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Emergency dental appointment covid

  • Thread starter Worsethangivingbirth
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Worsethangivingbirth

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Oh boy, I dont even know where to begin. I have not been to the dentist since I was 12 years old and the dentist told my parents I needed braces. They stopped taking me because they couldnt afford it and would just tell me I didn't need braces (I do, I have terrible overcrowding and will not smile without covering my face). Because of avoiding the dentist in my parents care all throughout the rest of my adolescence, I could never bring myself to go.

Now here I am in the middle of a pandemic and have my first dental appointment in decades because I have facial swelling amd pain after chipping a tooth almost 2 weeks ago. I always thought I would rather die than go to the dentist if it ever came to this (seriously), but as a mother of 2 small children and knowing what could go wrong if I leave this - I am going to the dentist to resolve this hopefully.

I am just so anxious and embarrassed about the condition of my teeth. I can see dozens of cavities, they are super crooked, I'm mortified. I dont know what to expect. Am I going to be berated by the dentist for having not gone for so many years? I think I will burst into tears if that happens. I cant undo my parents negligence, but I should have pushed myself as an independent adult to go. I really dont want to hear it out loud, because I know this. If I have to lose my tooth, then what? Does it get replaced by an implant? How does this effect me if I want to get braces? The only one positive I can see out of this, is if I get through it, I will definitely continue to get the work done that needs to be done finally (of course once things go back to normal - if they ever do!) Please help me understand what I can expect 😔
 
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Jax1

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Just had to say I feel exactly the same, just trying to get an understanding of what to expect when visiting a dentist for the first time in a long time and knowing work is needed to be done, it’s the unknown that is so off putting isn’t it. I feel exactly the same anxious and embarrassed by condition of my teeth. Wish you well for,your appointment and would be great to hear how you get on as I’m determined I want to go and sort my teeth out after all this virus stuff is done.
 
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Worsethangivingbirth

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Just had to say I feel exactly the same, just trying to get an understanding of what to expect when visiting a dentist for the first time in a long time and knowing work is needed to be done, it’s the unknown that is so off putting isn’t it. I feel exactly the same anxious and embarrassed by condition of my teeth. Wish you well for,your appointment and would be great to hear how you get on as I’m determined I want to go and sort my teeth out after all this virus stuff is done.
I will definitely give you an update after my visit tomorrow. I wish I found this forum earlier. I never talk about these insecurities with anybody. I only brought it up to my husband shortly after christmas because I was determined to tackle it all after years of being ashamed and embarrassed to even have a conversation with anyone in case I had to laugh. I honestly feel like its held me back in so many ways because I lack confidence. I always think about how much more funny and relaxed I could be in social situations. It just felt like time one day to fix it all a few months ago. Then I kept putting it off and putting it off, and here we are in the middle of what seems is going to be a never ending pandemic. Had I found this forum and people who felt like me earlier, maybe I would have gotten started years ago. Sigh.

And I really am sad knowing you feel the same way as i do. It's no way to live. But it is comforting to commiserate and finally talk about it openly.
 
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Jax1

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I will keep my fingers crossed for you that all goes well and you are then on the road to getting sorted. I have yet to have the conversation with my husband, I’m particularly nervous about it, but will perhaps use some of this time that I’m at home now to do it. I totally get that about holding you back and I get so nervous when talking to anyone or being near them. Good luck!
 
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Worsethangivingbirth

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I will keep my fingers crossed for you that all goes well and you are then on the road to getting sorted. I have yet to have the conversation with my husband, I’m particularly nervous about it, but will perhaps use some of this time that I’m at home now to do it. I totally get that about holding you back and I get so nervous when talking to anyone or being near them. Good luck!
Thank you so much! I feel like I wont be getting any sleep tonight 😔
 
Sevena

Sevena

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It's gonna be okay! At this time, I feel like they should be less concerned about your overall teeth and more focused on the problem at hand.

