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I have not been to the dentist in 5 years

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luckyman316

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May 21, 2014
Messages
32
As a child, I used to LOVE going to the dentist. So much so that I considered becoming a dentist myself. I remember saying as a kid "When I grow up, I want to be a dentist". Years went on and a family friend was a dentist that I'd go to at least every 8 months... sometimes I'd let it go a year, but I never had any issues with them.

2013 changed this right when they retired and my body dealt with an illness at the same time I needed a root canal, which eventually caused tinnitus for me. I ended up having to see other dentists for this because my dentist retired (he was not the one who did the root canal) so over the course of 2 years, it was other dentists.

After having crowns redone, which it's sort of a crown bridge now, in 2015 and then told I needed more dental work than I thought was necessary, I stopped going to the dentist. My body was still weak from the illness that became chronic for me and sitting in a dentist chair became quite a task.

As the years went by, I've been letting a lot go. These crowns still don't feel right, as I feel they are not seated properly. I also still have a white abscess on my gums that come and go, it's under the tooth that had a root canal done and has been like this since 2018.

I'm at a point now where I know I absolutely need to see one, but my experiences with these dentists after our family friend retired has left a bad taste in my mouth to the point where I've had a lot of fear of going there. Not only this, but my body is still weak and I now have a horrible neck which makes it even more difficult to support myself when sitting down.

However, I've been trying to find the courage enough to get to a dentist in the area. I had to make a few calls and unfortunately almost all of them are out of network in my area, but they do work with my insurance. Financially, I'm a mess, so I want to find one in network but the 2 I found... one is just a standard practice that got really bad reviews and the other, I'm not sure on because there aren't a lot of patients leaving reviews but the ones that do, gave him good ones. I just don't know what he uses in his practice with latest tech, which is what I was looking for with one dentist right down the road from me, but of course he too is out of network.

Anyway, just coming here for support before I finally book an appointment with someone. There's so much wrong with me and my teeth are just part of the problem. I even feel like my jaw shifted from these issues as well with the crowns not being seated right.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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Nov 27, 2019
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United Kingdom
luckyman316,
Hi. I wonder if you can maybe call the dentist (the one with the good reviews) maybe just with the view to getting a first appointment just to discuss things. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to enquire about stuff, given you have other concerns that you feel may make a "routine" appointment more complex.
No harm in asking, and you don't have to commit to anything?
 
L

luckyman316

Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
32
luckyman316,
Hi. I wonder if you can maybe call the dentist (the one with the good reviews) maybe just with the view to getting a first appointment just to discuss things. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to enquire about stuff, given you have other concerns that you feel may make a "routine" appointment more complex.
No harm in asking, and you don't have to commit to anything?

They actually do offer a free consultation on the first visit... and they take digital x-rays, do Trios and do a 3D cone x-ray as well. The dentist was actually rated best in the state in December 2019 and I can literally walk there if I want. I just don't want to commit to stuff Out of Network with my insurance. The other one In-Network is opened only 3 days a week, so I'll have to wait until Monday now for certain with him.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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Messages
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I'd take the free consultation, if you can. At least that would let you have a idea of how things are.
Maybe that would put your mind at ease. If not, at least you know what needs done. But you don't have to commit to it if you don't feel like it.
Sounds like a good option! Best in the state? :) That's reassuring...
 
L

luckyman316

Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
32
I'd take the free consultation, if you can. At least that would let you have a idea of how things are.
Maybe that would put your mind at ease. If not, at least you know what needs done. But you don't have to commit to it if you don't feel like it.
Sounds like a good option! Best in the state? :) That's reassuring...
So good news, I made an appointment. I actually could have gotten one today but my schedule did not allow it, so I have it for Tuesday. Now I'm hoping I can keep it! I walked in there and a lot of my anxiety left me so that is a good sign!
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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I don’t have any advice (not a dentist) but I do send you encouragement. You are demonstrating a lot of courage. Keep us posted.
 
