I can totally relate to everyone here.
I also have a total phobia of dentists. Also like everyone else it is not the pain, just the thought of losing something which can never be replaced.
My worst fear is losing my teeth, I have suffered from nightmares for years about my teeth all falling out together etc etc. When I wake in the morning, I feel my teeth and think thank god that was just another dream.
But the fear is that one day, it will happen and I will not be dreaming.
Some people can except the losing of teeth, where some can't. You hear so many horror stories of dentists extracting teeth that another dentist could save, it makes the fear worse.
To the OP the first thing I would do, is look for a good dentist, ask freinds and family to recommend.
When you do get the courage to go, ask your doctor for a tranquilliser, that will help you big time.
I know how you feel, your not alone. Take care and good luck