My Story, I have never spoken of this before

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Bint37

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Sep 21, 2013
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4
So I sit here, while my boyfriend is out at the pub with his friends and this is on my mind. It always is when my mind is idol...and often when it is not am not because I am in pain to remind me!! But I can't bring myself to actually speak these words to anyone in the real world, it is my own private hell! Here is my story...

I am 34 years old. I have not been to the dentist since I was 16. Like many people on here I hate my teeth. I have horrible buck teeth and severe overcrowding. When I was a kid my mum took us to an awful dentist whom I hated. All I remember is that he used to tell me off, and that I had 2 extractions and it hurt so bad. I told him that I was feeling pain and he just did not care, I almost passed out it hurt that bad. From that moment on I became phobic. He sent me to the dental clinic at the hospital because my case was severe and would need complex orthodontic treatment. I vaguely remember having a couple of appointments but nothing happened. I live in England and this was NHS treatment so my parents would not have had to pay so money can't have been the issue.....even if they had to pay my family were reasonably well off. Anyhow, nothing got done. I went to the dentist for check ups until I was 16 dragged kicking, screaming and crying by my mother...but as soon as I could get away with not going I never went again. I was picked on and bullied at school for my teeth and even as an adult I still get the odd comment now and again.

In the last 18 years my dental health has gone to pot. I have lost 4 teeth, they just crumbled and fell out bit by bit (painfully). I have had numerous abscesses which I have 'treated' myself by draining the puss and taking antibiotics prescribed for other things. My teeth and jaws constantly hurt it is like I can feel them pressing on each other because there is no room. A wisdom tooth has grown so it is pushing into the side of my mouth it is super sore. I have been in pain 24/7 for years. As if that was not enough, I can't smile. I try and cover my teeth they are so horrid, overcrowded and I like I said I have awful buck teeth. I look and feel awful, self esteem is non existent, I have anxiety and depression which I am sure is linked to this. I toothpaste advert comes on TV I feel sick and embarrassed it is that bad. All I wonder is if it makes other people I am with think urgh she has horrible teeth. My boyfriend has perfect teeth, I think he had braces they are that perfect but he has never mentioned it (and is extremely hot, god only knows how I managed to end up with him) so I have no idea what he thinks of me and mine, he has never said but he must be horrified when he sees me smile.

I wish when I was younger I had pushed the dentist to treat me. Not only am I phobic and can't bear the thought of going to a dentist and them seeing the state of my mouth, but I can't afford dental treatment now, not even to fix the damage never mind correct the cosmetic problems which are causing me so much psychiatric damage. I was working in a good job and was made redundant. I now find myself working in an industry on a low wage, trying to pay a mortgage I took on when I had a better paid job where looks are everything and everyone has a perfect, white smile. I am cabin crew for an airline....not ideal!! All I want is for the pain to go away and my smile to be fixed...although the thought of wearing visible braces makes me feel sick, I feel bad enough about the way I look now I don't think I would even manage to leave the house with visible braces :( Not that I have any chance of being able to afford any treatment at all any time soon. I hurt so bad physically and mentally it is unreal.

Not sure what I wanted to achieve with this, just finally to get it off my chest I guess. Thank you for listening!!...well reading!
 
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strawberry tart

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Aug 8, 2013
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54
Dear Bint37,Hello and welcome!Your story could be my story except i am a lot older than you!.Everything you describe i have gone through too ,just for alot longer,so well done for writing down your issues.First thing first,i am a NHS Patient too and my main concern after finding a Dentist dealing with my phobia and embarrassment was how am i going to pay for all my treatment!When you find a Dentist you are comfortable with ,they will talk you through their Dental Plan for you ,this will tell you what work needs done and how much it will cost.Up front i told my Dentist cost was going to be a big factor in my treatment,as i have very limited funds.Together we worked out what i can afford every month and work my treatment around that ,so i pay after each treatment,and wont end up with a huge bill at the end of all this!Be honest with your Dentist and they will try to help you,thats their job! Good luck,and a piece of advice from an old lady .Don't wait another 20 years like me,if you can, take baby steps now to get help,I really wish i had sorted my mouth out years ago,but was never brave enough to do it.One step at a time,sincere Good luck!:clover::)
 