T

thread

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Feb 8, 2020
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Australia
Sorry to hear you have to deal with this on top of other health issues. Huge congratulations on getting and making the appointment, that in itself is hard. It sounds like you have been though a lot outside of dental work so I'm sure you got this!
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi luckyman316,

just read your story and wanted to say well done on keeping on going and looking for practices and now even scheduling. Sounds like the experiences you had after your dentist retired did damaged your confidence in dentistry a lot and I know how hard it can be to get back on track from there. Dentist is like a good hairdresser and a lot of it has to do with trust and feeling like they know what they do.
Sorry to read about your health issues and I see how it makes your ability to cope even worse. To give you a bit of reassurance, there are many people dealing with issues that make them unable to sit in the chair or do so for too long. Please, don't hesitate to speak up and let your dental team know. They will be able to find a comfortable position for you and make sure you get breaks whenever needed. Dealing with this is a part of their job. I can also only encourage you to share about your fears and bad experiences as it will all help your dental team to look after you better.
I was delighted to read that your anxiety left you as you walked in and I couln't imagine a better sign for this place to be a good one :)

All the best wishes, keeping my fingers tightly crossed for you on Tuesday and let us know how you got on (and feel free to pop in any worries or fears that might arise during the waiting time, writing helps:)
 
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luckyman316

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May 21, 2014
Messages
32
Thank you all for your kind words and support. One of my good friends is a dental hygienist in the area and has told me if I need a 2nd opinion on anything to come in and see them as well. She worries that someone may try to take advantage of me after hearing I have not been going to the dentist for 5 years. She hopes this place will not do this (I can legit walk to the office from my house if I needed to) but just urges me caution just in case. I will keep all posted on Tuesday for certain. I'm happy to learn that the dentist I am seeing, one of a few in the practice and also lives in the area, is also a prosthodondist which I believe is EXACTLY what I need. I've been to one before, they told me my bite was off because of my crowns before I had them redone at another practice, so I want to see what this one says about the new ones. I'm actually looking forward to Tuesday's appointment!
 
T

thread

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Good to hear you are looking forward to the appointment! I'm not there yet (trying) so admire your courage.

I don't think you need to tell the dentist you haven't been in 5 years, that's just a number and wont change the current condition of your teeth now either way.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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luckyman316

Hope everything goes well Tuesday!! You are making great strides.. The great thing is you are in control and have total choice and can go to as many places you need to make sure you feel the most comfortable and that is really empowering. I know when I was shopping for a dentist after mine had left his practice I went to a few places , and several were actually great and doable.. it was nice to get that experience and see different places without feeling pressure of having to be in the chair for treatment right away.. after all that I ended up finding my dentist again and going to him at a new clinic .. but the journey was a good and interesting one. Let us know how this goes for you :) :).
 
L

luckyman316

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Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
32
Well, I did it! I made it to the dentist. This was not easy for me. First off, I only got 2 hours of sleep last night. Anxiety hit me a little harder than normal and I was "up" every hour but really only slept for like 2 hours. Needless to say, I was fairly weak when I went there, but I got through it.

Now for the other issues:

My biggest concern was my bite being off. They did 2 X-RAY scans. One was a 3D scanner and the other was just the normal oral scan. The 3D scanner was more to check my bite and my jaw. Surprisingly, my bite was OK. However, when she checked my TMJ joint on my right side, she noted it was very much incorrect, so they did an x-ray of that. Needless to say, the jaw bone was slightly unhinged on the right side (surprise! right on the side where I had work done) and I was referred to an oral surgeon for this. No idea what they will do, I'd be curious, though I'm a little disappointed they didn't suggest anything within the same practice since they are considered a One Stop Shop for a lot of issues. They told me to keep wearing my night guard, so I will do that.

Now the other issue. The tooth I had a root canal on (tooth #30), got re-infected and the infection is slowly creeping it's way into my jaw. The reason why this happened? Because the connected crowns I had were so tight, that I could not even get in between them to clean them. It's actually exactly what I told the previous dentist would happen but he insisted it was right because it would stop food from getting in between. Guess what? He was wrong, I was right, and they even noted the trapped food inside the crowns in between. They did not like how those crowns were done and agreed there. I think they are horrible and don't fit right.

On the plus side of things, everything else in my mouth check out "OK" so I was happy to hear that, even after 5 years of not being to a dentist. Just means I've been taking care of the good teeth as best as I could.

Now comes the scary stuff:
-Pulling of teeth and the dental implant
-Fixing my jaw probably through some Orthodontic treatment
-Cost of all this treatment

I will admit, I did have issues sitting in the car. My neck felt weak and it was a problem for me to try and stay up. Thankfully, it wasn't long.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Such courage. You are a fine example to all of us, and especially the newcomer.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Wow.. Luckyman316!! You made it through a huge appt.. :cheer2: and got alot of news . Glad you made it there after a hard night before. I can imagine the anxiety. not getting sleep too is hard..

