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From rough beginnings, to a happy ending.

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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
Here's my story:

When I was younger, going to the dentist was always a huge huge huge ordeal for me and my family. My mom had my brother and I at a young age, and so she didn't really teach us proper teeth cleaning habits. When my brother and I would argue, she'd let us do what we wanted. This meant that my teeth suffered, along with some other things. When I'd go to the dentist, I would always have some sort of filling or extraction that needed to be done. I would always get the "who's going to want to kiss you with that mouth?" treatment, as well as being pinned down by family/nurses in order to get anything done. At a young age, this really set me up for failure. When I was around 8 or 9 years old, my mom took me in to get a tooth removed. I walked in, they told me they were going to sedate me, I stood up and said no, left and never went back.

A few years later, my teeth started to really hate me for my decision. I had two teeth (I assume they had cavities in them) break and then keep breaking until they were broken to the gumline. I had many other problems that I ignored, and hoped the pain would go away. It did, and so to me, this meant that everything was fine. I knew deep down that this wasn't the case, but if my teeth weren't hurting then I didn't need to see the dentist.

There are a few moments that really highlight my experiences with my teeth, and these are the moments that caused me to change my decision. In high school one day, I was talking to a friend, when I smiled and he looked at me and said "what the fuck is wrong with your teeth?" Until that point, I hadn't thought they were all that bad. Looking in the mirror later, I realized my front four teeth had brown spots on them, presumably from cavities. I cried all night and from that point on it became a natural reaction to cover my mouth when I smiled, or not smile big at all.

Another moment was when I went for a checkup at my doctors office. She asked me to open so she could check my throat, and while looking, paused and told me it looked like my two broken teeth were pretty bad. I told her that I knew, and was working on it. (I lied.) My boyfriend at the time was with me, and afterwards said he had no idea I had broken teeth. He told me he wanted me to fix them, and we argued about it. He had no idea the anxiety I was going through even THINKING about visiting a dentist. After we broke up, I started to seriously consider going back. After all, one day I wanted to have children, and one day I wanted to be the kind of mommy that sits in the dentist chair and says "look! mommy can do it!".

In February of 2009, I started googling and eventually found this forum. I posted my story (under a different account) and received tonnes of support because of my fear. I finally didn't feel alone. I still had anxiety attacks and thoughts of "should I just kill myself instead?", but at least I had a place to talk.
I told my Nana that I wanted to go back to the dentist, and she was so, so supportive. She knew the things I went through before, and she knew that I had to have someone I trusted. She recommended me her dentist, and I decided to try it. So we made an appointment, and after a lot of panic attacks and tears, I made it to the dreaded chair.

My first point of contact with him was the receptionist. She was easily the warmest, most kind person I'd ever met. She immediately put me at ease when I told her I was scared and didn't know what to expect. She told me that honestly, it's not easy to overcome a fear this big, but she was really proud that I was trying. She told me that they have found success treating anxiety patients, and that the dentist will let me have a signal if I need and he'll go as slow as I want.

I met the dentist, and told him my story. He listened, and just when I was expecting him to say "10 years? You waited 10 YEARS??" he calmly said "let's see where we can start." So we took x-rays and decided to knock out the fillings first because they would ease me into the process. After 10 years of not seeing a dentist, I only had 6 cavities. We also did a cleaning, since it had been so long.

I went through the fillings easy peasy, and he'd also prescribed me Diazepam which greatly helped. It really calms my heart down and makes time go by a lot faster. It also helped that my Nana was there for me if I needed her, just a few feet away. It felt so good to go to my first week of college and for the first time in years, I was able to smile and not worry about any brown spots on my teeth! I found out that I suffered from PTSD and anxiety as a result of my previous experiences.

There was a bump in the road in February of 2010 when my mom lost her job, and as such I lost my coverage. I had to stop going, which was disappointing because I really just wanted to get it all done with. That November, I woke up with a horrible pain in my face. My face had swollen, and even just moving my upper lip sent an overwhelming shock through my face. I went to the ER (I am in Canada so this was free.) and he told me "it's just gingivitis." I didn't trust his word, it hurt too much to be gingivitis. I decided that my health and my teeth were more important than saving some money, and payed the dentist a visit. He told me it was an abscess forming around a filling he'd done, and that it happens sometimes when a filling goes too deep. He told me what he was going to charge me to do a root canal, and to come back when I was able. I found out that my college offered an emergency bursary for people who were in immediate need of money. (That's a story I won't tell here, but eventually I did get the money.) They gave me $500 to cover the root canal, and it was immediate relief.

