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Finally made first appointment

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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
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178
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UK
I'm 38 and haven't been to the dentist since my teens. But I finally made an appointment yesterday! It took me long enough. I first discovered this website a couple of years ago and was surprised to find so many people in similar situations and to learn that I may not actually be the worst case. But I still kept putting it off. I absolutely hate when the subject of dentists comes up among friends and would avoid it at all costs. I didn't want to ask for recommendations either. But I did some research online and found one whose website seemed very reassuring. I also hate making phone calls in general, but saw they had an email, so I drafted one that I left for days just waiting to press send. I kept telling myself to just press it, if I know I'm going to do it eventually, what am I waiting for?? But I just couldn't bring myself to. I finally pressed the button yesterday just when I left for work (nervous about the fact I would probably have to speak to them on the phone, but reminding myself I hadn't left my number so they wouldn't be able to call me). I felt so relieved, even though things could still work out horribly. There was a beautiful sunrise on the way to work which I viewed as my reward :) Within a couple of hours, I had a reply offering me an appointment next Friday afternoon. It just so happened that is the only time I'm free without changing plans in the next couple of weeks. So in just 2 emails an appointment was made. All that fuss all those years. I was actually much more nervous about making an appointment than of any treatment (especially after reading success stories etc here).
All day yesterday I wasn't even nervous, just so glad (and *almost* excited) to have finally done it.
Today I'm not quite freaking out, but getting quite apprehensive. Only a week and a half to wait ?

Thank you to everyone who has ever posted here, I definitely wouldn't have made the appointment otherwise. The fear of the unknown was debilitating, but it all feels a little more "known" now. Of course, I have no idea what's going to happen and I'll probably be petrified next week, but for now I'm patting myself on the back.
 
O

Okeedokee5

Junior member
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Nov 25, 2018
Messages
6
Congrats on making an appointment! I, too, finally got the nerve to book an appointment today after about 4-5 years of not going, and it’s for a cleaning this Saturday. I’m worried sick, but I know it’s important to do this!
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Congrats on making an appointment! I, too, finally got the nerve to book an appointment today after about 4-5 years of not going, and it’s for a cleaning this Saturday. I’m worried sick, but I know it’s important to do this!
Congrats to you too! Hope the cleaning goes well!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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What a lovely story, you have all the reasons to give yourself a pat on the back! :) Do keep us posted as you get on!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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I agree with the rest ! Congrats !! and that is the first and one of biggest steps. !! Awesome job!
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Thanks so much all for the support. I have friends that I know would probably be supportive too, but it's not something I would ever discuss out loud, so I don't give them the chance to be.

But so many stories I read here could have been written by myself, and many of them weren't as bad as they expected, so just maybe, I won't be a worst case scenario:dunno:

I'm really not looking forward to it, dreading what might need done, but trying not to overthink and just get it over with.

Thanks again!
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
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Done!

I was shaking when I got there (not helped by the bad traffic stressing me that I was going to be late), but didn't feel sick with nerves or anything like I expected.

I realise now that I was also nervous about having to explain why I hadn't been for so long and what exactly I was so fearful of (I didn't mention phobia in the email, just that I was extremely nervous). I was sure they wouldn't be horrible or judgemental, as they are meant to be good with nervous patients, but I expected more of a chat. Thankfully (for me anyway, I'm not generally the most open person, others might prefer to talk it out more) it was almost straight into the chair. Nothing was said about my no doubt obvious nerves, or when I last visited a dentist. He was just very nice.

He had a look and took x-rays and I went back to the waiting room and played a quick game of solitaire on my phone to give me something to do before being called back in. So, apart from needing deep cleaning, I have 3 teeth that are broken and decayed that will need root treatment. He said they could extract them if I wanted but that the root treatment would be the best choice. They first have to get NHS approval which could take a long time, so I just have to wait for them to contact me when they get it. I'll wait until then before getting nervous about that.

I'm so relieved that is out of the way and really wasn't bad at all, although I'm still in shock a bit. I was sure I would have really bad gum disease, and maybe I do and he's just not wanting to overwhelm me, but I do know that there shouldn't be any extractions, so I'm not overly anxious.

