• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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First appt in 6 years tomorrow!

N

nc0402

Junior member
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
10
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks to all the support on this site, I finally made a dentist appointment for the first time since 2012. The dentist had hundreds of good reviews (being compassionate, etc) and the receptionist on the phone was kind. But I'm still really nervous! I know I need major work due to possible periodontitis and bad bottom front teeth. I guess I just don't want them to shame me. I thought about writing down a list of my concerns to bring with me, has anyone done that?

I'm also getting a cleaning done first before I see the actual dentist so I think I might write down what areas I'm concerned about so the hygenist knows. I'm really concerned about my bottom front teeth being loose once she removes all the build up that's behind them. Has anyone ever had that worry?

While I'm still so nervous, I'm excited to finally get this journey started tomorrow!
 
It sounds like you are doing everything right.

Anxiety is normal, but I think you are setting yourself up for success.

Let us know how it goes.
 
Hey, congrats on having made an appointment! :)
Try not to think much of the needed treatment - showing up in a practice and the cleaning are the first next steps and there is no need to think any further yet. By the time you will get any treatment you will be familiar with the place and hopefully have built some confidence so that things will go much easier than you picture it now.

Bringing a list of your concerns is a great idea. It will help you to keep your thoughts sorted if you get too nervous to think clearly and for your dental team it will be very helpful to know what things you are worried about. I have done that too at my first visit.

It's also a good idea to tell your hygienist what areas you are concerned about so that she can put you at ease and be particularly careful about that areas.

It's great that you are ready to tell your dental team where your fears are, they need to know that in order to help you. I am sure they won't shame you - this is one of the basic fears and the reason to put off visits and every dentist used to treat nervous patients knows that and will do his or her best to make you feel comfortable.

All the best and keep us posted! :)
 
Hi there! How did your appointment go?
 
Meant to update earlier, but it's been a crazy past few days! Sunday night of all nights I somehow got food poisoning and I still wasn't feeling so great Monday morning and I didn't want to throw up at the dentist's, so I had to call and reschedule. Luckily, they were very understanding and actually had another appointment open for the next day!

So Tuesday after work, I went! When I got there, the reception area had a massage chair, which was pretty useful to help calm my anxiety down a bit. Then the receptionist gave me a tour of the practice and gave me a new patient "goodie bag", which was a tote bag, water bottle, and lip balm that had the practice's name on it.

The warm welcome definitely helped me calm down so that I wasn't freaking out when I met the hygienist. Definitely felt a bit nervous actually sitting in the chair at first. The hygienist just chatted with me first and was friendly, while I listed my dental history and concerns. Then she said that she would just check things out and do x-rays before deciding whether to do a cleaning.

X rays....so my mouth is on the smaller side so I've always found x rays pretty uncomfortable and this time was no exception, but the hygienist was good at talking me through it. I did have one minor freak out though, when I had to bite and hold the x ray thing in the front and it broke off some of the built up calculus behind my front bottom teeth, but I calmed down once I realized it wasn't actual tooth.

So after the x rays and the visual exam, she said I definitely have periodontal disease (which I had been preparing myself for to hear) and that she thought it would better to see the dentist instead of her trying to do a standard cleaning that might cause me pain.

The dentist came and he was probably even nicer than the hygienist if that was possible. Neither of them shamed me, they let me know that there was serious issues going on, but they also knew I chose to be there and to start this journey and they treated me as such. So I am really grateful for that. The dentist looking at the x rays and then examining my mouth was probably the most stressful part. Because even though I prepared myself about the periodontal disease and calculus and all the build up that he would say I have, my biggest fear was that he would say my teeth aren't salvageable and I would need to get a full set of dentures.

But to my great relief, he didn't say that! In fact, I don't need extractions--not a single one! I have a handful (like 4 or 5) cavities that will need fillings (but not root canals!). There's plaque, tartar, etc on the teeth that will need to be removed with a deep cleaning, but nothing crazy like holes or cracks in my teeth or totally dead teeth. The periodontal disease is pretty significant, but he said bone loss is minimal and that with getting treatment now at my age (I'm only 26), he believes there will be a lot of improvement and the gums can be resilient. I honestly could have almost cried happy tears at how optimistic (but realistic that it'll be a journey) he sounded.

So going forward, the next step is to consult with the practice's periodontist and focus on getting my gums healthier, so I have that appointment set up for next Tuesday! At some point, they will also want to schedule deep cleanings by quadrant, but they want to wait for the periodontist consult first.

The only stressful part now is that this practice doesn't take my insurance, but with proper budgeting, applying for Care Credit, using my tax refund, and taking things one procedure at a time, I think I will be able to do it. And honestly, I think going somewhere I'm comfortable is worth spending the $$$ vs being stuck at a pre-selected dental insurance approved dentist I'm not comfortable with.

