• Dental Phobia Support

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I've allowed this Phobia to rule me for too long

Nice progress robotguy! It is a good feeling to look in your mouth and not see holes isn't it. I just got there too with my last visit, although cavities is the least of my dental woes.

Are you a bit more settled about going through the next extractions?

Its good just to be able to look in my mouth I avoided it for so long.:redface:

The best bit so far is having all my front teeth fixed up and cleaned. I'm so happy with what has been done there that I want to get the rest done properly now.

Having the teeth out has been the hardest thing to accept though. I was so close to not having the second one done last week, but it was infected and I didn't want it to spread or flare up again. The first one taken out was the last tooth I had removed as a child, (remember I had two sets of adult teeth, the first ones were removed to allow the second ones through), that was the tooth that really set off my phobia. I really didn't want to allow that same tooth to bring back the phobia a second time. By having the infected tooth out afterwards I feal that I beat that phobia from getting a foot back in the door. I'm really glad that the teeth came out in that order now.

I think I'm getting there with accepting the next ones out, it helps that the lower one had to be re-dressed a few weeks ago, having pain again for a few days was not fun. I've also been able to look at that tooth in the photos and it really is a mess, its now the worst thing in my mouth so I want it sorted, I also know the only way to sort it is to remove it, so that really helps. I do get some aching from that tooth every so often, its not pain like I used to get but its enough to remind me its a problem tooth.

Once these two are gone then its a couple of fillings on some back teeth and a re-build of another, then I think I'm all healthy again, something I didn't ever think I'd be able to say again.
Well its now 12 days after the two teeth were removed and I'm amazed at how quick things have returned to normal. As far as I can tell everything looks like its almost healed completely. There has been no pain at all and no bleeding, except for a tiny amount on the second day (if you discount the night of extraction).

The hardest part for me has been the physiological effects to get over. Up to now all treatment had been to repair and rebuild my teeth, now I have two gaps. This has really hit me hard about what damage I've done by ignoring my teeth for so long. Its knowing that I've got to have two more taken out that I'm finding really hard. :shame:

So far the permanent effects of my neglect are in the lower left side of my mouth, all neatly contained in one quarter of my mouth. The next two are going to be in other areas. One will be on the other side at the bottom, the last will be in the top. So one will mean I have a reminder on both sides of my mouth the other will put the reminder on top and bottom, both are physiologically big negatives.

Yes, I know my mouth will be healthier with them gone; yes I know there is no way of saving the teeth; yes I know I should recover quickly, but its just I'm going to have 75% of my mouth telling me what an idiot/failure I've been. I know I should look at how much success I've done in the past few months at getting a healthier mouth but I'm really struggling. I've managed to ignore the problems for so long but I'm now not going to be able to avoid the reminders (gaps) in the future.

Had my usual Sunday night blues over my teeth yesterday. I've been going on a Wednesday to the dentist as its the most convenient time to go, but it seems every Sunday before I'm due to go I get really down. I think its because from Wednesday to Sunday I'm in the post-treatment period when I'm feeling good about 'surviving' and from Sunday night on-wards it seems like the next appointment is rushing to-wards me. Usually by Tuesday though I'm in a state of acceptance of it happening and I can see it as being another tiny step closer to everything being done.

I do occasionally get some slight aching from the two teeth that are due to come out so that is helping me cope with loosing them. I can't get over the amount of pain I was putting up with in the past.

When I first went for the first 'chat'/exam I filled in a form with my expectations and what I wanted to get out of my treatment, I put on there that I wasn't looking to improve my smile I just wanted to keep what teeth I had left. Perhaps I should have thought about this more as there has been no discussion on filling in the gaps in my mouth with bridges or implants. Although thinking back, there was no way I could consider having a tooth taken out, heck the thought of the exam had been enough to keep me away for years. Perhaps I should start thinking about getting the gaps filled back in, it would help with my mind, but could I cope with cosmetic procedures? Lets get these next two appointments done first.

Thats enough moaning from me, I will make it through the next two appointments, I will have these two teeth gone, (there is no point keeping them as they will only cause me pain in the future), I will have a healthy, pain free mouth again.

I take my next step on Wednesday afternoon.
Well that was an 'interesting' appointment. I've just got home and things didn't quite go to plan today. I was due to have another tooth removed, but that didn't happen.

