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Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

T

Terrified Shaky Girl

Junior member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
8
Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

When I went for my routine checkup last summer, they took xrays and the dentist found something on the root on one of my teeth. It was one of those things where the hygienist was cleaning my teeth after my exam and was told, "Dr. *** would like to see her when you're done." And we all know that's never something we want to hear. I was happy earlier because my severe phobia had kept me away from the dentist for 2 years :( and although my dentist is the nicest, gentlest, and most understanding ever my anxiety was so severe that I would make up any excuse to delay my appointment....nothing was hurting me, I follow this weird regimen where I brush 2 minutes w/the sonicare, floss, brush 2 minutes again and then follow it up w/listerine for 1 minute. So why was I happy? Before hearing those "words of doom" while sitting in the chair, the hygienist just informed me that there was nothing for her to clean because I had no plaque or tartar on my teeth. I had been proud of myself; although I delayed an exam for 2 years I had no cavities, no plaque, my teeth were stellar. So why did they want to see me? :(


So the shaking begins.... :cry:

Like a leaf, I sit back down in the exam chair and holds up my xray into the light, probably checking and rechecking for the 100th time. Well, he says, "I want to refer you to an endodontist because something is going on w/your root on this tooth and it will probably be a root canal or they may have to extract it." :o


I feel my heart sink to my toes at the realization that my greatest dental fear has come to fruition. I ask him to repeat what he said, hoping and praying that somehow I heard him wrong. I ask what the chances are that they'll do a root canal (at this point it's the better option) and he says he doesn't know. So I reluctantly gather the courage to see the endondontist, a very nice man and when I go to the office I am still a nervous wreck, even though I took the anti-anxiety pill (they prescribe for me before all my appts, as I am that patient who shakes in the chair). This time the pill doesn't work so well as the magazine shakes uncontrollably in my hands as I sit in the waiting room. The door opens and they call my name; I feel like I'm going to vomit. So the nurse asks if I'm ok I start shaking as I sit in the chair. Equipment is all over the place and I feel like I can't breathe. I nod and force a laugh, "I'm sorry, I'm just nervous." My hands are shaking uncontrollably and she asks if I need a sedative. I tell her that I just took my anti-anxiety pill and she seems amazed that I'm still in a state of panic. She takes pity on me and holds my hand for a minute. Then she tells me she's just going to take an xray and I let her, after she leaves the tears stream down my cheeks. Then enters the doctor, a jovial middle aged man who enlarges the xray on the monitor. "Sit up, we need to talk," he says as he elevates my chair back to an upright position.

"Did you ever have braces?"

I nod. "Yes, when I was younger, why?"

He goes on to explain that, although rare, the force of my braces caused the root of this tooth to move out of its original place. Our bone cells break down over a process of 10-15 years and rebuild themselves. However these cells cannot distinguish between tooth and bone, so basically my body is eating itself, a process called external re-absorption. He assured me that NOTHING I did caused it (other than wearing braces) and it was so far down into the root that a root canal wouldn't fix the problem.

"Now I'm in the business of saving teeth,not pulling them. But I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do to save this tooth."

"How much time do I have?" I gravely ask.

He said he did not know, as he did not know how fast my bone cells were doing this. It could be another 10 years, it could be next week.....there was no way of knowing.

So like a baby I cried in the dental chair. :cry: I think a lot of my fear comes from loss of control, and I'm an adult, I should take it more maturely. But I cried, he seemed uncomfortable, patted me on the shoulder and handed me a kleenex and left. The nurse came back in and sat w/me a while, telling me it will be ok and displaying great empathy. She was my angel that day.

So I go back to my dentist and we discuss my diagnosis. He tells me about implants, bridges, I panic more. He asks if I'm in pain and I say no (because until my appt I had no idea there was a problem) and says, "Well, let's take an xray at your next appt in January and we'll see what the progression is and we'll take it from there. There's no point in worrying about it now if you're not in pain."

So 2 days ago I had my usual anxiety attacks and went to the dentist. I hoped they would somehow forget to take that xray. Cleaning went ok. No cavities. I thought I was scott free until the receptionist poked her head in and said, "Dr. *** don't forget to take that xray." Drats. :meanie:


So they take the xray, I shake so they have to take it twice because it's blurry from my shaking. The dentist looks at it and sends me to the waiting room and discusses my xray w/the other dentist "to get another opinion". Of course I irritate the other patients waiting w/my shaking legs against the communal couch. They call me back in. Dentist holds my hand and explains that the re-absorption has progressed to the point that it needs to be pulled....soon. There's now an infection up there and the reason I don't feel it is because it's getting drained out because of the re-absorption. They want me to go back next week so I can get an impression of my tooth so the oral surgeon can put in a temporary once they pull it, then I'll eventually have an implant because I'm "so young".

So I'm scared, I haven't slept since my appt 2 days ago and I can't focus on work. I'm a graduate student in addition to working full time and this is really affecting my life. When I think about what has to be done I start to hyperventilate. Nobody seems to understand what I'm going through, I am SO SCARED. I really hope they can just put me to sleep when my Doomsday comes, as I won't get my referral for the oral surgeon until next week. I know there are worse things in life but this is a big deal for me, I get terrified of going in for a cleaning, that they're going to tell me my teeth are all rotten and I'll end up looking like a guest on Jerry Springer. How am I going to handle this extraction? I need help....
 
