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

Thank you for your comments again.

Well I went back for the second part of the RCT yesterday. Last week she told me that I wasn't cleaning right to the back of my mouth and to make sure I did as the gums were not looking their best back there. This upset me a bit because I've been trying really hard to brush properly twice a day, since I started this journey. So I had put in more effort in my cleaning over the past week but I had started to have some slight ache in the other RCT'ed tooth the other side since I did this. I didn't want to mention this aching in case it meant that the RCT was failing or I had an infection in there and I was going to loose the tooth anyway, but I decided that I was NOT going to ignore my teeth again, so I did tell her. She looked at the tooth and said it was nothing to worry about, plus the cleaning was much better than last time.

The LA was given and I didn't feel a thing this time, I remembered to breath out slowly and calmly as it went in. Once it had taken effect it was on with the rubber dam, I don't like how it clips on to the tooth, its quite uncomfortable but as it covers my whole mouth I find I can sit there with my mouth open without it feeling like its open, if you see what I mean.

As I have very little real tooth left above the gum on this one it was decided to go through last weeks filling and not remove it, to keep the strength in the tooth, which makes sense to me.

One of the roots on this tooth curves quite a lot and as she got into the curved part I started to feel it so I stopped her. She hadn't got around the corner last week so she was removing the end of this nerve, as I could feel it she put some more LA down the tooth to the nerve. However I could still feel it and so stopped her again. It was no worse than having a toenail cut where it curves in to your toe at the side, it wasn't a sharp pain but enough to be very uncomfortable. She put a bit more LA in and told me that it would get less and less the more she took out. She was right too, she talked me through it and the pain did go, it was bearable but certainly not nice. I could feel it easing off and all I thought about was bad tooth being taken away, once it was all gone, I would have no pain again. This helped and I got through it.

Then she washed the channel out with disinfectant and did some final shaping of the canal. This was gentle but she obviously touched the very end of the root as I felt some aching again, but not enough to stop her. Then she put in the plugs to seal the roots off, melting the tops off. These also seemed to press on the end of the tooth which wasn't nice. I was worried that there was something wrong as I didn't have sensation like this on the last RCT.

Finally she put on the filling and set it with the blue light. A bit of final shaping and I was done. The rubber dam was taken off and an x-ray taken before I sat up. I still had quite a bit of aching, I then remembered that I hadn't taken any Ibuprofen beforehand this time. I said that it was aching and was told that it will settle down soon and that removing the nerve in the curved part was the cause.

The x-ray of the tooth showed that she had got right to the end of the curved root, amazing! She was quite happy with how it went and didn't expect any problems with todays work. She advised I take Ibuprofen if I needed to for the ache, but if I experienced an increasing pain or swelling to come back sooner rather than later.

Next time I'm having a filling done on the top left wisdom tooth, it was going to be done today but she didn't want to do too much to me in one go. To be honest I had had enough, that curved root had pushed me to the max today, I felt very shaky leaving there and couldn't wait to take some pain relief when I got home. Now, 24 hours later I have zero ache or pain and can happily cross another tooth off the to-do list.

I remembered that I promised to post the photo of the other RCT'ed tooth with the hard pad fixed in the top of it, so I've added it here. You can see the back two teeth are not the correct tooth shape, but they will do for now until I can afford crowns on them. The next two teeth to them have also been filled/rebuilt. Plus you can see, on the right of the photo, the remaining bottom tooth to be done with its temporary dressing still in place since it was put on in February.


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Congratulations on getting through that Robotguy. However that's upsetting to me, curve or no curve it shouldn't have hurt, period. Sounds like one of the many root canals I had years ago and its supposed to be painless now. I can see a hot tooth maybe being opened up to drain but an elective root canal - nope. It really should have been like the last one you had, she just plain didn't have you numb enough.

I would talk to her about it, when you're not in a hurry to get out of the chair. But that's me and I still don't trust anyone or anything to do with dentistry right now.

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Thinking about it I don't believe it did hurt, I just felt 'something'.

I think that is what I can't cope with on an extraction; it doesn't hurt but I can feel pressure/movement. I can stand any amount of drilling and filling as once I'm numb I don't feel anything, there is no real physical pushing going on so I can stand it. I don't like the filling being pushed in as I feel that, not pain, just the pushing. I believe I felt pushing at the end of my tooth and pushing of the resin/plastic plugs being put in, but not pain.

I will talk to her at the next appointment, I will stress that I MUST be totally numb. I'm also aware that once I have felt 'something' my bodies reaction starts to fight the LA quite effectively and I have to calm down to let it work fully again.

