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First dental appointment in 8 years .. can't cope with the thought!

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beech23

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
37
Location
London
Hey guys,

I dont even know where to start. I have been a lurker in this forum for a long time, admiring those facing their dental woes but thinking I will never join them!

My teeth are a complete and utter state, disgusting! I am ashamed beyond words of how bad I have let them go. I have lost a couple of teeth, several have cracked down to the jaw line and some are sensitive. I always try not to smile because they seem discoloured aswell.

Until December there was no evidence of my front teeth being in danger. However a couple of days before Christmas I felt my gums above my front left tooth(and the one to the left of it) seem red and swollen around the tooth. This has now continued over my four front teeth. I spent Christmas in bed telling my family I felt sick but in reality I was just stressed and terrified that 1 - my teeth might fall out and 2 - I would have to see a dentist. I was so consumed with fear I just locked myself away in my room. I have not really ate much either since noticing this - just incase my teeth cant handle it. I eat a little every day but I have lost over a stone since noticing this. I am so so so terrified a front tooth falls out!!!

I live away from home for work, so when I got back to work in Janurary this constant worry and stress followed me. I am a teacher and could literally not face work if something was to happen my teeth. Anyways after worrying away Christmas, losing the weight and just feeling sick with stress two weeks ago I finally found the strenght to pick up the phone and call a dentist.

I had wanted to say so much on the phone, explain I had not been to the dentist in so long .. say how nervous I was .. just so many things. But I seriously struggled to get the basics out to make the appointment. Once it was done I just collapsed in tears of both worry for the appointment but relief that first part had been done. I also feel like, because I am a NHS patient the dentist may not have time to be very understanding. How do I communicate how nervous I am when I get there?

Anyways, the appointment is Friday now. Thats 44 hours away and I am just sick, down right sick at the thought of it. I know I need to go. I need to face this. I feel like how will I get through a teaching day tomorrow and Friday with this stress but on the other hand I am so afraid a tooth comes out I am saving a sick day for that :s

However the dentist in my household growing up was always almost taboo. My dad was terrified of the dentist and would not go. As a 11 year old I had a terrible experience getting gassed for teeth out where my mum had told me I was going to a show and ended up taking me to a dentists and already I was in the room on the chair being held down to gas for extractions before I realised what was going on. At 16 I found the courage to go back to the dentist, however the dentist was quite short with me and critical of my teeth. (I cant believe how worse they have got since then :s ) After that experience I decided I would never go back, however the time has come.

I have recently moved to a new city and live alone. I havent many friends here yet and no support. Noone I can ask to come. My boyfriend doesn’t live close enough to be here and just doesnt understand the fear, he has no idea how bad my teeth are and thinks its to help me so why am I so nervous. I think he is losing patience with me over this whole thing.

And so I turn to you guys to get me through the next hours to my appointment. I know it will just be an assessment and the start of a long road. But I need it to start before I go crazy with worry.
 
lastchance

lastchance

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
38
Well done on making an appointment! That is such a big step :)
Hopefully you've found a nice dentist who you can trust, my dentist is nhs and he's nice. The first assesment wont last long and the feeling of relief and pride after is amazing. Your in absolutely the right place here, everyone understands how your feeling.
Good luck for Friday. I'm having some extractions tomorrow under GA, I've booked a few days off work so I'll probably be on here quite a bit :)
The first step can be the hardest and you've done that so well done again!
 
