matter what, which was deflating to hear as a teenager. He also suggested wisdom tooth removal even though they were straight on X-rays. I refused, still have all 4 and there was plenty of space and luckily they came in straight.

Then anxiety was compounded by a terrible dentist five years ago. I finally found a female dentist I trust and even like. So I’m hoping to get to the point where I enjoy the good news from each cleaning going forward and in the meantime, she will calmly and slowly and honestly help me through the rest of the work.

But I won’t be talking to my mother about any of it, she just makes my anxiety worse.
 
T

Tinydancer

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
68
Mines stemmed from being younger. I always dreaded the big dentist van being In the playground when I walked through the school gates. I would close my eyes and pray when I walked around the corner it wasn't there. I remember the head teacher call my name in class and walk me to the van. I went in and all I remember was getting a filling and it hurting like hell and crying. I begged my mum not to make me go back and she didn't sign the consent forms. Since then I have been terrified. Until I recently developed an abscess and I have had to go to the dentist. Still have to have a filing and two teeth extracted and still have that fear!
 
S

sillybunny84

Junior member
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
3
Location
Australia
This has been a really interesting thread. Though it demonstrates just how few people should be dentists :(

I have no idea why or when my fear started. I remember falling asleep in the dentist's chair when I was 12, I was so relaxed with the entire experience. Perhaps it was a fear of needles, rather than the dentist themselves. Which lead to an avoidance of dentists for 10 years. My mum eventually took me to a fella who specialised in phobias and he was lovely ... has since left to work more with plastic surgery o_O

Or perhaps it's the lack of control. Being unconscious freaks me out because I have no idea what anybody is doing to me at any given moment. But then I dislike being awake because I don't want to know what they're doing. Special :D
 
H

heleng57

Junior member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
2
I would say the dentist hitting nerves when he drilled. It happened several times when I was younger thinking I wouldn’t need to be numbed up. Now I just associate a dentist with pain.
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

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Apr 23, 2015
Messages
575
Location
United Kingdom
Being judge still even though I been going regulatluy, I still have fear and going for another chekcup later this month, got to set my niece on the right path still, that her uncle goes to chekcups.
 
G

geos

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Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
363
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I used to be scared when I was going to the pediatric dentist, but could tolerate treatment. The thing is that the dentist and my mother never told me that to help me they would always do a small amount of work at each appointments (for example, do only 2 fillings at a time) and book more time then needed (for example, booking 1 hour for treatment that would be done in 15 minutes). I would sometime get a panic attack, but usually would calm down enough for them to finish treatment. My other issue would also be gag reflex, but we would usually be able to work around it.

When I moved out to a different city, I had to see a different dentist. When I needed treatment, he decided to book me for 4 fillings in a 1 hour (I didn't ask for something shorter since the Christmas holidays were a week away and wanted everything before going on vacation, plus I didn't know I would usually get shorter appointments from my old dentist to help me cope) and they offered laughing gaz, which I tough would help me. I had a panic attack and couldn't calm down. Thankfully, being close to work, someone from work was eventually able to come in to talk to me and I was able to calm down to get the work finished. The dentist himself wasn't so nice about it making me feel bad about the whole experience, but thankfully his staff was nicer. I felt ashamed of myself from getting a panic attack while in the chair. For the laughing gaz, I don't think I felt much of an effect on me. I'm not sure what triggers my panic attacks.

I decided to go see a dentist who could do IV sedation. So now, most of my treatments are done with sedation. I would like to eventually go see a dentist who could help me go back to get treatment with simply some local anesthesia, but would like to reach a state were I feel comfortable with my teeth first. My issue right now is feeling pain in some places in my mouth, but when I go to the dentist, he says it all seems good, without offering much more. Thankfully the pain and stress eventually comes down once I know it doesn't seem to be dental, but I always wonder what it is and if I will end up in more pain.
 
D

deano85

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
46
Location
Uk
2 things really.
1. My mum was always affraid, but she was good at hiding it to an extent

2. A bad experiance. I always went for reg checkups as a kid, always. Really liked my dentist, but them they closed the clinic when i was about 10.
When i found a new dentist, i went, fine, he said i needed a filling... ok, had them before...
Went back to have it done and he pulled out a huge metal needle which looked old to an 11 year old.
(The reason for the shock was it was the first time in an adult tooth so never had a jab before)
I would have prob been fine once id got over the initial shock but he kept going on and presuring me
“You need it done or it will cause you a lot of pain soon”
“You need to hurry”
“I can do it without, but it will hurt”
Repeatedly...
In the end i got up and walked out...
It was 17+ years before i even coincided seeing another dentist.

