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23 years between visits - surprised how dentistry has improved!

Z

zircosil

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
5
I have never been good with having any type of medical procedure performed on me. I remember a time when I was very young (maybe 4-5) being chased around a doctors surgery by my Mum because the GP needed to give me a vaccination needle. I (until fairly recently) would faint after flu needles, evening being in a hospital visiting grandparents when they were not well was enough to cause me to faint.

Anyway, I have never liked the dentist. As a child, each year a dental van would come to school for a week or two to perform check ups and treatments on school kids (I grew up in the country). Being told your appointment is now and having to walk across the basketball court filled with dread was awful.
The dentists would examine your teeth, scold you for not having good teeth. I would need fillings, so I would have to come back after school to get them done. I don't think they were deep fillings, but there was no such thing as anaesthetic and the dentist would just get cracking. Your mouth would get stuffed with some packing to either absorb your spit, or to help keep your mouth open.

My last visit was when I was 12, I didn't give my parents any encouragement to book a dentist appointment for me. As time went on, I told myself I didn't need to go to the dentist because my teeth didn't hurt so there mustn't be anything wrong.

Anyway, fast forward 23 years and two good things happened. I had some nasty tartar build up on my bottom front teeth from lack of flossing and poor technique which I was really worried that my teeth might be buggered. A new person was hired at work and it just happens they were a dental hygienist assistant so they were a great source if information, plus I found this website. I read many of the success stories, browsed the dentistry questions reading what happens in different procedures and what I may have to experience in the near future. It is very comforting in knowing that other people have the same struggles as I do, and the success stories do fill you with some hope and courage.

I made an appointment initially for a check up and clean. The dentist was incredibly friendly, I was laying in the chair but I think if they'd moved the chair away I still would have been laying in the same position. I did say initially I hadn't been for a visit in a while, after he did the initial check he asked how long it had been. When I told him he was surprised, he thought maybe 5-6 years.

Anyway, I needed 10 filings, with all of them being relatively small. The scale and clean took quite a while as there was quite a bit to remove which was quite stressful. Behind my front bottom teeth felt smooth before the clean and very different afterward which the dentist warned me about.

So far I've had an additional two visits to get seven fillings completed, I didn't know they had an anesthetic cream to numb the gum before giving you an injection which made the process so much better. My dentist knows that I am quite nervous so he is very understanding and makes sure I am comfortable throughout the process.

Since my first visit I am hell bent on ensuring I take better care of my teeth. I have a electric brush which I use twice a day, floss every tooth daily and mouthwash twice daily with no rinsing or eating for at least 1/2 an hour.

It looks like I might have my wisdom teeth out in a few months time, so it has been good to read other's experiences on how they have faired​
 
C

Cronic Dental Phobia

Member
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
22
Location
NY
Awesome! I'm so happy for you! Like you, I just started going back after a 20 year absence. I have having that scaling thing done in less than 2 weeks! I'm terrified! Could you shed some light on how bad this is or what I am to expect. Thank-you
 
Z

zircosil

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
5
Awesome! I'm so happy for you! Like you, I just started going back after a 20 year absence. I have having that scaling thing done in less than 2 weeks! I'm terrified! Could you shed some light on how bad this is or what I am to expect. Thank-you
The sound is not pleasant, but it wasn't too bad. The worst of it was having to keep my mouth open for a fairly long time so the dentist could remove all of the scale. He gave me frequent breaks to rinse and spit plus rest my jaw. I didn't have any painkillers and it didn't hurt, although a few tender spots made me flinch a few times. The sensation is a bit strange as a constant jet of water is helping the ultrasonics (my sister doesn't enjoy that part but I was ok with it). I think all up it took about 20-25 minutes to do the clean, the best part is seeing your teeth afterwards which is a good reward.
I think I should have no qualms going back again in ~6-12 months for another check up and clean.
 
Z

zircosil

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
5
Well since my first post I have been visiting the dentist every 6 months for a check and clean.
The whole visit is done and dusted in about 10 minutes, I make sure I follow all of my dentists recommendations.

My dentist has been asking me about my wisdom teeth, so i finally got around and saw an oral surgeon.
He looked at the OPG xray and said that the two bottom wisdoms had to go, but there was too much risk in removing the top two as they were high up near my synis and there shouldn't be any problem with leaving them there.

After panicking about getting surgery for the last two months, I had it done yesterday. This is my first ever hospital procedure. Everything went like a dream, went under GA, woke up back in my room. Didn't feel sick or anything. Had some soup and ice cream, before being picked up.
Just recovering now, just a bit of a sore jaw. Have dissolvable stitches in, no pain from the teeth as yet but are on pain meds and antibiotics. Just eating soft foods with a teaspoon - I check in with my dentist in a week to see how things are looking.

So far the whole operation and recovery has gone much better than what I was expecting.
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
214
Location
In dental heaven
Well done! Like you, I have been very pleasantly surprised in the somewhat dramatic improvements and change of attitudes in the dentistry world, even in the last five years or so! Needles have got much thinner and now we have things such as digital x rays, numbing gels and massaging chairs. And dentists no longer treat us like scolded little animals as was the case in the eighties........

Good luck in your ongoing recovery and further progress! Simon XX
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
214
Location
In dental heaven
My heart goes out to you. It is not easy making that first step, but I am certain you will be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it actually turns out to be. My first steps were (and would be again) initially look on the web (also a new innovation since the dark days of the eighties) at a selection of practices; on most sites these days, one can see what the inside of the surgery look like and importantly staff generally post a little profile about themselves with their name and crucially a picture so one is not shocked at what they might look like! If you are prepared to cast your net out a bit further and consider a trip of up to an hour or so, you will probably find a good selection out there to choose from. All this without even having to speak or set foot inside any door!