carole

carole

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Jan 5, 2012
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Location
UK
You could try e-mail your dentist and explain how you feel just how you have done on here. What did the receptionist sound like when you phoned or were you too nervous to notice. I think you might find that dentist have changed.
I am an NHS patient and I felt the same as you. I asked the receptionist if the dentist I was seeing was good with phobic patients and she said not to worry, he was and I would be fine. When I went in the room where the dentist was before I went near the chair I stood in the doorway and said I am so nervous and terrified and I want to get my teeth done but I am frightened to near death. He smiled and said okay come and have a seat. I sat on the chair with my legs to one side and feet still on the floor while he took my address and other details they need to know like what tablets you might be on and such like.
Then came the moment when he wanted to look in my mouth, I asked him if he could look without prodding my teeth with the probe, he said yes and that he would just use a mirror. I sat in the chair feet up and he looked, he was very careful and went around my teeth while the assistant made notes of what he was saying. The appointment ended with him giving me antibiotics for an infection. I had to return for a tooth out and a root canal. Which I did shaking like a leaf but he was so good, he was very gentle and kind and went at my pace. I have to go in June to have a crown on the rc tooth and I'm slightly nervous but I am glad to be going. If you don't feel comfortable you don't have to have anything done. He might just give you antibiotics because you sound as if you have an infection.
You will feel like you are walking on air when you have been.
I wish you good luck for Friday. Hope this helps.
I will say I never felt a thing at all on any of my visits.
I know it's hard but try not to worry.
 
Aldridge

Aldridge

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Mar 21, 2011
Messages
348
Location
Somerset UK
Hi beech23, you've done brilliantly already...picking up the phone to make an appointment is a big hurdle to us. Your early dental history sounds just like mine. I would just like to say to you that, following a total lack of dental surgery visits three times longer than yours:redface:, I found a really nice NHS dentist (recommended by a friend). I didn't actually have to say one word about being scared witless. The fact that I froze in the doorway was a giveaway! Since then, we have moved to a different area and I have a second really kind NHS dentist. I think the compassionate ones will pick up on your feelings without you having to go into lengthy explanations. The first dentist I saw said I didn't even have to sit in the chair if I didn't feel able to. Just that sort of consideration gives you more confidence straightaway. Thinking of you...but sure you will be just fine...and feel so good afterwards!:D
 
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beech23

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Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
37
Location
London
Thanks for the support :)

I am now completely freaking out. Only one work day left and less than 24 hours! Ahh never before have I such dreaded a Friday! I want to not show but I know I have too.

The receptionist seemed very matter of a fact, had trouble understanding my accent as I did hers. I was just so nervous I was probably not making much sense. I couldnt face calling another practise though, so I am going with this one. The dentist is a guy around my age (from what I can take from their webpage). I just pray he is an understanding patient soul.

I am so so terrified for tomorrow, I cant eat dinner tonight at the thought of it. In some ways I just want it over and done with and the terrible verdict given. In other ways I could just do with some more time before going. I so wish I had a friend in this city to take with me.

I had a thought today - does dentists let you listen to your ipod or something similar if they examine you mouth? I don't think I can bare hearing his judgements as they are happening!

And how long is it generally after the initial appointment to the treatment begins?!

Cant believe its tomorrow :s TOMORROW !! ah!
 
lastchance

lastchance

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
38
It could be worth asking about your ipod. Obviously at the end he's going to need to discuss your treatment.
I am the same as aldridge, in that my nhs dentist is wonderful and I never had to explain myself. He picked up on my fears and coaxed me through my appointments.
Just think this time tomorrow you'll have done it, another big step out of the way!
Remember that you are in charge, not easy I know, and if you don't like him you can try someone else. I had to wait a couple of weeks for my first real appointment, but I assume that varies.
Good luck and try and distract yourself this evening.
 
Carys

Carys

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Jan 24, 2012
Messages
849
Location
England, UK
Hiyer beech23,

I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you, and feel for you, as I am going through something very similar to you. I am slightly one step ahead though, as I have just got back from an appointment. I have been told my worst fear, that I need a wisdom tooth removed from decay and there are some other 'patches of decay' on another tooth showing on the xray. Also, needing crowns replaced at the front. (though that doesn't worry me too much)

I have literally spent today and yesterday deep in fear, alternating between wanting to cancel the appointment, hyperventilating and feeling a weeny bit fired up about finally facing my fear. It is a deep desperate fear as if you would rather live with teeth rotting, and the associated pain than even set foot in the dentist's room. I last went to the dentist about 1 1/2 to two years ago, so not as long as you, and I don't have your awful background in terms of bad home experiences...but I have severe anxiety issues and this is one of the strongest triggers.