It started out as normal, except I was no where near as calm as I've managed to get in the past. Eventually I was called in and we talked about how I got on last time. I told her of the constant bleeding I had, but that I found the physiological effects much worse than the physical effects of the extractions. I had to convince myself by rationalising why the teeth I had removed needed to come out to enable me to have it done, I told her I was really struggling to accept the next tooth out. She went through what was happening with the tooth and why I should be happy to see the back of it, basically it was an abscess waiting to happen. Reluctantly I got in the chair.

She had a look at the extraction site from last time and said everything was healing well. Then it was in with the numbing gel in preparation for the LA. She then told me that as I had good thick bone around the tooth and that it hadn't had an infection to soften it, so she thought that the best way to remove it was to cut it in sections then take each smaller bit out.

This was what I didn't want, I'm afraid I started to panic. I didn't want the tooth out, I didn't want it cut in two bits. I clammed up and through tears said I couldn't do it.:shame:

We talked, but I just couldn't do it. Then she suggested that maybe she could do a longer procedure that may save the tooth, she said she didn't suggest it earlier as I wouldn't have been able to do a long session in the chair. She was talking about a root canal job, but didn't say those words. She wanted to have a look at the tooth under the temporary dressing to be sure first though. OK, I agreed to this but when she touched the tooth it wasn't numb. I flinched and she stopped immediately. More LA was given and she gave me some time for it to work.

We talked a bit and I said I didn't want to do this if it was only a short term repair or likely to fail quickly, she said that I could expect at least 10 years from it, more if I get it crowned. Still I wasn't numb so yet more LA was given.

She started removing the dressing and the LA was at last doing its job, thats the first time its taken a while to kick in, but having it given was painless. With the dressing gone she said that there was a very good chance she could save the tooth if I was prepared to work with her on it, as it would take some time. If she went down the RCT line and it wasn't feasible then we could take it out. I felt so relieved. I told her that I would then feel like I had done everything to save the tooth before doing the final solution of having it removed, so I agreed to try the RCT route.

I took some time to calm down and try to relax a bit, then she started work. She then said that she was going to give me some LA directly into the middle of the tooth to make sure I couldn't feel it. Mild panic, injecting into the tooth itself must hurt I thought, but the other LA took care of that, I wasn't aware of it at all. Then she started. She changed the type of drill a couple of times but I felt nothing at all.

She packed the tooth out with sedative dressing and capped it off, telling me I could look forward to tasting cloves again. Gee thanks. :rolleyes: On the plus side the root canal treatment is nothing to be scared of, it really was simple and painless.

That was it for today, I was done AND I still had the tooth. She extended the appointment next week to finish off the treatment of this tooth instead of taking the second one out. I am so happy to be keeping the tooth, but also a bit ashamed that I couldn't go through with having it removed. I so didn't want to loose this tooth, thats one side of my mouth that won't have any gaps just yet.
Soooo RG, I'm happy for you, but honestly, concerned too. Why on earth was her first instinct to extract the tooth. And to be honest when I saw your pics I had the same question, it looked salvagable with an RCT and crown but didn't feel it my place to put doubt in your mind that you weren't already struggling with. Now, granted, I'm really sensitive here, I've allowed this same thing to happen over and over, but I learned from my re-do root canal that you need to be very clear that you want to make every effort to save every tooth. If you hadn't had your panic attack, tonight you'd be minus one tooth forever.

You need to chat with her and start taking some control, if you have options, know what they are and make a decision WITH her. I got a second opinion and will continue to do that. Not shopping for someone to say what I want to hear, but looking to make informed choices with all my options laid out.

Thanks for your reply RP, sometimes there are bits missing in my 'write-ups' that I don't realise are important until someone points it out to me. I'll fill in some details that seemed minor when I wrote it last night.

During the talk the dentist and I had, she reminded me of what I asked for right at the start; that I wanted a healthy mouth, I wasn't worried about my smile, I wanted to go in small steps and that I really didn't want to be there at all. I also said that any extractions would be left to last but I probably wouldn't come back for them (I was totally honest). She has been working through a plan of treatment based on what I asked for at the start. She said that many people find a quick extraction easier to cope with than a lengthy time in the chair.

