33 and never been to the dentist, gathering courage to go

D

duhfraidycat

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Mar 14, 2021
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15
Hey all! I'm 33 years old and I've *never* been to the dentist. I thought I had gone as a child but I asked my mom recently and she was adamant that I had never ever been. I grew up poor and health care of any kind was not something we had the money for. I didn't start going to the doctor for yearly checkups until a couple years ago and I had a lot of anxiety regarding that as well.

I have been having some minor tooth/mouth pain lately, some pressure on the lower right side of my mouth as well as a tooth that hurts sometimes when I bite down on things. I know for sure that I need my wisdom teeth taken out as well, at least one is impacted and the others are forcing my teeth to shift/crowd and they have significant cavities. I haven't always taken care of my teeth as well as I should unfortunately.

At the advice of my husband, I scheduled an appointment (rather, he scheduled it for me so I wouldn't have to deal with my phone anxiety as well) and he made sure to emphasize that I am extremely anxious about going to the dentist. He also let them know that I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex and a fear of vomiting so I hope the dentist is prepared lol.

I go on Tuesday and I'm really nervous. I dreamed last night that I needed root canals on all my teeth which I know is irrational. I'm sure I need a LOT of fillings but I'm hoping for no root canals. My husband had to have 2 and they were EXTREMELY expensive even with insurance.

I mostly needed to vent about this but I'm also hoping someone might have some advice for how to calm down and not stress about what may or may not happen.
 
Tolkienista

Tolkienista

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Sep 25, 2019
Messages
29
Can't give you advice on how to calm down, as I'm a firm believer in sticking on a smile even though I'm churning up inside at what the appointment might unveil. I live in the UK and have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with my hygienist for a four monthly cleaning session. Not looking forward to it at all, but I'll walk in with a smile and hope for the best.........but it is hard, not going to lie.

I don't know anyone who enjoys dental visits, but can honestly say if you can see each visit as getting to your goal, you'll be half way there. Very best wishes for your appointment, I'm sorry I can't give you more tips, but I think dental hygiene and following dental advice has been the best thing that ever happened to save my teeth.
 
M

Molar_bear

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Hey all! I'm 33 years old and I've *never* been to the dentist. I thought I had gone as a child but I asked my mom recently and she was adamant that I had never ever been. I grew up poor and health care of any kind was not something we had the money for. I didn't start going to the doctor for yearly checkups until a couple years ago and I had a lot of anxiety regarding that as well.

I have been having some minor tooth/mouth pain lately, some pressure on the lower right side of my mouth as well as a tooth that hurts sometimes when I bite down on things. I know for sure that I need my wisdom teeth taken out as well, at least one is impacted and the others are forcing my teeth to shift/crowd and they have significant cavities. I haven't always taken care of my teeth as well as I should unfortunately.

At the advice of my husband, I scheduled an appointment (rather, he scheduled it for me so I wouldn't have to deal with my phone anxiety as well) and he made sure to emphasize that I am extremely anxious about going to the dentist. He also let them know that I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex and a fear of vomiting so I hope the dentist is prepared lol.

I go on Tuesday and I'm really nervous. I dreamed last night that I needed root canals on all my teeth which I know is irrational. I'm sure I need a LOT of fillings but I'm hoping for no root canals. My husband had to have 2 and they were EXTREMELY expensive even with insurance.

I mostly needed to vent about this but I'm also hoping someone might have some advice for how to calm down and not stress about what may or may not happen.

Hi there. Sounds like you have a really supportive husband which is great! And you have informed the dentist you are nervous which is good. In terms of ways to calm down, one way that can be helpful is distraction based, listening to music, reading etc and also generally keeping busy is something I find helpful. Amazing how interesting doing the cleaning is when I’m anxious 😂😂. Things at the dentist can be things like bringing someone with you for support (covid rules allowing), having something to hold and fiddle with too.
 
B

Bucsgal52

Junior member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
11
Hey all! I'm 33 years old and I've *never* been to the dentist. I thought I had gone as a child but I asked my mom recently and she was adamant that I had never ever been. I grew up poor and health care of any kind was not something we had the money for. I didn't start going to the doctor for yearly checkups until a couple years ago and I had a lot of anxiety regarding that as well.

I have been having some minor tooth/mouth pain lately, some pressure on the lower right side of my mouth as well as a tooth that hurts sometimes when I bite down on things. I know for sure that I need my wisdom teeth taken out as well, at least one is impacted and the others are forcing my teeth to shift/crowd and they have significant cavities. I haven't always taken care of my teeth as well as I should unfortunately.

