• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

My journey to total mouth restoration

A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
This was my first post here a month ago before I had my first surgery and it explains how I got to the point of needing to total mouth reconstruction. I have since had my surgery and have been recovering for a few days. I will post about that soon but want to put this out there. Hello all, I am brand new here. I felt I had to get some support from people who understand dental fear so here I am. I Just had my 41st birthday and in exactly one month, I will be having what's left of my teeth extracted to make room for full mouth dental implants. How I got here is I was a broke single mom for long time and I couldn't even afford regular check ups, let alone the treatment for advanced periodontal disease with bone loss. My teeth started to leave one by one...it was sad of course but they were mostly teeth that werent visible so I somehow managed to deal with it. I also managed somehow to deal with gum infections that would come and go in various areas, toothaches, eating my weight in ibuprofen, and living in some bizarre form of denial that it wouldn't get any worse and I could handle it. Deep down I knew what was eventually coming but didn't want to face it . Then, it happened. Out came a tooth on the top right in my smile line. More denial. I bought a temp tooth kit online and filled the gap that way...no one could tell. I spent hours obsessively constructing a fake plastic tooth so I could fool others and mainly myself that it wasn't such a horrible thing.

Since tooth loss is a domino effect with poor gums, the tooth next to my imposter eventually loosened and fell out. Damn. I had no choice anymore and made an appointment with the dentist after some 20 years of avoiding that chair. I told her my anxiety that stemmed from all sorts of issues when I was a kid at the dentist and she was kind. She took X-rays and then punched me with it. She said all my teeth had to come out at once and I had to have immediate DENTURES put in. How that word sent me spinning. Since I was making a move across country in the next month with my new husband, I told her I couldn't have major surgery and asked for a temp partial to make me look better in the meantime. That's what I got. Poor lousy fitting flipper that I have to use polygrip with to even hold it to the roof of my mouth, it comes loose when I chew, but it's SOMETHING and I can still smile. Hence more denial.

Skip ahead a year to June 2017...a couple more teeth came out in places not obvious but my four bottom teeth were really wobbly and I knew the charade was almost over. I cried and had panic attacks and then called around and made an appointment to talk to a dentist about getting dentures. I had such a hard time gettting in that chair. I told the handsome dentist with the beautiful gleaming smile about my issues and my anxiety and depression and he took X-rays and then proceeded to tell me I had the worst mouth he has ever seen in 25 years as a dentist. I wanted to crawl inside myself. Then he told he would pull all my teeth but I wouldn't be able to have dentures for at least a month because he didn't feel he could do impressions on me without the rest of my teeth falling out. He made horrible shocked and ugly faces and said "I don't know what to tell you but I would call around because I don't know what else to tell you. I wish you luck." I couldn't get out of there fast enough and I went out to my car and sat there for over an hour just staring at the building unable to move. Panic and terror and hopelessness swallowed me up. I truly can not believe a dentist could be so heartless and cruel to someone who came to him for help.

So long story short I started reading about all on 4 treatment and went to an implant specialist. Had the CT Scan and was sure he would be able to help me since he has rave reviews. Nope. He dismissed me saying I should go see an oral surgeon for a second opinion and then come back to him if I were cleared for the procedure. I felt in my bones he wasn't the right person and didn't have a clue and was used to seeing patients who already have dentures and wanted a clean surface to work with. I was adamant, I will not be without teeth in my mouth for any period of time and want interim dentures at the very least. This entire summer, I was so nervous and anxious and depressed and sick over my teeth I didn't enjoy myself at all. I could barely eat I was so stressed. It took so much to get back to a dentist to discuss dentures and then I was dismissed.

I finally got the courage to try one more time. The fact that I can't hardly chew anymore and can't stand how I look being my motivation. That and I lost my bottom front teeth and although no one can tell it's getting to me big time. I need to fix this. If you're still here reading, my third dentist was the charm. He is a board certified Prosthodontist and has much experience with mouth reconstruction. I was worried I would be told I'm a lost cause again. He said I have severe bone loss so will need bone grafting and sinus lifts to be a candidate for implants and may need more than one surgery but he will do it. Healing will be slow but I will have teeth in the interim and on my way to a beautiful mouth. The financial cost is massive and I know I should be grateful we can afford it but I'm really terrified of the entire thing. I will have IV sedation but the surgery is 6 hours so I'm scared I will know something. I'm scared of the pain after it's over and all that could go wrong including dying while now under. I'm scared of dentists and anything medical and have cried all the way to all my appointments. My husband is awesome but I don't want to burden him with my constant fears so I hide them and cry alone. Has anyone else been through this? I don't know what I'm looking for exactly but my surgery is in a month and I feel like I'm walking the plank.
 
Last edited:
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Well, here I am four months later. I ended up having my extractions along with the extensive bone grafting. I took Valium the morning of the procedure because I had told my dentist I wouldn’t be able to get in the chair without it. I don’t remember most of the procedure except for him putting the IV in and then putting in the sedative. I said “woo that’s good stuff” and felt very drunk for a few seconds and that was about it. Next thing I recall is the nurse taking gauze in and out of my mouth at the end and the dentist putting in my upper denture right before I went home.