They may want to take x-rays of the tooth. This is normal and non-invasive, just allows them to check the health of the root. I don't know how much things may have changed for your practice during the virus outbreak, but they should explain everything to you, and if they don't, ask! Ask what their recommended treatment is, ask if their answer is effected by the virus, ask if you need antibiotics to treat an infection. Don't be afraid to positively pepper them with questions. They are there to serve YOU, not the other way around. They need your business!

You are not just a patient, but a customer! If they are rude or dismissive, you leave them a bad review and exercise your rights as a patron. But most likely they will be caring and gentle, as most dentists are! Most dentists nowadays are trained in dealing with anxious patients. Things have moved on since our youth.

Good luck! 🤗
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Hi and Welcome to DFC!
We are glad that you found us! :grouphug:
Just to reiterate on what the others have said, dentists are in the business of helping people and it is very unlikely that they will judge you or lecture you. I know given the circumstances, there probably aren’t a ton of dentists to choose from right now but keep in mind that you have options and if you aren’t comfortable with this dentist, you can always find someone else later. They will probably feel honored that you trust them with helping you. I am not a dentist but wanted to say that you may not necessarily lose the tooth...it’s possible that it may need a crown or a root canal and crown. If you do lose the tooth, an implant is one option but if it is between two teeth, you may also be able to get a bridge. I’m not clear on how that would impact braces in the future but definitely a good question to ask the dentist before moving forward with whatever you decide to do. Best of luck at your appointment! Please let us know how it goes!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi there,

there is not much to add to the replies of @Sevena and @kitkat, I just wanted to let you know how incredibly common feelings of embarrassment are. Most people who haven't been to the dentist for a while feel mortified and expect the dentists to support this feelings by berating them. If you feel there is something to be ashamed of then others must feel that way too, right? The most dentists who work with nervous patients know that this feelings can be even stronger than the fear itself and if people avoid visits for years, it' most often because the feeling of embarrassment took over.

All the best wishes, keep us posted and stay kind to yourself. You are doing a great job confronting your issues.
 
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Worsethangivingbirth

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement this morning. I feel like if I hadn't found this forum I'd be cancelling my appt this afternoon. It was the first thought I had when I woke up this morning, amd then I checked in on here and felt better about going through with it. Still very anxious, but I know it needs to be done. I have little humans at home that rely on me, and I need to take care of myself so I can take care of them. I also am so diligent about taking them to their dental appointments, but if they see me not taking care of myself, they may develop the same anxiety about the dentist which I DO NOT want.

Sorry, rambling. Just feels better to get it out when i never really have.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Feel free to ramble as much as you like (I don't think it's rambling btw.), we are here to listen and getting it out really helps. And remember you have few fans here too now and we all believe in you and know you will be ok.

I hate fighting dental fear (and fears/phobias in general) so much because literally every single cell in your body, every single emotion and though is screaming "don't do that, it will hurt you!!!" while the only way to get out of it is to ignore this and do it. So you are fighting yourself and that's an awfully exhausting and very unnatural thing to do.

But.. the only right approach in this situation.
 
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Worsethangivingbirth

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Feel free to ramble as much as you like (I don't think it's rambling btw.), we are here to listen and getting it out really helps. And remember you have few fans here too now and we all believe in you and know you will be ok.

I hate fighting dental fear (and fears/phobias in general) so much because literally every single cell in your body, every single emotion and though is screaming "don't do that, it will hurt you!!!" while the only way to get out of it is to ignore this and do it. So you are fighting yourself and that's an awfully exhausting and very unnatural thing to do.

But.. the only right approach in this situation.
Just about to leave. Totally freaking out, but trying to keep it together the best I can. It doesnt help that I feel like the swelling and pain is significantly better and this may not be an "emergency" anymore. Maybe it's my mind playing tricks to convince me to cancel.
 
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Worsethangivingbirth

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Phew, I actually did it. I feel a big sense of relief, but unfortunately I have to go back on wednesday morning. Apparently I dont have swelling, just very angry gums. She told me my molar that I chipped needs to be filled for now, but after all of this covid stuff is over, I will need at least a couple visits of cleaning to help my gums, and then likely a root canal to save the tooth shes filling for now.