Next, as I did, having found somebody you fancy, meet and just talk with them for the first time, perhaps in a different room to the surgery. If you like them, the rest will follow very easily - assured!

Finally, be honest and realistic! We tend to forget that most people cannot mind read, so telling someone how you are really feeling will help both of you, and remember its your mouth and spirit, so you call the shots at the end of the day! Any decent dentist will acknowledge and honour this and in all fairness most out there today will want to help and look after you and your best interests.

All the very best of luck in your quest, and we are all routing for you! Simon XX :cool:
 
Z

zircosil

Junior member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
5
All the very best of luck in your quest, and we are all routing for you! Simon XX :cool:
Thanks for the kind words Simon.

Well I am currently at day 6, today the swelling in my face was almost gone. I still have restricted movement in my jaw and some tightness in the jaw muscles, I have been eating with a teaspoon as I haven't been able to open my mouth very wide, but today was a little better. Have only been eating soft foods still, I haven't wanted to risk anything. Gingerly brushing my teeth, being very cautious and conversative as I don't want to cause any issues with the stitches or wound area. I still get a bit of blood (very small amount) when brushing, so I think I am still healing.

I see the dentist tomorrow which will be good - I'm keen to find out when I can resume normal brushing/care of my teeth and when I might be able to eat something other than soups or mash. I am hanging out for some pizza :)

The recovery has been better than expected - I have just been resting around the house which I needed. Had no major issues but followed the oral surgeons recommendations to the letter. Hopefully I am out of the woods of dry socket as that was what I was most dreading.

Fingers crossed this will be the last major downtime I have with my teeth. I might check with the dentist if a check up in a few months is needed just to see how my teeth are behaving now the bottom wisdoms are out.
 
T

Tinydancer

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
68
I have never been good with having any type of medical procedure performed on me. I remember a time when I was very young (maybe 4-5) being chased around a doctors surgery by my Mum because the GP needed to give me a vaccination needle. I (until fairly recently) would faint after flu needles, evening being in a hospital visiting grandparents when they were not well was enough to cause me to faint.

Anyway, I have never liked the dentist. As a child, each year a dental van would come to school for a week or two to perform check ups and treatments on school kids (I grew up in the country). Being told your appointment is now and having to walk across the basketball court filled with dread was awful.
The dentists would examine your teeth, scold you for not having good teeth. I would need fillings, so I would have to come back after school to get them done. I don't think they were deep fillings, but there was no such thing as anaesthetic and the dentist would just get cracking. Your mouth would get stuffed with some packing to either absorb your spit, or to help keep your mouth open.

My last visit was when I was 12, I didn't give my parents any encouragement to book a dentist appointment for me. As time went on, I told myself I didn't need to go to the dentist because my teeth didn't hurt so there mustn't be anything wrong.

Anyway, fast forward 23 years and two good things happened. I had some nasty tartar build up on my bottom front teeth from lack of flossing and poor technique which I was really worried that my teeth might be buggered. A new person was hired at work and it just happens they were a dental hygienist assistant so they were a great source if information, plus I found this website. I read many of the success stories, browsed the dentistry questions reading what happens in different procedures and what I may have to experience in the near future. It is very comforting in knowing that other people have the same struggles as I do, and the success stories do fill you with some hope and courage.

I made an appointment initially for a check up and clean. The dentist was incredibly friendly, I was laying in the chair but I think if they'd moved the chair away I still would have been laying in the same position. I did say initially I hadn't been for a visit in a while, after he did the initial check he asked how long it had been. When I told him he was surprised, he thought maybe 5-6 years.

Anyway, I needed 10 filings, with all of them being relatively small. The scale and clean took quite a while as there was quite a bit to remove which was quite stressful. Behind my front bottom teeth felt smooth before the clean and very different afterward which the dentist warned me about.

So far I've had an additional two visits to get seven fillings completed, I didn't know they had an anesthetic cream to numb the gum before giving you an injection which made the process so much better. My dentist knows that I am quite nervous so he is very understanding and makes sure I am comfortable throughout the process.

Since my first visit I am hell bent on ensuring I take better care of my teeth. I have a electric brush which I use twice a day, floss every tooth daily and mouthwash twice daily with no rinsing or eating for at least 1/2 an hour.

It looks like I might have my wisdom teeth out in a few months time, so it has been good to read other's experiences on how they have faired​

I have just read this and it's helping me a lot. My bad experience with a dentist is very similar. I remember walking across the playground at school and entering the dreaded dental van. I would pray every day walking to school that the van wasn't there. I had a few fillings when younger at the school dentist van I remember it being a bit sore. I think maybe they didn't have anything to stop feeling pain when I was younger too! I now have to get two extractions and a filling and scale and polish and haven't been to a dentist in about 17/18 years so I'm really surprised that's all I need ( so far! ) I too didn't encourage my mum to take me to the dentist or anything. It's great to read your story thank you for sharing it with everyone :)
 
B

Bthornton23

Junior member
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
3
I also had a lot of build up on the back of my bottom front teeth and what I thought was my gum receding. The front looked like rotting on the gum line. I thought for sure my bottom fronts would be gone. Turns out after 23 years they just needed a cleaning and the teeth were fine. The plaque was over the gum rather than the gum receding. When I left the office yesterday after my first round of cleaning I thought they had left plaque on the back of those teeth as it felt like ruts in the plaque. Got home expecting to see gross ruts in gross plaque and the ruts were just the shape of my now clean and plaque free teeth!!!
 
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