Going to the dentist for the first time in ~15 years, feeling ashamed

K

ked389

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Jan 5, 2021
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Hi everyone!

I was so glad to find this forum as I recently made my first dental appointment in about 15 years. Bad experiences at the dentist when I was a teen led to me refusing to go back and neglecting my dental hygiene, and I probably would have kept avoiding the dentist forever, but I now have multiple broken teeth and the fear of what else bad could happen next has finally outweighed my fear of going to the dentist. My appointment is on Wednesday, and while I truly am looking forward to finally getting the things I've damaged fix and getting back on a healthy track dentally, I'm so ashamed that I let things get this bad and let the issues linger. The dentist's office I've chosen has many reviews indicating everyone is nice, and I know my teeth are not the worst ever, but it's giving me terrible anxiety thinking about admitting how I let things go and feeling embarrassed by my damaged teeth.

Any support or advice would be much appreciated, you all inspire me with your stories of success!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi ked389:welcome:,

give yourself a huge pat on the back for finally scheduling. That‘s the only thing that counts and shows how brave you are. Rest assured that feelings of shame and embarrassment are incredibly common in people who are scared of the dentist. It is usually the fear that prevents people from going, but then as more dental problems appear, it is the shame that makes it impossible to see a dentist. So the question you are asking yourself now is „how could I have let things go this far?“. But the question could be a different one, for example „How bad was my past dentist that it made me stop going for so long?“. So please don‘t beat yourself up, you haven‘t done anything wrong. There are several reasons why people neglect their teeth and they all have to do with not having the mental or physical energy, the information about how to do it or the support of a nice dentist.

We have a nice article about embarrassment here on the site, if you haven‘t read it, please do.

All the best wishes, fingers crossed for tomorrow and keep us posted! :)
 
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ked389

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Thank you for the kind reply, Enarete!

Everyone I met with at the dentist's office today was very nice, and the dentist told me specifically how important it is to him to have a partnership with his patients and ease any anxiety, fear, etc. There is a lot of work I'll have to have done - deep cleaning, pulled wisdom teeth, root canals, crowns and/or implants, and cavities filled - and my worry about being embarrassed has now been replaced by some degree of worry about the financial implications of all this, but I'm glad to know I'm finally on the path to getting everything I neglected fixed so I can have a healthy mouth again.
 
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steph2000

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Jan 6, 2021
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Thank you for the kind reply, Enarete!

Everyone I met with at the dentist's office today was very nice, and the dentist told me specifically how important it is to him to have a partnership with his patients and ease any anxiety, fear, etc. There is a lot of work I'll have to have done - deep cleaning, pulled wisdom teeth, root canals, crowns and/or implants, and cavities filled - and my worry about being embarrassed has now been replaced by some degree of worry about the financial implications of all this, but I'm glad to know I'm finally on the path to getting everything I neglected fixed so I can have a healthy mouth again.
Hi Ked389,
I am in the same boat as you and I’m hoping for a similar outcome. I go on Friday and I just broke one tooth. I have cavities I can see and my wisdom teeth have always bothered me but are killing me lately. I see so many posts about dentures and that’s what I’m the most freaking out about. Very similarly I didn’t take great care of my teeth but to my non medical dental eye they don’t seem too and and don’t hurt or bleed when I brush. So nervous.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Hi ked389,

please allow me to share with you some of my videos which I believe might be helpful:
 
T

tazey

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Good luck! Hopefully the dentist will focus on what needs doing not what's happened in the past,anxiety should ease after your first appointment.
 
A

AnxietyHannah

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Feb 6, 2021
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Hi ked389,

please allow me to share with you some of my videos which I believe might be helpful:

I always am stuck thinking that all dentists have perfect, healthy teeth and never suffer from any issues. Like, why would a dentist have a broken tooth, or something. And then I think if they can keep themselves in such a great shape, dentally, why can't I and why didn't I?
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I always am stuck thinking that all dentists have perfect, healthy teeth and never suffer from any issues.
We don’t. I can testify on myself having one root canal treatments, tow wisdom teeth extractions and a few fillings done since graduating dental school.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I always am stuck thinking that all dentists have perfect, healthy teeth and never suffer from any issues. Like, why would a dentist have a broken tooth, or something. And then I think if they can keep themselves in such a great shape, dentally, why can't I and why didn't I?

Remember that dental students (any students) are at least 18-19 years old. And pretty much every child and every teenager finds it hard to stick to home care or take care of nutrition at some point in their lives (we had better things to do when we were 14 - 18, right?). So that's enough time to get treatment even for dentists...
Another consideration: if you know everything about teeth and dentistry, it must be easy to "do things right". That's why they maybe can better than you.
 
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