coolin

coolin

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
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Sep 6, 2010
Messages
395
Welcome to our forum bint37 :)
Okay - here is the short version of what you need to do...
  1. Find a dentist
  2. Get a healthy mouth
  3. Look at cosmetic stuff for your teeth.
And here is the long version :)
  1. This is the most important part - finding a sweetie of a dentist:) You may reject a few at first! A good way to start off is to look on our recommended dentist section, ask your friends for recommendations, speak to your boyfriend (definitely). Then email a few places with a short version of how you feel. Some may not respond but you can judge the others by what kind of responce you get. I know you probably cannot afford private dentists (but don't dismiss them out of hand....) so a good idea is to look for a practice which does both - they will be able to do the basic stuff but also offer the more cosmetic stuff like invisible braces (called invisalign but not everyone is suitable for them). What you also need to remember is that dentists have moved on in the 18 years since you went. There are a whole new generation of them who are keen to provide great dental services. And remember you are an adult now. If any dentist tries to give you any 'snash' treat them you would treat an idiotic passenger on a flight :giggle:.
  2. Once you have chosen your dentist you need to actually open your mouth to let them see. This is a huge stumbling block for most of us. Before I walked back into a dental surgery 3 years ago I had 2 teeth which were broken to the gum - just black roots could be seen, decaying chipped front teeth, one abscessed tooth which had swollen half my face, a missing crown, a molar with a filling stuck in with dental cement (frequently fell out) - I dreaded opening my mouth but I did and the dentist was absolutely fine - he was only interested in helping me. Then the dentist will draw up a treatment plan. Initially they will just want to get your mouth back to healthy ie get rid of decay, abscesses etc. They should just ease you into the treatment by doing little bits at a time to get you used to treatment and to gain trust in your dentist..
  3. Then you can, finances permitting, consider what can be done with orthodontics. I'm fairly sure your teeth are not half as bad as you think though. What I have learned since becoming obsessed with teeth is that the vast majority of people (at least in the UK) are not in the least bit interested in other peoples teeth. When I got all my work done - people were vaguely aware that 'something' was different about me but couldn't quite say what. They never noticed my bad teeth. Sometimes just a few changes in your teeth can make all the diference - it is quite possible that you may not need orthodontics to make you feel better about your teeth. Have a good chat with your dentist - they are the experts after all.
Please come back and tell us how you get on. We love to hear follow up stories even if it is a year or so later :giggle:. Not everyone who comes on here is quite ready to make the leap - I read the forum for a year before I eventually darkened the door of a dentist - lol.

Cheers :grin:

Coolin

 
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Bint37

Junior member
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
4
Thank you for your kind responses.

I have been trying to overcome this for years. I did get as far as a dentist's surgery once...although it was not an appointment for me, I took a friend who had an emergency and managed to sit in there with them, but did not open my mouth once while I was there and felt really sick the whole time. I was proud of myself at the time, but I never did find the strength to do any more.

I wish I could talk to my boyfriend, I really do. I just can't seem to get these words out of my mouth to anyone. He has a lot to deal with from me anyway and my constant anxiety. I am sure he would listen and I am sure he would be supportive, he is a very sweet and patient person, but I open my mouth and words just don't come out. So when I am in extreme pain, I just pretend I have headache etc so he does not ask questions. I think if his teeth weren't so perfect I would be less intimidated, it is like I have the same problem I have with everyone in opening up about this but with him in addition I am highlighting what is perfect about him and not about me so it makes it 100 times worse.

It is as bad as I think it is, the way it looks, I definitely need some serious cosmetic work too. I have about a 7mm over jet when I bite and severe crowding upper and lower. Although the overjet used to be worse somehow, well it still is if I match up my back teeth probably about 12mm, but when I bite I naturally bite more forward these days, probably from years of trying to! As much as school was a long time ago, I constantly got taunted and picked on because of my teeth, kids are cruel and will pick on what they could see was a flaw. If it wasn't that bad they would have picked on me for something else! other than that I am actually quite a good looking person, such a shame that I fail on this one bloody part haha.

I never thought about emailing people, perhaps that is a good place to start, at least if an email is met with some sympathy then I may be able to start convincing myself these are not all monsters. Good recommendation for a first step :)
 
Deejay

Deejay

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Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
726
Hello and welcome :)
I think by the fact that you have come on this site you are ready to tackle this problem, I too took the first step this year to get myself sorted and it's amazing how far dentistry has come in the way they treat people as a person, the way they can make treatment virtually painless and their eagerness to help, gone are the nasty comments, pain during injections and the torture chamber look to the room, they really want to help and they listen to what you say:scared: You can walk out of your first visit feeling knackered but so elated and so relieved and the fact someone is willing to help is amazing, you no longer feel alone and that in itself can be a big weight lifted of your shoulders, my dentist had a quick look and sent me for xrays on my first appointment my second was a discussion on the X-ray results and together a plan was made, 9 months down the line yes I have less real teeth now but I actually have more teeth!! I have a healthy mouth and a smile and a regular dentist that I am happy to visit to keep everything healthy,
I have nerves still and I probably always will I have but I trust my dentist will never hurt me and wants to help me in whatever way she can to make me feel comfortable and she trusts I will repay that by attending the appointments to let her help, the E mail is a good idea,
I am with NHS and my total amount will be just about £200 (outside mainland UK) but low income or people getting certain benefits can get free treatments think prices are on here but certainly available online,
I want to wish you well with your dental journey and I look forward to following your story, Go for it!:jump:Good Luck:clover:
D.J :whirl:
 
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icandothis

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
27
BINT .... Your story sounds so like my story

I'm in England too and up until now I have spent all of my life avoiding the dentist like the plague!!! I've had teeth crumble away and some huge abscesses which I have self treated.
I've also done that thing of pretending a toothache is just a bad headache, rather then have to tell people my dirty little secret :redface:.

