• Dental Phobia Support

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first dental visit in years

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toothsome

Junior member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
11
Hi all,

I cannot remember the last time I went to the dentist. My mother stopped taking us sometime when I was in middle school I think? I honestly can't remember. I did have an orthodontist for a while in high school, but can't remember whether there were dental visits mixed in with that as well. My oral hygiene has been terrible for most of that time, mostly due to depression and then just bad habit. Mostly I just didn't think about going to the dentist, would consider a niggling fear in the back of my mind, and just push it away.

Recently however, my work has required me to be in frequent contact with dentists and dental offices. This has awakened an anxiety in me that I didn't realize I had. In a way, it's probably good, because it prompted me to schedule my first dental visit in over a decade...but now it is only 20 days away and I just terrified. Literally all I think about all day long is my teeth. I can see several cavities in my mouth, and a hard white bump on my gums, and I am constantly running through scenarios that become worse and worse with each passing day. I am terrified that they are going to tell me that I need to pull basically all of my teeth, or that I need many root canals, etc. My main fears are the cost associated with it, but also the embarrassment, like if my dentist will chastise me or something. I think that is the main reason I continued the avoidance from my childhood.

I know ultimately this will be a better situation once I deal with it, and truthfully, since I began working with these dentists my oral hygiene has improved drastically and I know going to the dentist will be good for me. I am just so scared that it is going to cost me more than I can afford, that they might tell me there are very expensive procedures that I must do immediately, and that my teeth are just a terrible mess, especially considering that even from what I can see on my own I count at least 8 cavities.

In the meantime, I am having terrible dreams about my teeth, falling asleep worrying about them... it is affecting my work and my relationship with my spouse because of my fixation. I spend so much time at work looking up cavity symptoms, cost of procedures, etc. And I am constantly in a terrible mood because of all the brooding. I think I will probably feel a little better once I get it over with, and wanted to get an earlier appointment, but the place I called was all booked up for February. I just need to figure out how to cope for the next few weeks before my appointment...

Thanks for reading a kind of long and anxious post!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
Hi toothsome,

welcome and a huge well done for plucking up the courage to make the first appointment! Being more obsessed with the anxiety and with teeth is normal in this stage. It's a part of the mental preparation for the visit and will calm down. You are conquering your fear so now all the negative voices and worries scream much louder than normally (basically your mind is trying to convince you to let the whole issue go and to not even try). I remember a stage of very intense anxiety and almost depression weeks before my first appointment and I wonder how I managed not to get fired from my job and not to lose my relationship. Things will calm down sooner or later and this forum hopefully helps you with that.

It is very probable that you won't need nearly as much treatment as your anxiety ist telling you.The most nervous patients assume that they need much more treatment than they really do. You can see in the success posts here and even dentists say that (my one does and the lovely dentists here on the forum too. I don't have a quote handy right now but just take it as a fact;))

I understand your worry about the costs and this is a big one. The important thing to keep in mind: you are in control, it's your treatment and your teeth and your dentist is your partner / provider / the person who works with you. You are included in the treatment and you will have options. Your dentist will tell you what needs to be done and then, you will discuss the options and how to manage it financially. You can start with the most necessary treatment first and then spread the rest so that you don't have to do all at once. There are no procedures you MUST do immediatelly. There might be procedures YOU CHOSE to do imediatelly or the dentist RECOMMENDS you to do as soon as possible. But you always have options.

All the best and keep us posted and if you find yourself going insane, just write it all down here, it really helps (the journal section here was the only reason I survived the time before my first appointment and the time between further appointments)
 
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Zoidberg444

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
42
Location
UK
I hope it all goes well for you. I'm sure that a lot of dentists offer a method of payment plans and can prioritise work, especially if you need multiple appointments. I recently had my first proper dental exam since 2006. My teeth were in a dire state and I was convinced I was going to loose them all and I only need to loose 5 and a few fillings and my gum disease is still reversible. I'm sure your mouth isn't as bad as mine is.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
783
Location
United Kingdom
I agree with others I am sure your teeth are not the worst the dentist has seen. well done for the courage of sorting out going to the dentist. Remember to tell them you are scared/worried (if you are)

Good luck
 
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