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After 10+ years since last dental visit= 6 SUCCESSFUL visits to the dentist in the last month! You can do it too!

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TKB1974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
105
Location
Washington
Hello all!

I wanted to share my story a bit on here & hopefully it will alleviate some of the fear that others may have I know that reading other peoples’ success stories helped to calm me down a bit. I hope my story can help someone too. It’s a bit long, so feel free to skip through boring parts. 😂

I’ve been a regular ‘lurker’ here for years. I knew I needed to get to the dentist, as I hadn’t been in 10+ years, but I was TERRIFIED. My lurking status on these forums was quickly upgraded to that of a panicked patient when I experienced an absolutely awful toothache a little over a month ago. The pain was unbearable, and it was what finally prompted me to email (and then call) a dentist. I was trembling and completely sick to my stomach when speaking with the dental office about making an emergency appointment to have my miserable tooth looked at. I let the very kind front desk person know that I was absolutely terrified of the dentist & I let her know that I was extremely embarrassed because I hadn’t even been in for a cleaning or anything for 10+ years. She reassured me that none of that mattered and that their main concern was seeing me, doing an exam & relieving my pain. Again, the anxiety and terror took over as I feared what they’d find. I feared the pain. I feared the cost. I feared EVERYTHING. With all of that being said, the pain was greater than my fear, so I went to the emergency visit. Everyone was so kind, empathetic, patient & gentle. They truly DID want to help me. I sat in the dental chair and sobbed. I was so, so ashamed. After a gentle look in my mouth (no poking/no tools), they took some X-rays & determined that I had a cracked molar that had an infection that was touching the root/nerves. I needed a root canal & (eventually) a crown.They got me a prescription for antibiotics and a stronger pain med, since the acetaminophen & ibuprofen did nothing to help my pain. She also referred me to an endodontist to perform the root canal. I was still petrified but so glad that I’d taken the necessary steps to get better. The root canal procedure was a bit scary, as I’d never had one before, but it was over in about an hour. I worried that she wouldn’t be able to numb me completely (as this is what started my crippling fear over ten years ago). I voiced my concern and assured me that she’d go slow & we’d make sure I couldn’t feel a thing before she started the procedure. Guess what? No pain at all! I kept waiting for the zing of pain to come, but it never did. The process was quick and painless (just hate the drill noise, but it was tolerable). After the root canal I again waited for the pain to come after the numbing wore off, and once again, zero pain. After the RCT at the endodontist, I called my dentist once again to schedule my crown. Again, I was fearful, and again I willed myself to go to the appointment. It was scary and noisy (damn drill again!) but AGAIN there was no pain. The appointment took a bit longer (tooth was “tricky” according to my dentist). On the way of the appointment I scheduled two more appointments (getting braver). I made an appointment for the permanent crown & another for my first full exam/X-rays/cleaning since 2010. This appointment scared me the most because I knew it would really reveal how bad my mouth was. I was certain I’d have like 10 cavities, need more root canals, need a tooth or two pulled and have gum disease, etc..etc..Again I was petrified, but last week, I pulled myself together once again & went in for my day of reckoning. When all was said and done, I needed:

-one more root canal (another cracked tooth with deeper decay) & a crown once RCT is done
-2 old fillings replaced
-Special mouthwash to help with the small bit of gingivitis that I have.

That’s it! My dentist even said that I can wait on the last crown and the two filling replacements until January (when my benefits refresh).Both my dentist & hygienist said that, while they don’t recommend waiting another 10 years before I see a dentist again, they were pretty amazed at what good condition my teeth are in- very little plaque/tarter, etc. I couldn’t believe it. Years of fear & worry over an appointment that was really no big deal. Had I just pushed aside my fear when my tooth first started hurting, I could’ve avoided both root canals. Hindsight is definitely 20/20, eh?
Today was my second (and last) root canal appointment. It was just as easy as the first one, probably more so because I knew what to expect. My last appointment (until my 6month cleaning, which I DIS already schedule) is on 4/21. I’ll have my permanent crown put on along with a small composite filling placed to build up the tooth I got the RCT on today. This should allow me to hold off on the crown ontil January.
So, after 10+ years of avoiding the dentist, I have been to the dentist/endodontist 6 times in the last month. I’ve survived with a bit of local anesthetic (when needed) and laughing gas for the two rct’s. I’ve had zero pain (once the infection was treated with antibiotics). Not once have I been scolded or embarrassed for avoiding the dentist for so long. I have been continuously treated with kindness, empathy & respect. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be over my fear of the dentist but I have promised myself that I will never, ever avoid the dentist like this again. I deserve a healthy mouth & you do, too. ❤
 
