• Dental Phobia Support

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Feeling tired of dealing with dental issues



Well-known member
Jul 9, 2022
Would appreciate any support or maybe you want to comment and vent and rant too, so we can keep each other company. I am so tired of this. I have had some kind of dentist visit every week now for four weeks straight, and I have another next week. There is supposed to be a massive bill and of course they are having trouble billing my insurance and I see from my insurance account they haven't suceeded yet. I hope this will be the end of my dental implant treatment, but of course, I fear that there will be complications, with the implant, or with the billing.

I have had 13 dental appointments within the last 9 months with dentists, orthodontists, and a crown maker. 5 extractions, implant surgery, abutment surgery.

I have had opinions all over the place over how much my orthodontic/teeth position situation will damage my teeth, which have lots of wear, and cracks. My teeth fit super tight in front, I have been told explicitly it will ruin my front teeth by my former dentist and an orthodontists assistant, had another orthodontist and my current dentist be kind of vague about it, and not make explicit predictions, and then one orthodontist tell me explicitly that my front teeth wouldn't be destroyed and the wear came from something other than their position. I suspect this messed up orthodontic situation was actually caused by my previous orthodontic treatment, and the orthodontist who told me my teeth position wasn't causing my teeth damage seemed pretty unhappy or irritated that I said that, and right away said that he bet that wasn't the case, I wonder if that affected his opinion. He was the one I want to believe the most, because he said it wouldn't get worse. The treatment that I have been offered to fix this was so bad, with so many downsides, I asked the orthodontist who was offering it if he would rather his teeth be like mine, or to have the treatment, and he said he didn't know. I am so tired of the wretched uncomfortable way my teeth fit, and how bad they look, and being uncomfortable from it really often, not being able to really know how things will go in the future, not having a good treatment that will fix it, and wish I had never gotten involved with orthodontics.

I am sick of dental problems being a big part of my life, having so much negative stuff in my mind because of it, all the awkward stressful dealing with people, the worry, and everything else. To anyone else feeling this way, what are you most sick of? Does anyone else just feel tired of this stuff?
Oh my goodness. That is a lot of appointments.

I hope that someday soon you can enjoy all the foods that are crunchy, pointy, and cold.

You’ve earned it.
@NervousUSA totally 1000% hear you -- I'm in the same boat! I've lost track of the number of dental visits I've had in the past several years (starting with a "holistic" dentist who turned out to be anything but, and who ended up costing me my tooth), but in the last 7 months I've had 14 visits, including 8 visits from August 30 - December 19, and 6 visits from January 12 of this year up to yesterday. I'm not done yet, either: recent visits were for an upper partial, which I'm still in the process of fitting (maybe halfway through?). Yesterday's visit was to remove several bone spurs that occurred after the oral surgery I had on October 4 last year to remove the tooth I originally saw "Ms Holistic" for three times starting in 2019, for which she did nothing until the third visit I was in agony and was told I needed an immediate root canal (which I did NOT want but she said there was NO other option, and I was in too much pain to argue). Turns out that tooth had decay under the crown which progressed to the point of no return last year and had to be removed last October.

Part genetics, partly due to being SLAPPED by the very first dentist I ever visited when I was 3 (creating a lifelong dentist trauma), and partly due to my autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, I have not taken the best care of my teeth until recently. It wasn't until recently that I found out I am autistic and have SPD, so all those years of despising toothpaste and the foam and the lingering mint-taste and the terror at the thought of even going in for a cleaning was just way too much for me ... now I know why. But damage has been done.

Now I'm doing a daily intensive regimen that includes homeopathics, herbal treatments, vitamin supplements, and meticulous care, in an effort to keep my remaining teeth. My dental horror stories could fill several pages, but suffice it to say, I have a terrible fear of dentists which my autism and SPD exacerbate to an extreme degree ... and here I am having to go in frequently, to a ridiculous degree, sometimes even twice a week.

