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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Afraid of Dentists?

I’m afraid of dentists

Go ahead — call me a wimp.

It’s not mostly the pain.  It’s that I’m claustrophobic.

When I’m trapped on my back, head-down in that chair, with torture utensils stuck into my mouth and someone’s face two inches from mine and I can’t move or a drill will cut off my tongue — I can become overwhelmed with panic and terror.

I remember one dentist saying — “Are you all right?  You’re looking a little green around the gills.”

Little did he know.

The clock is ticking

In a couple hours I’m heading to the dentist.

So to help me — and any of you who are afraid of dentists — I’m going to go over my battle-plan against fear.

Prayer

It all starts here.  God has the power to free me from fear and fill me with peace.

And He says —

Ask and it will be given to you.  Matthew 7:7

What is impossible with people is possible with God.  Luke 18:27

You have not because you ask not.  James 4:2

So I’m coming to the Father in Jesus’ name — asking Him to give me His peace.

Promises

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and God provides the Spirit as we hear His promises with faith (Gal 3:5).

So I’m going over some promises now — and will continue to go over them while the dentist is working on me.

Here are my favorite promises for the dentist’s chair —

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Rom 15:13

Exercise

Exercise?  That’s right — exercise.

Maybe it has to do with endorphins or dopamine.

But whatever it is — getting in a quad-burning, sweat-pouring, heart-pounding mountain-bike ride before I go to the dentist helps me relax.

Communicating

Before the dentist starts working I remind her that I’m claustrophobic.

I just say —

“So — I’m claustrophobic, right?  If I raise my hand while you are working on me — could we take a break so I can have a little space?”

I’ve never had to raise my hand — but it helps to know I have the option.

Mental focus

Certain thoughts lead to fear and anxiety, like —

  • How long is this going to take?
  • Am I ever going to get out of here?
  • I’m not sure I’m going to make it!

So instead, while the dentist is working on me, I try to —

  • meditate on Scripture — especially promises
  • talk to the Father — asking for continued help
  • pray for people — lifting up urgent needs
  • worship Jesus — beholding His goodness, wisdom, power, love

So here goes —

I’m going to take some time right now to pray, go over God’s promises, and exercise.

Then — it’s off to the dentist.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Later

Well, I’m back.

It was one of my easiest appointments ever.

God gave me grace to —

  • set my mind on Him,
  • pray for neighbors who don’t know Christ,
  • and thank Him for ways He’s been working.

I felt no fear.  Only peace.

Thank You, Father.

What about you?

How have you dealt with fears like this?  I’d love to hear — leave a reply below.  Thanks!

Do you know someone who is afraid of dentists?  Email this to them — or share it with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.

If you would like to receive a Saturday email summarizing the week’s posts — subscribe here.  (I will only use your email address for Living By Faith Communications — and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —

 

(Picture on everystockphoto by Conor Lawless.)

Category: Fearful or Worried?, Stories from My Life

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8 Responses

  1. Jane says:

    Hi

    Thank you for this encouraging post… I will be having my 2 wisdom teeth and 2 premolars removed this coming May 9th. Like you I am also terrified. I have been putting off my appointment for some time now.

    About a month ago I mustered up some strength to finally get my lower right wisdom extracted because it was unbearably painful(cavity). While the dentist was almost done injecting the numbing shot, my heart started raising. You see 5 years ago I had 2 root canal done (partially). I was at the third or fourth of my visit procedure when seconds after the dentist gave me epenehren my heart felt like it was going to explode. She called 911 immediately and I was there for 2 hours for observation(they did ekg and monitored my heart). The test was normal.

    My dentist and doctor said that I was sensitive to epenephren. After that incident, I couldn’t shake of the feeling that maybe there is something wrong with my heart. What if they inject me something else and I would react the same(heart exploding feeling).

    Sad to say my dentist didn’t get to extract my lower wisdom tooth because I was I think having an anxiety attack. He didn’t give me epenephren as I told him I’m sensitive to it. One year ago, I had a polyp done where they sedated me and they said while I was still asleep my heart was raising and towards waking up I felt my heart beating unusually fast(not as fast as the feeling of my heart was going to explode).

    So I went to a cardiologist and they did a stress test and holter monitor and the test was normal. However I currently have a high cholesterol, LDL of 150 but I lowered it down to 119 (just diet, vegetable juicing, & exercise).

    I will be going to an oral surgeon to have 4 teeth extracted this May 9th. My cardiologist gave them a release form, which means I don’t have any heart conditions and I really need to get them removed. Two wisdom teeth and two premolar from previous (5 years ago) root canal that I did not get to finish.

    Please pray for me.

    Thanks
    Jane

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Jane,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I will pray that God will use His promises to give you amazing strength and peace during your appointment.

      I have actually been doing much better since writing that post.

      And do you have any trusted sisters in Christ who could pray for you? I think you might find that very encouraging.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

      • Joe says:

        Thank you for the encouragement. I, too, am facing a dental procedure and need to ask the Lord for his grace and mercy as he leads me through it. Fear and worry is not foreign to me, but I am doing all I can to trust in the Lord. Please pray for me. I will be in “the chair” on September 17th. God bless all who put their trust in Him.

        • Steve Fuller says:

          Hi Joe,

          It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing what’s going on.

          May the Lord give you abounding grace on Sept 17th, and strengthen you and fill you with his peace.

          Let us know how it goes —

          In Christ,

          Steve Fuller

  2. Elo says:

    This is a good blog. I went in to have 4 extractions done today for the 2nd time and had to leave bc of same reasons

  3. linda says:

    I googled prayers for a dental procedure and this, among other articles, came up.
    It’s wonderful.
    My friend Rosalie is having a crown prep procedure on Tuesday July 1. I am so happy I found this for her.
    Thank you. God bless you.

  4. Mon says:

    I Googled “fears about going to the dentist-Christian perspective”, and this site came up. What a great help it was. My dental appointment is @ 3. I am just going to woman-up, say a prayer, and do some of the things suggested in the article.

    Thanks
    Mon

  5. Pamela says:

    Hello,
    So i went to the dentist last week and had a top back molar removed due to a cavity that could not be treated. I was so worried. I prayed to Jesus and & him to be with me & hold my hand. Give me strength to be strong and feel no pain. The dentist numbed me extra good and pulled my tooth in 30 seconds.It was a little pressure but that is it. i felt nothing. Thank you Jesus! I go back to the dentist tomorrow for a Root Canal. Here i go stressing out again. My stomach is a wreck and i am so nervous. I don’t want to hear any tools or feel any pain. Please pray for me and I will be praying for you all as well. Jesus holds our hand but it’s still scary to know what we have to face with needles and grinding inside our mouth. It’s just so scary.

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