• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

First dentist appointment ever booked but dreading the outcome

S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
Hi, I'm 21 and have currently never been to the dentist. I'm sure I've got advanced peridontitis caused by plaque and eroded teeth, and that's before any cavities etc. I was not good to my teeth when I was a lot younger, and although I have taken good steps in the last couple of years to preserve the teeth, the damage is already done. I'm sure my teeth are weak and mostly tartar/plaque. That alone is enough to make me anxious to see the dentist.

I have booked an initial examination appointment on the 12th which will probably involve X-rays. But I really am dreading it. Mostly because of the peridontitis, I've decided to speed ahead with the first appointment with a private dentist, but I dread both finding out what work is required (worried not only about the thought of periodontal surgery but about extractions/dentures/implants/braces etc) and how much that work will cost with said dentist (1000+ GBP?). I do move location in about 9 months where a NHS-accepting dentist is available, but I felt like I couldn't leave being seen to for that long otherwise the peridontal pockets and gum recession will get worse etc. The dentist I chose is one that is said to be very good with anxious patients, so in that respect it should go OK, but I'm not looking forward to the aftermath. I'm also due to be taking very important exams at the end of January and am worried about the build up of stress from the outcome.. :cry: I was brave to make an appointment and am looking forward to plaque removal to be honest, but I am scared for the next steps (actual procedures) and about whether I could/should move onto NHS treatment if all of the work I'm said to need is incredibly extensive..
 
Last edited:
Carys

Carys

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
849
Location
England, UK
Well Done on taking that really brave step! Look, I don't know what condition your teeth and mouth are in, but I know that it is surprising how much can be assisted and reversed. I had gum disease with some bad recession about 6 years ago, but a good clean and a very proactive regime of daily oral hygiene and though - in my case - (im much older) then recession and gum disease is halted (no bleeding since that date). I have had 5 years now of no gum problems, with regular hygienist visits.
You say 'advanced peridontitis' , but even if you are at the point of damage to the supporting tissues of the teeth, there are many treatments nowadays that don't mean you will lose teeth. You sound like you are pretty sure of the need for extensive serious work - but wait until the dentist has been seen before coming to that conclusion, you may be right, but in a fearful state are imagining worse than it might be. You have listed peridontal surgery, extractions, implants, braces, fillings, dentures ...and every manner of intervention...but you are only 21 and have tried to work on your dental hygiene for a couple of years...so really all of those things needed would be really unlikely.
I know you are concerned about the cost of said treatments that might be needed, most private practices have dental plans, and that could be a better way to pay joining one of those. If there is extensive work needed, then it will can be done at a decent timescale and not all in one go.....so the most urgent can be prioritised and slowly slowly catchy monkey for the rest. The dentist will advise you on the treatment plan, and then you can decide what you want to tackle, or what to leave for the moment.
I've not transferred back to the NHS from private, I've done it the other way, but I'm sure somebody else will come along who has done so.
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
Hi Carys,

Thank you for your response.. My main concern is with those two aspects of dental health. I know you said your recession was "bad". My recession regarding most teeth is probably "acceptable" (that could change with SRP/deep clean treatment, which can cause gum recession during healing) for peridontitis, but there is one front bottom tooth which makes me absolutely panic. Its recession is what I deem "bad", although worse pictures crop up reasonably often on Google Search. I fear only a gum graft might save it, and failing that, extraction with denture, or maybe it's so bad it's completely absolutely untreatable. :cry: I have no idea if the gum under can even be cleaned at the peridontist surgery. I think I could even have been too late to the dentist if I had gone exactly a year ago. I also fear for bone losses which could mean I get partial dentures before I turn 22.

I'm only 21 but it's difficult to feel better about that when I was never on the correct path to start with, even as a teenager under parental care, which flares up the idea of catastrophic bone losses, peridontal pockets etc.
It's going to be a long week ahead :(
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
Three days to the appointment and I'm preparing myself for a life with partial dentures.. those Xrays will tell all. :(
 
Carys

Carys

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
849
Location
England, UK
Hiyer,

Why a denture? (Even IF extraction is needed) Why not a bridge, which fills the gap with a tooth and connects to other teeth nearby.

There are three main types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional bridges
  • Cantilever bridges
  • Maryland bonded bridges

I too had terrible recession on one front tooth, partly because my front ones are a bit crooked and this one leans out slightly. Once the swelling from the gum problem was solved, and it was cleaned under the gum line, the gum gradually came back more in place. Whilst it is clearly still receeded, it is healthy and static now. Maybe yours could be like this?