The next few days are also a blur at this point, as they were mainly spent drugged on Percocet, steroids, and icing my face on and off to take down the slight swelling and bruising. What I couldn’t stand is that I couldn’t wash my face or even touch my chin without feeling the materials from the bone graft he stuffed in there. It took a couple of weeks for it all to dissolve and for my face to feel normal again. No numbing or nerve damage of any kind, my Prosthodontist apparently knows what he’s doing. While I’m still not 100% happy with his bedside manner, it has occurred to me that I will probably always dislike dentists and dental procedures and it really doesn’t matter how good or professional the dentist is. If I were to take my sensitivity out of the equation, I would be able to say he’s a very good dentist.

Moving on...I have had a denture on top but nothing on the bottom since September because my dentist said it’s best for healing. He didn’t want me to have anything on top either but I told him there’s no way in hell I was leaving there the day of my surgery with no teeth at all. Eating at first was hell, I’m not going to lie. Pudding and jello cottage cheese yogurt and liquids for about two weeks and then I slowly incorporated soups and pasta and other soft foods. Grilled cheese has been a staple. I can now eat chicken and a few other things and the food processor has come in handy. It’s hard to be patient sometimes but I remind myself it will all be worthwhile when I have my implant supported bridges and can chew again.

I was checked out a few times in the first month after my extractions but I haven’t seen my dentist since October. Next Friday I go in for an X-ray to see if the bone has been built up enough for the implant surgery and I’m nervous. Nervous cause I don’t like going to the dentist still, nervous I’m not ready to have my implants and will need to wait a few more months, and also nervous he will tell me I’m good to go let’s schedule the next surgery. How’s that for some fruitcake thinking? LOL Believe me I know that I’m not at all rational. He already pulled my teeth and I have had the most gruesome dental surgery one can have and survived it. I also had to be restitched in a couple spots one week after the surgery without Sedation and went through it well all things considered And I’m still scared? Wow.

So yeah none of this is easy especially psychologically...I can’t look at myself without my teeth in and won’t let my husband or kids see me without either. They have been loving and supportive through this and say they wouldn’t mind, but I mind. I mind a lot. This is not going to be my permanent state so I see no reason in giving the four of us a lasting mental picture of it. 41 and toothless, not a pretty picture. I’m far from vain and I am not even a girly girl who is in to a ton of make up or high heels but this has really bothered my self image.

So between now and my appointment next Friday I’ll think up excuses to cancel and probably pick up the phone several times to do so. In the end I’ll soldier on past the fear and get it over with so this hell doesn’t have to last any longer than it should. I don’t expect anyone to read this, it’s for my own personal documentation and to vent. But if you are reading, know that this isn’t one of my best days as I’m writing this and that most of the time I look to the bright side. I’m human, I have my moments. More later.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
637
Location
US
Thanks for posting.

I'm glad things are generally better.

I'm also glad you stuck up for yourself, and kept after the dentists until you found one that was acceptable.

Keep us posted.
 
F

FuzzEV

Junior member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
10
Hey Anxious76 I did read your post and it's completely understandable the stress you're going through. It's definitely not vanity. I think any person would feel the way you are in this situation. Dealing with the psychological toll it takes on your self-image is the hardest. The actual surgery is the easy part (relatively speaking). Do keep us updated.
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Thank you both for your support. I really appreciate it a lot. I will post an update after my appointment if I keep it. Ha, just kidding I will. :)
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Here I sit at 1:00 AM filled with dread. Why? Because I have an appointment with my dentist on Friday and I don’t want to go. ? I know it’s not rational. I know that going in for a check up and x-ray to see how much progress I’ve made is a good thing, and I also know there’s at least a possibility I’ll be told I look great and can have my implant surgery. I also know if I have to go on eating like this (soft limited diet that I struggle to eat and hate) for much longer, I am going to LOSE IT. I think maybe that’s a big part of my anxiety and why I don’t want to go. I don’t want to hear that I’m not healed enough and need to give the bone grafts more time to build up before I can have it done.

Also, my first dental surgery was painful. I was very sore for two weeks and just when I was coming out of the woods he restitched me and it hurt for another two weeks. I don’t want more pain, but I know I’m going to have more with the 6 implants I’m having placed in each jaw. I know I’ll be sedated and numb, but I don’t want to hear the drill or fee the vibration. I don’t want another hard recovery period. I think I need to focus on one thing at a time and just get to my appointment Friday and stop thinking so much. This is hard. If any one is reading this, please keep your fingers crossed for me.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,768
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I'll write more later I'm on my bad phn bUT wanted to say I am definitely thinking of you .!!!
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
I realize how ridiculous this is going to sound but I just had a small breakthrough. My dentist office called to confirm my appointment for tomorrow morning and I actually answered it. This is big for me because normally I would let it go to voicemail and then spend a few hours contemplating whether or not to cancel it and how, feel sick to my stomach all day, etc. Anyway for once I handled it as any normal adult would. I’m sure the office appreciates the immediate confirmation as well. I’m viewing my appointment tomorrow not as something to dread, but as a way to take another step in the right direction. Wish me luck!
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Long story short, my appointment got moved to next Wednesday. For the record, I did not cancel, my dentist had to move it. I’ll update soon.
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
I finally had my appointment today. They did a CT Scan to see how my bone has progressed since my last full grafting surgery. Bottom line is that my next surgery is scheduled for February 28, and some or all of the implants will be placed on that day. He said he may need to do more grafting but he is going to do his very best to make this the last surgery I’ll need.