Fast forward to a month or so ago. I noticed that one of my teeth had a crack in it. There was absolutely no way I was letting myself lose another tooth, that would be three. I'm 22 years old, I don't want to have lost 3 teeth at such a young age. So I decided to buck up, and that I had enough money from my job to pay for something that was important. If I had to cut costs elsewhere, so be it. Thank god all I needed was a filling, but while I was there I decided that it was about time for my two broken teeth to come out.

Today I went in to get the first of those teeth out. I posted here because I was worried - what if I need stitches? What if it takes forever? The entire visit took 20 minutes. I was numbed, which took about 10 minutes to take effect. Then he started tugging - the next thing I knew, he was done and there was some fragments of tooth in his hand. I could not believe it.

I am 22 years old, and have for the most part, erased my fear of the dentist. There will always be anxiety and I will always get nervous before an appointment, but no longer will I consider cancelling appointments or cry over the things that I am not sure of. I have just one appointment left to fix the things that were a direct result of my not taking care of my teeth (I have to deal with wisdom teeth eventually, and two teeth that have just grown recently!), and I can say that I am so happy and relieved I have done this. My journey took a little longer than expected because of those bumps in the road, but it is almost done, and that's something I never thought I'd say. I can finally be excited to be a mommy one day and tell my children the honest truth - that going to the dentist is easy.

Thank you, :)
 
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Patti

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Michigan, USA
Thank you for telling your story. I am so glad that you have overcome your fear at such a young age. I wish I could have. I am 48! And my first fillings were 6 years ago and I had one pulled last month. My parents never took me to a dentist and I guess I was blessed with pretty good teeth for the most part but now I need work done and I am petrified, even though the fillings or the extraction weren't bad at all. I need to make an appt now to see what work needs to be done and I am petrified to do it. I already know I need a crown on one of the filled teeth and I'm scared about that too. Thank god for this site because you are the only ones who understand my fears.
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
Thank you for telling your story. I am so glad that you have overcome your fear at such a young age. I wish I could have. I am 48! And my first fillings were 6 years ago and I had one pulled last month. My parents never took me to a dentist and I guess I was blessed with pretty good teeth for the most part but now I need work done and I am petrified, even though the fillings or the extraction weren't bad at all. I need to make an appt now to see what work needs to be done and I am petrified to do it. I already know I need a crown on one of the filled teeth and I'm scared about that too. Thank god for this site because you are the only ones who understand my fears.
I can tell you honestly that the one thing I have learned from this forum and from my experiences, is that it is never as bad as you think it's going to be. The waiting is the hardest part, but once they start to work on you, you realize that it is super easy and you can't believe you didn't go sooner! I am so proud of you for getting the work done and making your way towards a smile you can be proud of. <3
 
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Patti

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Michigan, USA
Can you tell me if anything you've done so far was painful?
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
Can you tell me if anything you've done so far was painful?
The only painful part of my experience has been the injection (and it's a quick pinch so it was hardly even painful) and the soreness afterwards. This was for teeth cleaning, 6 fillings, a root canal, and a tooth extraction. During all of the procedures it was only uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable because you have your mouth open and you can't really speak and I really wanted to watch the tv he had on the wall! All of my procedures have been super quick and easy. They're also uncomfortable because they are loud, but I always bring my iPod to listen to so I'm not bored. When I was getting my root canal and my fillings, I could have fallen asleep. Every single time, there has been some soreness when the injection wears off, just a little bruise feeling, but I took some tylenol and went to bed and was fine. This extraction is the most painful thing I've done so far and it's not really that bad. It's just sore, and I accidentally bit down on some food earlier today and that hurt a bit. But that went away with some tylenol as well.

I hope that answered your question, and feel free to ask me anything else if you want!
 
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Patti

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Michigan, USA
Thank you for answering my questions. You thought the extraction was the worst? I had a tooth pulled to avoid a RCT/crown. Might have to rethink that if it comes up again.

