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First dentist appointment in 4 years

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Sslss

Junior member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Loughborough
Hello, I’m just looking to get some support to help my confidence about going the dentist. I have my first appointment in 4 years tomorrow (I’m 22). I had a video consultation with a dentist a week ago, I sent in photos of my teeth and he said my teeth were in pretty good shape apart from some fillings that need replacing and tartar removes (never had this done). I’m scared that tomorrow when they do x rays they may find something more serious and I’ll need something like a root canal or even extractions. I grind my teeth in my sleep and the anxiety that the appointment is causing is making me do it more, I have some weird feelings in my teeth today that I’m sure is down to that. But I can’t help but worry. The dentist I’m seeing is a private one and is very experienced with nervous patients. I didn’t sleep that much last night and I don’t think I’ll sleep much today. I know after the appointment I’ll be so proud of myself for going but I can’t help but feel so extremely anxious, I’m scared to even eat any food and have zero appetite. Any advice people have of keeping calm before the appointment would be amazing. None of my family/friends have a dental phobia so they struggle to understand why I’m feeling like this, I cry and shake at the thought of going but I don’t want this to control my life anymore. I don’t have any pain in my teeth so I’m hoping this is a sign that nothing that serious has happened yet and that I have caught this early and the problems are an easy fix. I’m just scared of the unknown and having to have expensive and potentially painful/uncomfortable treatments. I feel so stupid for not maintaining regular appointments, hopefully this is a start to a good routine. Any advice would be so comforting.
 
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Magicianscotty

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Ohio
Hello! I am more than happy to help you with advice! I am in the same boat as you when it comes to dental anxiety... at least I used to be! I neglected my teeth as a child and a lot as an adult as well. So, your dentist saw the photos and said your teeth look pretty good. That's good sign number one. If your dentist says they look good, then they probably are!

Tartar removal typically does not hurt. Do you have sensitivity in your teeth or gums? Do you know?

First, let's talk about the X-rays. They're no big deal. Some of the angles they put the film device in your mouth are weird and awkward but not painful. If you have a strong gag reflex, do this... Lift your feet up off the chair, point your toes forward, and flex your abdominal muscles. This will help control the gag reflex.

Now, as far as what the Xrays will find, they might find something. I'm not going to beat around the bush here... You won't know until tomorrow. But I recommend looking at it this way, you have what you have and now you need to focus on getting it fixed. The sooner it gets fixed, the fewer problems will arise later. It's good you are going to get this done tomorrow. Don't worry about what you might have, let the dentist find out and then talk to you about it. Until then, take some deep breaths. As far as the grinding teeth, get yourself a mouthguard from your local Walgreens. It will help with that. :) I must also mention that if they do find something more serious with the X-rays, they might make another appointment to take care of it. So you can most likely relax with that.

After X-rays, they will most likely do something called Perio-charting. It's basically a small little measuring tool they use to measure the pocket depth. Ask for topical numbing jelly before they measure if they do say they're gonna do that. If they do the measuring, it's not bad. You will feel some pressure, maybe a little bit of poking but I promise nothing tear-inducing. The numbers you want to hear are 1-3s. They will give three numbers per tooth. The dentist will say something like Three two three. four three four... something along those lines. If you hear anything more than a 4, let us know. We can talk more about that if that comes up.

Here's what to do today, whenever you feel anxious, just breathe. Do the square breathing method. Take a deep breath in for five seconds, hold it for 5 and then out for 5, then hold for 5. Tonight, to help you sleep, work on flexing and tensing your muscles, each one from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Flex them each for five seconds and then release the tension. With each release, focus on that muscle relaxing. This is how guys in the US Army fall asleep within minutes. Breathe throughout the process. As you breathe in, take in all the worries and stress of the day, then as you breathe out, feel that tension melting out of you into the bed and away from your body.

In the morning, before the appointment, focus on breathing deeply. Really deeply. Put on your most comfortable clothes, get to the office early and use the bathroom. Then focus on breathing. Know that the dentist is skilled and has your comfort in mind. He knows what he is doing.

I'm proud of you that you are confronting this now and not waiting till later. After the appointment, you can eat almost right away except for any sugary treats or hot things. Wait 30min to an hour for that stuff. Get yourself to the store and buy a toothpaste called Perodontax. It will help control any bleeding. I also recommend Oral B Proglide floss (grey package), an Oral B electric toothbrush and a waterpik flosser. Those can greatly help. Any other questions, feel free to reply or direct message me. Good luck and remember to BREATHE! That's the most important thing.
 