Stick with your choice to go there.....this will be a really hard few days....but it will be worth it in the end to start the process of gaining your confidence and health.
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
Ill be here waiting to hear how you get on :)
Yesterday at the dentist I was straight up about my whole situation. She gave me BPE grades for my mouth - the front bottom teeth with gum recession got a 3 but she explained that it was to her a "pseudo-3" caused by gum swelling. This means the gum disease there is likely to be reversible with a very good scrape-and-polish, which we ended up doing in the same session (I tried it first). We did X-rays beforehand. I coped with it all because I bought along my fidget cube. During the cleaning I was absolutely clicking and squeezing the hell out of it. I was told I didn't need anything else - not even a follow-up deep clean - and that was it. I have a follow-up appointment on April 6th.

My teeth have never looked better, just a bit sensitive in spots. I'm no longer envious of those with white teeth.
I want to trust her opinion about the recession, but "misdiagnosis" on the one tooth I discussed with you could end up being a huge, incurable problem. If it helps, she was the head of the practice. I wonder if I should seek a second opinion once my gums have had time to heal from cleaning?
 
Last edited:
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
636
Location
US
Hey, congratulations for going!

You did very well: making an appointment, going to it, being honest with, enduring difficult situations, articulating your needs, taking prompt action, and now being willing to ask for a second opinion.

My advice is to absolutely get a second opinion. You'll find out that either: (a) the first diagnosis was confirmed or (b) you'll get another data point about your situation.

Well done. Really really great.
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
I'll see if I can get something booked after my exams. Thanks Dg :)
 
Carys

Carys

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
849
Location
England, UK
I told you it likely wouldn't be as bad as you thought, and not as serious and it sounds like you'd built things up to a massively worse level in your mind! I'm really pleased you got there, and pleased at the outcome. I'm not sure why she would misdiagnose you, especially if she is a senior staff member there. I mean if you do have a problem it would be in her interests to treat you - financially lol So, am I reading this right, you havent had a full clean and scale of the whole mouth ???
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
I told you it likely wouldn't be as bad as you thought, and not as serious and it sounds like you'd built things up to a massively worse level in your mind! I'm really pleased you got there, and pleased at the outcome. I'm not sure why she would misdiagnose you, especially if she is a senior staff member there. I mean if you do have a problem it would be in her interests to treat you - financially lol So, am I reading this right, you havent had a full clean and scale of the whole mouth ???
I blame Google for building up my anxiety - my mental health did suffer quite a lot post-xmas, so I'm glad I can give my mind a rest and prepare for exams.

I think I would need referring to a true peridontist if I needed peridontal surgery. When I made the appointment I did ask about deep cleans and the receptionist said it's possible to have them done there. But no, I have not had a "full clean and scale" if it implies a under-the-gum cleaning. I just had the plaque and yellow tartar resting on my gums removed. It's only been a couple of days but my gumline already appears more pink, especially on the front bottom teeth. Still keeping an eye on that one tooth though.

I think the idea is in April she will recheck those pockets, because she suspected they were caused by gum swelling of gingivitis than genuine peridontitis.

This whole experience has made me realize that I really do want to keep my natural teeth, and that I couldn't go on like I was about six months ago - eg fizzy drinks, acidic drinks, sugary snacks, not flossing. I was amazed I didn't have cavities. I want to keep it that way!
 
Carys

Carys

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
849
Location
England, UK
I liken to your position to the one I was in...hence why I thought it wasn't going to be as bad as you imagined. (especially at your age!) I also didn't need referral and all cleaning was done at the dentist, the plaque was all reached and the pockets checked periodically for a couple of years. With sustained cleaning, use of teepee and floss all is good and pockets reduced. In my case, at my age (49) I did the damage for longer and I will never have the recession reduce now (and I was a smoker in those days) but the gums are healthy. I think I would now concentrate on your studies and not give a further thought till April to your teeth (apart from cleaning well):giggle:.
 
S

shef96

Junior member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
16
I liken to your position to the one I was in...hence why I thought it wasn't going to be as bad as you imagined. (especially at your age!) I also didn't need referral and all cleaning was done at the dentist, the plaque was all reached and the pockets checked periodically for a couple of years. With sustained cleaning, use of teepee and floss all is good and pockets reduced. In my case, at my age (49) I did the damage for longer and I will never have the recession reduce now (and I was a smoker in those days) but the gums are healthy. I think I would now concentrate on your studies and not give a further thought till April to your teeth (apart from cleaning well):giggle:.
Glad to hear the pockets finally sealed themselves up :) I thought that gum lost is "forever" lost without surgery unfortunately. Very glad I'm not a smoker because I think I'd have lost at least 3 teeth by now. :(

Just an update: My gums on the bottom teeth still look healthier, although they're still deeper pink than the gum on the top teeth. Last night I was worrying about dental health again. I feel like I want to see the dentist much sooner than April because I've become worried again about gum recession, requiring gum grafting, overall prognosis and how it might affect future commitments (eg graduate life combined with dental surgery). At the same time, I really need to get on with revising for Masters level exams. All I keep thinking as well is that I should've dragged myself to the dentist a really long time ago (3 years would've been good). Never mind :cry:
 
Top