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15 Years since last dental appointment

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skippyinspace

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Due to my fear I haven't been to the dentist for 15 years and that was for an emergency extraction.

Now all my rear teeth have had fillings 30 to 40 years ago and a few have had root canals

but pretty much every filling or tooth with a filling has cracked or been damaged.

I'm worried that it's going to be an expensive experience both financially and with fear. I'm on no pain so I could turn a blind eye
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi and welcome skippyinspace. I can understand your worry about the cost of the treatment and of course your dental fear. Beating it is not easy but living in avoidance isn't a good solution either. Having no pain gives you time to take things slowly and chose your dentist carefully. Dealing with dental fear and an emergency at the same time would put you (and the dentist who would treat you) into a very unpleasant position and would make your fear worse and prevent you from further visits for several years again.
So it might be better to go rather sooner than later. You could start with an exam to see what needs to be done and what the costs would be. From that point you can decide how to move forward.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
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Reprobus

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I know someone who hasn't been for 20 yrs; they don't go simply due to cost.
 
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skippyinspace

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Im UK based but born in Australia and still cant get my head around this private / NHS thing, After my wife forcing me to promises to make a dental appointment, Ive had a knot in my stomach even thinking about contacting a dentist, let alone making the phone call. Its triggered my depression.

I have started to check around for local Dentists,That way if Im sedated my wife can com and get me, I don't want to use my wifes / 5year old daughter's dentist / practice, don't want to embarrass etc or have my daughter see me in tears waiting, While lying through what is remaining of my teeth that there is nothing to worry about.

Wife's view is one of if is going to be that expensive just to get them whipped out and false ones fitted.

I know deep breaths and make the call, but which way o go NHS -cheap long wait, Private - Expensive, more options, quicker appointments.


Thanks again
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I understand you confusion and not knowing which way to go and the pressure from your wife probably doesn't make things easier.
The thing I would consider is this: you not only have issues with your teeth, you also have issues with your anxiety. If you get your teeth fixed without taking proper care of the anxiety, your success will be a one hit wonder and you will keep having dental issues in the future because you won't be able to visit dentist regularly. So the only long term way is to fix the anxiety first to be able to cope with a treatment and be able to take care of your dental health also in the future.

The best thing to beat your dental fear long term would be an experienced caring dental team willing to take things at your own pace and start small. I would say that there is higher chance to get such an approach if you go private.

Whatever your decision will be, take your time with looking for a dentist and try to find a practice you feel comfortable with to stay motivated to keep on coming back.
 
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skippyinspace

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Private appointment made for 08:30 Monday.

Well Ive got to do this at some time and now is just s good as any but feeling hollow inside
 
brit

brit

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Im UK based but born in Australia and still cant get my head around this private / NHS thing,
What the NHS offers for dentistry in UK is now very basic indeed. Many people haven't realised this though. What really counts is finding an experienced, ethical, technically-competent, painfree, friendly dentist who you can keep visiting because they own the practice and therefore will stay put. This is hard to find in the NHS as a lot of treatment is provided by recently qualified dentists who move on every year or so.


Wife's view is one of if is going to be that expensive just to get them whipped out and false ones fitted.
You need to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible as dentures are not a fantastic substitute. It is fine for your wife to advocate cheap is best as it is not her who will be wearing them! Hope she was joking.

Pleased to see you have made a private appointment....but have you checked reputation./is it on recommendation of someone..not all private is best....an inexperienced dentist at a mixed NHS/private practice is probably the worst private option. I see private dental as paying for experience and technical competence and TLC. With a decent unrushed (most easily found privately) chairside manner, you might find it's all much easier than you expected 'as the paying customer'. Best wishes.
 
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Anxious76

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I hope you find a really good dentist who can take things at a pace which is comfortable for you both financially and physically. I would suggest not getting your teeth extracted unless a dentist deems it absolutely necessary. I had all of my teeth extracted and it is no walk in the park at all. If anything can be done to save your teeth then that’s what should happen. Dentures are not a solution they are a last resort. I’m fortunate that I’m getting implant supported bridges but it is extremely expensive and again not as good as natural teeth. Nothing is.
 
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skippyinspace

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When I phoned them I actually spoke to the dentist as the surgery was closed getting their chairs serviced. When I mentioned my fear of dentists he said me too but I have to come to work.
From what I have read on the net and facebook they get glowing reviews and the website is current with dentist profiles and staff profiles.
The dentist I spoke to is also the one that specialises with nervous patients.
Cant be any worse than my last dentist who when I showed him my root canal xrays went wow that's some great work I couldn't do that referring to my Australian dentist (Who I didn't know at the time was one of the best dentists in Australia and only saw him as I had severe tooth ache and he was the closest dentist to the office. but I only ended up wit him as one of the other practice dentists could cope with my tensing and flinching through out the appointment.
 
