• Dental Phobia Support

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Just started my dental journey after 12 years of neglect



Junior member
Feb 22, 2023
Hello everyone, I've just joined this page and so glad to of found it, full of people like me!
I just wanted to share my story and see if anyone has been in a similar position and had success.

I'm 30 next month and my teeth are in horrendous condition, it's something I think about daily and have done for years, a constant source of shame and embarrassment. For years I suffered with depression and I just didn't look after myself. I knew they were in really bad condition, but because they always looked ok ish when I smiled I kept putting off making the initial leap, I think I was also so scared of what they would tell me if I did go to the dentist and I wasn't sure I could cope with knowing the extent of the damage and the mental toll this would take on me, however I know out of sight out of mind is not the answer.
Then a few months ago a tooth chipped and the filling came out. It was painful but again I ignored it because I was so nervous. I began eating on one side only to avoid it, then the same thing happened on the other side with a different tooth. So now I have two broken teeth and can barely chew, they started to hurt a lot and it prompted me to finally be brave and go and get them sorted. I'm in the UK and there isn't a single NHS dentist near me taking patients so I've had to go private, I really can't afford it and I'm so worried about the cost but I realise that this is important.
I have severe anxiety anyway and on top a huge phobia of dentists from a bad experience when I was younger, so the fact I've even gone and had the initial check up was an absolute miricle.

They told me there is quite extensive damage. The two broken teeth I can either get root canal treatment and crowns, or I can get them out and have an implant. I also need 4 fillings and referral to a gum specialist as I have pretty bad gum disease, two of the front lower teeth have gum recession, and the bone in the jaw had started to shrink in that area. All of this I sort of knew, I could feel they weren't ok. But having it confirmed was very emotional for me and I cried a lot in the appointment, mostly from shame I think.

It's going to cost me thousands of pounds I think I'm going to have to get a loan or something, but I finally feel like I'm taking control of my health rather than ignoring it and that's a good feeling.
I've just got home from my first hygienest appointment, my teeth are very sensitive and the most painful part was the cold air they were blasting into my mouth, the actual cleaning part wasn't too bad.

I have my first appointment for a filling next week, and there I can also tell them my decision on the broken teeth weather I want to get RCT and a crown or implant - I'm actually not sure which would be the best route so if anyone has any experiences they want to share with those please let me know!

Has anyone else been through similar and can say they have good oral health now?
Thanks for getting this far I really appreciate it. X
@Jessym hi I’m in the UK also .
Firstly we’ll done for finally going and getting your teethe sorted out that’s the first step which is done .
I can’t give advice on anything per se although I’m in the same position as you where I may need a root canal .
One of my back teeth has a very old filling, from years ago , it’s leaked now and I keep getting flares of pain like now !
Every time I have X-rays there’s no infection just that I need this tooth sorting which may end up resulting in a root canal .
After being on this page I’ve read some posts about root canal and now I feel a little okay about having one as they do it in small sessions which for me is better as am autistic and have bad anxiety where I make myself poorly !
I have my next appointment on the 23rd of march and I have too go and get it sorted.
I think the practice I’m at still takes on NHS patients although am not 100% sure.
I struggle so much and cry and panic before I even have the numbing cream etc which makes me anxious then after it I feel poorly because of how bad I get .

Even though I feel ashamed of my teeth I think to myself at least am keeping up with my appointments and brushing flossing etc .

You can always message me if you want .
It’s best too get them sorted also if it helps I have quite a few missing teeth at the back 😢 I never smile at all .
Good luck
@Jessym Hello and welcome!

I’m glad you’re here.

While this is difficult news to hear, at least now you have a better idea of (1) where you are and (2) a preliminary idea of how to move forward.

You may not realize it yet, but you are further along your journey, closer to the successful outcome you hope for, than you may realize.

Please do keep us posted.
@Jessym you have made it through one of the hardest parts already, just going to a dentist! I went without going way too long and was diagnosed with extensive gum disease, the only answer at the time was pulling all the top teeth, leaving 4 bottom teeth and getting dentures and a partial. Fast forward a year and my gums are stronger and I'm preparing for an implant surgery. It's been a lot, more mental than physical but I'm in much better health overall and wish I could have done implants from the start. If I can be of any support to you, just let me know. Hopefully everything can be fixable and not to the extreme that I went through. It's a great feeling to smile with confidence again.

Are the dentures okay ? I definitely will need them .
Am hoping the NHS will be able too provide them for me . Good luck with the surgery
Hi @Jessym and welcome!

Well done for working up the courage to see a dentist despite the shame and embarrassment on top of the phobia! That takes a lot of guts.

I have my first appointment for a filling next week, and there I can also tell them my decision on the broken teeth weather I want to get RCT and a crown or implant - I'm actually not sure which would be the best route so if anyone has any experiences they want to share with those please let me know!

So basically, it depends on the prognosis of these teeth. I think if it was me, I'd want to see an endodontist (specialist for root canal treatment) to find out how they rate the chance of saving these teeth. If it was high, then I'd go with the root canal treatment. If their prognosis was more guarded and they didn't hold out much hope for the tooth, then I'd contemplate the implant route.

You can find some more info about RCT here:

(in case implants are preferable and you're anywhere near Welwyn Garden City, Lincoln Hirst who answers questions here on the forum from time to time is really great with apprehensive patients, here's his website: Garden City Dental)

Anyway - thanks so much joining and please keep us updated!
Good for you for getting started, that sometimes is the hardest part! I also left going to the dentist for many years and of course, i paid for it with needing work- wisdom teeth out and 8 fillings. Since then, also had a tooth break and needed a root canal/crown, then another a filling didn't work so needed a root canal/crown, so those cost a lot. Try to think of a root canal as a large filling, that helped, if you go that way, but i'd go to a specialist to see what they suggest. Root canals take longer but also saves your tooth, if it works. Get all the facts to do with your teeth. Way to go, do it one step at a time and space them out if you can and if that helps you (emotionally and financially).
@Natzuk the dentures are fantastic compared to broken and loose teeth and also compared to zero teeth. That being said there have also been draw backs. As your gums heal they shrink so then the denture doesn't fit properly, fixodent is a godsend but it's having something glued in your mouth that sometimes gets claustrophobic. Also having my palate covered at times gets super uncomfortable. All in all having these dentures for the past year has been a good thing, one I can smile and feel comfortable and no one knows they are fake and two it allowed my gums to heal up enough to handle implants. I will be getting a CONUS implant so I will be able to remove them and clean underneath them if I need to but the big improvement is supposed to be in the bite power and having my palate uncovered. Anything involving major dental work takes tons of patience and the longer you can let things heal the better you will be in the long run. I'm cheering for you!

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