At the advice of my husband, I scheduled an appointment (rather, he scheduled it for me so I wouldn't have to deal with my phone anxiety as well) and he made sure to emphasize that I am extremely anxious about going to the dentist. He also let them know that I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex and a fear of vomiting so I hope the dentist is prepared lol.

I go on Tuesday and I'm really nervous. I dreamed last night that I needed root canals on all my teeth which I know is irrational. I'm sure I need a LOT of fillings but I'm hoping for no root canals. My husband had to have 2 and they were EXTREMELY expensive even with insurance.

I mostly needed to vent about this but I'm also hoping someone might have some advice for how to calm down and not stress about what may or may not happen.

I feel the same way! I have the irrational fear that when I go Tuesday they will tell me I need all my teeth pulled. I told my hubby I was really ready to cancel. I will be thinking of you Tuesday!
 
D

duhfraidycat

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Mar 14, 2021
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15
Thank you all! I'm definitely going into full panic mode tonight because I'm less than 12 hours away from facing a major fear. I'm nervous about what's going to happen but I'm trying to relax as much as possible. I don't think my husband can come back with me, I don't think he can even come into the waiting room with me unfortunately. Thankfully I have already filled out the patient history so I don't need to be there early or anything.
 
D

duhfraidycat

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Mar 14, 2021
Messages
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Just got back from the dentist! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I think the worst part was waiting around between each thing. Here's what happened today:

They took me back and gave me X-rays. First was the panoramic X-ray machine (piece of cake) and then bitewings (still easy but not quite as easy). Neither one triggered my sensitive gag reflex! Then the dentist came in and asked about any pain/issues and then checked my teeth. She had the assistant note any cavities. Then we talked about what she found. I have 14 cavities and my wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

She let me decide whether to get cavities filled today or do it another day. She also let me decide whether to get my teeth cleaned today or wait. I decided to get 4 cavities filled (upper right side of my mouth that was causing some pain) *and* get my teeth cleaned.

She numbed me with gel and waited a few minutes for it to kick in and then numbed me with needles. Easy peasy. There was a very slight pressure from each needle stick but it didn't bother me.

Then I had to wait around for awhile for the numbing to kick in. I heard a patient in the next room over get a filling so I knew what noises to expect when it was my turn.

When the dentist came back, she did all 4 fillings. It was not bad at all!!! The worst part was the very last tooth when she used a heavier/louder drill but even that wasn't so bad.

The dentist drilled all 4 teeth and then the assistant filled them one by one. Then the dentist came back and smoothed them out and make sure my bite was good.

After fillings I got my teeth cleaned. That wasn't too bad either but a few parts of removing tartar were painful (like a 3-4 out of 10 painful).

After the tartar removal, the hygienist polished my teeth, flossed them (she was *not* good at this, my teeth are tight and she yanked the floss down and pulled it back out but even so, not really painful), and then applied fluoride. And then I was done!

All told, it took 3 hours (with a LOT of waiting around lol) and I have an appointment for next Tuesday to get 4 more fillings done. The dentist said she did the "worst" fillings first so everything from here on out should be easier.

I also got a referral to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth extraction. Now that is the big part I'll be worrying about.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Congrats and well done duhfraidycat, give yourself a pat on the back!!! :jump::jump::jump:
Getting through a three hour appointment straight at the first time, that's an achievement. Glad that everything went well (besides the flossing) and that you even managed to go through the x-rays! :welldone:
 
D

duhfraidycat

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Mar 14, 2021
Messages
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Congrats and well done duhfraidycat, give yourself a pat on the back!!! :jump::jump::jump:
Getting through a three hour appointment straight at the first time, that's an achievement. Glad that everything went well (besides the flossing) and that you even managed to go through the x-rays! :welldone:

Thank you! I am truly proud of myself. I'm nervous about the remaining appointments but not nearly as much as I was about the first one. I look forward to getting everything else done so I can stop worrying. From what the dentist said, my cavities are all pretty small and almost all were occlusal. I have a strong feeling that taking melatonin gummies is the reason they developed in the first place so I ditched those and am taking a liquid that has no carbs/sugar in it instead. I'm also cutting back on snacking throughout the day and cutting back on my diet soda habit so my teeth can remain nice and strong.

I am very nervous about getting my wisdom teeth taken out but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
 
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duhfraidycat

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Mar 14, 2021
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Appointment #2 was today! I've officially crossed the halfway line with 8 cavities filled and 6 more to go.
 

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