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Anxious76

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When I phoned them I actually spoke to the dentist as the surgery was closed getting their chairs serviced. When I mentioned my fear of dentists he said me too but I have to come to work.
From what I have read on the net and facebook they get glowing reviews and the website is current with dentist profiles and staff profiles.
The dentist I spoke to is also the one that specialises with nervous patients.
Cant be any worse than my last dentist who when I showed him my root canal xrays went wow that's some great work I couldn't do that referring to my Australian dentist (Who I didn't know at the time was one of the best dentists in Australia and only saw him as I had severe tooth ache and he was the closest dentist to the office. but I only ended up wit him as one of the other practice dentists could cope with my tensing and flinching through out the appointment.
“Me too but I have to come to work.”
I like the open display of humor, that was nice he put you at ease. It sounds like you’ve found a caring dentist there who will do his best.
The ones who understand anxiety are the best, especially if you’re going to be seeing them long term. I see a specialist now which is a little different since they are just in your life temporarily to fix an issue. I do the tensing and twitching due to my anxiety as well which is why for anything major like extractions or implants I opt for Sedation. There are several methods to help you be more relaxed for your appointment if you need work done so be sure to ask your dentist about it if it’s something you feel will help you. There’s no shame in needing some extra help. It makes the appointments go smoother and quicker for both the patient and dentist if there’s less tension. I wish you the best, I know it’s not easy to face this fear...but you should be very proud of yourself for taking this first step. Keep us posted please.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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When I phoned them I actually spoke to the dentist as the surgery was closed getting their chairs serviced. When I mentioned my fear of dentists he said me too but I have to come to work.

A comment similiar to this is exactly the moment I started to trust my dentist... I told him my fear of him dropping stuff down my throat and he said "me too" and kind of laughed... I thought.. this guy is actually funny who says that..? ha..and actually a few times he's reminded me I'm 4 for 4 or 5 for now on not dropping stuff down my throat.. lol...he is.. actually a bit entertaining at times. but very kind and sensitive as well through the whole process...

The one you spoke with sounds worth a shot for sure!!

:)
 
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skippyinspace

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Appointment attended and though worked up wasn't too bad, well until I got in the car to go to work where I broke down

Currently awaiting the plan of action but what was discussed was over £1K of private work a number a filling repairs, root canal, extraction.

Practice is 3years old and was impressed with the technology Dentist put me at ease, and have half hour appointments booked or the next 3weeks, to gauge my fear level.

Its a step but its going to be a long walk rather than a sprint
 
brit

brit

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Practice is 3years old and was impressed with the technology Dentist put me at ease, and have half hour appointments booked or the next 3weeks, to gauge my fear level.

Its a step but its going to be a long walk rather than a sprint
Haven't done one of these for years....:jump::jump::jump: congratulations that must have taken some courage. Have you shared the actual nature of your fears on here or with your potential new dentist? Do have a look at the Common Fears section as it suggests ways round all the issues. https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/

Look forward to hearing your updates.
 
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skippyinspace

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Have you shared the actual nature of your fears on here or with your potential new dentist?
.
I Certainly have shared, which was one of the reasons for the 3 appointments as e would normally do what he is doing in 3 sessions in one!

We have already touched upon sedation and a evaluation of what work to be done when after he 3 appointments.

Thanks for the support
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Well done, skippyinspace, happy to hear that it went well!:claps:
Having several shorter appointments is, in my experience better to deal with the anxiety than one long appointment - in this way you can make several small positive experiences which is good to keep the anxiety under control long term.
Keep us posted :)
 
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skippyinspace

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OK, Went along for the first work appointment, very nervous in the car going and arrived at the surgery where I was greeted at reception by name before getting to the desk. Was early so waited getting slightly more anxious with every minute.

Was called through and asked how I was and replied with I'm here.
Into the chair the dentist asked how I was and again replied with a I'm here, Now this is where things went a bit strange as in my mind I had psyched myself for a filling. So when the next words from the dentist was were are going to do the 2 extractions today (mainly root) I was a bit shocked.

The Dentist explained each step and the feelings to expect. The Dentist and nurse also had some banter with each other.

I had the does and donts given to me by the nurse while the dentist disappeared for the numbing to take effect which was where it could be seen that I was visually nervous.Hand was shaking

Dentist came back asked my again how I was feeling and said things will be done slowly and was that I could get a hug from whichever nurse I wanted when it was all over but not from him.

The extractions went ok first one was just picking out the 3 roots but the second one was a lot more pushing and breaking noises, A lot of hand clenching by myself and focussing on lights etc.

It was done, I was given as much time as I needed to compose myself before leaving the dentists chair, Got a well it wasn't that bad from the dentist and if you can handle this we can deal with the fillings and root canal that are coming.

Left the surgery and pretty much broke down in the car, not sure if it was relief, exhaustion from putting on a brave face I know some of it is from my depression or just exhaustion.

At this time I think this dentist is a good fit and I know whats happening at the next appointment.

Ive called in sick to work (Which I got a telling of from the wife for and also asked why I booked morning appointments when I could have booked evenings at it wouldn't have affected my work)

thanks to all for the support
 
brit

brit

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1. At this time I think this dentist is a good fit and I know whats happening at the next appointment.