At the start it was obvious just how scared I was and she based the treatment on keeping things as short as possible for me, so that I could get the maximum done. This and the fact I couldn't/wouldn't allow a proper, thorough examination has meant that I didn't allow her to have all the facts on each tooth. Basically she has been going in almost blind on each tooth that we have worked on, not really knowing what she will find until she starts.

This tooth was one of the first that was covered up, except for a quick look she hasn't really seen much of it. She couldn't say that a RCT would work until she got into it. Back at the start I couldn't cope with having a lengthy examination, let alone any lengthy treatments, so I can't really put the blame all on her.

I have built up a lot of tollerance over the months that I have been seeing her and can cope with laying there for a lot longer. I have no fear of the LA being given, the modern drilling I find is OK, I've even managed to 'zone out' during one filling so I wasn't even aware it was happening. Things have been so different and my thinking is so different that I am a different person going to the dentist now. I proved this to myself yesterday my going for an extraction. OK, so I didn't have it in the end, but I was able to stand up to the dentist and say NO! The old me wouldn't have done that, the old me just wouldn't have gone.

You are right though, we need to talk through things again. I'm a different person than the terrified person who reluctantly walked in her surgery, all those weeks ago. I'm coping with a lot more than I ever thought I could, I feel safe with her and I can't fault what she has acheived. Yesterday, at the end of the session, she told me exactly what she had done to my tooth, (even though I have a pretty good idea of what having a RCT is), she said to me that she would tell me because she knows that I like to know whats going on. This is true, rather than make it up in my mind I need to know the truth about whats happening. I don't want to see the tools, or watch it happen on a webcam, but I am very logical in my thinking. Now I can cope with talking about teeth calmly I can get logical with them too.

I wouldn't have minded if you had said something RP, about saving that tooth, thats why I'm posting and joining in here, I need to talk to people about these things, other people who understand how I feel. I am now able to talk sensibly with my dentist, but I'm still not sure sometimes what I need to talk about. I was assuming that extraction was my only course of action, it was certainly would have been the quickest option which is what I originally requested, but I have changed and maybe its time my treatment program was reviewed and changed too. I think there is going to be a lot of talking at my next appointment.
Ahhh, there ya go. Bravo!
I can see this journal being a really valuable and productive exercise for you robotguy:thumbsup:.I can so see where you are coming from with what you are saying I really can, I was the same, heck I couldn't even sit in the chair long enough for the 2nd dentist to do a quick consult my flight reflexes were hiked up to the max to my utter embarrassment:redface:. I'm really pleased for you too that you didn't have to have an extraction and I read what you were saying about being upset about loosing your tooth with tears in my eyes as I was the same, am still the same.The physical adjustments have been no where near as bad as what I have been going through mentally.It really is a struggle.Thank you for being so honest, it has certainly helped me:).
Back from another appointment, this one was to finish off the root canal that I started last week instead of removing the tooth.

She said she wanted to try using a rubber dam on me this time as it would make it easier for her and give a better result if I could cope with it. I was a little bit worried about this as I had never heard of them before I read of them on this site and didn't like the sound of them. She said that she didn't have to use it, she could use cotton wool rolls instead if necessary.

So she showed it to me first, it was a piece of thin rubber sheet mounted on a U-frame. In the middle was a hole where the tooth comes through and there was a metal spring clamp that clipped to the front and back of the tooth each side of the hole. It didn't look too bad so I said I'd try it.

In with the cotton wool rolls with the numbing gel for a couple of minutes, then the LA was given. While waiting for the LA to kick in she explained a bit about the dam; it would prevent anything getting in my mouth, the only thing in my mouth would be my own saliva which if I couldn't swallow then they could suction it out if I wanted them too. The dam would keep the tooth dry when it needed to be and stop any disinfectant, that was going to be used today, from getting in my mouth.

Once the LA was working she put the dam in place. It was actually OK, much easier to tolerate than I had thought it would be. All the time she was working on the tooth it was like she was working outside my mouth and not on a tooth at all. Very weird and not anywhere as bad as I thought it sounded. There was drilling and water but nothing in my mouth. It also helped to keep my mouth open as well in some strange way.

She said it was all good in the tooth, no sign of any infection at all, she cleaned out three canals, sometimes it was hard to actually feel any sensation of anything being done. Sometimes it felt like chewing gum being pulled off which I guess was the soft inner part of the tooth being removed but there was zero pain or discomfort.

Once she was happy the canals were empty she used a disinfectant to clean them. This smelt slightly of bleach but only very mild, I could see the reasoning behind the dam at this point.

