How can I get over the phobia caused by bad experiences?
25th July 2011

Good afternoon, Following a number of bad encounters with dentists, starting when I was around 8, I have ended up in the situation where I cannot walk into a dentists without going into a complete panic attack. After not visiting a dentist for in excess of 20 years, my teeth are now in an extremely poor state and I am extremely embarrased at the state of what is left of them. I am presuming that I have bad gum disease and I have lost several teeth already. It is very difficult for me to come to terms with all of this but each time I think of going to the dentist, I start to think a. I am not going to get through the door, and b. the dentist is in some way going to belittle me about the state of my teeth at which point I will probably just get up and never go back again .. ending up eating soft food for the rest of my life. As a grown man of 47, it seems really stupid ... but I know that I need to see a dentist but am not sure how I would even go about it or face up to the challenge of walking in and being berated by them!!! Plus I am presuming that I would have to have all my teeth removed .. and false ones fitted .. which would cost more probably than I could afford ... sorry for rambling .. but even the thought of being on a dental site is making me nervous ... Any help or advice you can offer would be most appreciated Kind Regards

A. Youve made a good start by asking a question here . What you have said raises a few different issues . how bad is your anxiety when you get to the dentist ,is it a full blown panic attack? If it is then I suggest you go to Anxiety uk and look at some resources to help to deal with that . Dentistry has changed a lot since you were 27. Until you can get to a dentist you are imagining what might happen Some assumptions are that the dentist will belittle you ,you wont be able to get through the door , this probably wont happen . You imagine you will have to have complete dentures , that may well not be true . You imagine you wont be able to afford them , but you dont know that till you find out . make a plan which you write down Find a dentist who is happy to take on nervous patients Perhaps get someone to go with you . Dont be ashamed your situation is more common than you think , people just dont talk about it . Ask about your options and consider what to have done . Ask about how to pay. Finding out the true condition of your teeth at least gives you a starting place , and a consultation doesnt committ you to any further steps unless you want to . Good luck ,facing your fears could lead to a better quality of life

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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