4

45andAfraid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
389
Location
Australia
Re: Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

You'll be just fine with the implant, and you're not alone with the process. I'm going through heavy implants and bone grafting and I'm going through it easier than I ever imagined. I went 21 years without dental care.

I currently just had the first stage implant done on my lower jaw. It's been 3 days now since it was done and it really only feels like a minor tooth ache or slight throbbing. Today it's eased up a bit. I just have to wait now, til the implant adhere's to the bone before they put the actual tooth part in. I don't know if all procedures are like this with implants. I don't know if some are instant or in two stages, like mine.

As for anxiety, yeah, I'm with you there. I can't sit in a chair without oral sedation and have had all my work done this way.

You're lucky you have a healthy smile and you're only dealing with one implant. It'll be a breeze for you for sure. My whole mouth needs implants and partials so I can honestly say it won't be as bad as your mind imagines it to be. We always fear the worst and we fear the unknown. If you have a caring and empathetic dentist then he'll be gentle. I wouldn't worry too much.
 
T

Terrified Shaky Girl

Junior member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
8
Re: Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

Thank you so much for your encouragement. :) I actually came across this site this morning and it felt really good to know that I'm not the only one suffering from dental phobia. I try to explain it to my mom and husband and I'm just told to get over it....I know they mean well but they just don't understand. My husband would tell me he has a dentist appt coming up and I ask, "Aren't you terrified?" He just looks at me funny. I just feel so...invaded and exposed when I go in, like if I slacked off on the flossing a bit and they give the lecture about that I feel dirty, like some sort of transient or something. Weird huh? Anyway, best of luck to you and I wish you all the best with your new smile! You should post the picture when it's all done.

I go in next Thursday for the impression of my tooth so they can make a temporary. Did they give you temporaries before you got set up to have implants or how did that work? Does it hurt to eat?
 
4

45andAfraid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
389
Location
Australia
Re: Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

Everything I've gone through is posted on my personal blog including before and after pictures of my old teeth and my current temporary bridges.

The bridges don't hurt but they are annoying because they are attached to my natural teeth.

It's sorta hard to eat because I don't have many molars to grind and chew with. I only have one on my top right side and more on the bottoms so I have to eat foods that I can mash up against the roof of my mouth with my tongue or easy enough to break apart with that one top molar. I've had this problem anyway even without the work I've had done so far because I neglected my teeth.

Once this is all done and over with I'll have nearly complete sets of teeth - half implants and half partials clipped to the implants because I cannot wear dentures. I gag too severely. I gag even under sedation. So I'll have either 24 - 12 on top and 12 on the bottom (4 implants on top - 2 on the bottom).

The only way I can describe the temporary bridges is like wearing braces I think. I've never worn braces so I really don't know if that's how I can describe it. I can feel the pressure of the bridge that's attached to the teeth on each end. It's literally "a bridge". LOL!!

I had full mouth impressions. That really sucks! I don't know how they'll do yours though but can only say if I can get through impressions so can you. Impressions was my biggest issue because I gag.... and I did the day I had mine done but the sedation made me not care really. :hic:

I'm certain you'll do fine. And people who don't have a fear or phobia will never understand. My partner fears nothing or doesn't let anything bother her. She has no scare reflex either. She never jumps at scary movies or gets spooked. We try!! LOL..... So she doesn't understand BUT... she accepts that thats what I have and does her best to support me. She goes with me to every appt and is so proud of how far I've come. Everyone is... even my mum who has tried to get me to go for years but I would just avoid the topic/commercials/conversations all together.

I hope someone does go with you... even if they don't understand, they should at least try to accept it. Let them view this forum and maybe they'll see that you are not the only one who has such a fear or phobia.
 
T

Terrified Shaky Girl

Junior member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
8
Re: Braces --> External Re-absorption --> Tooth Extraction --> Fear!!!!

I know what you mean about the gagging reflex. Mine's not quite so severe anymore, I used to not be able to swallow pills because I would gag them out. What I can't stand in the dentist chair is the suction thing they put in your mouth; that always makes me gag and then I wonder if it was properly cleaned after the last person and then more panic sets in....when I was a kid they'd do fluoride treatments where they use those same impression pans like in the pictures in your blog but they are filled w/a goo and they ask you what flavor you want...cherry, bubblegum, grape, etc. Of course being 8 or 9 years old I'd ask them to mix it up and no matter what flavor you got it was always cherry-like...but a nasty type of cherry and you had to hold this pan in your mouth for 10 minutes and it was so disgusting. I would gag and they'd have to do it again. I had a bad dentist when I was younger who was very mean and would yell at me if I refused to open my mouth....bastard... :( But I digress...

I remember braces were a pain, especially for a day or two after each time they were tightened. It would become sore and tender. Then there were 4 that had little hooks that held the stupid rubber bands, which really drove me crazy because they would snap and pop you in the gum or side of the cheek if you so much as opened your mouth. They give you the nasty oral wax which I always though should have tasted like chocolate or something more pleasant than....wax. The constant pulling feeling usually lasted only after tightening appointments.

I'm so glad you have a large support group and I'm sure everyone is so proud of you. Heck, I am and I don't even know you. LOL :)
 
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