Then she filled up the canals with a plastic or resin plug. She used a hot tool to seal (melt?) the ends of the plugs off, then capped the tooth with another temporary filling. She used a blue light to set this one so I think its a bit harder than the sedative dressings that have gone on before.

She removed the dam and then said that she wanted to finish off with an x-ray of the tooth. I was expecting a large machine to be wheeled in, but she had a small wand on a wire that she put in my mouth next to the tongue behind the tooth. I was told to close my mouth and within seconds she took it out of my mouth and said it was done. The x-ray was already on the computer by the time I was off the chair. She showed me the before and after x-rays so I could see what she had done. She said that the had got right down the canals to where the tooth was solid and was very happy that the tooth was now stable and saved. I would need a better top put on it later but that could wait while we did some other teeth first.

She asked how I got on with the dam and I said it was OK, it was like it was outside of my mouth being worked on. She said that a lot of people say that. I said that I didn't want it all the time but if it helped her do a better job then I was able to have it when necessary.

I had to go and spoil today by looking at the computer didn't I, I saw 'complex surgical extraction' on there in the list of things to do. Now I'm wondering what that means. I should have asked straight away but I only saw it as I was getting up to leave and it didn't really register straight away. I'm now wondering which tooth it means, one of the top wisdoms or the other top molar with the big temporary dressing which was scheduled to come out. I didn't see any other extraction on the list so I'm hoping its that one and that it just means she wants to section it to remove it. I'm not going to worry about it though, I'll ask next time.

Next time we are going to do the tooth behind this one, the last one right at the back. From looking at the x-ray its possible that it may only need filling but it could turn into another RCT, again she won't know until we get into it. I guess it will be a nice surprise, lol.
Another notch in your belt RG, great job. I hated the rubber dam, I felt trapped, but I also had a bite block in. I disliked not being able to communicate, but I also disliked the endodontist.

So are you ready to hear your whole treatment plan instead of sneaking peeks, I think you are................

Less than 24 hours to my next appointment and I don't feel worried at all, this really is getting easier to cope with. I don't know exactly what is to be done, but then neither does the dentist.

The RCT'ed tooth done last time took about a week to settle down, I had mild aching on and off but nothing that really made itself known. I'm getting used to the look of it too, its a bit weird but its far enough back that no-one except myself or my dentist should ever see in detail. Once the tooth behind it is sorted out I'll post a photo of it.

Tomorrow we are going to do the last tooth at the lower back on the right hand side. It may get away with a filling or it may turn into a RCT, either way is OK with me. Its not one that needed to come out so I should be able to cope.

The tooth is fairly intact, it hadn't decayed too much. Its had a temporary dressing on it since the start of February.

This should leave just three more to sort out, I can't believe that I'm really going to have a healthy mpouth again. OK, so I've ended up with a couple of gaps and a mis-shapen tooth, but its going to be all good in there, no rot or black. I'm going to go regually from now on for check-ups etc like you should. I have also got back in the routine of brushing my teeth twice a day, every day. Over the past six months I have managed to brush at least twice a day, EVERY DAY! Except for the day after my extractions, when I only brushed once. That in itself show me just how determined I am to look after my teeth for me.
Wow! Wow! Wow! Robotguy what an inspiration you are to a big scaredy cat like me! I'm literally sitting here thinking, "Wow he did it, maybe I can too!"

Thank you sooooo very much for sharing!

Thank you Terrified_i_T (your name really doesn't initialise well, lol), writing the journal on here has helped me so much to cope with the journey. If I'm feeling down about where I am, or what I'm about to have done, then I re-read it and along with the responses from people, it helps so much to see how far I've come along. If it helps other people than I'm more than happy to share it. I may have gone very slowly but I am getting everything done that I need.

Well today went very well. I thought I was calm about this appointment but I haven't slept well the past two nights, possibly from my unconscious anticipation of todays uncertain treatment. I even woke up with my teeth pushed together, not hard like I have in the past but together none the less.

Todays appointment was an early morning one and I went in spot on time. The dentist and I talked sitting at her desk before I sat in the chair. I explained that the RCT took about a week to settle down which she assured me was normal. I said that the top she had put on was great and I was happy with it, she said it would last a long time as I don't tend to chew on my back teeth, (I have never really done chewing), but a crown could be fitted to it instead in the future to give a proper long lasting tooth for me.

