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Feeling Helpless

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daniero

Junior member
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3
Location
New York City
Just found this group and read about all the positive effects it's had on its members. I've been reading through and the support if just amazing. I don't know what else to do, but to just dive in I guess.

I have a lot of anxiety and I feel it's only gotten worse. I also have a severe dental phobia and even general medical phobia. I haven't been to the dentist in over 10 years and lately my teeth have been just declining. I so badly want to find a dentist and just do what needs to be done but everytime I try to make the move I think about all the other factors.

1. I got Bells Palsy when I was in High School on the left side of my face and while it usually goes away in most people, it didn't for me. So that side is a little weaker and I am worried about having to explain that to a dentist (you don't even know how hard it is for me to tell all of you now) and also what that would mean for the dentist trying to work on my mouth, or open it. Would it even effect it? I don't know.
2. General, severe, embarrassment over the state of my teeth.
3. So I go and then what? I am only 29, and what if I am left with no teeth?
4. This stuff is expensive, how do I pay for everything insurance doesn't cover (this is the least of my concerns)

This stuff runs through my mind all day and all night. It effects my work, my social life, my relationship with my partner, my sleep. Every aspect of my life and I just don't know what to do anymore.
 
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MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,099
First of all, welcome! You will find a lot of people here in a similar situation with fears and questions.
I can’t address all your questions but want to offer support. I had a lot of dental issues come up over the past year and it is terrifying. Things are not usually as bad as you imagine, though, and even when they are, you will find that you are stronger than you thought you were. I had some of my worst fears happen this past year, when I had to have extractions. I have had four extractions so far, one being my front tooth. However bad it was, the relief that I feel now that it is over is so worth it! I found that the anxiety of “what if?” and “how will I be able to handle that?” was much worse than the reality. I have had a flipper for my front tooth for almost five months now and it isn’t as bad as the constant fear of infection taking over and pain.
As far as what the dentist will say about your teeth and your health, don’t worry over that. Most dentists will have dealt with patients with a lot of different health issues, and teeth in much worse condition.
It is expensive. I don’t even want to think about how much I have spent this past year (and still have to spend). However your teeth are directly affecting your quality of life so investing in them is important. I have worked with my dentist and oral surgeon to prioritize what needs to be done with my teeth. I have a lower molar right now that has been hurting for several months, but I am in the middle of getting my lower right teeth and my front tooth fixed, so I am putting it off. I can’t afford it all at once.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
88
Location
United Kingdom
What a brave start in here, daniero.
I cannot advise much. I don't know how the payment side of things works in the US.
As for working with weakened side, please be assured, dentists work with this kind of thing more than we imagine. They are far more than people who pull teeth out. :)
And regarding the damage done already... I really wouldn't try to "self-diagnose". You may be greatly over estimating the amount of work you need done. Really, we are not the ones who know.
Also, well done. You are at least looking at the issue. It is a massive step.
Hopefully, you'll come to see things with a little less anxiety. I know I did, as soon as I started sharing here.
Oh, and welcome. :)
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
165
Location
Us
Hopefully you can find a caring and compassionate dentist that you’re comfortable talking with, and I’m sure they will be able to answer all of your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask anything. You are paying them for a service, not to be lectured or made to feel ashamed. If you’re able, maybe reach out through emails and see if you can find one who has experience with anxious patients. Dentistry is very advanced - there may be no need to remove your teeth.
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
2,193
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Much of your story sounds similar to mine. I started my journey right after I turned 30 after about 8 years of not going to a dentist. I’m 42 now and have been going to the same dentist ever since then. I’ve managed to get my oral health in a really good place. That’s not to say that I don’t still have some anxiety about going to the dentist, but I also have the confidence that, whatever happens, I can get through it. The first step - calling to make an appt - is often the most difficult part. So, one step at a time!!
 
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WishForCourage

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
26
Location
US
Hi and welcome! I know what you're going through. It had been 20 years since I had been to the dentist before my fear of not going became greater than my fear of going. Like you, I thought i would have the worst mouth the dentist had ever seen. Yes I needed some work done but it was no where near as bad as I believed in my mind. A lot of the fear is the fear of the unknown. Making that first appointment is definitely the hardest part. If you research dentists in your area you can read reviews and sometimes you can book the appointment online. They might have a spot that you can fill out to let them know you have bells palsy and any fears you have.

As for cost....after you are examined the dentist will come up with a treatment plan and you can go at your own pace for what you can afford. That's what I did at least.

Sending you brave vibes :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,853
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Daniero,

I would also like to wish you the best in your journey, you are doing a courageous thing to step out and do his after many years . I know how this is first hand and it takes alot of courage.. many of us have been there and would love to support you so glad you shared.. There are alot of anxious friendly dentists out there now too , I think it seems more now than ever.. I did some shopping around a few years ago after my previous dentist left his practice and I was pleasantly surprised at the compassion I was met with when sharing my shame and anxieties. I encourage you to be open.. and also you have the control and the choice ..take steps towards finding the right kind fit as a dentist and you may very well be surprised it is not nearly as bad as you think.
 
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