These stories were written by people who suffered with dental phobia and knew they needed dentures or implants to get back their smile. You can also read about more general experiences of overcoming dental phobia on Dental Fear Central.
A long journey
by Old yeller
I have had a severe dental phobia for many years….most of the time I was even unable to say words like ‘teeth’, ‘dentist’, etc., and when my husband mentioned that he needed more toothpaste, my stomach would lurch. When my kids were small I did manage to take them to the dentist and did not pass on my fear to them, which in one way is great BUT the way I did it was by not saying anything to anyone about how I really felt. All that fear suppressed and festering.
Anyway, after more than 20 years of not seeing a dentist, I was suffering from gum disease… teeth dropping out all the time and feeling the acute humiliation and embarrassment at looking the way I did. I used to hold my hand over my mouth when talking. I smiled with my mouth closed. I trained myself to sleep with my tongue supporting the loosest tooth… only to then dream about teeth falling out. I have actually wet myself at the dentist’s in the past, and fainted so many times in the waiting room… then walked out. So I gave up and let cruel nature take its course.
Then my girls ganged up on me (in the nicest possible way ?), and over many months of kind and gentle ‘nagging’ finally persuaded me to visit the dentist. I should add that I live in Spain and although I speak the language… these things were almost impossible to talk about in English let alone in Spanish! So my daughter interpreted while I was hanging on to the door handle ready to run. I didn’t run. I couldn’t because I didn’t want to let myself down in front of her.
Anyway, yes, it was stressful in the extreme, required Diazepam, persuasion and patience on the part of the lovely staff. But finally, last week I had all the remaining top teeth out and top dentures fitted immediately. I remember my mum doing the same and she said it felt like a mouthful of holly! Well –
- It isn’t the pain I was afraid of anyway and
- It didn’t! Slightly uncomfortable for a day or two, and until I get the bottom ones done (tomorrow actually), a bit difficult to eat. Soup, rice, mushed anything!
But I tell you what! I feel as if a concrete block has been lifted off me and I am not at all worried about going tomorrow. I have been wearing make-up again (there didn’t seem much point before) and people have been telling me I look wonderful.
I suppose what I am saying is that if I can do it, then YOU can. A friend told me that it would transform my life, and although I still have the bottom teeth to get done, it already has. PLEASE, PLEASE if you are only a few years into this awful phobia, try not to let it go on….. If I can do it, anyone can. I’d promise you the gory details, but there aren’t any! So easy…… after all this bloody wasted time x x x Phew! That was long, and a few months ago I could not have typed it ?