We also talked more about the rubber dam. She explained that it allows stronger chemicals to be used without the danger of them getting in my mouth. It keeps an open tooth dry while she works on it to prevent bacteria getting in there. Another benefit is that it removes all distractions for her so she can really concentrate on the trickier parts. I said I found it a bit harder for me to communicate with her and that I didn't want her to use it for everything, only if it had a benefit to my treatment. She was fine with this, we agreed that it won't be used routinely but will be when it benefits us both.

We look at my x-ray of todays tooth, she points out that there is a lot of decay visible and it looks close to the nerve so a root canal may be on the cards. If there isn't then she will clean it out, fill it and then leave it for a while. Working that close to the nerve may distress it too much and I need a RCT anyway. Either way I will leave today with a temporary covering on the tooth and I'll either be back neck week for the second part of the RCT or back much later to have a crown put on. Time to get in the chair.

First off she wants to see of there is any sensitivity on the tooth. She gently blows air on it to see if I can feel it, nope nothing. Then she puts a pad of cotton wool on the tooth with a cold liquid in it, do I feel anything? A slight something but its not pain or cold, I'm just aware of something there. She tells me that if I can't feel cold, then the nerve is probably dead and a root canal will probably be needed. I'm fine with this, just means more drilling, oh and a bigger bill.

She gives me a blocking LA, explaining that it is deeper acting so that if I need the root canal then I'll be ready. I take a deep breath and she give me the shot. I do feel the initial sting but its only brief. I rinse out and the anaesthetic is bitter, ugh! the mouthwash has changed to a raspberry flavour instead of its normal orange. I comment on the bad taste of the mouthwash so she changes it for mint. The nurse says she will make a note that I like the orange so that in future she make sure I have that. Now that is customer service! :)

Once some time has passed for the anaesthetic to work she takes off the dressing from the tooth. A few times I feel an uncomfortable feeling almost pain but not quite. I stop her and tell her. This is good, it means that the nerve is still functioning in there. She then gives me some more LA, but this isn't the deep one it will just numb the tooth up for a regular type filling.

After this anaesthetic kicks in she proceeds slowly in clearing the decay from the tooth, as she doesn't want to expose the nerve now she knows its alive. She swaps tools and at one point a shot of water hits me in the back of my throat, I have to stop her as I need to cough, its not a problem though, its the first time this has happened. After the second lot of LA I don't feel a thing, I hear the drilling and feel her fingers in the corner of my mouth, but nothing on my tooth. :)

She tells me that its not as bad as the x-ray showed, the deeper decay is along the edge, not in the middle so there is no need for the root canal. This is great news. :):)

I'm soon filled back up. She uses the harder material which is set by the blue light. A quick rinse out and I'm done.

Out of the chair and back at her desk I ask her to go through the remaining work needed. I make a point of asking her to try and save the top tooth instead of extracting it as I really can't cope with that, I'll put up with any amount of drilling over an extraction. She agrees to try, warning me it will be a root canal unless I'm really lucky. There is one tooth on the bottom left to do, the one between the two extracted ones, that is also looking like a root canal. The only other thing is a front edge filling needed on my top left wisdom tooth. I could do with four crowns being put on the RCT'ed teeth, but that is not urgent and can wait six months or a year. Wow, I'm getting so close to achieving a healthy mouth again.

The last thing is I ask if I can make a block of appointments for the next few weeks, so she schedules me in for two hour long appointments and a half-hour one. She also goes through my remaining list of treatments and deletes both the extractions on there. YES!!!!! :jump::jump::jump: This is even better than the much reduced bill for todays work, just £41 for the filling instead of £302 for a root canal.

I've now been home nearly three hours, the numbness has worn off and there is very little ache on that side of my mouth. I am so relieved that I am going to get through all this.

Sorry for the long post, but well done for reading my waffle this far.
Brilliant, well done and even better getting a smaller bill! :jump:
Fantastic! Especially getting the two extractions taken off your "to do" list. Sounds like you've got a great Dental team who are really out to make it as "easy" as possible for you!
Another appointment yesterday and I hadn't been able to sleep very well for the past few nights, although I didn't think I was too nervous about this appointment. I was having work done on the top left molar with the BIG hole in it where I had lost a filling and it subsequently broke the front edge off to the gum. It originally was going to be an extraction but we changed to a root canal instead. I knew that I could cope with the RCT so I shouldn't be nervous.