(No joke: Last December, I went in for a follow-up to the oral surgery that was giving me issues and was told "You've exceeded your quota of visits." Quota?? I didn't know there was such a thing!)

So I totally understand your utter fatigue at so many dental visits, which don't end when you leave the dentist's office. You come home and you're exhausted and traumatized, to one degree or another, and the issues don't end there, either: you have to deal with them on a daily basis, 24/7. There's after-care, eating issues, pain, medications, treatments, rinses, and the list goes on. I'm to the point I just want to give up, just pull the plug on all this and go back to my normal way of eating, but I can't. I've been told that if I don't get the partial I'll lose the rest of my teeth, and I don't want that. (Is it true? Or is that just what dental school tells dentists and then the dentists relay that to their patients?)

Having SPD means that even changing sock brands is an ordeal, with extreme resistance from the "inner autistic child" who I liken to having a 2-year-old clinging to you constantly. ("I don't want those socks! They feel funny and I want my old ones." "Well, your old ones are worn out and they don't make them anymore, so we have to try these." And this inner argument continues....) Now imagine what it's like putting this strange plastic-y partial in your mouth and having to try to learn to talk and eat with it. After the first hour, I had cuts and abrasions on my gums and had to take it out, despite my dentist said it was actually a really good fit for the first time. I was supposed to take it home and wear it for a few weeks before coming back for an adjustment, but the bone spurs after last October's oral surgery needed to be taken care of, and I can barely even eat right now, much less think of putting a hard ("flexible" ?!) partial in my mouth.

I really resonated when you said, "I am sick of dental problems being a big part of my life, having so much negative stuff in my mind because of it, all the awkward stressful dealing with people, the worry, and everything else." YES YES YES YES YES! Dental problems are CONSUMING my life right now, my mind constantly dwelling on them despite my attempts to think of other things (even during other activities like watching a video or playing a game or trying to read, etc.). Autistics often have something called "catastrophizing," which is our minds immediately going to the worst outcome ("I have a pain...I'm going to die!"). That's what my mind has done with this whole dental situation, which I still can't walk away from or fully resolve. Even after the partial, there are other dental issues needing to be addressed....will there ever be an end to it?

Right now I'm on the verge of possibly paying out of pocket for a partial at a different dental office that has an on-site lab, just to get this part of it done and over with. This whole business of go in, have impressions taken, wait 3 weeks to get a WAX model to try on, then wait another 2 weeks for the actual partial to come in -- which my dentist sent back because it wasn't right, which added another 2 weeks to the process -- go back in for the "first" fitting, then go back for who knows how many adjustments to get it to feel comfortable, which may require sending it back and waiting 2 weeks between adjustments (if the dentist is unable to do it in-office) ... and each of those visits is a 45-minute drive each way.

I'm so exhausted. 😞
@LittleLady Thanks for your response. It's nice to hear from someone with the same feeling as me. I hear what you are saying, especially the exhaustion, the feeling it consumes your life and is in your head while you do other things, the catastrophizing, and the wanting to give up, and most of all that feeling there is no end in sight. It's really hard. I'm sorry you have had to go through so many appointments. It's rough you have to have some with a long drive too, that makes it even worse. I filled up my quota last year too, in a way, by maxing out my insurance. The appointments haven't stopped since I wrote my post either, and doesn't look like they will for a while. In fact I have one next week. Its really tough you have to deal with this with autism and SPD, my sibling is severely autistic, and my both of my parents and I, though never diagnosed autistic, all have social, sensory, communication, and other issues that seem similar to his, but lesser, so I can see how that type of thing will make it so much worse for you, and I wonder if that type of thing has made this worse for me to some level. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this, and hope that soon that your situation improves as much as it can!
@NervousUSA thank you! When I read your post, I instantly knew what you're going through. Having sensory and other issues definitely makes it worse, and it sounds like you understand what I'm talking about in that respect as well. I'm fortunate that my current dentist has several autistic patients and understands autistics better, but as I'm sure you know, not all autistics are the same: we don't all react in the same ways or have the exact same issues (thus the "spectrum").