Unfortunately she was not good for my anxiety. She was aware of my anxiety, but it was obvious she didnt care, or is just very stressed out given the situation shes in. She made it clear that I shouldn't be there because I don't have an emergency, but shes still going to fill my molar wednesday. She looked at my gums, and told me what terrible condition they're in and asked when my last cleaning was, to which I said "2 decades ago" and she asked her hygienist to get a mirror for me to see for myself. I was almost in tears and said "i know, I know how they look, I dont want to see right now". I literally look at them and obsess over them everyday. And she replied "no, you need to look so you can see that you need to get it fixed when we open our clinic back up for regular practice. So I looked and was extra mortified.

Now I'm scared to go back on Wednesday. I've never even had a filling. I cant believe I have to be alone with her in the room again so she can tell me what I already know about the neglect of my teeth. There are not many dentists right now offering emergency services and my insurance only covers so much, so I have to have her fill it. I do know, however, I will be finding a new dentist to work with once things open back up. I feel relief for going, but also feel such dread to see her again next week and am so worried about what she will say next.
 
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thisisme

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Phew, I actually did it. I feel a big sense of relief, but unfortunately I have to go back on wednesday morning. Apparently I dont have swelling, just very angry gums. She told me my molar that I chipped needs to be filled for now, but after all of this covid stuff is over, I will need at least a couple visits of cleaning to help my gums, and then likely a root canal to save the tooth shes filling for now.

Unfortunately she was not good for my anxiety. She was aware of my anxiety, but it was obvious she didnt care, or is just very stressed out given the situation shes in. She made it clear that I shouldn't be there because I don't have an emergency, but shes still going to fill my molar wednesday. She looked at my gums, and told me what terrible condition they're in and asked when my last cleaning was, to which I said "2 decades ago" and she asked her hygienist to get a mirror for me to see for myself. I was almost in tears and said "i know, I know how they look, I dont want to see right now". I literally look at them and obsess over them everyday. And she replied "no, you need to look so you can see that you need to get it fixed when we open our clinic back up for regular practice. So I looked and was extra mortified.

Now I'm scared to go back on Wednesday. I've never even had a filling. I cant believe I have to be alone with her in the room again so she can tell me what I already know about the neglect of my teeth. There are not many dentists right now offering emergency services and my insurance only covers so much, so I have to have her fill it. I do know, however, I will be finding a new dentist to work with once things open back up. I feel relief for going, but also feel such dread to see her again next week and am so worried about what she will say next.
Aww, first off, kudos on going. As a 32-year-old who quit going to the dentist at the age of 14 after being told I should get braces, I really relate to your story. I still have not had braces but faced by fears back in August (after a nearly 17 year absence).

I am sorry your dentist wasn’t receptive to your fears or needs. I understand how hard it is to go back after all that time because you are embarassed and are afraid. I definitely think finding a new dentist would be best after COVID. When you find the right one, you will know and it will be better. I promise.

I had my first real filling (with a shot... that’s why it was my first real one, haha) back in August. I was expecting it to be so much worse, and it wasn’t bad at all. The injection did burn for a few seconds, but it wasn’t too bad. The next ones I had I didn’t have that same feeling, so it depends on the technique of the dentist. The injection is totally worth it because after that, the procedure is painless and really easy. I had four filled at one time, and I’m a major phobic. I couldn’t even watch toothpaste commercials. I know you’ll do great.

You should be really proud of yourself for going. Sitting in that chair and opening your mouth is so hard. I too would have rather died than gone to a dentist. I thought for sure I would die first before ever going again, but I lost a filling, and the tooth chipped... and here we are. It is such a brave thing to do, but you faced your fear today, and I’m so happy for you!