I think the problem was that this tooth has never hurt me, even when it was a big open hole, no pain. The only time I've felt anything was when my dentist covered up the open hole with the sedative dressing back in February. I think I was expecting aching after poking around what has been a pain-free tooth and thats what was causing me sleepless nights. Why should I treat a tooth that doesn't hurt and potentially cause a weeks aching, after all the last tooth I had a RCT on took about a week to settle down, I didn't want to upset this one too. :( I know that ignoring a problem won't make it better so lets get it fixed.

The appointment went to its usual routine, get called in and sit at her desk to discuss this weeks treatment and how last times has been, then its on into the chair. Being able to talk at the desk is so much easier than in the chair, I'm not in such a submissive position and can take in what we are discussing.

Numbing gel on the gum then the LA. I hardly feel a thing when the LA is being given which surprises me as I thought it had to go deeper for the RCT and I usually feel the deeper ones as being a tight sensation. After a few minutes I am apparently numb although I don't feel like it so I say so. I am assured that I am numb, LA to the top teeth tends to stay a lot more local to the tooth than the lower ones, which often spreads along the jaw and the outside of the face. If I feel anything then to stop her and she will add more LA but I shouldn't need it.

She cleans out the dressing and also de-scales the tooth as this one wasn't done on the initial cleaning, Mr Phobic here wouldn't allow that back then.:censored: She then goes about cleaning out the rest of the decay. I do feel something but its not a sharp pain, but I stop her anyway. Not a problem, a quick extra bit of LA and she is good to go again. The nerves in the tooth have shrunk back from the decay anyway, which is why I hadn't had any pain from this tooth before and it doesn't take long before she is washing out the channels with a bit of disinfectant. Then its dried out and temporary filled up to 'rest' the tooth before finishing off next time. She takes a quick x-ray to get a closer look at the length of roots to finish off with.

That was it, done for today. Back at her desk she shows me the x-ray, one of the roots has a curve to it but that doesn't seem to worry her, I wonder how she is going to get around the curve with her tools but obviously it can be done. She tells me that only a thin edge of tooth is left and she doesn't want to build the tooth back to full height as this would put a lot of leverage on the tooth when eating and could easily snap it off. A lower tooth would be safer for the long-term survival of this one. Thats OK, I can live with a short tooth. I'm glad she is conscientious of making my teeth last rather than making them look perfect. If I was that concerned about the looks I wouldn't have let them get like this in the first place.

Next time she will finish off the RCT properly and do a small filling on the front edge of the wisdom tooth next to it while its numb in the same area. I'm glad about this because at the end of each appointment I always feel like I wish I could have had more done, although I'm also glad to have finished, weird! For some strange reason I felt very shaky leaving the surgery today, probably in anticipation of the aching that I am expecting, but which (24 hours later) so far hasn't happened.

After that its just one tooth on the bottom that needs to be done. Its likely to be a RCT over another two visits. I may have to re-arrange the appointment for the end of the month as I have another holiday booked for the week after it and I don't want to leave a big gap between starting the treatment and finishing it off.

I feel I'm getting so close to the end now I dare hardly think about it.
Well done robotguy, another notch in your belt and you're so close. Now, how are you going to handle only needing to go every 6 months for cleanings?