I am also new to the practice I have gone to, this is my second time there in 2 weeks and already I am getting a really good feeling about the dentist I have chosen. I think liking the dentist and trusting them are going to be critical in my ability to deal with my fear; and so I reckon you should really go from your instinct about whether you like the dentist when you meet him tomorrow. Also, my dentist seems to be happy to let me take things at my own pace and didn't seem too concerned that I rushed in to getting anything done and let me decide what I wanted to do first.

If you want to talk via PM I am happy to do so, and share some of what we are going through together.

Take care

Carys
 
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starladustangel

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
28
I also went 8 years without a dental appointment until a few weeks ago. My anxiety was very high before my initial consult. The worst part was making the appointment and having the initial consult. Once the consult was over and I knew what needed done I felt so much better. I had my second visit this morning. I had gotten 2 cavities over the past 8 years that needed filled. One needed a fairly large filling. I also had an old filling that needed replaced. I'll be honest, I still felt very sick to my stomach this morning going in for the fillings. But my dentist is so nice. My mouth was numbed for the procedure and she kept asking if anything hurt. And amazingly nothing did. It was uncomfy holding my mouth open for so long but it didn't hurt. I am still numb three hours after the appointment. I have two more appointments for scaling and root planing and I know I am going to have very high anxiety before I go in but I also know that I will be able to push through and get it done. I had my husband in the waiting room for moral support which helped a lot.
 
starryblu

starryblu

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Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
46
Location
north carolina
hi beech,

i am so sorry to hear how distressed you are! as it has been said, that was a huge step making the appointment! that has always been very hard for me too. so feel proud of yourself for that :)

don't feel bad about how upset you were before hand. i have had times where i spent several days in bed sleeping, from the fear of needing to make an appointment. i do much better now. hopefully it will be the same for you!

i can tell you some things that helped me face that first appointment. i have been very much like you! if you feel up to it, calling back and talking to someone, even if just the receptionist may help. i found just letting someone at the office know how afraid i was really helped. i've never had anything but positive results from doing so. i've even gone to the dentist's office ahead of time when i was able. it helped me, knowing where i would be. if the dentist was available, i would speak to him, and just tell them that i was a phobic patient. i think dentists hear a lot of those kind of statements, and will try to reassure a frightened person.

i did a lot of self talk ahead of time. things such as...i can get up and leave any time i want. the appointment will only be a short part of my day, over with quickly. i have even told myself i can bite the dentist if he hurts me. (that was just a silly statement to help me smile. i wouldn't bite anyone!) i always treat myself in some way afterwards, so i would think on that too. plan what my reward would be. maybe a latte at my favorite coffee shop. that helps to distract me a lot. and most of all, i would remember occasions that i was scared, and all went well. how proud i was of myself for surviving the appointment, how it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. because it wasn't! i've even written the affirmations i made to myself on a piece of paper, and kept them in my pocket. would take them out and look at them, or just feel my pocket to know that they were there. it was a comfort.

have you thought of making a list of questions? suggestions of what would make you more comfortable was also helpful for me. such as not laying my too far back, asking if they can stop if i just can't tolerate any more. just a note...i have never had to stop the dentist, but just knowing i could was a great comfort!

my dentist knows i'm a basketcase, i have told him from the beginning. having it said is a big relief for me as well. everyone has been informed, and will treat me with extra kindness.

i would definitely take your ipod! i had a dentist that actually kept headphones for nervous patients. i've only used them once, and was amazed at how much it helped. i could disconnect with what the dentist was doing, and concentrate on the music i was hearing.

i hope something i said helps a little. i know it's awful to be so scared. most of all, be good to yourself! do things that you enjoy today, eat a special dinner. call a friend. anything that makes you happy will help distract you. good luck!!
 
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beech23

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
37
Location
London
i cant thank everyone enough for their words!

I just can't focus tonight, me,myself and I in this flat and I am driving myself crazy thinking of tomorrow. I know it will be only an assessment and I know in the end all the work will be done but starting this journey is just crazy.