I dont know if he was having a bad day, running late, or just an ass... but he left a lasting impression...
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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What caused your fear or phobia? This thread was first started in 2005, and for a short time contained a poll which was lost when we changed our forum software. Now that we've changed forum software yet again, I've taken the liberty to create a poll and merge the old and the new threads.

So now you can vote in our brand-new poll :) (multiple choices allowed)! You can also leave replies in this thread.
 
Cat Mom

Cat Mom

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Jul 23, 2019
Messages
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Oregon
My dental 'anxiety' came from visiting the childhood dentist. We went to church with him and his family, and his son used to bully me. He himself was a really nice guy...but that's where my anxiety started....
 
T

thisisme

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
46
I don’t remember much as a kid, but it did seem like we always had a new place for insurance reason. I always made my sister go first. It has always been drilled into my brain that cavities are the worst thing in the world (by who? I don’t know), so I guess I always had that fear that I’d have one.

We settled on the same dentist around 10-11. This guy was the worst. Once or twice his son did it instead, and I always told my mom I wish he was the dentist. Just cold, incompetent, and just kinda scary for a kid. I always had this anxiety the night before an appt. like I was planning my funeral. At 14, my dentist found 3 cavities. I was devastated. Six months ago I was fine. My mom followed through to get them filled. He didn’t use Novocaine. I’ve blocked it from my memory. I only remember coming home. A few weeks later every tooth he filled was sensitive to hot and cold.

I was never going back.

Until now I guess.

In the years where I didn’t go, a family member had an emergency procedure and has never been the same. Watching them suffer was an excuse I needed that dentists make things worse.

I also started to develop a condition in my teenage years that caused a lot of anxiety as a symptom. I’ve started to treat that and have begun to face many of my fears... like driving on the expressway... going to the doctor... and making dental appts! So I’m sure it’s a combination of things, but I don’t think my childhood helped at all.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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"We settled on the same dentist around 10-11. This guy was the worst. Once or twice his son did it instead, and I always told my mom I wish he was the dentist. Just cold, incompetent, and just kinda scary for a kid. I always had this anxiety the night before an appt. like I was planning my funeral. At 14, my dentist found 3 cavities. I was devastated. Six months ago I was fine. My mom followed through to get them filled. He didn’t use Novocaine. I’ve blocked it from my memory. I only remember coming home. A few weeks later every tooth he filled was sensitive to hot and cold.

I was never going back. "

This sounds exactly like my childhood dentist, and I went to him until I was 15/16 finally ended up biting him as he tried the novacaine for the first time without telling me or explaining he would be. My parents were told never to bring me back there. This was my relief! This story of cold mean dentists during childhood not using local Im reading so often.. it seems a bit crazy it was like this. Thank God for kind dentists now adays and knowing we have choices and boundaries.. its hard as a kid and not to have choices. and think this is just how it is. sorry you had to go through this too.
 
T

thisisme

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This sounds exactly like my childhood dentist, and I went to him until I was 15/16 finally ended up biting him as he tried the novacaine for the first time without telling me or explaining he would be. My parents were told never to bring me back there. This was my relief! This story of cold mean dentists during childhood not using local Im reading so often.. it seems a bit crazy it was like this. Thank God for kind dentists now adays and knowing we have choices and boundaries.. its hard as a kid and not to have choices. and think this is just how it is. sorry you had to go through this too
:hug5:

Aww, I’m sorry you had to go through that too. Kudos for biting him! 😂 I’ve recently been bravely watching YouTube videos of kids at the dentist, and it’s insane how different it is. How they walk them through everything and how kind and gentle they are. Also, how their parents got to go in with them. It felt like my dentist frowned with parents around, but the younger one allowed it. My niece asked me if I was afraid of the dentist and so, I lied and said “when I was a kid, but then, I got brave.” She said, “there’s no reason to be afraid of the dentist.”

It’s like yeah, because you sit on a Dino and get to pick out a toy when you’re done and get someone who doesn’t completely make you feel like a sack of potatoes with a mouth?! I wouldn’t be afraid either if that was my childhood!

Times are so different now. I hate that I grew up in a time where this was happening but I am happy I am still living in a time where it’s getting better and where I’ll hopefully be able to put my phobia to rest forever.
 
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