I finally got clarity on why he wants to place 6 implants up on top rather than 4. He needs to use smaller implants on me due to my basic anatomy being unusual (figures?) and my lack of bone. What he can’t do in depth he is going to compensate for with quantity so that way my bite force is more evenly distributed on the bridge. He plans for 4 on bottom still to my knowledge.

I was a nervous wreck today and my appointment took two hours. I was fortunate to have my husband with me and we had lunch afterward which was nice. Oh and I had my temporary relined today which has made a big difference for me comfort wise.

Now I need to recover from the appointment which usually takes a couple of days and then start preparing myself mentally for the fact that I’m going to be back where I was in September very shortly.
It will be an extremely soft diet for two weeks the assistant said. For me I’m eating soft for a month or more because I will be so scared to knock something loose.

For now I can relax though, so I hope that I will.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
637
Location
US
I just had a small breakthrough. My dentist office called to confirm my appointment for tomorrow morning and I actually answered it.
This is great! Well done. You are doing very well. This is really wonderful.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
 
N

neverbeen

Junior member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
4
I'm in a similar situation. None of my teeth has fallen out yet but I think it's just a matter of time. Trying to put on a charade that my teeth is fine by barely opening my mouth when speaking and hiding my bad breath with chewing gum.

You've got a very supportive husband. I have no one :(

I've already been researching prices on all-on-4 and all-on-6 implants thinking that's probably what I'm going to need. Can you reveal around what prices all of this has cost?
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
I'm in a similar situation. None of my teeth has fallen out yet but I think it's just a matter of time. Trying to put on a charade that my teeth is fine by barely opening my mouth when speaking and hiding my bad breath with chewing gum.

You've got a very supportive husband. I have no one :(

I've already been researching prices on all-on-4 and all-on-6 implants thinking that's probably what I'm going to need. Can you reveal around what prices all of this has cost?
I will private message you.?
 
N

neverbeen

Junior member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
4
I will private message you.?
I didn't get the PM yet, I'm new here so maybe I'm not allowed to access it yet. Can you please post here after your PM then I'll know it was blocked or not.

Thanks a lot!
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
I didn't get the PM yet, I'm new here so maybe I'm not allowed to access it yet. Can you please post here after your PM then I'll know it was blocked or not.

Thanks a lot!
You’ve got mail.?
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Good grief, it just dawned on me. One month from today I’ll be in the chair having my implant surgery along with more grafting. I’m scared. I don’t want to be aware during the procedure, or hear or feel the drill. I don’t want to have to endure the discomfort, swelling and bruising that’s coming after the surgery or live in fear that the implants will fail. I don’t want any of it. Most of all I don’t want to be afraid anymore. God help me so I don’t make myself sick for the next thirty days. I got through the last one and I know I can do it again. I have a good dentist and support. I hate living in fear. ?
 
Aurora10

Aurora10

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
336
Location
Canada
Good grief, it just dawned on me. One month from today I’ll be in the chair having my implant surgery along with more grafting. I’m scared. I don’t want to be aware during the procedure, or hear or feel the drill. I don’t want to have to endure the discomfort, swelling and bruising that’s coming after the surgery or live in fear that the implants will fail. I don’t want any of it. Most of all I don’t want to be afraid anymore. God help me so I don’t make myself sick for the next thirty days. I got through the lastt, one and I know I can do it again. I have a good dentist and support. I hate living in fear. ?
You sound exactly as I do when I talk to myself about my upcoming procedures...but please remember, you are an inspiration to myself and to others on this forum! You are right-you CAN get through this just as you have done before. I hate this fear and dread when I am counting down the days to the 'big' day, I
am going to the dentist tomorrow to talk about having IV sedation for the first time and to book a date for my procedure, so then I will have an actual date after all these weeks and although I have to have it, it is so depressing. I hope too that I will not have to dread each and every day till I get the work done. I wish we didn't have to live with this phobia, it is awful...I do look forward to hearing how it goes for you, take good care, Dawn ;)
 
A

Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
You sound exactly as I do when I talk to myself about my upcoming procedures...but please remember, you are an inspiration to myself and to others on this forum! You are right-you CAN get through this just as you have done before. I hate this fear and dread when I am counting down the days to the 'big' day, I
am going to the dentist tomorrow to talk about having IV sedation for the first time and to book a date for my procedure, so then I will have an actual date after all these weeks and although I have to have it, it is so depressing. I hope too that I will not have to dread each and every day till I get the work done. I wish we didn't have to live with this phobia, it is awful...I do look forward to hearing how it goes for you, take good care, Dawn ;)
Thank you so much for your kind words of support, they really mean a lot to me. I hope all goes well for you tomorrow, please let us know! ❤
 
Top