:welldone::you-rock::jump::dance:
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Worsethangivingbirth,

I can only echo what thisisme said.. HOw enourmously brave you were for going and tackling this . no matter how long you had been away it took extra courage to go after so long .. and I'm so sorry you were sort of shamed in that office.. I'd feel awful walking out of there.. like that .. they don't need to shove anything in your face and make you feel bad for something you are already scared of facing in the first place.. I only hope you can find a more compassionate caring dentist, they are out there. not sure if the covid got this practice extra stressed or that is how she usually is.. I am with thisisme in that maybe when you are in less a hurry you can find a good caring one! You really are a champ in this circumstance and hope you can give yourself a ton of credit.

p.s. I really hate mirrors at the dentist myself.. my previous dentist stopped mid procedure to show me my cavities before he did my crown .. he wanted to show me so I could know how bad.. he didn't know how this made me so very ashamed .. I just panicked and was really shaken for days at the whole situation. he never did that again and he felt really bad about it.. as I sort of freaked out myself. next time I got things done he jusut did it and said.. you don't want to see do you? and I said . nope..
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sorry to read this. I wished your experience was better, you really deserve a kind caring lovely dentist who gives you support and praise for your courage! :( I absolutely hate the fact she pushed you into looking at sometihng that you refused to, that‘s not respectful. You are the person to decide what you would like to do and how and it makes me unhappy that you weren‘t heard.It was brave of you that you stayed there anyway.

Regarding your visit on Wednesday. I see how you don‘t like the idea of going back but it also looks like you are intending to go back.. One thing I didn‘t understand well - you mentioned your swelling is no swelling but angry gums. But also that the chip needs to be filled. I was wondering whether it is necessary for you to Go back on Wednesday or whether waiting for the chaos to be over would be an option?

If you go back, please, keep a thinck skin, stay very kind to yourself and don‘t take anything she says personally. Because I would hate it if the experience would make your fears worse and would prevent you from seeking a kind caring dentist later. You deserve someone who listens and respects your boundaries. Sitting in the chair is a vulnerable place to be even without getting shamed.
 
Sevena

Sevena

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Oh, your dentist should have never done that. When my teeth were really bad, before I had all my treatments, they tried the mirror stuff on me, and I said, "No, I really cannot handle looking", and they respected it. It's the bare minimum, really! Looking in that mirror is scary even for non-anxious patients.

If you feel you have to go back to her for treatment, do so, though don't be afraid to say again that you are anxious. And if you're getting actual treatment she should set up a hand-signal system during the work, where you raise your hand and the dentist pauses, just so you can gather your wits about you and sip some water or anything like that. Every dentist I've ever had has been on board for that - in fact they all suggested it themselves - so she should abide by that because I believe it's very standard.

The fact you're willing to stick this through is amazing! I'm so impressed! I hope you get a better dentist in the future. I promise that the difference between a good dentist for anxious patients and a bad one is totally huge!
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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My dentist does show me with a mirror not to shame me,just the areas I need to focus on brushing more.

A good dentist will never shame you with a mirror how bad your teeth are, and if you have a cavity

When I was having removeable braces the dentist I saw at the dental hospital he used to do this with a mirror, his dental room smelt of poo.
 
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geos

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Regarding her comment that you shouldn’t be there, please remember that it’s her own decision. She is supposed to triage patients and offer solutions before getting a patient in her clinic. Not only did she accept the initial visit, she also accepts that you come back. Don’t stress too much about it.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

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Hi there!
Sorry I’m so late responding to your post, but I really wanted to reach out to you. First - great job going to the appointment! That was a huge step and something to be proud of. Second - I’m just gonna say it - that dentist is a jerk. One for not taking your anxiety into consideration and two for shaming you. Totally unnecessary and counterproductive. I do understand you need to go back because of your insurance and how many dentists are not open right now and I’m sorry you have to go through that. Another thing you mentioned was being alone with her. If this is because the practice was short-staffed currently, I understand, but this is not normal in my experience. Just for reference, my teeth were in much, much worse condition than yours and resulted in full dentures. I was prepared for this going in, and I have no regrets, other than not taking care of my teeth better. To put it mildly, I was terrified and had to be sedated just to walk in the door. They were amazing, and never made me feel worse than I already did. The dentist told me “we don’t worry about the past, only helping you feel better”. My point is, there are dentists who are much better at dealing with anxious and scared people like us. Hopefully you can find one, and soon. No one deserves to be treated the way you were and shame on her!
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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Well done for going to the dentist, I probably would not go to see this dentist. she did not need to remind you that you should have not been there
 
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