:sleepyjuice:
 
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Dg6300

Dg6300

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Oct 27, 2017
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627
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Bravo!

Such courage.

You are an example to us all.

Enjoy!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Congratulations :cheers::party:!!! Lovely to hear that he's very nice and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the suggested work will be approved, and that it won't take too long.

Thanks so much for the update and have a very Merry Christmas :Santa:! And do keep us updated!
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Bravo!

Such courage.

You are an example to us all.

Enjoy!
Thank you!

I don't feel much like an example, but am quite pleased that at least things are moving forward!

I'll be needing that courage soon enough. :frantic:
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Congratulations :cheers::party:!!! Lovely to hear that he's very nice and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the suggested work will be approved, and that it won't take too long.

Thanks so much for the update and have a very Merry Christmas :Santa:! And do keep us updated!
:thankyou: It was the same dentist who was on their website talking about nervous patients, so that put me at ease. It was one of the main reasons I chose that practice rather than one much closer to me, which would probably be fine too, but I needed one less thing to be worried about, so it's worth travelling a bit more. It's amazing how much power embarrassment and fear can have over a person. And how silly it is when you realise they're just doing their job and it doesn't really matter what they think, as long as they treat you well and don't make a fuss.

I've got a feeling it could be a long and not always pleasant journey, but I'd rather be on it than not :)

Thanks again!
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

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Oct 1, 2010
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In dental heaven
Well done on your success! All will be fine. A very Happy Christmas and New Year. Simon XX
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Dec 11, 2018
Messages
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I said I would wait until I heard back before getting nervous, but that's not going to happen!

One thing on my mind is that I keep reading that it's better to go private than NHS, but if I've to get root canal x3, plus who knows what else, I'm sure it would be far too expensive. It's a bit concerning that on the NHS it may not be as good quality, or care. But according to their website they do offer the same quality of service for private and NHS patients... same rooms, dentists and cutting edge technology. So whats the difference? I suppose one thing is that privately I wouldn't have to wait up to 3 months for approval. I did feel at ease with the dentist I saw, although I wasn't in there very long, but I was comfortable with him, and I know that's important.

Sorry, I don't really know what my question is. I think I'm just looking for reassurance that I'll be treated well, and I know no-one can answer that for sure till I get started!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi there,

I do not believe that the quality of NHS treatment is worse. There are a lot of posters here who have been with NHS for years and are happy with it. Gordon, the forum administrator and one of the kindest dentists I have ever read about worked under NHS (put in very simple words.. you can read his vita in the 'about us section' below to understand what I mean). Also Lincoln's practice (he is one of the forum dentists as well and also one of the kindest dentists I have ever read about, you him in the about us section too) provides NHS treatment as well and I cannot imagine anything else than a high quality. My dentist (who is, needles to say one of the kindest dentists I have ever met) also provides both, NHS and private treatment in his practice and I can't imagine any bad quality either.

What I believe is generally meant when it comes to NHS is that they get payed by the work done instead of time which makes them a bit more focused on keeping a balance between being productive and taking a lot of time. I have been through systematic desensitization with my dentist in the past. During this stage I needed a chat for about 15 minutes just to be able to get into the chair and then would need another 15 minutes to cope with something that usually only takes 5 minutes to get done. If he couldn't charge me by time then he wouldn't be able to give me so much time.

If you are happy with your dentist, then celebrate, there is no reason to doubt just because someone else had made bad experiences elsewhere.
 
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ReginaPhalange

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
Hi there,

I do not believe that the quality of NHS treatment is worse. There are a lot of posters here who have been with NHS for years and are happy with it. Gordon, the forum administrator and one of the kindest dentists I have ever read about worked under NHS (put in very simple words.. you can read his vita in the 'about us section' below to understand what I mean). Also Lincoln's practice (he is one of the forum dentists as well and also one of the kindest dentists I have ever read about, you him in the about us section too) provides NHS treatment as well and I cannot imagine anything else than a high quality. My dentist (who is, needless to say one of the kindest dentists I have ever met) also provides both, NHS and private treatment in his practice and I can't imagine any bad quality either.