I haven't been able to eat proper with my teeth, but treating myself tomorrow when it is over is such a good idea! I think I will go get a massive hot chocolate with extra cream when its over =)

Isn't it crazy how this one fear can so consume our lives!
 
carole

carole

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It's not just you alone tonight, we are all here looking around.
Tomorrow curl up on the settee cuddle yourself in and think What a good girl/boy I am and bask in the smug and complete satisfaction that you've done it. Treat yourself to the biggest hot chocolate they have.
I'm sure if you keep posting on here somebody will answer you and keep you going tonight.
All the best for tomorrow. You will feel like you've won the lottery and that a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
 
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Aldridge

Aldridge

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Mar 21, 2011
Messages
348
Location
Somerset UK
Carole's right, we're all rooting for you, and will be thinking of you tomorrow. Enjoy your hot chocolate! I always go for chocolate treats too...
 
Carys

Carys

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Jan 24, 2012
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England, UK
I'll be thinking of you too.....can't wait to hear that it is all done and dusted ! We will share your fear with you :) (mind, that perhaps should not be a smiley lol, maybe this is better :cry:)
 
carole

carole

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We all know we shouldn't but once in a while we need the comfort things. Be it food or drink. At heart we are all kids that just feel a little lost and vulnerable at dentist time. But we do it and then we celebrate on here.
 
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beech23

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Jan 25, 2012
Messages
37
Location
London
Aw thanks guys, you know I have spent the last hour just googling and self diagnosing myself. I hope I can take it however awful it is.

I will be so relieved to share with you all how it went, and the treatment to follow.

I am so glad I found this forum, and so many of us are facing this together, allbeit from our little corners of the world.
 
carole

carole

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Stop googling you'll scare yourself to death. It's best look around on here where it's safe and warm, and the facts are true. You might even be able to encourage somebody else in their hour of dread.
 
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beech23

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Jan 25, 2012
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Location
London
I read some of the success stories! How inspirational!
 
B

beech23

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Thanks for the thoughts, its over now. I don't even know how I feel about it.

I spent all day at work just being nervous. To the point I just needed it over and done with. I popped home after the last lesson and brushed my teeth and off I went on the bus. I couldnt find the surgery initially but I had left enough time to look around so it proved a good distraction in the minutes before. Anyways I arrived just on time, filled in the form and sat nervously in the waiting room. On the form there was an any other comments section and it was here I wrote about my nerves.

Not long after I was called into the dentist. I tried to explain to him that I was very nervous - and he seemed like polite and nice as did the dental nurse but he kinda kinda rushed me into the seat. Next thing I knew I was told they needed xrays (before I had even opened my mouth) and the dental nurse was putting some sort of rectangular thing into my mouth telling me to bite on it. I kept feeling like I was gonna throw up and tried to express the need for a break but she was telling just to bite. When she finally took it out I tried to ask what was going on and the next thing I knew she said it needed to go in again and it was being put in the other side.

When this was done the dentist did the chair back open up thing. I has asked to play my ipod and he was a little hesitant but agreed. I did not feel comfortable asking him not to use the pokey things so he did which just felt too much I guess. Anyways after the examination he kinda spoke directly to the nurse. He told her to show me cleaning and he just turned around to his computer and was typing away. I kinda felt like, hello?

The nurse was nice enough, like in a polite way. She told me I needed to buy an electric toothbrush and told me they sold them. Then she showed me how to brush. Like as if she was talking to a kid. Then she told me I NEEDED to use interdental brushes and told me to look in a mirror while she showed me how they worked. I said I didnt want to look in the mirror and she said I really needed to be using them so I agreed. Next thing I know she was poking at my gums with them and my mouth just filled with blood it felt. And she went again and more blood. I just went into a daze. Then she had me mouthrinse. Then the dentist finally started to talk to me. He said my teeth are in bad condition for my age. And that I needed to make an extreme effort with cleaning them with force. He said if they bleed in cleaning it was a good thing?? Then I asked have I gum disease and he said yeah, but in like a matter of fact way, like I should have knew already? Then I asked him if I would need antibiotics for the infection and he said no. He perscribed me a special toothpaste (Duraphat - anyone use it?) and mouthwash and that was it. He said my gums where inflammed. He then said that I had roots of teeth that had fallen out in my gums that would need to come out. And he would refer me to the hospital for this. I literally nearly fell down. I asked if we could start with smaller work. He said he recommended trips to the hyginest (two trips the first in two weeks) and then I could book an appointment with him and he would reaccess my teeth. He also said he would come look at my teeth when I came to their hygienest and he would be able to tell if I had been cleaning properly. So again I asked him for a long term plan and he said well in two weeks I get cleaned, then again in another two weeks. So far thats it. He said I would need fillings. And restorative dentristy but that was more a mumble than directly to me. I am just so confused. I feel like I need action now if I am to keep the confidence to see this through. Not having to go see another stranger open up my mouth and have the cleaning go.

