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The top 13 freakiest dental horror stories


Ghosts are scary. Ghouls are scary. But these creepy apparitions have nothing on some of the terrifying things that happen in the dental practice.

Ghosts are scary. Ghouls are scary. But these creepy apparitions have nothing on some of the terrifying things that happen in the dental practice.

“Surely dentistry can’t be THAT unnerving,” a layperson might say. We wanted to find out just how wrong they are. We polled our readers for the scariest, grossest, freakiest, most bizarre things they’ve seen in the dental practice, and got an overwhelming amount of cringe-worthy responses. There were dozens of astonishing tales, but we narrowed it down to the top 13. Some will make you shiver. Some will make you gag. Some will make you laugh. But all of them are guaranteed to leave you shaking your head in amazement.

Related reading: Check out last year's top 13 scariest dental horror stories

We requested the responses be anonymous, so there’s no way of knowing where these amazing stories originated… could it have been in YOUR practice? Check out the top 13 craziest stories to find out.

Continue to the next page to read the stories.


A hairy situation

I had an elderly gentleman in my chair and when I looked in his mouth to get an idea of what he needed, I saw hair! Real hair all in the vestibule of the mandible. He had a skin transplant and the hair follicles were never removed, so they continued to grow in his mouth. It was long and blonde! Being pregnant at that time, it was too much for me, and I couldn't even be in the room!



Itsy bitsy spider...

While working on a very relaxed patient, I actually had a tiny spider drop from the ceiling hanging on from his web. It dropped directly into the wide-open mouth I was working on. “OK,” I thought. “I’ll just retrieve it by scooping it out with my mirror. No big deal.” But just as I reached for it, the patient swallowed and down it went. The patient never knew-and I certainly didn’t mention it!


Cold cut catastrophe

I had a patient who, despite our advice, used slices of bologna to line her upper denture... and she did this for years! After a while, it made the roof of her mouth look just like bologna as well! It looked totally disgusting (not to mention how it made her mouth smell!)

Editor’s note: We received multiple stories of patients using bologna as denture adhesive… Maybe it’s time for a PSA that lunch meat isn’t approved for dental purposes?



Fangs a lot

I had a new patient come in for an emergency complaining that his bridge was loose. He had a full upper denture and on the lower, he only had his canines holding in an extremely mobile six-unit bridge; it was so loose, I was surprised he didn't just pull it out with his fingers! I explained to him that it had to go and we extracted it. It was the easiest extraction of my life. Neither of the teeth were in bone at all anymore and when I pulled it, the canines had thick calculus caked on all the way to the tips of the roots. The smell alone was something out of a horror movie and the extracted bridge looked like a set of vampire fangs on the tray!


Shock and jaw

I got called to the ER for a trauma patient because they couldn't get the patient's "upper denture" out.  When I got there, I realized it wasn't a denture at all-it was his entire upper jaw! He had a Lefort I fracture and the only thing holding his upper jaw "in place" were his greater palatine arteries, veins and nerves... yikes!


Don't let it bug you

I worked in a practice where the corporate office would only pay to have the biohazard container emptied every three months. Every time the assistant opened it to put something in, it smelled like rotting flesh! No air freshener could take the smell away. 

Worst of all, toward the end of the three months, gnats started swarming around the container and would fly all around the office. One time I was trying to work on a patient and a gnat was flying over my patient's mouth. The assistant took the large suction and sucked it up! I wanted to die! 


Touched by an angel?

I had an implant consult with a hearing-impaired patient. This took place in the pre-digital days when we took a Pan with film loaded in a cassette. The first pan came out totally dark. The second attempt was also totally dark. Though the third and final attempt was barely any better, I could discern the edentulous maxilla. However, on the right side of the film was the outline of 3.5 fingers of a child-size hand. My assistant swore she did not touch the film in loading the cassette (and her hands were bigger than that) - and when my patient saw the film, she burst out crying.

The patient proceeded to explain that her daughter had died the year before, and she had recently seen a psychic who told her that her daughter was trying to reach out to her. Apparently when the daughter had been young, she would get her deaf mother’s attention by putting her hand on her mother’s face - in the same place that the Pan showed the handprint! Maybe her daughter was reaching out to her after all…


Beef... it's what's for dinner

For a while, I worked in a rural area. A patient presented at my practice with her front teeth missing. When I asked how it happened, she reported that her cow backed into her and smashed her into the fence-also breaking four of her ribs! Guess what they had for dinner the next evening?


Pooper-scooper sleuth 

We had a patient come in to the practice to re-cement a gold crown. Since it was the last appointment, the doctor cleaned up the old cement in the crown and re-cemented it. After the procedure, I told the patient, "It's good you saved the crown." The patient said, "Yes, I left it on the table but after a few minutes I saw my dog had knocked it on the floor and swallowed it! I had to look for it for few days, but I found it." The DDS and I just looked at each other!


A picture's worth a thousand words

While updating the medical history of a 75-year-old man, he shared with me that he was planning penile implant surgery soon and pulled out a brochure picturing several options, and proceeded to go over each of them and asked me my opinion on which to choose!


Unexpected visitor

A patient was on vacation when his crown came out. He re-cemented it himself with a flour and water mixture, and came it to have it permanently cemented when he got home. We placed the crown on the tray while we cleaned the tooth. But then my boss gets my attention and points to the crown with a horrified look: A maggot was crawling out of it! 


DIY dentistry

While working as a dental assistant at a Navy base, a patient came into the clinic at opening with a drill bit from his Black & Decker drill in his first premolar. He had tried to drill his own tooth at home and could not get the drill back out! Ouch! We suggested he stay away from at-home dentistry in the future…


(Dental) practice makes perfect?

A few weeks into my first job at a dental practice, a front-desk employee was let go. I was warned not to ask about her or even say her name, which I thought it was odd, but didn’t question it. A few months later, the doctor’s desk was broken, like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it. I was curious so I asked a co-worker what had happened to the doctor’s desk. All was revealed… The front-desk employee that was let go months earlier was having an affair with the married doctor and got pregnant. The doctor’s wife found out and demanded she be let go. The doctor went on to have an affair with a married dental assistant. The desk was broken by them having “relations” after work in the doctor’s office. What happens at the dental office, stays at the dental office… except me; I moved on!


Surprise! As a special treat for the Halloween season, we've included a bonus story!

Safe storage

I had a patient let most of his teeth fall out naturally. He came in and told me his tooth recently fell out while brushing. I asked him what he did with the tooth and he said put it under his lip to keep it in his mouth. He left the tooth there so long I realized after taking a pano that it was still there. His gum tissue grew over the tooth and was holding the tooth horizontally in his mouth. 

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