2. Ive called in sick to work (Which I got a telling of from the wife for and also asked why I booked morning appointments when I could have booked evenings at it wouldn't have affected my work)

thanks to all for the support
1. Well done :jump::jump::jump:again, sounds like you are coping really well so far. You can take it from me that extractions are about as bad as it gets...so it should be downhill from here. It sounds like you are still very much on edge though and tensing up waiting for things to go wrong. With the right dentist they really aren't likely to go wrong very often and it would be easier for you and less emotionally draining if you tried to relax a bit more...until there is a reason to be concerned....I take it you have been given a stop signal? if not ask for one, it should make it easier to relax knowing they will stop whenever you want for whatever reason you want. It is not possible to be relaxed and anxious at the same time...so guess which one you should try to be.

2. Whatever it takes to get yourself there is all that matters. Tell your wife you are aspiring to be so blase about dental visits sometime in your near future, that you will be happy to go at whatever time of day but right now, paying privately you can choose the time you feel works best for you.
Keep in touch.
 
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skippyinspace

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Appointment 3, should be easier but its not, Patch filling and a proper filling. First difference this time was taken to the private patients waiting room, which had high back chairs, coffee pods, water and biscuits with low level calming lights. First of all who would have coffee or biscuits before seeing the dentist. The last thing I want is him saying I see you have biscuit stuck between youre teeth!

The Dentist came and got me this time and made a comment about you have come back asked how things had healed after the extraction and went on to explain what he was going to do but also stated that the tooth he was going to do the proper filling in might be damaged so might need a root canal but he would see when he was working on it.

Patch filling done which wasn't bad, had to have a second injection for the other tooth as I felt the tool during the test for numbness.

What I didn't say was while waiting for the injections to take hold I was crying not a lot just enough from the corners of my eyes and not in what I thought was a noticeable ways. (Around this time my mental health issues came into play, 1 beating myself up mentally for not being able to sit in a dentists chair with out crying and why am I crying as there was no pain and acting worse than my 5 year old. 2 my demanding issues also came into play of I will sit through this as its normal and I don't want to be a whimp and use the stop signal. Note 25 years ago in a root canal the root was in my sinus and during the washing out of the saline solution I got some pain thought it was normal and in the end had to get them to stop and it worked out that they had not just cleaned out the tooth but my sinus on that side.

Anyway the filling got done,l the applying of the band was a little sore and I'm still not sure what happened but the dentist left at one stage and came back saying to the nurse they didn't have one (But done in a whisper not to alarm me)

Comment made about filling was it was a very large one (But if I want to keep the tooth it will need a crown in the future)

Noting that the appointments at the moment are to get my teeth back upto a useable state!

During the filling I was aware that there were portions I didn't breath, portions of clenching hands, noticed my legs shook at one stage.

When it was all over I was informed I could stay in the waiting room as long as I wanted and another 2 appointments were made, This time was for the tooth that is in the nerve and the root canal plus a course of antibiotics.

I was asked at the end if I still hated him and my response was its not personal I hate all dentists. Which again I got a response of so do I especially when I'm in here at 7 am.

I know I'm making the effort but when you then cry from the stress of it for the hour drive into work, is it worth it, I know the answer is to "man up"

Thanks again for the support and reading it if you have got this far
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hey skippyinspace,

tears are normal. I know it's hard to accept sitting in the chair crying, but just think of how messed up the biochemistry of your body is when you have high anxiety. Tears of stress are normal, it's a way the body deals with the situation. See it as a physiological reaction due to anxiety, not as being a whimp.

I once asked my dentist if he could cope with me crying and how often people cry and he said it would be a very unusual week without some tears and that the most nervous patients cry somewhere on the way, be it tears of stress or tears of relief. I bet your dentist is used to this too.
You won't cry on every visit, things will get stabilized with time as you gain some confidence and familiarity.

You are doing amazing, thank you for the update, it's lovely to read about your progress.:)
 
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skippyinspace

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OK next update, Went back on Monday for the next round of treatment. Just a large filling on the last top tooth at the back.
No tears this time but a lot of clenching of fists, holding my breath and once in the car I was shaking like a leaf. Its not getting better but its not getting worse.

The filling its self is white and there was a sleeve put in as it had exposed a root, been told It will take a couple of days to settle down but there is a chance that it wont and will require a root canal.

Now the conversation between the nurse and the dentist (who I found out had been a teaching dentist from this conversation) related to things they had seen gone wrong, ie xrays read the wrong way and the wrong teeth being extracted to a patient having a heart attack in the chair. He was even saying he has a friend who turns white at the mention of the word dentist and after appoints he refuses to talk about it.

He then gave me an apology and said probably the wrong topic to be talking about with you here.

Nearly as bad as when I did my first parachute jump and the parachute packer came up to me and said youre not going to jump a parachute Ive packed and tutted and walked away
 
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