• Dental Phobia Support

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Looking to go to the Dentist after 5+ years (it's not good)

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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
Hi everyone.

I'm currently 33 and I've always been a nervous patient since I had a back molar removed in my early 20s and the dentist (not my usual) said to me, "if you had come to me sooner I could have saved your tooth." The level of shame I felt left me scurrying and I didn't go back for years.

When I did, I got fairly good at going prior to my break and I had early gum disease/was seeing the hygienist. But then my parents died (both terminally ill) and then the pandemic happened and my fear, which has left me unable to eat, sleep or do anything at the thought or re-registering, has left me paralysed.

I was trying to sort out a HC3 form, turns out I earn too much. But in the mean time of me trying to sort that out one of my teeth has cracked to the gum line, one of my front side teeth has died and a first back molar has been really sore and now isn't - I'm assuming it's dead.

Nothing to say about my gum disease and other teeth because I haven't been regular with my hygiene due to depression hence the above issues. I'm on it now but I'm just even more terrified to go. He's going to take one look at me and go, you're beyond help, take them all out. Or a partial won't work because the existing teeth are so bad.

Reading everyone else's stories is really helpful, thank you. Sending you all peace and love.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Jan 1, 2005
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Hi @dentalnelly and welcome!

There is no way you're beyond help. Are you planning to re-register with your previous dentist? It sounds as if they were more empathetic than the person who made you feel ashamed years ago. I'm sure any half-decent dentist/human being will be understanding of your situation, it sounds like you've been through hell and back. So sorry to hear about losing both your parents, that must have been so horrible.

Fair play to you for working up the courage to get back on track, please rest assured that there are many others in similar situations and dentists really have seen it all, and the whole point of dental care is to make you happy about your teeth again :grouphug:
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
[email protected]

Thank you for replying, letsconnect. I have to re-register via appointment and I'm booked in for Friday at 10:20am. As much I'm afraid, if they take 3, 5 or 8, that's still not all of them and I need to arrest my gum disease and try to stop this bruxism I have going on and has gotten infinitely worse since I started my new job.

I think for most of us it's the fear of the unknown. If they have to take a front tooth, will I have to walk around toothless in the front for 3-6 months? Maybe I don't know.

But! I got a prescription filled for diazepam and booked myself into the NHS IAPT. I'm doing my best and that's all any of us can do when we have dental phobia.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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That's great that you managed to get an appointment :) - and that you've booked yourself into the IAPT. Keeping my fingers crossed that things move quickly for you!

Dentists realise that nobody would want to walk around with a missing front tooth (even NHS patients!), so even if the worst came to the worst and the tooth couldn't be saved, there's always an immediate temporary denture. So no need to worry on that front.

Wishing you all the best for Friday, please let us know how you got on.
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
@letsconnect You got me just as I was going to reply to update. Thank you for the confirmation on the temporary denture, that was a real concern. I work in corporate consultancy and I'm not really sure how to explain the massive front adjacent gap.

Unfortunately I had to push my appointment back by a week to Friday 18th at 9am because where I went into a panic spiral I set off a cold sore. 😞 But once I realised I called them up straight away and rebooked rather than chancing it and maybe having to wait another 2 weeks on top.

I feel a lot better about it all. I've talked about it with friends and at the end of the day, needs must. Better now than to wait and everything has gone to hell in a hand basket completely. My brother is getting married in the next couple of years and I want to not be trying to hide anything more than my generally crooked smile (hi chipped buck tooth).

I think it helps that I know exactly what I'm afraid of which is the judgement/embarrassment which makes it nearly impossible to get me in the door. I have zero fear over having things done or even my dentist specifically, his son and I went to the same university. Just everything up until the chair has me panicking, sweating, and faint. If I can get over that bit I'm golden.

I will update as things progress. I expect quite quickly as I have 2 weeks off before Christmas so that's a lot of free real estate to have follow ups.
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
I'm...confused.

So he took a look at my cracked cusp, gave me another filling and said he'd see me next week to talk about how I'm doing. What does that mean?

Am I about to get ambushed? He said no but has anyone else ever had this?

ETA: My appointment today was an emergency appointment to deal with my main tooth issues but I thought he would have mentioned if he saw anything untoward.

This is why my dentist is the best/worst. He knows not to give me any string but also the not knowing is what gets me.
 
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letsconnect

letsconnect

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Congratulations on making it to the appointment!

