Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Plex

Plex

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Jan 22, 2013
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Perth, Western Australia
Hi folks, I can't tell you how glad I am I stumbled across this site!

I haven't seen a dentist since I was a small child, as my mother had never had any issues with her teeth and dental care wasn't regarded as very important in our house. I realized I was scared of dentistry in my teen years when I noticed my teeth were becoming very crooked, but found myself petrified of the very idea of seeing a dentist about them.
I struggled with Bulimia for some years, and have been recovered for the last two...but this has pretty much obliterated my teeth! I noticed about a year ago that my lower gums were receding very badly and decided to get some insurance and do something about it. Unfortunately, I kept putting it off until recently when I decided my conscience wouldn't let me take any more time off work for horrible toothaches and migraines caused by stupid impacted wisdom teeth...they seem to be growing sideways :(

I got really lucky with the dentist I saw, as I just made an appointment with whoever was available and she was so lovely. She is only a year older than me, and very sweet. I explained to her the minute I stepped into her room that I was absolutely terrified, and she was very understanding and made some jokes about being the nicest and most competant dentist in the world :p
I freaked out a bit when she went ahead and stuck that hook thing in my mouth and pressed a tooth, but she whipped it out straight away and explained that she would just like to press each of my teeth with it if that was ok, so I agreed. I was shaking like a leaf, and I hated the feel and sound of that thing on my teeth!
I need Xrays, but I told her I needed to make another appointment for those so I could recover from the days' panic, and I'll be going in for them next week.

She said she'd give me a more specific list of things needing to be done once I'd had them, but gave me a rundown anyway. I need a scale and clean, need my wisdom teeth out ASAP, most of my teeth require fillings, I need braces and then veneers.
The news that has really gotten to me is that my gum disease is so bad the roots of my lower teeth are almost exposed, and I'm losing bone too, so she says that they will at some point fall out. She showed me how to brush them properly (it seems I haven't been brushing correctly) and she said proper care would slow the process, but that they would still fall out.
I've been crying off and on all evening, I'm so upset to hear this. I know it's my own fault for neglecting my teeth, and i suspected news that bad, but I'm still very sad to hear it. I'm only 22, and I'm really gutted at the idea of losing teeth so early. And all this work is going to cost so much money, even with my insurance...plus the phobia! I can't imagine even having the IV sedation without a valium, numbing cream, and nitrous first!

I'm so glad this website popped up with some googling, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one with horrible dental fear!
 
brit

brit

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Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Well done. I think I'd get a second opinion though, as veneers are never a compulsory item and will be adding considerably to the costs.
There may be ways to save your lower teeth - a periodontist would be a better bet for that - a lot of money is involved, you need an optimal result to maintain your teeth functionally not cosmetically. (You loose more tooth structure for veneers/crowns etc).
Please get a second opinion from a periodontist (gum specialist) and another more experienced general dentist even though I know it is the last thing you want to do right now.
For acid reflux damage, you should probably also be using prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.

Yikes - she is only 23 :o you need a much more experienced dentist than that to have any confidence that they can deal with severe tooth wear/damage/gum issues competently.
 
Last edited:
Plex

Plex

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Perth, Western Australia
Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Well done. I think I'd get a second opinion though, as veneers are never a compulsory item and will be adding considerably to the costs.
There may be ways to save your lower teeth - a periodontist would be a better bet for that - a lot of money is involved, you need an optimal result to maintain your teeth functionally not cosmetically. (You loose more tooth structure for veneers/crowns etc).
Please get a second opinion from a periodontist (gum specialist) and another more experienced general dentist even though I know it is the last thing you want to do right now.
For acid reflux damage, you should probably also be using prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.

Yikes - she is only 23 :o you need a much more experienced dentist than that to have any confidence that they can deal with severe tooth wear/damage/gum issues competently.

Thanks for the info :)

I think I will have these X-rays and then take them to a couple of other dentists, and see about a periodontist. The veneers would be something I would consider after all of the other stuff, only two front teeth in particular, and if I'm not bankrupt by then :p It's a shame too, because aside from the gum recession, my lower teeth are actually quite straight and white. If there is work I can do to save them, I'll definitely do it!

Thanks you for telling me about toothpaste for acid damage, I will ask about that too.
 
Plex

Plex

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Perth, Western Australia
Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Hi all, I found another dentist who did my Xrays last week. He gave me much better news and handled me with kid gloves, I just love him. It turns out I need 10 fillings, 4 extractions, and braces, but he is happy for me to do this in my own time, bit by bit of the next 12 months or so.