You referred to my mentioning "maxing out the quota". What's weird is, I had long before that maxed out my insurance (which can be done in a single visit, given that insurance limits for the year are usually $1200-1500 and are a drop in the bucket when it comes to dental charges). I was paying out of pocket, yet they told me I had "exceeded my visit quota" -- whatever that means?! So, does that mean we're all only allowed X number of visits and then after that you're $@%# out of luck if you still need more work? Since when is that a thing?

Health and dental issues don't adhere to any set schedule or have a limit or "quota." (I have since changed dentists.)

I really appreciate your having posted here, describing your experience. I was feeling very much "I'm so done with this, can't I please just get on with my normal life?" when I came across it, and knew I had to respond. By the way, if you haven't already, you might want to check out some excellent YouTube channels on adult autism, late diagnosis, self-identifying autistics, etc. My favorites are Yo Samdy Sam and Purple Ella. I find their videos extremely validating, informative, and comforting, and many of their suggestions have helped in my struggles to deal with this seemingly endless dental saga.
@LittleLady I have never heard of "exceeding a visit quota" like the situation you describe, and don't know what that means either, maybe a weird office policy, or even an odd joke? I see you switched to a different dentist, and that seems like a good thing to do, it is so odd they would say that when you are paying out of pocket.

I'm really glad you responded, and I was able to read about your experiences. I will check out those youtube channels, thanks for the tip!
Quite honestly my story isn't a successful one so I rarely post.

I can't get on top of my issues, they just seem to multiply and I've not yet found anyone who has really helped.

I didn't particularly take great care of my teeth, no one taught me the importance of brushing (I thought it was just to be clean/have fresh breath, I didn't know teeth could rot).. I got depression in later years and didn't brush for some time. If I could go back and do things better I would, in a heartbeat, because I'm miserable with this pain on a daily basis, from multiple teeth.

All my teeth are either filled, cracked, chipped, showing signs of early decay or erosion or in need of work. My dentist keeps informing me I need to save my teeth at my age, but she's not the one in pain every day.

Whilst it was my mistakes that kicked this off I can honestly say most of the dentists I've seen haven't helped my situation..

I had a dentist remove a tooth without even telling me he was going to (at an emergency walk-in center). It was the first time id seen a dentist in years and frankly I was too terrified to ask what he was doing, so I guess I allowed that to happen.

After that I found an NHS dentist. I had to endure 2 hrs of fillings... I didn't go back because it was an awful experience, and after it my bite was off, leaving me with a grinding noise in my jaw that I have to this day that only gets worse with time. Most of the teeth he worked on, including a filling that was joined - meaning I couldn't floss nor clean properly, have been extracted. So I probably did the right thing by not returning for the other quadrant to be worked on!

.I've had multiple tellings off for feeling pain when I was told I shouldn't be (turns out I just need more care taking when getting numb, a specialist managed to do so). Each time I lost trust or felt ashamed so I tried to find a new one.

I found one I trusted & stayed with her until she moved, when I booked in at her new practice I got told off for "following her" so I didn't return...

I found another place when I needed to but ended up with a different dentist every time. After one over zealous scale and polish he took off some enamel (that is now beginning to decay and cause pain) I went to find another...

And my last NHS dentist I managed to find and build up trust with was replaced by someone who didn't seem competent and left behind decay under a filling that needed to be done again.. he also refused to discuss partial dentures to replace missing teeth, presumably leaving me to carry on chewing on front teeth was acceptable (hence them chipping/cracking).

