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Haven't Been To Dentist in 10 years... Advice Appreciated.



Junior member
Oct 23, 2018
Hi there.

I've had a rather poor experience with a dentist 10 years ago, and havent been since. A few of my fillings from that visit have since failed, and two teeth chipped at the edge where the fillings were. Two of the teeth are slightly sensitive to pressure, but are fine otherwise. It's been months to years, depending on the tooth since these failed. They're definitely not getting any better. I managed to work up the strength to go to a dentist a month ago, and they took a lot of xrays, and in seconds said I needed 3 root canals and fillings on every tooth but one. They claim this would be ~4 visits and likely in the range of 20+ hours seat time. And on top of that, about 13K cost. I didn't really like that dentist, so I don't think I would be going back there. But I think im willing to try another dentist.

Is it possible to make these determinations that quickly by glancing at an xray?

Is nitrous oxide a big help for most people, or should I find a dentist that does oral sedation?

How do I find a dentist that understands my anxiety and helps me through the procedure?

I took a picture of the one xray, if you can get anything out of that.





Staff member
Jan 1, 2005
Hi there :welcome:,

First of all, congratulations for managing to see a dentist - we all know how much courage that takes! Really sorry to hear that it didn't work out that well. I can't help you with the x-ray question because I'm not a dentist, but we've got a page on our website with lots of tips for finding a supportive dentist:

Finding the Right Dentist

I hope that some of the tips on that page may prove useful and that you'll be able to find someone who is sensitive to your needs! Best of luck :grouphug:


Well-known member
Jul 1, 2018
I can't help with the dentistry questions, but one of the dentists may be able to help. I had several years where I didn't go to a dentist, during college. I had gone to a new dentist for my regular 6 month checkup (had only had 2 fillings at that point and good dental hygeine). The new dentist told me I needed 6 fillings. I had no pain or issues and the dentist was pretty aggressive and defensive when I asked questions about the x rays and where the cavities were. I had had terrible experiences with numbing difficulty with my childhood dentist and teeth pulled and was vwry distrustful. I saw a different dentist who said I had no cavities. I didn't go back for a few years, until we moved. So I always recommend 2nd opinions.

I can tell you that nitrous oxide was a huge help to me. I had my first (and 2nd) root canal this year, along with a molar extraction, and am currently getting another molar extracted next week. This is the first time I have had major dental work done since I was a kid, and I was terrified. My husband suggested nitrous. It made a huge difference! I couldn't get sedation, as I have 2 young kids and have to be able to drive after the procedure. The nitrous relaxes you enough that you are not super tense, and helps the numbing agent work better.


Junior member
Oct 27, 2018
Hey there.

With the x-rays you have provided it can be difficult to determine the extent of pathology as opposed to smaller, intra-oral x-rays. It is in my experience that OPGs (this type of x-ray) can accentuate lesions and give a kind of false positive. Having said that, x-rays really cannot be used as a diagnosis without visual clinical examination. There are a couple of lesions that I can see that see very close to the pulp chamber, or close to the "nerve" of teeth. The progression is inconclusive in this x-ray, but I wouldn't be surprised with an extension and infection into the core of the teeth. At this circumstance, root canal will be warranted to save the teeth.

As I have said, the x-rays you have posted give inconclusive results without clinical examination. If you do not trust your dentist then sure, go to another. It is totally within your prerogative to seek out the health professional that you feel most comfortable with.

Viewing these x-rays only, I cannot make a definitive diagnosis. I do see two deep lesions very close to the "nerves" of teeth however. There is a fair probability these need root canal treatment. However, if you are asymptomatic, I would be inclined to go the conservative approach and try for fillings (fillings crossed!)

Honestly, if you're not confident in your health provider, I would suggest seek another. It never hurts but it can give you peace of mind.

Good luck!
Last edited by a moderator:


Mar 6, 2018
I also can't really comment on the X-rays as I'm not a dentist but what I can tell you is that you most definitely can go to another dentist if you feel that the one you have isn't suitable for yourself. I think it's important to have the trust there with your dentist and be able to ask any questions you want. I hadn't been to a dentist since I was about 13/14 and I'm 30 now. I was terrified Of the dentist. I sat crying in the waiting room while there was kids about 8/9 waiting to be seen and looking at me with a strange look. I felt like an idiot! I managed to go through three fillings and two extractions with just anaesthetic to numb the area. I was terrified for the extractions my whole body was shaking. The dentist put her hands on my shoulders and told me it was going to be okay and reassured me. I truly believe that your dentist can make a world of a difference when it comes to fear and anxiety. Find yourself a good dentist that you can trust and you trust to do the work. I hope you get the help you need and I hope it goes well for you.

Please keep us posted

Sam x