Within a few hours of that appointment I was fine though. I wanted the Ibuprofen as soon as I got home but there was no need for any more after that, there was less aching than from the RCT previously. It certainly hasn't put me off at all or stepped up the phobia again.
You have done so well Robotguy and have such a good relationship with your dentist. Also, great photo too, you must be so proud. If I could open my mouth and it looked like that I would be so happy.

Being able to know exactly what is going on step by step is something I can't even comprehend doing at the moment. I have 3 days to go before my 9 extractions under iv!

Keep up the good work!!! :jump:
Looking good Robotguy!:)
Hi all, back from my 16th visit to the dentist and this one really has nothing special to tell you.

As usual we sat at her desk and talked before I sat in the chair. I took the oppotunity to say that I wasn't happy with how much I 'felt' during last weeks RCT, she appoligised and said that she didn't realise that I could feel anything. I find it very hard to say things in the chair and having the rubber dam doesn't help my comunication when I need to. If I am honest she does stop every time I signal her to, I just felt unable to last week. She told me again that I must tell her to stop if I want her to and that she will understand what I am saying, if necessary she will take the dam off so I can talk to her. She stressed that she is there to make me as confortable as possible during the work and that I AM in control of it. I do feel better after talking to her and fell happy that I am able to do this with her.

Anyway, today was just a small filling. Oh hark at me 'just a small filling', I was worried a bit about this one, why was it left until now to do, was it going to end up another RCT, was it awkward to get at, why was it not tempoarly filled along with the others at the begining, these and other questions had been floating through my mind the past few days. The simple answer was it wasn't a big hole and was not urgent, I had lots of bigger problems to tackle first, being the upper wisdom tooth right at the back it wasn't visible so it didn't make a diference to how I felt. Early on I needed things done to boost my confidence to getting the work done. In truth it really was just a small filling.

The LA was completly painless and stayed really local to the tooth. Having the decay removed took very little time, most of it was on the side against my cheek with just a little bit on the biting surface. (If it had a tooth below it to bite on, lol). It was a bit tight to get in there with the tools but at no time was she rough, pushing or pulling me, she just asked me nicely to move slightly, to open or close my mouth a little, thats the way she treats me every time and I'm so grateful for this, it makes every penny I pay worth it. The filler was set using the blue light and then polished smooth and shaped. The whole appoinment today was less than 35 minutes.

Next time its the turn of the single lonely tooth at the lower left, that still has the tempoary dressing on from February. It looks like its just going to be a filling, there is no indication that its deep enough to need a RCT. Its going to need some rebuilding up as its broken off the front edge but that shouldn't be a problem looking at what other things have been rebuilt. This is the last tooth that needs to be fixed up, but its going to have to wait until I'm back from holiday, so I have two and a half weeks to wait.
Nearly there Robotguy, enjoy your holiday! :yay:
Wow, I am in shock.:o

I went for my appointment today to have the lower left back tooth looked at. Its the last one that still has the temporary dressing on it from February. I was a bit apprehensive for this one as I've had no pain from it, somehow its easier to have teeth worked on that have caused me discomfort in the past, to touch a tooth thats not a problem seems wrong. Even if half the tooth was broken off, if it didn't hurt I would ignore it, but thats how I got in this mess.

Anyway, I was a few minutes late being called in today and as usual we talked at her desk about how things had been before moving on to the chair. In with the cotton wool roll with the numbing gel on before getting the LA administered. This was a blocking one so I was going to loose the feeling in my tongue and lip with it. While we were waiting for it to work I was asked what I wanted to do after today. I said that I would need a de-scale and polish as its been a few months since that was done and that maybe that was for next time then a rest for a few months to see how things go (plus allow the bank balance to build back up a bit), before we talk about adding crowns. She was fine with this an then said that the de-scale and polish could be done now while we wait for the LA to work. So we did.

She used the ultrasonic de-scaler which seemed so easy to cope with this time around. By the time she had done my whole mouth the LA was working nicely, so we moved onto the main event.

The temporary dressing was removed and she then took out the decay. She told me that much of the inside of the tooth was OK and it looked worse than it was. Which was a relief. I felt nothing while this was being done. A quick rinse out and then the tooth was built back up using the stuff that was set with the blue light. She then gave the filling a polish to smooth it off, followed by a polish around the rest of my teeth to finish off with.

Then she said the words I'd been waiting to hear for so long; that there was nothing left to do and that I was to come back in three months for a check-up. Yes! I had made it! :yay:

The reason she suggested three months instead of six was that she didn't want my anxiety to build again, and that three months was a good starting point for me between check-ups. This seems like a good idea to me, although I am determined not to get into the state I was before.

