Seeing a Dentist: I am Embarrassed and Scared!

Seeing a Dentist: I am Embarrassed and Scared!
Dental Health for Life
05, Oct 2017

Should I tell the dental team that I am nervous?

Yes. Make sure that the team know you are nervous, so that they can help you.

If you think you know the reason, tell your dental team what may have caused your fear… it can be that you think…

My teeth are the worst the dentist has ever seen; I feel guilty, ashamed, and scared of ‘The Lecture’. I’m worried that the dentist will berate me, humiliate me, or judge me.”

This is the vicious circle of dental phobia: whatever caused the phobia initially (be it painful or traumatic experiences, hurtful remarks, or something else) leads to avoidance, which in turn means no access to professional dental care, usually resulting in poorer oral health, and at some stage the results of this “neglect” are perceived to be so embarrassing that it’s totally impossible to see a dentist, even when in pain. If shame, embarrassment and guilt are keeping you away from seeing a dentist, you’ve got plenty of company.

Embarrassment is perhaps THE most common concern voiced by people who haven’t been to a dentist in a very long time. It may come as a surprise to some that the days when “the lecture” was part-and-parcel of a visit to the dentist are gone. Dentistry has evolved into an industry which supplies a service to the potential customer – you!

It may help to know that from the operator’s (that is, the dentist’s) perspective, the situation looks very different. They’ve been trained to help people who are experiencing problems with their teeth and gums – it’s their job to fix these problems. And a lot of dentists view their job as a caring profession – which is what it should be.

You might find it more reassuring to hear all this “from the horse’s mouth”, so to speak. Try to remember that a dentist has seen everything from black and broken teeth to no teeth at all. Your teeth won’t shock the dentist.

Please don’t be embarrassed… it sounds silly but it’s what we do. We have seen it all before, and there is no reason why we should judge you for it. We are there as learned practitioners. You’re not embarrassed to take your car to the mechanic even though your oil is very dirty are you? You take in your car, they change your oil and you’re good to go again. As dentists, we have chosen to see and treat patients within this specialized area of medicine.

If you are the one that have many missing/broken teeth and is terrified of having a dentist look in your mouth, taken you months to work up the courage, in the process of selecting an empathetic dentist…

Thank goodness for the internet – do not think you are alone in your fear. Too embarrassed to talk about it with anyone. Have a look on the internet. Please note it’s not uncommon at all.


If you suffer with dental phobia, it is likely that you’ll interpret remarks which others would simply regard as helpful advice or fair commentary as negative – and pretty devastating. The way to work around this is to let your dentist know right from the start that you are very embarrassed about the state of your mouth and cannot cope with any negative remarks! This should eliminate any insensitive comments.

To make an appointment with Dr. Tromp, who will make you feel at ease about your teeth, please click here.

63 St. Mary Street, Chippenham,
Wiltshire, SN15 3JF
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