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Large Cavity in Upper Molar

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Paranoidpatient

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Jan 25, 2017
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I have long suffered dental phobia and finally got the courage to visit a dentist in 2016 for a consultation. In that consult I had x rays, they pointed out that I have a large cavity on the side of the tooth (not on the chewing surface) and need to perform a tooth vitality test.

I am embarrassed to say this...I relapsed in my fear of the dentist. It scared the heck out of me and I have not been back. Needless to say, no tooth vitality test was performed. Lately cold air, liquid and food has created the sharpest pain in my tooth. Heat does as well but not to the severity of the cold. No pain from the temperatures is long lasting, once the cold or hot stimulus is removed the pain goes away in less than 15 seconds but I am left with a tear in my eye. Just tonight I lost a chunk of tooth while flossing which provoked this message.

Along with the temperature, I get random pains in the tooth almost electrical in nature but do not last for long.

Other than "dentist appointment" the words "dental abscess" scare the heck out of me. My question is...how susceptible is the offending tooth to becoming infected? I'm trying to get the courage to go to the dentist and the winter holidays are ahead. Seems like a terrible time to get an abscess.

Thanks for reading! :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Paranoidpatient

First off sorry to hear of the chunk of tooth falling.. I have been there its a quite panic ,stress feeling and then the anxiety of what to do next ....

Your last visit in 2016 ,you said It scared the heck out of me and I have not been back.

Is there something specific that really scared you, other than general fear of the dentist? Have you looked into any websites for anxious patient friendly dentists that may make you feel more at ease? Also look for google and yelp reviews that specifically mention that they were good with anxiety.. I chickened out on 3 root canal specialists over the years and never went back, but this last time when I had earned some trust with my dentist ,and he told me I needed to I looked for one with good reviews with anxious patients and I can say, he was great, made sure every concern was cared for and very patient. I really hope you can find a place you feel comfortable thats a huge start..

Maybe just asking if you can even go and meet them before they do the testing to see if you feel comfortable.

Also just to encourage you. if you do need to get emergency type treatment if you can't handle the pain from this broken tooth if there is.. my current dentist works at an emergency place and is amazing and the best dentist with anxious patients I've ever had... so alot of emergency dentists have alot of care and patience :). if you were to need that with a broken tooth. not to say you do.

Let us know how it goes.. I agree the holidays are a scary time to think about dealing with tooth issues . :(. hope you are able to find some compassionate help.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Paranoidpatient,

sorry to read about your experience from 2016, it sounds like the message about the vitality test was quite overwhelming. May I ask you what it was that scared you so much and how did the dentist react to that?

I am not a dentist, but as far as my understanding of teeth goes, sensitivity to cold and warm is a sign of the nerve being infected. An abscess is just the way of the body to deal with the infection if it haven't get treated for some time. It might be a good idea to get this sorted as soon as possible. Your dentist might be able to see what your tooth needs just from x-rays, without the need of vitality testing. Generally, if you let your dentist know what scares you about treatment, they should do their best to find a way to make it easier for you.

All the best wishe and may you find a kind dentist as soon as possible to get this sorted
 
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MountainMama

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Jul 1, 2018
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I have a dental phobia although this summer/fall has kind of helped with that as I have had so many issues. I have had to face some of my biggest fears, and made it through.

My upper left molar had an infected nerve. I had the random pain as well as the sensitivity. However it was also painful when tapped on, and the sensitivity lasted for a few seconds after the source was taken away. I had to go to an endodontist and they said it needed a root canal. It turns out the nerve was dying, but it never did abscess.

I had an abscess on my front tooth, from a childhood injury. That was a totally different feeling, and the pain was constant instead of random.

If your nerve is infected, you definitely want to do the vitality test, as it is better to get it treated or extracted sooner rather than later, so that you don't get an abscess. The vitality test basically consists of the dentist or endodontist tapping on the tooth. If the results from that are iffy, then they use endo ice, which is cold and they put it on the tooth. They tell you to let them know when you feel it, then they take it away and tell you to cover the tooth with your tongue. If the sensitivity lingers, then you know the nerve is affected. The testing isn't too bad.
 
P

Paranoidpatient

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Jan 25, 2017
Messages
25
Thanks for the replies I really appreciate it! Sorry it took me forever to respond, I go into a mini depression when I have tooth problems...not sure that makes sense. I need to make an appointment soon...feel like I am on borrowed time. Just need to get the courage! Sounds so easy except it is so hard. I just need to stay off google it seems to make things worse mentally and not better.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I go into a mini depression when I have tooth problems...not sure that makes sense.
Makes perfect sense and we can all relate to it. Hope you can get in touch with a practice soon. Do you have a practice you feel might manage to treat you kindly and put you at ease?

Google. Don't do that. Really. You probably know that already. There is a journal section here on the forum. It is a great place to write out your thoughts. I used it myself in the initial phases of my journey and it helped tremendously and kept me busy.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Just need to get the courage! Sounds so easy except it is so hard. I just need to stay off google it seems to make things worse mentally and not better.
Paranoidpatient,

This is so... true.. it is really hard and its really hard to get the courage.. really...sometimes more than others like being on a total freeze state and not moving forward. I agree with google too. though its hard to stay off and very tempting but most the time more hurtful than helpful with tooth stuff.
 
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