I told him I was so afraid of losing my front teeth and he said they would be okay as long as I started to clean properly. He kept saying the pressure was on my to clean properly before we can go any further. I feel like I always have cleaned to the best of my ability and I just dunno now. There is probably more tell that I will remember later.

Anyways after this I went out to the desk to make my hygienest appointment and was told I would have to pay for this which is fair enough. The receptionish then presented me with the electric toothbrush I had forgotten about. It cost £50 which the nurse had mentioned. But then the receptionist charged me £71. I was too in a daze to query. Also in the bag was interdental brushes. They cant have cost much thought? So I am guessing they must have charged the NHS band 1 price for the appointment aswell? Wish I had found my voice to ask.

Then off I went to the chemist to get the mouthwash and toothpaste described. The chemist told me such as thing as the perscribed mouthwash didnt exist and gave me another but told me it was cheaper to buy it then pay the perscription charge for it.

By this point I just wanted home. Wishing to be on this forum. So finally I get home, still tasting blood in my mouth so I skip the hot chocolate treat. I have just opened my toothbrush to find its a two pin plug so I cant even use it unless I get an adapter. Is this normal?

Ahhh I just dont even know what I feel now its over. But I am so glad I have you guys to turn too!
 
carole

carole

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I don't like your dentist. Seems not interested in you, too rushed and rude to the point of ignoring you. It got me shaking just reading about this, these kind of trips to the dentist create phobics, it makes me so mad.
The toothbrush they sold you is over priced, Oral B is one of the best makes and is a quarter of the price you paid. They have been on half price offers. Also I don't know what make it is but you have to replace the brush heads every three months.
I don't know what kind of interdental brushes they have given you. If they are the bristle ones they don't cost a great deal either.
I use wisdom interdental brushes and they are silicone so kinder and easier to use. I am so sorry for you having to deal with this attitude today from what seems like the whole practice.
Seems to me they were more interested in selling you their products than your welfare. I would forget these people and go to another dentist.
You have a right to stop a dentist at any point of treatment and that goes for the nurse and anybody else for that matter.
On a lighter note you went and got through it. Dentists that I have had have always told me the best thing for your mouth as a rinse is warm salt water. It's always worked for me.
I don't know where abouts in UK you are but if you have Asda the wisdom interdental brushes cost £3.00 for a pack of 20, sometimes there are offers on and you can get 2 pks for £4.00. You can also get some by corsodyl my sister uses this make.
I always look for offers for my elec toothbrush heads too so they come cheaper.
The gum disease he is refering to is not an infection that you would treat with antibiotics, like you thought. If you get some flossers (which are easier to use than floss string) and gently do between your teeth this will help clear your gums up. Do not force it between though.
The plug you need to charge your toothbrush can be bought also from a supermarket or elec shop, you need a shaving plug, this will plug into your normal socket and the charger plugs into that.
Sorry for the long post but I feel so angry at the way you were treated. You are so brave to have done it, I wouldn't have even sat in the chair. So feel very proud of yourself.
Try cheer up a bit, I know it's hard but you don't have to go back. Nasty Nasty man.
Hope you feel better soon.
If you do go back to see him he might be a bit more civil. Please don't give up on your teeth though, don't let this experience put you off. Hugs send and sympathy.
My sister is prescribed that toothpaste that you were and she says it is the best, she won't use anything else, you can only get it on prescription from a dentist.
 
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