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krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,898
Location
Minneapolis, MN
sslss,

:welcome: To DFC , glad you are hear and congratulations for making this appt and taking steps in your dental journey!! It takes alot of strength and courage in every step we do. You are in the right place with so many that understand dental fear and anxiety. I know its really hard to find someone who wants .... to talk dental fear and understands it. People seem to not really get or just want to hurry through the subject , when we really need to process it.


Glad you got to have a virtual meeting with your dentist to get a feeling for him before the in person. I guess that is a positive with the virtual, you can test and see his deameaner and how he treats you that is cool!

Sounds like Magician Scotty gave some great advice on breathing.. I know I focus on the deep breathing myself before the appt . also putting on comforting music on my drive over that will calm me.

I really hope you have a great appt tomorrow and things go very well !! Let us know how things go !! We are happy to talk about it and process it with you :)
 
S

Sslss

Junior member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Loughborough
Hi guys first off thank you for your kind words, it’s so nice to know that here you’re amongst people who get it and understand. I’m in the UK so it’s currently 6am and my appointment is in about 8 hours, I could do with getting a bit more sleep but my stomach is like a washing machine. I tried some of the deep breathing, I’m not too good at it, I have general anxiety anyway so I do try to focus on my breathing but sometimes I find it hard to stay focused. I think what’s scaring me the most today is a fear of the unknown, the dentist I had the virtual consultation with was the owner of the practise and I’ll be seeing a different dentist today but I’ve researched the practise and read loads of reviews and they sound like they are really great with people like me. I just want it over with now so I know what I’m dealing with and what’s going to happen next. If I need some treatment today I almost want to get it done if I can, I just think it will stress me out less if I have to have less appointments but not sure what they will do until I get there. My boyfriend has been so good, lots of cuddles when I start to work myself up and he’s been doing good to keep me calm(he is training to be a physicians associate so he should be sympathetic😂). The only thing I’ve noticed this morning is that I’m dry retching a lot (gagging) not sure if it’s cuz of the dry mouth from the nerves, but this is the problem I have with Xrays, in the past I have always gagged getting them done, I have a small mouth and really sensitive gag reflex, even brushing my wisdom teeth or cleaning my tongue sets me off. As soon as I start gagging I know I’ll get myself worked up because it’s embarrassing.
 
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S

Sslss

Junior member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Loughborough
It’s now an hour until my appointment and I feel physically sick! I genuinely feel like I can’t do this I’m so terrified! But I’m trying to be brave, I’ve managed to get a bowl of cereal down me but god knows if it actually stays down. Got so much running through my mind all the worst possible scenarios just playing out in my head and I can’t stop them, I’ve been trying to do deep breathing, downloaded an app to help which it does while I can focus on it but as soon as my mind drifts the anxiety and fear come straight back. I just can’t seem to keep control of my emotions which is making me more upset. I would give anything to not have this fear it is so consuming and I just want to be brave 😭😭😭
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,898
Location
Minneapolis, MN
The worst part is that drive over and going through the door... sooo nerve wracking.. imagine all of us there with you, knowing you had all the support . We are there with you in Spirit. I know it really is hard.. remember YOU are in control.. they are there for YOU.. you have the option to slow down, to leave , or do whatever you would like. I hope they are patient, kind and gentle as you process through this appt! You are doing everything right!! :grouphug:
 
S

Sslss

Junior member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Loughborough
I did it!!! And they were so kind and gentle, I have a broken tooth which she recommended some sort of specially made cap thing but that was £600 odd I said I couldn’t really afford that at the minute (moving house in a few weeks so a lot of my money so tied up with that) so she said she would just rebuild it but I will eventually need a cap on it to strengthen the tooth. I have another tooth that needs refilling I was more concerned with that one than she was she said it looked fine 😂, but I can cope with them as had fillings before. I’m going back in 2 weeks for a scale and polish (never had that done) but I know how gentle they are so I’m not worried about that at all. Then the last thing on my treatment plan was a mouth guard which is going to be specially made and will help me stop grinding my teeth in my sleep. I cannot tell people who have a fear of the dentist how worthwhile it is to go today was the hardest day and it only gets better from here. If someone reading this and is from the UK and have a dental phobia that was as bad as mine I cannot recommend enough going for a private dentist, they prioritise you and your needs. I know there are some good NHS dentists but they have so many patients they just can’t prioritise you enough, going private you get what you pay for. Like choosing a car mechanic you go cheap you’ll get a cheap service! I’m so proud of myself and this forum has been so good to vent and get that extra support from people who understand!
love to everyone on here!😘
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,898
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Sslss,

This is so awesome to hear how things went!! :dance2: :welldone: !! So glad they were gentle and kind. a good chairside manner and care can really make all the difference and knowing they are prioritizing you and your needs is beautiful!! Just so glad you had that experience!
 
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