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Sweetleef

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
19
Location
NYC
Hi there, I read your journey and am proud of you! I know what that fear has done to us. Ive gone thru a couple of recent procedures altho under anesthesia I conquered some of my fear. Im ready for my next step of my dental journey which is root planning & scaling, im terrified but have no choice. Im choosing to do 4 quadrants at one time while under anesthesia. I have serious plaque on one tooth that is also under the gumline, not sure what he will do for that.

Wish me luck please, im hoping for successful procedure without judgement such as what you had. Pleasant as possible.

Thank you for reading my journey
 
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TKB1974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
105
Location
Washington
Hi there, I read your journey and am proud of you! I know what that fear has done to us. Ive gone thru a couple of recent procedures altho under anesthesia I conquered some of my fear. Im ready for my next step of my dental journey which is root planning & scaling, im terrified but have no choice. Im choosing to do 4 quadrants at one time while under anesthesia. I have serious plaque on one tooth that is also under the gumline, not sure what he will do for that.

Wish me luck please, im hoping for successful procedure without judgement such as what you had. Pleasant as possible.

Thank you for reading my journey
Congratulations on taking the steps toward feeling better! Ultimately, that’s what this all comes down to. Sorting out your mind so you can then sort out your (dental) health. It’s difficult and scary, and it’s so far out of our comfort zone, but once you begin taking the steps to improve your dental health the feeling is like no other! I wish you much success on your upcoming procedures! I can’t wait to read your success story soon (although it sounds as if you have a lot to be proud of already!) Please keep us posted on how it goes! ❤
 
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Sweetleef

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
19
Location
NYC
Thank you for your support and kind words. I will post my success story in hopes it will help others. ❤
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,933
Location
Minneapolis, MN
TKB1974

What a lovely testimony.. You have overcome so much , and your dental team sounds really lovely and caring! So happy for you!! :perfect: :jump:
 
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TKB1974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
105
Location
Washington
TKB1974

What a lovely testimony.. You have overcome so much , and your dental team sounds really lovely and caring! So happy for you!! :perfect: :jump:
Thank you for your kind words! I think I’m well on my way to overcoming this crippling phobia. These forums have been absolutely instrumental in my success this far. ❤
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,933
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I so agree with the forum being so instrumental in overcoming dental anxiety :) It certainly sounds you are quite far on your way :)
 
JohnnyAppleSeed

JohnnyAppleSeed

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Hi there - I also have major tartar issues, specifically on my two lower front teeth. It's gotten so bad that a gap has formed. :( I have finally decided to request an appointment after 8 years of this. Hopefully I have a success story to share soon!
 
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kayduck

Junior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
10
Thank you so much for sharing this @TKB1974, it's the embarrassment that's stopping me moving forward with my dentist. Reading this has really helped.
 
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Sweetleef

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
19
Location
NYC
I love your story! I know each time I went I felt a bit braver than the last but im still very scared. I hope to share my success story about the Root planning & Scaling, and be an inspiration to someone in need of hope as you and many others have been for me.
 
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39male

Junior member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
6
Location
San Jose, CA
Hi there - I also have major tartar issues, specifically on my two lower front teeth. It's gotten so bad that a gap has formed. :( I have finally decided to request an appointment after 8 years of this. Hopefully I have a success story to share soon!
What did they do for the gap that formed?
 
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