The best bit was the receptionist's reaction when I said that I didn't need an appointment for three months. She has been at virtually every appointment I've been to, even those with the therapist right back last November. When I come out from each appointment, she always asks if I need another appointment and I always say 'yes of course I do'. It was such a surprise to her that I was finally through it all. I'll admit that my eyes suddenly started watering at that point.:whistle:

So I've had; 2 extractions, 2 root canal treatments, 9 fillings, 2 de-scales and 8 temporary dressings. Total cost has been £1600. This has been to get my mouth healthy, although I could do with a few crowns to make things look better, I'm just so relieved to be free of pain and know that my teeth aren't crumbling away any more. I never wanted a Hollywood smile, just to be healthy.

I suppose that I should give a huge plug to my dentist as I've never mentioned her name anywhere in my journal; she is Ester Jones at the Enhance Dental Spa in Ely, Cambridgeshire. I cannot say how much of a difference she has made to me, she has been patient with me and helped me every step of the way.

I'd also like to thank everyone on here who has helped with encouragement and has read my ramblings, the support that you get on this site is wonderful, I thank you all. :respect:

Well done you!!!!
RG!!!!! How dare you pass me up and make it to the finish line laps ahead-

just kidding- you are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a little tear when I read your psot since I've been following you from day 1 and I think we are two of the rare ones who found a coach/therapist.

I hope you stay healthy...............don't go any where until I'm done, OK ????

You must be so proud of yourself, you have done so well, sat in that chair so many times, had so much treatment, managed to get through it all :jump::yay::respect::respect::yay::jump:, well done:XXLhug:.
RP& GM, I'm not going very far away for a while, there are many people on here who I want to know how they get on with their own journeys, you two included.

There is still much I could do, several of my teeth have huge fillings in/on them, I could do with a crown or six really, maybe even a bridge over the gap, but for now I'm happy that they are no longer broken, with open holes, catching food in them, hurting and generally being an embarrassment to me.

I wish I could have done this sooner when things weren't so bad, but I allowed my teeth and general health to deteriorate because of what my phobia was telling me.

There is no way I'm going to go back to how I was, I am determined that I am keeping these teeth in good condition. I will go for check-ups now as I understand what was keeping me away for all those years, it was thinking I was a failure. This was re-enforced by the dentist at every visit as a child, I was never doing enough for her and it was all more work for her. Plus being sent on my own didn't help, it made me think that even my parents didn't want to be with a looser. The easiest thing for me was to avoid it all and then I had no feelings of failure or letting people down. As soon as I realized that this was what kept me away I decided to get the treatment for ME and that I had to be happy, even if it put other people out. My poor wife HAD to come with me at each visit if I requested her to, it was all to do with breaking that feeling of not being worth it.

Absolutely the worst part was showing the dentist the inside of my mouth for the first time, I really had to get over the shame I was feeling, but she was very good about it and she never made me feel bad about what my teeth were like, she only wanted to help me conserve what was left. Even just being in control of that process, by using a mirror to show my teeth was a way of stopping the judgment I was expecting.

The treatment itself was fine, I was apprehensive at times but as long as I knew what was going to happen and that I controlled the speed of it, I was fine. The only real test was the extractions, but I coped and even went back for more after-wards. OK so things changed during the second round but I was strong enough to control the treatment and say NO.

I've got a couple more before and after photos that I'll sort out for later, too.

For now though I feel so much for some of the first-time posters on here, I want to help people get the treatment they so desperately want, if my journal can help them or if I can offer some words of comfort and encouragement then I will.
20th of July was my last post, wow time flies!

I went for a check-up today, three months after my last visit and everything was fine! ;D

This is the first ever check-up that I can remember that A- didn't hurt and B- was told there was nothing needed to be done.

I was a little nervous of going for this check-up, heck a major phobia just doesn't go away totally, but I was able to cope with it far easier than I can ever remember any dental appointment in the past.

As usual when I was invited into the surgery I was offered a chair at the dentist's desk rather than being sat in the big chair. I was asked how I was getting on and if there was any problems, I was happy to say that there have been none. I was asked how I was getting on with brushing and admitted that I knew that I didnt spend long enough sometimes but that I had managed to clean twice a day every day, something I'm quite proud of. For the best part of 20 years my phobia of things in my mouth stopped me even brushing my teeth, I think I have beaten that part of the phobia totally.

