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Courage needed!

X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Hello all,

newbie on this forum but not a newbie to dental phobia!

I have finally plucked up some courage and made an appointment with a private dentist in Somerset. I haven't been for about 5 years and I normally only go when I'm in agony :(

I have had some awful experiences with dentists in the past - even walking out before treatment started in one case due to the callous nature of one of them!

I started getting a few twinges in two of my teeth a few months back and before this turns into a full blown infection, with me remembering what those are like, I decided to go.

I am already shaking thinking of it - I have had a lot of trouble in the past getting numb, with one dentist telling me I was making it up HAH!

I really need my teeth fixed - i am missing one at the front for which I have a denture (hate it!!) and two in the bottom middle. I am looking for a relationship after my last one ended badly 8 years ago but am too self conscious to date - that is what is kepping me going at the moment!

To tell you just how bad the numbing problem is - an old friend of mine was a dentist and I had a really bad infection in one of my incisors. He started a root canal using gas and air and a lot of numbing stuff - but the same evening, the tooth went nuts and he told me to come down, he would open up for me and pull the tooth. Well- after numerous injections and me crying my eyes out, he couldn't get me numb and took me to the local hospital where he had trained and asked them to give me some iv sedation and pull the tooth. I 'woke up' during this due to the pain and jumped off the bed! :(

They gave me some stronger stuff and got the tooth removed.

I really need some courage here to, not only go tomorrow, but to keep going back until my teeth are fixed!

Thanks :(

Jackie
 
T

tootsie

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
24
Well just remember the best thing to do is find a dentist that is willing to have a discussion with you about your past experiences and fears.

A LOT of treatment is possible without sedation, and some treatment doesn't even require much numbing so you may just want to start with a consultation which is likely what they will do at your appointment. No work will be done of any kind. Just xrays and at that time they can talk with you about treatments and options to make them comfortable. The first step is really hard but at least with dentistry, the first step is often very non-invasive and involves conversation and maybe xrays. :)
 
chickenjen

chickenjen

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,331
Location
Illinois, USA
The thing I think you are going to want to impress on your new dentist is how difficult it is for you to get fully numb.........................that you have had a few dental procedures where you didn't get fully numb. Ask the dentist how he/she will address that problem. You should also tell them of your anxiety.
If you like what they say and you feel comfortable (well as comfortable as one can feel at a dentist's office), then it might be worth making another appointment.
On the other hand, if there's anything at all that you DON'T like about that dentist's office, then it isn't the right one for you
Hope that this dentist IS the right one and you'll be able to get all your dental issues resolved!!
Much :clover: :clover: :clover: :clover: and many :grouphug::grouphug:'s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Thank you both so much :) I keep telling myself that nothing needs to be done unless I want it done, so hopefully I won't bottle it tomorrow and at least give myself the chance to get to know him!
 
T

tootsie

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
24
Yes exactly. You won't be going in there and suddenly have needles coming at you. That was one thing I have to tell myself. Nothing happens until I say o.k. lets start. Especially on the first appointment, they need to prepare for treatments. So unless there is an emergency going on (you are in severe pain before going in etc) you will just be feeling the dentist out, getting xrays and looking at options.

Make sure to make your difficult time getting numb a top priority in your discussions. Sometimes just knowing you've been heard can make a big difference in the anxiety part of it. Good luck!
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,005
Location
UK
Hi Jackie and :welcome:

Congratulations for making that appointment :thumbsup:. The first visit is usually just for a chat, a look at your teeth, maybe some x-rays and then the dentist should go through what they've found and what treatment they would recommend. As tootsie said, unless there is something really urgent that needs to be addressed there and then, it's unlikely that you'll be having any treatment at the appointment, it's more of a 'get to know you' (and your teeth!) thing.