So I thought throwing money at it would help or at least buy me more time than the NHS could spare, but even that private dentist who claimed to specialise in nervous patients was of no help and didn't listen to me at all. instead he laughed when I tried to explain which teeth are causing pain, exclaiming he'd "never seen anyone take notes before!" (I have ADHD and struggle to focus, so I took a one sided a5 sheet with bullet points), instead he quoted me 5k for Chrome dentures that he couldn't be bothered to explain and got the nurse to Google instead - whilst pushing another £250 consultation fee just to discuss them, then pushed cosmetic treatments at me despite me explicitly saying "I just want to get out of pain".. £90 down the drain there.

So my current dentist, another private one (as I couldn't get another NHS) ignored me when I said I felt pain during a filling, has done work that doesn't seem to have resolved issues and didn't let me leave with gauze after my last extraction so it didn't form a proper clot.. subsequently I spent the whole night awake with bleeding, to the point I was considering going to a&e as it wouldn't stop. She's polite and explains things and seems patient most of the time so I just accept the other things (maybe not leaving gauze in is normal and it was an accident that the clot started to hang out?) because I just don't have it in me to keep looking around and throwing £100 at consultation fees.

I've had 10 extractions as I can't sit through RCT & I barely manage fillings. I think my front tooth is fractured or something as I can't bite down on that, plus the one at the side that needs RCT.. I only have a few useable teeth left.. that RCT & crown (on the tooth that needed redoing after the NHS botch) will cost £1150 - that's just one tooth, goodness knows what the cost is for the rest, it's already been a £1600 bill just on a few fillings, extractions and consultation fees.... I didn't expect the costs to be so much tbh.
This RCT is also on a visible tooth so I feel ill have to do it, but I darent, not when I felt pain during the filing, I just can't hold myself together for that long and start to panic and need breaks after 20 minutes. I just don't think I can do it.

Quite honestly I just try to get by because there's not a single day goes by when I'm not in some degree of pain that reminds me just how bad a situation I'm in, but no one seems to listen, so I'm just going for my checkups and trying to put up with things. Like I said, I don't have it in me to keep going to different places anymore. Miserable doesn't cover it tbh, I'm only thankful I can sleep and still eat soft foods, anything hard is an absolute no.. all this at my age really worries me, but frankly I've little desire to save teeth when they've caused me years of misery, ruined holidays, events, affected me every day.

I feel for you with your experiences but on the bright side there seems to be a plan in place and therefore an end in sight, I'm sure you'll be in a good place soon 👍👍 xx
@Nicci I'm really sorry to hear you are going through this, and you have been treated badly so many times, the way people have treated you is absolutely wrong and many of the things you describe are absolutely shameful behavior on these people's parts. Your description of knowing dental problems were caused by dentists and the trust issues it brings, being afraid to speak up, wishing to go back in time, and being ashamed, all really resonate with me. You have had some remarkably similar experiences to me, I have also had, over the years, a mishapen filling that trapped food and couldn't be cleaned, and the situation of only being able to close my teeth in front, in my case a combination of jaw joint inflamation from an infected tooth and orthodontic problems, a chunk of enamel break off after a cleaning, and been pushed for veneers which the dentist then admited I didn't need when I pressed her. I have also had an orthodontist file enamel off lots of my teeth without saying anything to me which has ended up causing me problems, and lots of other side effects from orthodontics gone wrong, and sold as mild and harmless when it was anything but. I have so many more of these stories, I could spend an hour typing them all out. I'm really sorry your current dentist has issues, and you have had such bad experiences with different dentists. If you ever want to try a different dentist again, maybe you could find one through this website that would actually be better. Some people on here really seem to like or trust their dentists, and seem to be 100% satisfied with them. I hear you that it is even hard just to find one that is polite, patient, or willing to give explanations. Right now I am kind of finishing up a big bout of treatment, I think I will get a break for a while, though I have a lot of unusual wear going on that I have been told is going to need work so I know that is looming ahead, but I am grateful that a break should be coming soon, I hope. I really hope things get better for you and your situation improves, and am very sorry you are having to deal with this.