I admitted that I was a bit worried about having crowns put on some of the teeth, as I know that some of the tooth has to be removed to allow the crown to be fitted, after all there isn't much left on some of my teeth and didn't want to weaken them further. My dentist assured me that she would do nothing that would weaken my teeth just to make them look better, if I was happy with how they looked and they were doing their job, then she would leave them alone.

She then asked me to get in the chair so she could have a look and see how things were going. I told her that I the only thing I was a little worried about was if she wanted to poke about with a probe, (thats the first time I've spoken the word 'probe' in a very long time, it used to be a major trigger for me), she said that she did not need to do that at all, just using a mirror was fine. She reminded me that I just had to raise my hand if I wanted her to stop at any time, it was reasuring to know that she offered me the stop signal, I didn't need to ask for one to be agreed, its obviously something that she is used to doing for everyone.

Well she looked around and said that everything looked fine in there. The fillings/coverings were showing no sign of wear or damage so there was no need to rush into any crowns. She also said that she could see that I had been brushing regularly although I had missed a couple of places and to pay more attension to those in future.

The verdict was that I only needed a slight scale and polish and that she could do it today if I wanted, so we did. I sat there thinking I'm doing it right at last as she did the work, she actually said what a difference I was, both in my mouth and how I was acting, from when I first visited her. She told me that I now have a clean base to work from and to continue cleaning as I had, but try to get the areas I missed.

She was happy that my phobia hasn't returned, that was the reason for a three month check-up so I didn't give it chance to return, and she suggested we stretch it out to four months this time. I'm more then OK with this.

So it looks like I'm going the right way forward. I will still pop in here every so often, to offer words of encouragement where I can and keep up with the journeys of everyone.
I've just seen this robotguy as like you I don't pop in as often as I did, but feel I should.

:jump::jump::jump::jump::jump:You must be so proud of yourself and what you have achieved, especially R.E the tooth brushing as that really is a biggie:respect:I'm just so pleased for you I really am:).
:thumbsup:Good for you, you did it and you did it well.

While reading your long story what I felt you mainly needed (and finally achieved) is a good positive conection with the dentist.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The dental treatment is an intimic situation, one person (the patient) allows another person (the dentist) to touch and change things in his mouth. That is why the dentist must work with full awarenss, respect and gentelness.

It sounds like you know better your needs when you sit on the dental chair. I whish you only good experiences on that chair (and of course also outside....)

well done
Dr. Daniel
While reading your long story what I felt you mainly needed (and finally achieved) is a good positive conection with the dentist.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Couldn't agree more - this is what most dental patients would like.
Thanks guys. I'm still finding it hard to believe that I've had a good check-up.

I agree though that having the right dentist has made it so much easier to get treatment. The one I've got is one that I'm 100% able to talk to, she has time for my questions and lets me know the options and what is happening. I've never felt judged by her or made to feel awkward at all. This is so different from how I felt in the past.

A lot of help though came from having the anexiety therapy first, it educated me into WHY I felt like I did and why the dentist had such a negative reaction in my mind. I was able to take control at last and the right dentist worked with me to allow this.

Interestingly my wife has also now been to my dentist too and she can't believe how much more pleasant an appointment with this dentist is compared with her old one, and she has no phobia or problem with the dentist so couldn't see how one could make such a difference.

The downside to brushing regually is having to buy toothpaste so often, lol, but I'm determined to keep it up, I'm in a routine now and its getting much easier, almost a year since I started again.

Wish you all good things
Congratulations, I've added her details to the Dentistfinder.

Glad your wife has 'seen the light'...going to the dentist as a routine thing should be almost as pleasant as going to the hairdresser..for that to be so, the environment and the attitude has to be markedly different than what many in our forties were used to as kids.
Actually maybe your wife should try her goodlooking partner lol but you might get jealous!
I first chose a dental practice on it's pleasant waiting area environment as long ago as the mid 1980s and Dental spas definitely didn't exist then at all.
If only ALL dentists could read your journal - maybe you should publish it in book form and provide free copies to all dentists!!!

Totally agree - I've just re-read this thread from 2010, it's an amazing account and so well-written. I've taken the liberty of moving it into the success stories and making it a sticky :) (hope that's ok!)
I'm glad you made it a sticky letsconnnect because it is very well written and reflects the experience of so many of us on here. A good success story is what you need to read when you first come to DFC I think.

Reading it brought memories back and I had tears in my eyes as I remembered how I used to feel. But this bit struck a particular chord because it was one of the weird worries I used to have too -

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.

Thanks Robotguy :)