I have finally plucked up some courage and made an appointment with a private dentist in Somerset. I haven't been for about 5 years and I normally only go when I'm in agony :(
I can totally empathise with your problems in getting numb because I experience similar issues myself. One thing that I do know though, from both a patient perspective and a hypnotherapy perspective, is that if you only ever go to the dentist when you're actually in pain, then you end up associating a trip to the dentist with experiencing pain. Once you've found a dentist that you feel comfortable with (and fingers crossed that the one you're going to see is 'the one' :thumbsup:), then once any necessary treatment has been completed, it would be a good idea, if you feel able, to keep up with the regular six monthly check up appointments so that you can start having positive experiences where no pain or treatment is involved and therefore break the association between dentist visits and pain.

When you go for your appointment, it's important that you let the dentist know about your problems with getting numb and also what your fears are and if you don't feel comfortable or they're not able to reassure you that they will do everything possible to ensure that your treatment is as pain free and comfortable as it can be, then find someone else. Trust your gut instinct - if something doesn't feel right, then you can shop around until you find someone else; you're the customer. I had to do this recently as my dentist had referred me to an endodontist for a couple of root canals. When I went for the initial consultation appointment with this supposedly wonderful specialist, I told him that I've had bad experiences in the past and needed to know that it wouldn't hurt. He wasn't in the slightest bit interested, was unbelievably rough during the examination and x-rays and as soon as he realised that I was a 'nervous patient', he couldn't get me out of the door fast enough! Needless to say that I didn't go back for treatment (even though my dentist had referred me - and he was shocked when I told him what had happened!) and instead managed to get a recommendation from someone else for another endodontist who is absolutely lovely, very gentle and who I have started treatment with.

Best of luck for your appointment - let us know how it goes :clover::clover::clover:.
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Thank you Vicky! One hour to go, feel sick so have forced myself to eat something as I couldn't eat breakfast - am at work and have brought my toothbrush along with me, so will clean them again before I go.

Mummmmmmy!!
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
I'm back!!! The dentist is an older guy, very reassuring - he said he would do a quick clean and be gentle, just to see if my anxiety would let him work with me. It didn't hurt, and I calmed down a bit.

The tooth that was playing up, is the one at the very back on the bottom. He xrayed it and said the root is infected - I knew that! he said becasue there is no tooth above it, he would recommend it being pulled due to the fact that it isn't doing anything anyway and a root filling and crown would be expensive and wasteful.

So...I have an appoitment for the week after next to get it pulled. He has packed it with something to try and calm the nerve down. No drilling! He said he just needed to blow it dry and showed me on the tooth next to it what the pressure would be like - I knew it would be slightly uncomfortable so it went ok without me panicking.

The tooth that I am missing at the front has the root still in it. He gave me 3 options, an implant, a Maryland bridge (had never heard of one!), or a proper bridge with crowns but said he doesn't like doing these really as he has to destroy a healthy tooth for it to hold.He said the roott would have to come out first either way..EEK

Does anyone have any experience with a Maryland bridge? I am not sure about it as he said that aren't as stable as the other choices?

I have 2 teeth missing in the middle, bottom which we will talk about later on after the oterhs have been sorted.

I am so relieved that I went - but now also very worried re the extraction!! He did he had super duper anesthetic and that I should come in 15 minutes before the appointment so he could numb me.

Thanks for the reassurance guys!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,313
Hi xanti, congratulations on making it to the appointment - it sounds like you did brilliantly :perfect:!!!

Your dentist's advice regarding implant vs Maryland bridge vs traditional fixed bridge is sound. There has been a move away from traditional three-unit bridges in recent times since the long-term success rates with implants are statistically speaking much better (plus a lot less hassle in terms of cleaning). While an implant would be the "gold standard", it obviously depends on your personal preferences and budget as well - implants are not cheap. If you did decide to go with an implant, you may want to get this done by a specialist who does a lot of implants (we have some recommendations for some areas in the UK if you need any). But many people also get along fine with a Maryland bridge.

I don't think you should have a big problem with having the tooth removed - as long as you are numb (and your dentist sounds as if he will make sure that you are :)), then the sensation would be one of pressure as he has already demonstrated on the other tooth. If you are not sure that you're absolutely numb, do let your dentist know because it is easy to give additional local anaesthetic. The situation where you previously couldn't get numb (when your old dentist friend took you to the hospital) sounds exceptional because you had a raging infection at the time, quite different to the low-level infection you're experiencing at the moment. I think you will find things much much easier this time round :).

Best of luck and let us know how you get on :clover::clover::clover:
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Thanks for the info Letsconnect :) The tooth that needs the root removing had a root canal done it before it broke off..will having the root removed hurt then? I am scared of him having to dig it out :(
 
chickenjen

chickenjen

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,331
Location
Illinois, USA
So glad that you had a good 1st appointment and that your dentist seems caring and gentle. :jump: :respect:
I'm no dental expert, but the dentist I went a few years ago (who did my 9 extractions), said that root tips were easier to extract or get out than a whole tooth.
Totally agree with letsconnect..................that you will get local anesthesia for it, and at any time, you're feeling ANY sort of pain or discomfort during the procedure, your dentist can give you more local.
Great job, you should be SO proud of yourself!!!! :thumbsup: :yayy: :wow:
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Messages
5,313
You should be completely numb for the treatment itself. During the treatment, don't be shy to let your dentist know if you're still able to feel anything - it's quite easy to top up the local anaesthetic. You may want to agree a stop signal (always a good idea, anyway - even if you just want to take a break :)), or if you feel unable to give a stop signal, agree another way with your dentist by which he knows when to take a break (we've got some more information on this page: http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/loss-of-control/ ).

I'm not sure if there might be pain afterwards, your dentist would be in a much better position to let you know what to expect - you're paying him for his expertise, so don't be afraid to ask :). If there is a chance of discomfort afterwards, it's always best to start taking painkillers before the local anaesthetic has worn off - it's easier to prevent pain than to stop it once it's set in.

Did he mention anything yet about removing the root and what to expect?
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Thanks guys, you are all so very helpful!

He didn't mention anything about what to expect as he wants to get the extraction done first - all he said was that it will take around 6 months for the gum to heal then we can look at a bridge /implant.

I was having nightmares last night about the extraction ughhh! there is another dentist there who offers iv sedation, so i will see how I am over the weekend and maybe go for that and get both things done at once.

I am surprised that I only had these two issues, was expecting him to start tutting and saying things like: oh dear, hmmm etc as one dentist did years ago..that scared me to death and it goes without saying I never went back ;)
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Messages
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I'm glad the new guy was not of the tut-tutting variety :p. Did you meet the other dentist (the one who offers IV sedation) as well? Best of luck with your decision, it's a very personal choice :) (maybe you could phone or e-mail and ask what to expect with the root, if that would help you in making your decision)
 
X

xanti

Junior member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
14
Hi guys, just a quick update :)

Since my appointment for the extraction was this Thursday coming, I have been really scared the past couple of days.

Now, the dentist advised extraction becasue it's a back tooth and the one above it is missing - but I don't want to lose anymore teeth! I called them back and said I wanted a root canal, under sedation and would it be possible to pull the front root that needs doing at the same time.

They said yes it would. I met the dentist who does the sedation today and he is a very nice eldery gentleman.

This is going to cost a ton - the sedation is £200 an hour, and a crown will be needed, so probably around 1k in all.

The front tooth, he has said he would reommend a Maryland bridge, which, having read up on it, shouldn't hurt at all!

I will also need a 'proper' bridge for two missing teeth at the bottom, which will also cost a lot.

But I was thinking, if a major appliance in the household breaks, we wouldn't think twice about having it replaced..so, why not spend the same amount on teeth?

I am waiting for the sedation appointment so will update you again then.

Before I get the Maryland I might get my teeth whitened...so looking forward to being able to smile 'properly' again :)
 
chickenjen

chickenjen

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Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,331
Location
Illinois, USA
That's a very good point, xanti, and one I hadn't thought of when I was going (well, I'm still going through) through the major restoration of my teeth. We definitely don't think twice if a washer or dryer or oven breaks...............we just replace it. We need our teeth as much or more than household appliances.
When I get my crown for my root canaled tooth next month, I'll have to remember that, :thumbsup:!!!!!
 
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