It sounds as if today was an emergency appointment, rather than a check-up. Emergency appointments usually don't allow enough time to go through all the usual check-up things (x-rays, a chat about what's bothering you about your teeth, treatment recommendations if applicable, dental health advice and tips, etc.). So it would make perfect sense for him to talk about how you're doing next week. The fact that he said you're not about to get ambushed is a good sign :)!
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
@letsconnect Thank you! And thanks for the reassurance. He did take some x rays and we talked about a couple of problem areas where I was sure I was going to have my teeth removed and he was like...no. He gave me a prescription for a toothpaste and tapped my tooth and nothing, tapped my filling tooth. He said sensitivity and abcesses are not the same thing. Which, true. I just have various bumps and grooves in my mouth that make it hard to tell. I was convinced I had a secret bone eating abscess I didn't know about. I took a Xanax and broke the seal. It was my wake up call to take care of myself. I no doubt have fillings and whatnot to contend with but by the grace of some holy god I didn't lose any teeth today.

I did find it a wee bit strange that he suggested I book the hygienist, even though she has a long wait time (March!) and I said should I go somewhere else? He said if you want to be seen sooner. I would have thought that I need a full root and scale.

But let's end on a funny anecdote from the experience: I have very long hair, about 25inches long from scalp to tip (some mine, some not, wahey alopecia, not that you'd ever know) and it kept falling off my shoulder to hang and I was like...that could be awkward...and proceeded to scoop up my hair and stuff it down my roll neck jumper. I would like to say this isn't like me but this is my personality in a nutshell.

Would it be possible to move my thread to journals? I don't want to double post but I'd like to keep this updated as things progress.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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But let's end on a funny anecdote from the experience: I have very long hair, about 25inches long from scalp to tip (some mine, some not, wahey alopecia, not that you'd ever know) and it kept falling off my shoulder to hang and I was like...that could be awkward...and proceeded to scoop up my hair and stuff it down my roll neck jumper. I would like to say this isn't like me but this is my personality in a nutshell.

Sounds like a very thoughtful thing to do :).

Sure, no problem moving your thread to journals!

I think it's very common for people to assume the worst after not having visited a dentist in a while! As your dentist said, if you'd like to get cleaning (now that you're in the swing of things), there's nothing stopping you from seeing a hygienist elsewhere. I get the impression that after Covid, some dental practices are still catching up on getting everyone seen, hence the long waiting times.
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
Thank you so much. 🧡

Well.

My new filling is way too high and it's interfering with my bite to the point that it's painful to chew on it and it's throbbing. No heat or cold sensitivity and he did just free wheel doing it without any anaesthetic (I wasn't asked but I prefer to be without if I can as it makes me morose). So it's expected that the nerve is all jangled up.

Maybe this will cure my of my bruxism because it hurts like fudge to do it. 😞
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
Picked up my prescription for fluoride toothpaste. Wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. I bizarrely have a mint allergy - it would make my gums peel horrifically - and could only ever use Colgate herbal toothpaste and it wasn't the best taste ever. Neither is this but it is way better.

Filling tooth was a pain, the throbbing became pretty intense and so I put some orajel on it and took some aspirin. Can't have ibuprofen as I'm allergic. Up this morning and it's sore but no throbbing, so I guess I just overdid it with chewing yesterday. My mistake, lesson learned. Plus it's white composite since my dentist won't give me a silver amalgam while I'm grinding my teeth (the SA is the one I cracked).

I just need to leave it alone because I'm someone who constantly needs to know things and all I'm going to do is irritate the nerve more and need a root canal and crown. I'm not ruling it out but I hope not.
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
I got my filling adjusted and...that was it.

My dentist was very amused by the stupefied look on my face when he told me I didn't need anything else done.

Let me be clear, my teeth aren't winning any awards but the fact I don't have to have anything done to them is wild.

I guess I'm a success story because I'm not going to let things get like this again. Every six months like clockwork. Sure I'll do it dosed on xanax but yeah. Wow.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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That's brilliant news - congratulations :jump:!!

Thanks so much for the update!
 
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dentalnelly

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
21
Location
London, England
That's brilliant news - congratulations :jump:!!

Thanks so much for the update!

Thank you!!

I'm still going to see a private dentist about composite bonding on a front tooth because it feels precarious with its chip as it's dead. It has a filling which is why my dentist was willing to in it but I'm not so sure. So that visit might throw up more issues, I dont know, I've never been private before, but I'll take the win for now.
 
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