• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Crack in tooth- dentist wants to 'watch and wait' ?

A

Anxiousvic

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
4
Good morning all
I am new to this forum although have come across it several times when needing advice/suppprt so apologies in advance if I don't quite get this right!
Despite my fears I always go for my six monthly check as my fears extends to the what if's and I figure that prevention is better than cure. At my check up yesterday I mentioned that my gum hurts sporadically and I feel pressure areound my first top molar which is very heavily filled. My dentist, whom is great and I trust entirely, informed me that the tooth has a crack in it. She is unsure how big the crack is and to what depth. For this reason she is reluctant to crown the tooth as cannot guarantee the tooth won't crack further and I agreed that it's a costly and intrusive procedure and one I would rather avoid if it's only a 'might' work. I asked if I should have it extracted and she refused and said she wishes to 'watch and wait'. I can now think of nothing else! I am due to go abroad in 8 weeks and this is adding to my fear and anxiety! Am I waiting for my tooth to crack fully? Waiting for an infection? For the pain to be chronic? I have been going against my own advice ever since and googling this- all advice I read stated that you should not ignore a cracked tooth. Can I demand that the tooth is extracted as I say, prevention is better than cure so if the final outcome for this tooth is going to be extraction, would if not make sense to do this whilst my pain is only sporadic. My anxiety is through the roof, which far from helps but I feel as though I am being left to wait until the situation is worse before they will make it better. Any advice would be so very gratefully received. Thank you ✌?
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
755
Location
UK
Hi, and welcome!

So you already know this, but my first advice is step away from Google! There's an awful lot of scaremongering and misinformation out there, and the trouble is as patients we have no real way of separating the facts from the scare stories.

It sounds like you have a good dentist, and she wants to wait and see what happens - my advice is to trust her and take her advice! Many dentists take a 'watch and wait' approach as they want to avoid doing unnecessary treatment, in my experience that's often a very good approach and one that's taken by some of the best dentists around. She's looked at it, so she hasn't just made that decision based on nothing - she will have inspected particular characteristics of the tooth and the crack to come to that decision.

I think the thinking is that it may not get worse. Sometimes cracks in teeth can be just fine - I have one tooth, a bottom back molar, that has a big crack in it. It's been like that for several years now, my dentist has looked carefully at it, X-rayed it, and decided it's not a problem. We're leaving it well alone unless something happens.


You can certainly ask for the tooth to be extracted if that's what you want - though the dentist doesn't have to do it, they can refuse if they think it is not appropriate treatment, so you can't demand. It will be down to their clinical judgement. You may be able to find a different dentist who is willing to extract it for you, although if a good one has already refused on the grounds that it's not in your best interests then I'd be wary of doing that.

If you're worried about how it will affect you when you are travelling abroad, could you contact your dentist and ask her about it? Having seen your tooth, she will be able to explain exactly why she is watching, what she is waiting for, and whether it is likely to cause you any trouble when abroad.
 
A

Anxiousvic

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
4
Tink, thank you for your very calm and reassuring response. I work in health care and always tell patients to never look on Google, and know that this only exacerbates the anxiety whilst often presenting misleading information!

I feel somewhat reassured to hear that somebody else is in the same situation as me, sorry!! It just makes me feel as though I am not alone and this is not unusual practice. My anxiety always makes me think of such negative 'what ifs' and worst case scenarios.

I have emailed my practice and told them how anxious I am, whilst being so very grateful to my dentist as she is fantastic with me and understands my phobia, I wish to find some reassurance following my check up yesterday and understand exactly why she cannot treat it. It's so easy to wind yourself up as it sits in your head, you worry more then the stress makes you think it's hurting ? Or perhaps that is just me and I need help for more than just my dental phobia ?

Thank you for again. I am feeling a little reassured already
 
S

skippy1712

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
48
I definitely understand the anxiety of traveling with something that you fear might be a 'time bomb' as I just returned from a trip with an appointment scheduled for Monday. My dentist told me not to wait to get it looked at. I was quick to tell him of my travel plans and he just as quickly reassured me that they were no problem and explained that he just meant not to wait six months like some people do.
When it began to feel weird just before travel, I was able to point myself back to what he had said and not panic that it was going to go south while I was away.
All that being said, I would definitely let your dentist know, if for no other reason than he can reassure you that there is no reason to be concerned and why. Knowing that he knows and is not concerned can bring a measure of peace.
 
A

Anxiousvic

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
4
Skippy1712- thank you for your response. That's exactly how I feel, like I am in a waiting game for something horrible to happen. I have found myself constantly looking at this tooth and my gums. The gym around the tooth is very red and I know that I must up my cleaning around it but am so scared. I am gently flossing around it daily and alternating between corsodyl toothpaste and a high flouride toothpaste prescribed by my dentist. My anxiety is still there and I emailed my dentist on Saturday. I was having a melt down then and am almost laughing at myself for what Ive written. Let's just say, she will read how anxious I am! I want to be able to go away and fully enjoy the holiday and family celebrations without this overtaking and it ruining my holiday that has taken a lot of hard work and saving. I know you're right and once I get the reassurance, I am sure my anxiety will subside somewhat. Thank you again, you have been very helpful ?
 
H

Hannah01

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
20
Hi, i second your dentist decision. Anxiety is natural but its a wait and watch situation to ensure you only get treated for the necessary stuff.

Hope things will turnout right for you. Good Luck!!
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
755
Location
UK
My anxiety is still there and I emailed my dentist on Saturday. I was having a melt down then and am almost laughing at myself for what Ive written. Let's just say, she will read how anxious I am!
That's a good thing ? It will help her to know how anxious you are, because this helps her to do her job - she needs to know what support you need, and this will help you to get the reassurance you need!
 
A

Anxiousvic

Junior member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
4
Thank you hannah01 and Tink. I have managed to calm my anxiety a little, for now ? I am yet to hear back from my dentist but will telephone her should my anxieties fail to cease. I am concerned that my 4 hour flight will exacerbate things and along with the fact I am not a lover of flying anyway! Scared that if the pressure hurts on the way there, I shall spend my entire holiday dreading the return leg. I will contact her for some reassurance and thank you all once again for your support and advice. Much appreciated ✌?
 
S

skippy1712

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
48
I had to travel in between dignosis and treatment. I was nervous about the whole pressure thing too. It wasn't an issue in the slightest. Mine was an abscess, not a cracked tooth, so I can't speak to that, but just wanted you to know that I understood that particular concern well. And to share that my travel was without complications.
 
Top