Robotguy, you're an inspiration to everyone who doesn't think they can go through with even a first appointment! WELL DONE. I've read your entire journal so far in 2 afternoon sittings, and was really peeved when I realised we were up to date and there was no more to read for now.
The other thing that became so obvious to me is that there are :cry: dentists, and :( dentists. And then, there are :thumbsup: dentists.
If only ALL dentists could read your journal - maybe you should publish it in book form and provide free copies to all dentists!!! How fortunate you were to find such a wonderful one.
Before I had my extractions, I had made an appointment with a dentist who had a big sign out the front of his surgery saying WE CATER FOR COWARDS! But before the appointment day came around, I spoke to someone who had been to him and he said the dentist took one look in his mouth and yelled at him for letting his teeth deteriorate so much. I promptly cancelled MY appointment!
I also remember many years ago when I had one upper wisdom tooth removed, and as it came out the dental nurse gasped "oh my goodness, look at ALL the blood!" Not meaning to be mean, but I hope she was fired the moment I left the surgery.
If only more dentists recognised what dental phobia really is, and were as good as your wonderful lady, there'd be a lot less dental phobia. She sounds like a combination of dentist and psychologist, as well as a very caring and patient person. She deserves something special when all this is over. Maybe you could write an article about how she overcame your phobia and have it published in your local newspaper, so others like you will know where to get help.
But YOU deserve something special too, other than that brilliant smile you're so close to having. You've been through the wars, no doubt about it, but you've done it with so much courage. Courage is easy when there's no fear, you need to have that fear to be brave. So set yourself a reward, something you really want to do or buy or experience but have put off for too long, and promise yourself that as soon as all this is over, you WILL DO it. Then you'll have something really pleasant to think about next time you're in that chair with your mouth hanging open.
Congratulations Robotguy, and I can hardly wait for the next instalment. Hopefully when it's all over we'll get to see a photo of your brilliant smile beaming out at us.
Thanks for the comments, its nice to feel that I can give hope to other phobic and scared people out there. I was unable to read the journals for a long time after I first found this forum, they were just too scary for me, but strangely when writing my own I've found it very soothing to write it all out, warts and all. When I read back at the early stuff I still get shaky as it still brings back the panic feelings, but I can also see how working in tiny little steps I have managed to get through almost everything.

I'm not too sure about having a great smile at the end of it, I'm aiming for a mouth without rotting and broken teeth. My teeth will still be crooked and a bit yellow but as long as they are healthy, working and no longer causing me pain, I will be very happy.

We were taking some family photos the other day, (my daughters last day at University), and I realized that I was laughing and showing my teeth in some photos as they were being taken. I stopped for a second in panic then remembered that I don't have to hide my mouth anymore, only one tooth needs work and thats got a temporary cover on it so looks OK. It was just a small moment that has brought home how this was affecting me without me realizing it.

I have also seen a recent photo of me with a group of other robot builders; we are all smiling and I'm showing teeth there too, I don't know when I stopped smiling with a closed mouth for the camera. Also my teeth looked whiter than some of the other peoples which was a surprise to me, brushing twice a day really is helping.

Sometimes during the journey I've thought that I want more done during an appointment than I've have done, but I'm also aware that at the end of each appointment that I'm ready to stop too. It may have been nearly six months of visits, going nearly every week, but baby steps and a good sympathetic dentist have got me through the treatment. Of course without the anxiety therapy I wouldn't have been able to get through the door in the first place. I really am grateful for the whole team on getting me through this, even the receptionist makes an effort in helping me.

A couple of strange thoughts that I used to have have been laid to rest too, these were the result of the weird ranting of my phobic mind. First I dreaded having an accident and being rushed to hospital where they have to put a tube down my throat to allow me to breathe, what would the emergency doctor think as they opened my mouth and saw the horrible teeth in there, oh how I used to fear that happening. I still don't want it to happen but I'm glad there is no embarrassment on a doctor looking in my mouth anymore. The other weird one is reading about tragic accidents in the newspapers where the victims are identified from dental records; I had no dental records so how would they know my body. That ones gone too, now I have a nice record to identify me from. Like I said weird thoughts that my phobia make up for me, lol.

How will I cope with just regular 6 month check ups? - just fine, thats what I'm aiming for. I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am having my mouth made healthy at last, I never would have believed that I could do this. I was literally working out how fast my teeth were crumbling away and wondering if I could avoid the dentist until I died, what an awful way to have been.

Anyway, next appointment is tomorrow to finish off this RCT and a filling on the tooth next to it. I do seem to be past most of my phobia at the moment as I'm not worried about it, both things I've already had done so there should be no surprises for me.
WAY TO GO Robotguy!!!!!! :respect:
What a wonderful inspiration you are to everyone.

And now, not only are you overcoming your fear of dentists, but also other phobias related to your teeth that were embedded in your subconscious. How great is that?

One suggestion : copy/paste all your entries in here, print them out, put them in a binder, and hide them in a place where only YOU know where they are. In 6 months when you need to go back for a checkup, you may (MAY, then again might not) have a little mini-anxiety attack because you forgot how brave you became. But if you re-read your journal before you go, it will reinforce the fact that you will have nothing to be anxious about.

How great is it to look forward to the future free of all those "what ifs"? :yay: