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Asking Questions - Second Opinions

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SallyUK

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Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Hi
I'm in the UK and currently due to have my upper canine tooth removed and possibly the incisor as well after a nasty infection that hasn't cleared. My dentist advises that removing the canine might do the trick and if not the incisor as well. Apparently it's complicated .... I feel anxious that there seems no certainty about this resolving things

In the name of trying to deal with this differently I am looking for how you may have approached questions to your dentist or if or when you consider a second opinion.

In the past I say yes, grit my teeth and have all the treatment 'told' to me. I ask questions but not usually ones that explore a different treatment plan. I guess I've had no reason to as my dentist has appeared to have a good grasp on caring for my heavily restored dentition and the choices have been clear. But this time he has been a bit confused and admitted that not all dentistry decisions are black and white, they are choices. He has been open to all choices as I've gone through this but says extraction is the next step. Although generally my situation seems to be still changing..... area on gum is now small with a smaller amount of pus (yuk) and tooth less mobile. I'm either wishful thinking but I'm not done with thinking this tooth isn't healing or at least something can be done. It's hard to extract without a clear understanding, but maybe that will be the outcome....

The problem I have is that this step is huge for me and regardless of outcome I need to be in a place of choice when I do it. Not a place of 'I'll do what you say'. This has nothing to do with me criticising him but all about me finding a new way with my lifelong negative feelings about my teeth. A partial denture isn't ideal and even if I can save this tooth a while longer it might give me more time to accept the idea. I am concerned for my mental health and getting in the right mindset to deal with this better and not adding another negative experience to my list...

So, do you ever question the plan and have you got any tips on that or even a second opinion. My dentist is private. If you go elsewhere I guess you need a full check up etc (not sure a new opinion on my whole mouth will make my anxiety worse)

Has your anxiety ever made you feel helpless at the dentists and say yes when you don't really know why and perhaps that adds to feelings of helplessness? How do you empower yourself when the situation is apparently 'hopeless'?
 
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Judythecat

Judythecat

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Mar 7, 2018
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604
Sorry you are still dealing with this awful situation. If you want a second opinion, I think you can just make an appointment at another surgery, but I wonder if it might be useful to mentally reframe the situation and see the extraction as a positive move, and an end point to months of pain and anxiety? Once the tooth is gone, it can’t hurt you.

I made the decision to extract a lower molar in 2017, after months of treatment. I could have had a specialist root re-treatment, at a cost of £1,000, but I was worn out and wanted an end to it, not more treatment that may or may not work. I found the extraction difficult, the tooth had big roots and ended up having to be sectioned, but it was the right choice. Just making the decision and appointment to have it out felt empowering.
 
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Scared all the time

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Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
335
Location
NJ
I think if a second opinion would ease your mind I would definitely get one. I thought for me it seem th eonly choice at the time to just have my tooth pulled...no more pain no more infection ect. Antibiotics weren’t helping it was a little loose ect. It was probably the right decision but my first thought when I went to the dentist and she said pull it was get another opinion, after the second round of antibiotics and I was still in pain I let fear push me not to pursue that. I wished I got that second opinion if nothing else then to ease my mind that I did all I could ..now I’ll never know and will always wonder
 
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S

SallyUK

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Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Thank you - I totally agree about needing to get to a point where you feel you have made a choice and also to reframe the situation, which I guess is what I am struggling with.

I have not experienced this uncertainty before, it is very hard right now to balance the pros and cons. If it were another tooth I might not feel so challenged. I had two molars removed 9 years ago and I do miss them, I had no choice and I get on with it and don't angst over it at all but this is a front tooth and means a denture across my palate, so it's a big decision for me. I am not sure a denture is a positive, my dentist hasn't been very positive about it to be honest. I haven't been in pain, so I guess that doesn't really help. I have definitely had anxiety but I am managing that better, so I guess that's a good thing.

SacredAllTheTime - I totally understand how you feel, because I think all this stems from childhood for me, where I didn't get a choice and I definately didn't need a lot of the work. This situation is very different, but the way I am struggling to choose and feel OK is a learning curve in how to reframe after a lifetime of being influenced by those early experiences
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Mar 7, 2018
Messages
604
Maybe it’s worth making an appointment at another surgery just to make sure you’ve explored all possible options? You could ring and explain the situation, and say you want a second opinion before having the extraction. My reservation with that in your shoes would be that you could get two completely different opinions - then do you go for a third? If the second opinion is that the tooth can be saved, will you be comfortable switching to a different dentist? I understand that extraction is the last resort for any dentist, as well as any patient, so my gut feeling is that your dentist wouldn’t recommend this course of action if he thought there were other choices.
 
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Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
335
Location
NJ
Thank you - I totally agree about needing to get to a point where you feel you have made a choice and also to reframe the situation, which I guess is what I am struggling with.

I have not experienced this uncertainty before, it is very hard right now to balance the pros and cons. If it were another tooth I might not feel so challenged. I had two molars removed 9 years ago and I do miss them, I had no choice and I get on with it and don't angst over it at all but this is a front tooth and means a denture across my palate, so it's a big decision for me. I am not sure a denture is a positive, my dentist hasn't been very positive about it to be honest. I haven't been in pain, so I guess that doesn't really help. I have definitely had anxiety but I am managing that better, so I guess that's a good thing.

SacredAllTheTime - I totally understand how you feel, because I think all this stems from childhood for me, where I didn't get a choice and I definately didn't need a lot of the work. This situation is very different, but the way I am struggling to choose and feel OK is a learning curve in how to reframe after a lifetime of being influenced by those early experiences
Have some peace of mind .. get a another opinion. You have to be ok with it. I thought I would be with just the back molar. I’m struggling today 2 weeks out praying it gets better but will just always wonder 😕
 
S

SallyUK

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Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Update:
Thank you for all your support. Finding it quite hard to navigate through all this.

I saw my dentist today for a second impression for the denture.

I've never been tearful in front of him but was today and told him how upset I was at the situation and coming to terms with losing a front tooth. He was understanding.

I told him I needed more help understanding the situation and he was able to explain enough to make me feel ok that there is no option. Extraction is the way forward. He said that although he's not sure where the infection started this tooth has been effected and not recovering sufficiently and is beyond work and it may well have a crack in the root. He'd hoped it might recover but isn't.

Once it's removed he hopes the infection will resolve, if not he will revisit the other tooth that he Root filled as a first step. That tooth had no restorations so has more options. He said the worst case scenario for this situation is loss of both teeth.

I verbalised all my fears and got answers for them all. I don't feel better as such but I do feel I can really start accepting this next step now. Impressions made me gag, talking about the denture terrified me..,.

I asked if I could have time to process things a bit more and move the extraction date and he said of course. So I've yet to decide when I might do this.

There are loads of other issues in my mouth that could go wrong and a broken crown to deal with after this infection is resolved. But my aim is to manage the emotions around it better because it's very hard for me to think there is nothing more I can do and still these failures happen.

It is hard to not know WHY I got this infection in the first place but trying to put that aside now and deal with what I have to do to end it. Dentist said that I can't really do more, restorations do fail and come to the end of the road. So this is where I'm at and understand the practical needs and emotional ones. They are conflicted right now but hoping I can get things better aligned soon and accept the next steps .

The tooth in question was crowned and root filled many years ago, at least 20 but thought it was doing ok. I'm certain this situation has brought up old stuff, dentistry I had done unnecessarily which is why I'm finding it hard to ask questions etc but glad I did today, even though I'm sad. I've gone through so much.

Thanks for reading x
 
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krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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"So this is where I'm at and understand the practical needs and emotional ones. They are conflicted right now but hoping I can get things better aligned soon and accept the next steps . "

Said so well Sallyuk... powerful.. so many things are hard to understand when going through work, and obstacles and hurdles that come up and just trying to make the best physical decisions while also dealing with it emotionally.. You have said this so well!! Thank you!
 
S

SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
"So this is where I'm at and understand the practical needs and emotional ones. They are conflicted right now but hoping I can get things better aligned soon and accept the next steps . "

Said so well Sallyuk... powerful.. so many things are hard to understand when going through work, and obstacles and hurdles that come up and just trying to make the best physical decisions while also dealing with it emotionally.. You have said this so well!! Thank you!

It’s all about the emotions for me I think. Glad my experience helps in some way. I really want to try and be calmer and less panicky about dental work, I tend to grit my teeth and get it over with, usually without really being aware of all my feelings and then they catch up with me I think. Taking things slowly is what I need to do, although I’m also finding that tough. I want to be ready to let this tooth go and be ok with that and I am almost there I think but need a couple of weeks, so I won’t have it taken out next Monday. Dentist didn’t say exactly how long I could leave it, but did say pick a time that works for you and your schedule but don’t leave it on long. I’m learning, so even if I can’t control the ‘medical’ situation, I can try and find peace within it.
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
335
Location
NJ
It’s all about the emotions for me I think. Glad my experience helps in some way. I really want to try and be calmer and less panicky about dental work, I tend to grit my teeth and get it over with, usually without really being aware of all my feelings and then they catch up with me I think. Taking things slowly is what I need to do, although I’m also finding that tough. I want to be ready to let this tooth go and be ok with that and I am almost there I think but need a couple of weeks, so I won’t have it taken out next Monday. Dentist didn’t say exactly how long I could leave it, but did say pick a time that works for you and your schedule but don’t leave it on long. I’m learning, so even if I can’t control the ‘medical’ situation, I can try and find peace within it.
Oh my. You sound like me in so many ways 😕 I have no idea where my infection came from and how it got so aggressive so fast. It’s all surreal still for me. Happened so darn fast. Bothersome not knowing but like you said I guess at this point it makes little difference. I was so hoping you found a second opinion that led you down a different path. Big hugs.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Mar 7, 2018
Messages
604
Hi Sally, sorry that your dentist has been black and white that the tooth has no future. That is so hard to deal with, but at least you can start to prepare and move forward now. In terms of the infection, there’s probably no way of knowing, it’s nothing you did or didn’t do, so try not to waste valuable mental energy on it. I really hope you can gather the strength to go on, and get the treatment you need, and make peace with it. ❤
 
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SallyUK

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Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Oh my. You sound like me in so many ways 😕 I have no idea where my infection came from and how it got so aggressive so fast. It’s all surreal still for me. Happened so darn fast. Bothersome not knowing but like you said I guess at this point it makes little difference. I was so hoping you found a second opinion that led you down a different path. Big hugs.
It really is scary isn’t it. I really think the tooth has reached the end of the road, If I think about it logically, I decided a second opinion wasn’t my best way forward. I now need to stay positive that this will cure the infection and I don’t loose the second tooth. You are right that it makes no difference but you do wish things were different don’t you. No warning and bam, destruction 🙃
 
S

SallyUK

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Messages
294
Hi Sally, sorry that your dentist has been black and white that the tooth has no future. That is so hard to deal with, but at least you can start to prepare and move forward now. In terms of the infection, there’s probably no way of knowing, it’s nothing you did or didn’t do, so try not to waste valuable mental energy on it. I really hope you can gather the strength to go on, and get the treatment you need, and make peace with it. ❤
I have to trust him, when he was super clear today, I had to accept it. He even asked me, you can see it’s not ok can’t you? And I can, the crown was looking ‘old’ for some time and the infection made it move too and there is still tender areas between the teeth and on the gum, so I can see it isn’t healing and my gut feeling is the rct on the other tooth was done well, so this tooth has to be part of the issue, despite nothing showing on his X-ray, he did say an expensive one would show more. He said to me, you know I would do something if there was something I could do. I believe him. So now I need to build my trust back and move forward with the next step. It’s definitely the moment in time I’ve been dreading for many years, so I’m not surprised I’m finding it hard. It’s a ‘legacy’ tooth in some ways but will now start accepting it’s time is up. Silly maybe but representative of my understanding of my stress over this. I was over treated at a young age and almost 100% of my treatments over the years are to replace work already done , very little new decay. Ill start seeing positives soon. Nicer looking tooth, albeit fake, no hidden infection etc etc. As long as I can sing, I’ll be ok, he said I should be ok to sing. Phew x
 
S

Scared all the time

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Joined
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Messages
335
Location
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It really is scary isn’t it. I really think the tooth has reached the end of the road, If I think about it logically, I decided a second opinion wasn’t my best way forward. I now need to stay positive that this will cure the infection and I don’t loose the second tooth. You are right that it makes no difference but you do wish things were different don’t you. No warning and bam, destruction 🙃
Exactly, life altering when it happens that fast. I’m glad he was able to explain things better for you. He truly sounds sincere. Stay strong ❤
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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I have to trust him, when he was super clear today, I had to accept it. He even asked me, you can see it’s not ok can’t you? And I can, the crown was looking ‘old’ for some time and the infection made it move too and there is still tender areas between the teeth and on the gum, so I can see it isn’t healing and my gut feeling is the rct on the other tooth was done well, so this tooth has to be part of the issue, despite nothing showing on his X-ray, he did say an expensive one would show more. He said to me, you know I would do something if there was something I could do. I believe him. So now I need to build my trust back and move forward with the next step. It’s definitely the moment in time I’ve been dreading for many years, so I’m not surprised I’m finding it hard. It’s a ‘legacy’ tooth in some ways but will now start accepting it’s time is up. Silly maybe but representative of my understanding of my stress over this. I was over treated at a young age and almost 100% of my treatments over the years are to replace work already done , very little new decay. Ill start seeing positives soon. Nicer looking tooth, albeit fake, no hidden infection etc etc. As long as I can sing, I’ll be ok, he said I should be ok to sing. Phew x
Our poor little cat needs a tooth extracted, and she also has gingivitis which needs treated. I feel so sorry for her. She was a bit off her food, so my partner took her in to the vet today. It’s costing a fortune, as our insurance doesn’t cover dental, but I trust the vet 100%, and I trust we’re doing the right thing by her, even though she hates us a bit just now. (And next week is the earliest they can do her, so we have to give her medicine, which is NOT going brilliantly.) Sometimes I think you have to put your questions and fears aside, and just put your trust in the professionals, whether that’s your dentist, your vet, your car mechanic, or your gas engineer. Your dentist, and our vet, has the patient’s best interests at heart. (That plumber who fitted our shower, not so much.)
 
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SallyUK

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Messages
294
Our poor little cat needs a tooth extracted, and she also has gingivitis which needs treated. I feel so sorry for her. She was a bit off her food, so my partner took her in to the vet today. It’s costing a fortune, as our insurance doesn’t cover dental, but I trust the vet 100%, and I trust we’re doing the right thing by her, even though she hates us a bit just now. (And next week is the earliest they can do her, so we have to give her medicine, which is NOT going brilliantly.) Sometimes I think you have to put your questions and fears aside, and just put your trust in the professionals, whether that’s your dentist, your vet, your car mechanic, or your gas engineer. Your dentist, and our vet, has the patient’s best interests at heart. (That plumber who fitted our shower, not so much.)
My cat has had similar issues, actually he’s had two teeth out now 😢 . It’s horrible when they are poorly, I did feel terrible that he was going to loose teeth but he’s fine and would have been in pain and hiding it. I agree about the trust but it’s quite hard for me when as a child and young adult I did trust but was treated unnecessarily, sadly I think a lot of people have had negative dental experiences haven’t they, but I do trust my dentist now, although I’ve wobbled a bit lately, that’s totally my issue and I’m aware of it. Good luck with that medicine!
 
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