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Can anyone help me make sense of my check-up experience?



Sep 21, 2016
Id really appreciate any thoughts on this please..

(I know it's a ridiculous thing to ask, I should be able to make up my own mind but with the anxiety, tooth issues and a few other things, I worry I'm not being clear minded).

My previous dentist left last yr (who I was happy with).

I was assured by the receptionist at my dental practice that the principal dentist I now have is kind, patient and good with anxious patients. After my appointment I'd disagree. I don't feel she's anywhere near as good as my previous one..

She left the room during my checkup to see to something, which is fine I guess, but I was sat there for 5-10 minutes mostly in silence, no radio/TV noise, just an uncomfortable dental nurse (trying to hum her way through the silence (which I was thankful for some background noise tbh)). As the nurse has just started at college she couldn't elaborate on the questions she was asking me, so everything I asked for more detail on was met with "I don't know".

When my dentist did return she didn't know where she'd left off.

She also barely spoke to either of us. Frankly at some points you could cut the air with a knife.

She left the dental nurse outside because she failed to explain it was only one quick x-ray. It was just awkward and I also felt sorry for the nurse who didn't seem to be recieving any directions.

During the appointment 4 or 5 different people came in aswell, either to take things or to speak to eachother. A quick knock and they'd just walk straight in.

I explained I'm having pain in filled tooth that I was told may need a RCT by my previous dentist. I explained I was terrified of the RCT so have been putting it off, I also mentioned I struggle to get numb etc and was extremely afraid id feel pain - basically I explained my fears. In returned she didn't give me any reassurance whatsoever, infact she didn't say anything other than "I'll have a look".

She did so.

I found her much more rough than my previous dentist and poking around my gums was very painful indeed, I squirmed and was tightly grasping both hands but again she didn't say anything and just carried on at the same force.
My previous dentist was always gentle and great at telling me I was doing well, she won't be much longer, etc etc... Today I didn't get a single word of encouragement. However I'm aware I'm a middle-aged woman so probably shouldn't need it(?).

I also explained all my issues, usually in some pain in certain teeth and nothing has come out of it. Again.

I went into this positive, determined to get out of pain and hopeful my new dentist would be good. But I just came out and sat in the car and cried.

Theres possible gum recession on one tooth, but nothing to explain the pain in other teeth.

The RCT tooth looks ok to her, but she also said "you could get it accessed by someone who has the skills". Whatever that was supposed to mean.

I appreciate people have bad days, but the whole thing just wasn't reassuring, at all. But with being in varying degrees of pain, with every dentist never finding the source of my pain, with 10 teeth missing already, I'm left feeling 'why bother trying' anymore, accept a life in some sort of pain and just be grateful it's not keeping me awake. The end.
I've had over a dozen different dentists over 15 or so years and am still in pain, probably more now that ever - I'm left in fear every bank holiday (when dentists are closed), every event, holiday with my family, every thing I do and pretty much every day is tainted by my teeth, every meal time is difficult and is causing some degree of pain - it's always ' what if I get a toothache". It spoils everything, and has done so for around 10 years now. I worry where I'll end up tbh.

I just don't know what to do, or what to think? 😟😟
Hi @Nicci, sounds like the receptionist was talking through her arse. I would have come out crying as well if that had happened to me.

Sure, everyone can have a bad day, but it sounds like a much bigger issue than someone just having a bad day and being distracted or in a rush. For example, there is absolutely no excuse for being rough during a check-up, and it doesn't bode well for any treatment, should you need it at some point in the future.

Your instincts on this one are absolutely spot on - time to find someone else who truly does care for their patients... it doesn't matter whether you're a middle-aged, young, old, and whatever gender, this dentist simply doesn't sound suitable for anyone but the most stoic patients. So go with your gut feeling on this one :)
sorry to read about your bad experience and on going unresolved pain. I do hope you continue searching for a dentist who will treat you in a respectful way. Please don’t give up on us dentists.
Hey, sorry your appointment didn’t go as planned.
I’m in a similar situation where I’m in pain virtually every day with my teeth, but with no clear reason to why.

My current dentist is nice, but doesn’t seem to have the answers to why I’m in pain.

I’m thinking of trying to find another dentist in the near future, but I worry they won’t be any the wiser either.

I feel you about the bank holiday thing. I had terrible toothache that started on Christmas Eve afternoon last year, ruined Christmas and new year for me and my dentist was closed for almost 2 weeks.
@Nicci sorry to hear you have to go through this. It can be an emotional rollercoaster..
I would change dentists again..
I have better experiences with male dentists, nothing sexist or anything but I had the exact same thing that they said to me find someone who is skilled to do that and that was a woman that ripped me off with high costs too.
Do you have tmj or is it nerves that are the problem? Do you grind teeth at night?
@Nicci , I too am so sorry you had that experience with this main dentist.. agh. I do echo what everyone else said .. like Letsconnect said I'd definately go with your gut on this one and thankfully it wasn't an emergency appt you found this out in treatment . I don't think you are alone at all in the discouraging feelings this appointment would give, no reassurance, just awkwardness from that team it seems.. I think too, dental offices definately have different ideas and descriptions of what "being good with anxious patients" really means. It sounds like you really had a peace with your previous dentist. I believe you can find that again and shouldn't settle for another experience like this! I sure hope you find someone good, its so hard having to find another after you've had such a good one.. I went through that , having a dear dentist, I called "my angel dentist" leave.. its hard to adjust to someone new, I did end up going with his partner for various reasons , wasn't the same, now after moving I found a very kind and compassionate dentist I"m thankful for , but after some looking.. don't give up and don't settle. You deserve compassionate kind care!