Dear Crabby, Should I Be Scared of the Dentist?

Dear Crabby,

I don’t know why, but I have always been afraid of the dentist. I’m an adult now and I know it’s silly, but I still get anxious. Is there a solution for this? Have you dealt with this fear before?

Sincerely,  I.M. Fraid

Dear I.M. Fraid,

My best advice for your situation is to get over it!  I know that sounds rough, but hey, they call me “Dear Crabby,” not “Dear Cuddly.”  I have not dealt with a fear of the dentist myself, but my son was always a bit anxious on his visits. I remember taking him to have a tooth pulled when he was in grade school. He started asking me questions while we were still in the car. He asked if there would be a shot or not. I told him I thought there was, but they usually don’t hurt.  He responded that I always say that and that it’s never true! Maybe I should have paid more attention to his questions before answering them. Anyway, when we got into the dentist’s office, they asked if he wanted the laughing gas. His answer was a question in return; he asked if there would be a shot. They casually told him yes and said that he had the same shot the last time they had to pull one of his teeth. He didn’t remember it, which they explained was probably because he had had the laughing gas that time. Soon, the dentist came into the room and asked how my son was doing. Right away, my son asked, “Are you giving me a shot?”  The attentive dentist calmly answered, “Well, we do give you a little poke, but it’s not bad.”  That wasn’t good enough for my son!  He kept nervously looking around, interrupting the dentist, asking to see the needle, and questioning every move the poor dentist made.  That’s when I realized just how smart my dentist was – without so much as flinching an eyebrow, he called for the laughing gas to be given before any work was to be started. Within seconds, my son was laughing uncontrollably and so was the nurse helping him. The dentist went on with his work as though nothing were out of the ordinary, and my son was just fine and dandy with the whole process. After it was all over he even said, “That didn’t hurt at all!”  So I said, “Well then, now you can believe me when I tell you it will not hurt.”  He quickly replied, “No, but I can trust that dentist!” Oh well, you win some and you lose some; what are you going to do?  My anxieties are usually over giving blood or getting a poke in my arm. I had a painful experience as a child giving blood and it never seems to get any better for me.  I know, I should take my own advice and get over it.  It’s just that the good Lord keeps on putting these people in my life that hurt me when they draw my blood. Every once in a while, I feel nothing and I just want to give that person a huge tip to show my gratitude!  Then I go and start to relax about it and some dufus jams that needle in my arm like they are spear fishing or something. I guess I should never fully let my guard down; how else will I be able to entertain the medical staff and Mrs. Crabby anyway?  Good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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