Sounds like you've been taking good care of your teeth and now have some things to prioritze and work on at whatever pace you can. I agree with @Dg6300 you are a great example to us all! :)
 
L

luckyman316

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May 21, 2014
Messages
32
Wow.. Luckyman316!! You made it through a huge appt.. :cheer2: and got alot of news . Glad you made it there after a hard night before. I can imagine the anxiety. not getting sleep too is hard..

Sounds like you've been taking good care of your teeth and now have some things to prioritze and work on at whatever pace you can. I agree with @Dg6300 you are a great example to us all! :)
Thank you both! I am actually more concerned about losing the tooth than anything else now. I was talking with my family and the first question they asked was "Why would not not prescribe you antibiotics first for the infection? Maybe you can save the tooth". On one hand, I agree with them, and am considering a second opinion with another dentist now. On the other hand, I want to give these guys a chance and see if they can take this approach. I actually was not given a clear cut answer on this, but I know their office specializes in dental implants so I am also not surprised they are trying to take this route. I've got some thinking to do, but I better do it fast. It would be great if I can clear the infection without any other treatment on the tooth.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Well done on going, luckyman316, glad you got some answers.
Sadly, it is not possible to get rid of a tooth infection without a treatment of the tooth. Once a tooth is infected, antibiotics can only help temporarily to win some time if immediate treatment is not possible, but they do not solve the problem (and they bring a risk with them in terms of antibiotic resistance which is why they are only used if really necessary). As your tooth already had had rct and it sounds like the infection is causing bone loss, it could be that extraction is the only way to go. Getting a second opinion before removing a tooth is always a good idea though. Look forward to read how you got on.
 
L

luckyman316

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Messages
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Well done on going, luckyman316, glad you got some answers.
Sadly, it is not possible to get rid of a tooth infection without a treatment of the tooth. Once a tooth is infected, antibiotics can only help temporarily to win some time if immediate treatment is not possible, but they do not solve the problem (and they bring a risk with them in terms of antibiotic resistance which is why they are only used if really necessary). As your tooth already had had rct and it sounds like the infection is causing bone loss, it could be that extraction is the only way to go. Getting a second opinion before removing a tooth is always a good idea though. Look forward to read how you got on.
Thanks for the knowledge there. I will definitely seek a second opinion just in case. I did go back to the office there because I wanted to see if I could get a copy of my X-RAYS (The regular and the 3D Cone ones). I was told if I wanted to take the 3D Cone X-RAYS out of the office then it would be a fee of $365. I actually wanted to present it to a chiropractor because of my jaw issue and asked about the diagnosis there again while I was there. I was told that the TMJ might be dislocated, hence why I was referred to an oral/myofascial surgeon for this.
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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luckyman316,
while you have lost me with some technical jargon (x-rays etc..), I can say that you are truly a battler. You make stuff sound so minimal. You are bravery personified. Your name alone says very much about you. :)
Following your progress with great admiration.
 
L

luckyman316

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May 21, 2014
Messages
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Good news, I am getting a 2nd opinion this week with another dentist a friend of mine works for. Basically they flat out said, if there is anything they can do to save the tooth, they will, as they would rather not extract if not needed.... otherwise, it will be the extraction like was recommended to me. They want to give an honest opinion since they don't specialize in dental implants there. Plus the $7900 estimate for all the work I would need done, is almost a killer for me, but we'll see how it goes!
 
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luckyman316

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Joined
May 21, 2014
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So today was my 2nd opinion dentist. Wait, 2 dentist appointments in less than 2-3 weeks time and guess what? I was OK with this one. Actually, I was a little bit more comfortable here. So this one also took an x-ray and saw absolutely nothing wrong with the tooth (the x-ray focus was on that tooth). However, since I have a fistula on the gums under root canal tooth that keeps leaking, it's likely an Endodontist should look at it to see what is causing that to happen. It's possible the tooth could get a re-treated root canal without any extraction like the first dentist recommended. However.... it's best to have it checked just in case. He didn't charge me for the appointment, just the x-ray, but suggested I have my crowns redone because they are definitely wrong and don't fit right and way too bulky. Offered me a 20% discount if I let him do it after seeing the endodontist. Anyway, I'm being more brave and bold now with the dentist and told him I'd probably be back for a cleaning as well! :)
 
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