• Dental Phobia Support

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Failed bridge facing implants and sinus graft



Junior member
Jun 21, 2023
Hi I’m new here. I’m 40 years old and have had dental issues (and therefore dental phobias) all my life. To cut a long story short I had many missing adult teeth. After braces and the like growing up I had a whole mouth full of bridges placed 14 years ago aged 26. The process was extremely upsetting and painful but I got through it and whilst they aren’t perfect looks wise I’ve managed well/a normal life with them until now.

In May I noticed a lump on my gum. It turned out to be an abscess and closer investigation has shown that my top, back right hand side abutement tooth for the bridge has a huge cavity and can’t be saved. To say that I found this news devastating is an understatement. It now consumes my every waking thought (I can barely sleep, waking at all hours) and I feel suicidal over the thought of yet more pain, cost and issues. I’ve been told the fix will be extraction and placing of 2-3 implants to fit an implant supported bridge. The process will need to also involve a sinus lift and a year possibly more of healing and wearing a partial denture. Cost quoted is between 11-15k.

I am a married mum of two little boys with a supportive family but I honestly cannot face this. I can’t bare the embarrassment, pain, cost and how will I ever eat or talk especially in Public - I have a job that requires me to stand up and talk to others and I will never be able to do it.

Further to that this is just one quarter of my mouth now screwing up and surely only a matter of time before the rest caves in. If I stick around I will be constantly chasing my tail with this pain, upset and cost - a burden and drain on my young family.

I have another meet with the dentist on 28th so next week but I’m honestly rock bottom here and don’t want to live like this. It’s killing me and I’m now sat waiting for my bridge to just fail and drop out. Every day is full of anxiety and dread every time I open my eyes.
I’m so sorry you are in such distress. You can do hard things! And you can do this. I would strongly recommend getting assistance from a therapist if you can. Mental health is such a critical part of oral health that I think dental offices should employe therapists.

It is NOT only a matter of time before the other teeth fail. More can be done if issues are found sooner so the first goal of you and your dentist should be to make it so you can face coming in more regularly.

Try not to be embarrassed. Major dental issues are so much more common than we realize! I was shocked when I started talking more openly about mine how many of my close friends have also had problems. No one wants to talk about it because we feel ashamed and then we feel like we are the only ones. We aren’t.

You don’t have to proceed with that entire treatment plan all at once. Or even at all. What about starting with getting the partial and seeing from there. A partial is not the end of the world. I’ve had one for going on 20 years now and while I don’t love it and would love to one day replace it with an implant, I get on fine. Way more people have them than you know. And guess what, even after nearly twenty years missing those teeth, I still have options. So it isn’t now or never on the implants. I wouldn’t recommend waiting 20 years of course but know that you don’t have to do it all at once.