• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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What makes you most anxious about the dentist?

The lack of control. The feeling that somehow, something is going to go wrong no matter what I do and it will cause extreme physical and psychological pain. For example- I had my teeth cleaned and X-Rays a few days ago. I ask the lady who is doing the X-Rays if there are any issues. She doesn't answer me. Next I go to the hygienist who reviews the X-Rays before cleaning my teeth. I ask if there are any issues. She takes forever..............before saying no. Meanwhile I am screaming, actually screaming inside. I am wondering "How bad is it, what will I do, what can they do, can I survive this?" Then the dentist reviews everything again and my heart is literally stopped believing that he will find all that they missed and I will have more teeth removed and it will alter my life as I know it. It is pure Hades.
My fears center around gagging/vomiting, impressions, too much stuff in my mouth and the unknown. If I know what to expect it helps a bit. I also despise lying so flat that my head if lower than my feet.

Strangely enough I don't fear needles, pain, the drill.

Exactly this for me too. I also fear the numb feeling.
This is an interesting question I think :) I'm someone who's anxiety never came about as a result of a bad experience or anything like that so I do find it fascinating to see why others are scared like me!

for me, I hate the waiting room as I find it hard to bottle my emotions up! The wait is a bit nerve wracking! I also dislike the smell, the prospect of being numb or injected with a needle and also laying on my back! I'm a big control freak so fear of the unknown is also a problem for me!

Exactly this too.

I'm starting to think my own fears are the same as many. Maybe I'm not so alone afterall.
I feel like such a baby. I have had 2 all natural births but the DDS scares me more than anything and makes my anxiety very high. I am so embarrassed because of my teeth and letting them get this bad.

my fears include:

Being judged. I am 24 years old and my teeth are bad. my mom also has bad teeth, my grandma and grandpa had dentures at a young age. My teeth were never this bad until I was pregnant with my first daughter.

Being told how far gone my teeth are. I know I will need 9 pulled, mostly on the top. I have a cavity next to my 2 front teeth, I do not show my teeth when I smile. I only have 3 teeth on the bottom that I can tell are bad.

The unknown problems scare me.

I have never had any kind of surgery, being numbed or put to sleep is a major fear. The only kind of pills I have taken are antibiotics and Tylenol.

The pain during whatever they have to do and the pain after.

something going wrong during the process.

Recovering from it all.
I'd say about 80% of it is not feeling that I'm in control of the situation. The other 20% of it is knowing that I have zero tolerance for pain and tend to feel stuff when other people seem not to. And as others have said, a lot of dentists seem to take the view that either I'm imagining it, or that it isn't actually pain at all, so I should be able to handle it. I'm quite socially anxious as well and personal space is a huge deal to me, so there may also be an issue around that. Sometimes, when I'm particuarly tuned in to my surroundings I notice that every muscle in my body involuntarily tenses up when I get close to another person (on public transport say, or in a shop) so it's happening all the time.

The control thing is the biggest theme though, I'd say in my life generally. For this reason I also didn't fly for years because I couldn't deal with the fact that I was putting my life in someone else's hands. I'd be interested to know how many others here have different phobias that may be related, as I'm certain this one is essentially two manifestations of the same problem.

Happily for me I seem to have now got a handle on both fears and have become someone who grits my teeth and does it, whereas I spent well over a decade being someone who avoided things that scared me. With dentists nowadays I still have 'moments', but as long as I have confidence in whoever is doing the work (particularly that they'll take me seriously if I say something hurts), I generally get by OK. And I now fly all over the place - again, mostly like a normal person with the occasional meltdown if things get a bit too bumpy.
Just wondering what you guys find most terrifying about going to the dentist? Like is it the fear of pain or just actually being in the dentist's surgery itself?

For me I haven't been in so long because of my fear of actually walking in and sitting on the chair, I think if I didn't have to go to the dentist to get check ups it would help me so much, like just for someone to look at my teeth at home or something and tell me what was the problem is all I'd want at the first stage..

Also if I definitely knew it would just be a check up and no chances of getting work done I wouldn't be so anxious. Is it just me? What do you guys think?
IM not sure if I understand exactly. For me when I go for an evaluation or cleaning or whatever no procedure is done that day except of course if you’re scheduled for cleaning. After the evaluation you should understand exactly what the Dr plans to do and you make an appointment for him to do it, but only if you agree to have it done. You can always get another Drs opinion or do nothing at all until the pain is too great. I think for me the biggest fear is lack of control and I feel myself becoming more fearful and I’m afraid of a panic attack where my heart rate might get to the point it’s dangerous or the Dr may refuse to treat me if it’s too fast. I usually have general anesthesia which helps but I still have plenty of anxiety issues even being out to sleep, namely that they don’t knock me out quickly enough. Good luck to you and btw with my constant recurring fearful thoughts which is from OCD also, I found lots of relief by meditation which I started about a month ago and still use daily. It really helps calm your thoughts.
The waiting time, even though I been loads of times to the dentist now.

I am going again for my 3 monthly checkup

I also found out my brother in law has the same special tooth paste as me but he needs to use more ppm than me he has 5000 I have 2800