I am going in to have a clean this afternoon. He says we can do as much or as little of my mouth as I want to start with, and he says he will have the gas ready for me if I feel like I need it. I feel quite reassured by his manner, he moved away from my mouth and asked me if I was ok every time I flinched last time he examined me, so I already trust that he will listen to me and stop if I need it.

In spite of all this, I'm still terrified!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Hi Plex, how great to hear that you managed to get a second opinion and that the news is so much better :). He sounds lovely!

All the best for this afternoon :clover::clover::clover: - let us know how you get on :)!
 
carole

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Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Hi plex I think you are onto a winner with this dentist, keep this one. Work with him at your own pace as he advised and you will be fine. I would trust him too.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover::clover::clover: let us know how you get on. We like reading stories like yours it gives so many people hope that they will be able to get treatment.

Thank you :)
 
K

Katarina

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Re: Hello All, saw a dentist for the first time since I was a child today :O

Hello, Plex and everyone else, I'm a new member, too, but have been reading the articles and posts for some time before joining.

Firstly, Plex, respect for recovering from bulimia ... I've been struggling with it for years now but have finally began to slowly heal. So, again, respect and love.

I, too, have been scared of dentists (but also of all other doctors) although I haven't really had a bad dentist experience. Well, I was sexually abused as a child by a male classmate and some older guys from the same school. Later, as a young adult at my first job, I experienced bullying at work and was betrayed (again and again) by people I trusted. It left me completely exhausted and barely hanging on. A couple of years later, I had a vivid dream of being at the dentist's - the details, the emotions, the responses were stunning. I searched the web for "fear, dentists" and came across this site and straight away hit the "Abuse Survivors" article ... It's fair to say that this site helped me move the overall healing process to another level - thank you!

For me, dental fear is not so much about pain, needles, instruments or procedures, it is about people, especially people standing close to me, trustworthiness, and me being in a situation where I am vulnerable and exposed to possible betrayal.

One day in summer some six years ago, I felt a slight pain in a molar; my first thought was "hope this heals by itself, no way I'm seeing a dentist". But the pain developped to the point where it was so bad that for three days, I paced the room nervously at night because the pain got worse when I laid down. I finally went to the dentist's and had to have the "hot" tooth extracted. I got an injection extraorally twice for the anaesthetic to work. Being numbed was such a relief! The procedure itself was painless.

After that, although there was no more time to lose, I avoided searching for a dentist who'd begin sorting out my neglected teeth. I did find one (private practice). During the first appointment (an examination) she noticed I was tense, apprehensive when approached and just blabbering, but she didn't push further. During the second appointment, when the treatment started, I was again tense, breathing quickly, breaking out in cold sweat, clenching fists and thinking to myself that everyone can hear my heart beating and see it through the clothes. When the chair was tipped back, I jumped, and the dentist asked me directly if I was afraid. Surprised, I froze, stared at her and couldn't speak, and then, with a lump in my throat and a dry mouth, uttered "no". Luckily, she got it and was extra gentle. I was tense also because when she sat behind me, I could feel her shirt touching the top of my head, I felt my hair move one at a time as she leaned over my face during parts of the treatment. I had my eyes closed most of the time. When I did open them briefly, she smiled kindly, which both calmed me and at the same time made me feel really, really stupid for feeling exposed and for being in a daze, unable to "return". Did I tremble? I might have, still, I probably didn't, at least I hope I didn't.

One time, another dentist, a guy who'd do an implant, came to examine my teeth. During the examination, he asked me a specific health-related question (he suspected bulimia) which brought up some painful stuff for me (they couldn't have known it); I felt completely exposed. I froze and apparently again lost the ability to speak. Since then, I haven't been to this dentist; I'm simply too embarrassed to go there, although I know she's a very good dentist and I'd like her to treat me. But I just couldn't tell her openly about the fear, let alone bulimia, I get chills just thinking about it!

I have an appointment coming up in a couple of weeks. The treatment will be extensive because the tooth is fractured and decayed. Khm ... what scares me is that I'm not seeing that kind, competent dentist, but another one who's only examined but not yet treated me (she's not very nice), but who works in a community health centre and so isn't that costly. I'm quite scared - my previous appointment had to be rescheduled because when I got near the dentist's, I zoned out and got lost in the area I otherwise know fairly well. Before that appointment, I hadn't been to the dentist's in 3-4 years, plus the receding gums ...

Still, I feel that it's getting better by the day, I'm plucking up courage to call the previous dentist and make an appointment.
 

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