A baptism of fire, now baby steps


by Devon’s mum

My phobia started at the age of 12 (I’m now 49) with a particularly sadistic dentist who didn’t believe in anaesthetic and was nasty when you couldn’t sit still due to the pain he was inflicting on you. As a result, I have avoided the dentist for most of my adult life. 

A year ago, I got an abscess in a lower molar, went to the emergency dentist at our local hospital who gave me antibiotics and told me to register with a dentist to have the tooth extracted. Of course, the antibiotics killed the pain & I was able to ignore it – until 2 weeks ago.

The abscess flared up again and seeing me in tears with the pain, my husband literally dragged me to a new dentist that had opened up, where a lovely young dentist told me that tooth was coming out right now.

I was genuinely terrified! I cried, shook & hyperventilated, eventually having a full-blown panic attack – but I did it!! There was no pain & the tooth was out in less than a minute. Recovery has been problem-free.

Had my second appointment today. The dentist is an amazing young woman who appreciates how scared I am and is happy to go at my pace. Today’s appointment consisted of deep cleaning my top front teeth. My lovely husband offered to come with me, but I decided to go by myself. I did have a couple of moments where I could feel the panic rising, but I just raised my hand & she gave me time to get myself under control again. I felt quite emotional when I got home & looked in the mirror as I can’t remember the last time my front teeth looked nice. I still have a long way to go & a lot more treatment to get, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic for the first time.

The next appointment is for deep cleaning the rest of my upper teeth & to make a start with a small filling, this time she’s going to numb me, so hopefully, I won’t feel as anxious.

I hope my story gives some encouragement to other people facing the same fears – finding a dentist you can trust & who will work with your fears has been key for me.

Story 20 of 24

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