Personal Stories of Younger People With a Fear of the Dentist

Finally overcome my fear!

by sara1504

I have been scared of the dentist for years! Ever since a filling that hurt. So scared that I would have a panic attack waiting in the car while my husband was in the dentist! For years I have avoided them, put up with agony in my mouth. 

A month ago another abscess reared its ugly head. I tried everything to avoid the dentist, crying at the doctor for antibiotics but to no avail. Anyway, my mum got me into her dentist. I wasn’t registered anywhere because I never kept appointments and was taken off the list. I went fully intending to take the prescription and never go back. I explained to him I was terrified and he assured me he would do nothing I didn’t want him to do. He was brilliant with me, and I left there with my prescription and a new appointment for a week later. He said first we would try a tooth cleaning to get me used to the sound and stuff again, he said it would take a minute or so, but if I only lasted 10 seconds, then that was still an achievement. I lasted the whole time! ?  Sounds silly but I was so proud of myself.

A week later I was back, I needed a tooth out, retained roots removed from a tooth that had cracked away and 2 small fillings. He gave me the choice of what I wanted to do next. I chose the tooth out and retained roots removal. Before starting, he told me I was his last patient to see that afternoon so he can take it as slow as I needed. Did a practice run of everything, even down to how I would have to put my head etc. He would work for a minute, then stop to give me a breather, then work for a minute, then stop etc… 10 minutes later they were all out! I felt like I had won the lottery!! I couldn’t believe I had done it, I was physically shaking going there, didn’t think I would do it. A week later, I had the appointment for the 2 fillings, the things that frighten me the most. I had to cancel as I was ill and couldn’t get another one for a month, so when the time came, I was more scared than I had ever been! I told him this, but he just said “you’re in control – if you don’t want to do it today, we can do it another time”, but I decided to go through with it, I was sweating, shaking, but did it!!  ?  So proud of myself…

This whole time all I needed was to find a dentist I could trust and was understanding of my fear and patient with me, which he is. I am finally not dreading the check-up appointment in 5 months! No longer feel anxious about treatment. I will never like the dentist and will probably still be nervous, but I know I can do it now!! There is hope ? Shop around until you find one you can trust 100% – that’s half the battle won already then.

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