Can I ask you if neighboring teeth were sore after your extraction?
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
Thank you for answering my questions. You thought the extraction was the worst? I had a tooth pulled to avoid a RCT/crown. Might have to rethink that if it comes up again. Can I ask you if neighboring teeth were sore after your extraction?
It was only the worst in terms of pain because of the soreness afterwards. My RCT was absolutely nothing, no pain at all. I haven't gotten a crown on that tooth yet, though. My RCT was also WAY more expensive than to get the tooth pulled, but there was no way I was doing anything but an RCT on that tooth, because it was one of my front top teeth. What have you had done so far? And what is next on your list? Edited to add: there is no soreness in neighbouring teeth!
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
Tomorrow at 1pm I will be having my final tooth extraction from the broken teeth, and so ends my ordeal! After this, it's 6 month checkups, baby! Thank you all for being a part of it! I cannot wait to get it over with!
 
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Patti

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Michigan, USA
I am so glad you got through all of this! Good luck with your appt tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 1pm I will be having my final tooth extraction from the broken teeth, and so ends my ordeal! After this, it's 6 month checkups, baby! Thank you all for being a part of it! I cannot wait to get it over with!
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
This one definitely hurt a lot more. I'm in a lot of pain right now and feeling very miserable. The tooth was more difficult to get out, and it had an infection so he had to give me two extra shots, which didn't really work. He also gave me one stitch and prescribed me T3s (but I've taken three throughout the day and none of them have done much for me.) My face is swelling a little and it hurts a lot. I just want to cry and sleep but it hurts too badly to do either. :(
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,904
Location
UK
I think you may need some antibiotics, you may have dry socket too, I would ring the dentist back as soon as possible this needs to be seen by them.

Let us know how you get on, I hope you get sorted out, but don't leave it. You need to be seen today really or have a prescription left at the reception for you.
:grouphug::hug5::grouphug::hug5::grouphug::hug5::grouphug:

It always amaze's me why the hell they persist on extracting teeth when there is infection present, instead of just giving antibiotic beforehand and doing it a week later.
I hope you recover soon. :butterfly:
 
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bennybear

Junior member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
17
I think you may need some antibiotics, you may have dry socket too, I would ring the dentist back as soon as possible this needs to be seen by them.

Let us know how you get on, I hope you get sorted out, but don't leave it. You need to be seen today really or have a prescription left at the reception for you.
:grouphug::hug5::grouphug::hug5::grouphug::hug5::grouphug:

It always amaze's me why the hell they persist on extracting teeth when there is infection present, instead of just giving antibiotic beforehand and doing it a week later.
I hope you recover soon. :butterfly:
I don't think it's a dry socket, it's just the usual soreness x10 because of the stitches. It doesn't hurt as badly today, but it's still pretty sore.

To be fair, my dentist didn't know it was infected underneath until he pulled it out.

I am glad that I'm feeling much better today, though.
 
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Tomt1977

Junior member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
1
Hi , I have read your story but I have some questions please.
I have been to the dentist today. I had had about 14 years ago a root canal and a dental post (crown with a long bit on) a couple of weeks ago it fell out. At present I have a gummy bit with some tooth in the gum line . He has told me he needs to remove the rest of the tooth but I don't know what to expect??!!!how will he take out the jagged bits of teeth that are barely visible? I just watched a video on you tube but wish I hadnt?
 
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takingflight

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Messages
957
Location
VA
Hi TomT and welcome!

I'm sorry you watched the video, even for those who don't have fears it can be much scarier than it is in real life. While I can't answer your question from experience, I do know there are other threads about this subject on the forum. If you check out the search button at the top of the forum it may help you to find some similar stories.

This particular post is from 2012 and the member hasn't been back in the last five years so I'm afraid you may not get an answer from him. If you would like to make a separate thread and ask your question in the dental questions section you are more likely to get responses. If you do I will go ahead and erase this post so there isn't a duplicate.

I will say that from what I've read, removing teeth (fragments) below the gum line isn't too difficult and with proper numbing should be over quickly and painlessly. I'm sure you will do just fine but I'll still send you good wishes and :clover:

Takingflight
 
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