Anyway, big thanks to this site as support and giving me the push to make this happen. I don't really talk to my friends/family about my dental issues, so it's nice to have somewhere to talk.
 
Amazing! :jump:

Thank you so much for updating us and sharing this lovely experience. A lot of users will be really reassured and thankful to read your story.

I believe that having the right dentist is essential and that it's really worth spending more money for that, if you can find any way to make it possible. It's your dental health, your ability to come back over and over again for checkups and cleanings and this is only possible with a dentist you fully trust and feel comfortable with.. and with a dental team that listens to you and respects your concerns ans worries.

You have made my day with this story, it's just lovely and worth reading over and over again to remind oneself of all the kind dentists and practices there are. :)

All the best for you and good luck on your further journey and it would be great to read from you again!
 
Hey! Congratulations.

I very much admire your courage. You did great.

I'm glad they treated you with dignity and kindness. You deserve it.

Also, congratulations on taking the difficult truth with dignity. Well done.

And, were I to be totally honest, your courage in the chair has inspired me to take some (non-dental, but still scary) action I've been putting off due to fear.

One more thing: while I have no idea what your experience will be, my periodontist and everyone I know's periodontists are really good. Not that we need to treat them like gods, but they are smart, dedicated people. Unless proven otherwise, I'd encourage you to expect good things from the periodontist.

Keep us posted!
 
"And honestly, I think going somewhere I'm comfortable is worth spending the $$$ vs being stuck at a pre-selected dental insurance approved dentist I'm not comfortable with. "


So happy for you and totally agree with the above statement.! I'm a single mom and have limited insurance coverage and I will gladly pay my dentist very fair and honest prices , thankfully they have a discount program you can get which helps.. I never ever have to question they are being so fair and honest in all they do!

It sounds llike you have a GREAT dentist and hygenist and that they are worth getting to know and keep them around for a while!! All the best with your work on this and journey!! Keep us updated!
 
I am SO happy your appointment went well, you found yourself a dentist who is compassionate and assuring, your teeth and gums are indeed fixable, and you can afford treatment! I know it’s still going to be nerve wracking and You have a bit ahead of you, but really you could not have asked for a better initial outcome in facing the fear of your first dental appointment. You’ll fix your issues a step at a time and then all you will need is maintenance cleanings going forward which will feel like nothing at all in comparison. Wow, good for you and WELL DONE! :)
 
Thanks everyone! I go back tomorrow for the consult with periodontist. Has anyone here has periodontal work done before? Not sure exactly what I'll need done (guess I'll find out tomorrow), but the thought of periodontal work definitely makes me more nervous than fillings or cleanings
 
Periodontal work? You have excellent chances.

Though my sample size is small (n=2, me and my niece), in my experience periodontist sare more specialized and professional than dentists-on the whole.

In other words, all sorts of people can become dentists, but to become a periodontist you really have to specialize, and really like gums.

Now, your mileage may vary, but in general, my experience with specialists (periodontist, podiatrist, etc) is better than the "average" dentist.

I hope this helps. I think you'll do fine. Just use and apply what you've learned here. Go in with a plan. It should be okay.

Keep us posted.
 
Well, just got back from the periodontist consult. He wants the hygienist to do a gross debridement first to get rid of the calculus before he takes the pocket measurements, so I scheduled that for Thursday. All this back and forth kind of sucks but it does mean that they are double checking and making sure everything's okay before they start really doing stuff in my mouth, so that's a good thing. They also helped me sign up for a discount plan, which is going to be super helpful. So the debridement will be $85 instead of like $200
 
Well, just got back from the periodontist consult. He wants the hygienist to do a gross debridement first to get rid of the calculus before he takes the pocket measurements, so I scheduled that for Thursday. All this back and forth kind of sucks but it does mean that they are double checking and making sure everything's okay before they start really doing stuff in my mouth, so that's a good thing. They also helped me sign up for a discount plan, which is going to be super helpful. So the debridement will be $85 instead of like $200

Awesome news on both fronts! Saving money is absolutely a very welcome surprise! Sounds like you’re in good hands. One appointment at a time, and all will be well.
 
Well done!

Hang in there. You're on your way, definitely.
 
Today I got my debridement done....it definitely was unpleasant despite them giving numbing gel, but I got through it! Had the same hygienist, which was great. It feels so weird to feel my bottom teeth now, like I keep running my tongue over the back of them. At first I thought they might be loose, but I think I'm just not used to actually feeling the tooth instead of build up. The hygienist said I actually do have nice teeth underneath, which felt good to hear. Now it's just a matter of taking care of the periodontal disease. I'm still nervous, but it's a relief to know there's a plan in place and that I have a dental team I can trust.
 
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