What I believe is generally meant when it comes to NHS is that they get payed by the work done instead of time which makes them a bit more focused on keeping a balance between being productive and taking a lot of time. I have been through systematic desensitization with my dentist in the past. During this stage I needed a chat for about 15 minutes just to be able to get into the chair and then would need another 15 minutes to cope with something that usually only takes 5 minutes to get done. If he couldn't charge me by time then he wouldn't be able to give me so much time.

If you are happy with your dentist, then celebrate, there is no reason to doubt just because someone else had made bad experiences elsewhere.
Thank you, thank you! That's very helpful. It makes sense about the time. As long as the quality isn't low, I think I can handle that.

I had thought I would need lots of time to talk everything through, but I found that one of the things I was relieved about at the consultation was that I didn't actually have to "open up" (well, I did have to in a literal sense, but it was ok), it was straightforward and over fairly quickly, which I think in a way contributed to it feeling like less of a big deal in my own head, like it was something normal to him and therefore also to me. I think more attention on me may have made me more uncomfortable.

Of course, I could change my mind down the line, especially if it takes months to get anything done. But I waited 20+ years to take the first step, I'm sure I can be patient now. And I'm very pleased to have found somewhere that could take me on so soon, and to have a dentist (still feels strange to use that word after avoiding the topic!) that I'm sure will continue to put me at ease.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Oct 27, 2017
Messages
627
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US
I'm not sure how the NIH works, but I am very pleased to see you taking courageous action. Well done.

Patience is good. I also think you'll get some good luck, and things will happen quicker than you may expect.

Keep us posted. Keep doing what you're doing.
 
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ReginaPhalange

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Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
So... I had emailed the practice a couple of weeks ago to confirm some details about charges etc, but hadn't heard back. Until today.

I've to get 3 root canal treatments, a few fillings, and my hygiene/perio treatment. The one good thing is that the NHS price cap is for everything, rather than per treatment, so at least I know I won't get a shock or have to go into debt.

But it feels like a lot and that it'll take forever ? Not that it should surprise me after this long.

Perio treatment, that's not going to be fun, is it? Does that mean I have periodontis? If so, from what I read that can't be reversed? My bottom front teeth have gone from just having tartar behind them to being dark at the front in the last few weeks/months. Is it basically a deep cleaning and just hoping I don't eventually lose them?

They can start that sooner if I wanted to pay privately, if not it's a case of waiting for the NHS approval. I don't think it would be expensive but I'm tempted to wait to put it off. But I don't know if that'll just make it worse. Or maybe if I start making more of an effort (like actually flossing?), it could ever so slightly improve by the time I go?

Ugh, I should have gone 10 years ago! But don't look back, it's better than waiting another 10 years!
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Mar 27, 2006
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Hi Regina! :welldone:
Congrats on taking the first giant leap! What a wonderful way to enter into the New Year! The trick now will be pacing yourself and not allowing yourself to become too overwhelmed. As far as the order of treatment, people tend to start off with smaller/simpler things. This will help to build your confidence and give you time to establish rapport and a trusting relationship with the dental team. I would suggest trying to compartmentalize procedures (i.e. put each procedure in a “box” in your mind and number the boxes by what you want to deal with first...now only open the first box and store the rest away until it is time to open the next box).

Perio is probably a “deep cleaning.” In most cases, that is done in quadrants and you are numbed for it so you should never feel discomfort. This is done because the gums have come away from the teeth and developed pockets where bacteria can grow. Once the pockets are cleaned out it helps the gums heal and reattach to the teeth. As long there is not bone loss (which would cause your teeth to be loose) you can reverse the damage with this approach.

You should really take a moment and allow yourself to be proud of how far you’ve already come. Many would argue making the appointment and showing up is the biggest step so well done! I look forward to reading how you get on and being your cheerleader along the way! :cheer2::cheer:
 
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