I don't know what happened but one day I decided enough was enough and after I'd spent about a week looking at dentists ont he internet I took the plunge and called one ... and I have been so lucky, my dentist has been soooo nice to me all the way through this (I've had 4 appointments so far), Don't get me wrong, I still dread those appointments but I'm somehow coping with all this. I've gone with an NHS dentist, I need that much work doing that I couldn't afford to go private, but I couldn't have wished for a nicer dentist.

Generally speaking at a first appointment all the dentist will do is look and maybe x-rays, there isn't usually any treatment and this is what got me through that first appointment, knowing that the dentist would only be looking. My journey only started a few months ago, and I'm not finished yet. The night before appointments I'm always thinking of excuses to cancel ;)

If I can get through this, anyone can, it's just when the moments right for you. Please keep us updated, your story sounds so like mine and I'd love to know how things work out for you. If you've any questions, no matter how silly you think they are, ask on here, someone will probably have already been though it.
 
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32andashamed

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Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
3
Bint37, I am in exactly the same situation as you! and I have every sympathy.
This is my first time on a forum and I have never told anyone how much my teeth get me down, but I have no doubt that people must notice and are just to polite to say anything.
I am 32 and have not been to the dentist since I was in my late teens, similar reasons to you being that my dentist was an absolute evil woman. She took one of my molars out immediatley after giving me the injection, leaving not enough time for the area to numb and she was literally on my chest cracking and pulling my tooth out. It was like being in a horror movie!! Somehow I managed to go back to the same dentist and this time I needed a filling in a molar right at back of mouth, however this time she gave me the injection and then told me to wait in the waiting room until she was ready, an hour later she called me back and by this time I was getting the sensations back in my gum and tooth and the pain when she gave me the filling was awful!
The funny thing is I hate needles, but the needle itself was painless, it was the treatment I had afterwards and it has haunted me ever since. Following those days, my filling is still in place and is probably the best tooth I currently have in my mouth and the molar which she took out has had another grow in its place, but this one now needs a filling and I freeze at thought of someone prodding it!! I suffered with bulimia when I was in early 20's and I believe that this has had one hell of an effect on my teeth.
I too have lost 3 teeth which are rotted down to gumline and I can count at least 4 fillings that are needed, not to mention a good scale and polish. I have always brushed my teeth twice a day, yet I still have these awful disgusting teeth and my gums are receding!
It is so sad as I always had lovely teeth when I was younger and had some of my milk teeth until I was 13 but the dental treatment I had just caused the biggest phobia :(
Sometimes my teeth in photos look ok, but look closer and you can see the little black holes forming by each side of my 2 front teeth and these are the ones that are freaking me out as they are the first ones people see when I smile. I love to smile and the thought of not being able to because of my teeth is so sad :(
I somehow feel like I could get the 2 fillings on my front teeth done without worrying about the pain, but the thought of opening my mouth and letting the dentist and nurse look into the back on my mouth and actually stick sharp objects in there is horrifying!

I too have a lovely beautiful boyfriend who has lovely teeth and I am so lucky that he has asked me to marry him and this has now pushed me into the frame of mind that I have 13 months to get my teeth sorted (on a budget as well) No way do I want to have awful yellow and black teeth in my wedding photos.
But I too am hitting a wall due to now mostly feeling so ashamed about the state of them. I am scared that I will be scolded by the dentist or that he/she will be disgusted by me. On the outside, I am a presentable young looking woman who has an amazing group of friends and family and enjoys socialising, but nobody knows my secret the same as you, not even my fiance but he must be able to see the state of them.
I am going to focus before Christmas to get myself in with a nice dentist in Swansea or Bristol as I live in Bristol but am from Swansea originally. So if anyone has any recommendations of a dentist that would have seen similar to the disgusting mess that is in my mouth I don't think I would feel as bad and would just get through the pain with the thought of looking nice on my wedding day.

I really hope that you find a nice suitable dentist who will empathise with you and make your teeth better and hopefully this time next year we can both smile without the shame. Good luck and remember that you are not alone and I will keep telling myself the same thing!
 
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Bint37

Junior member
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
4
Thanks again for your support folks :)

I was feeling ready to email people yesterday and thought I would do that today while I was home alone and nobody could catch me doing it....

Until yesterday, my lovely man came to see me and we watched The Great British Bake Off on iplayer (we are both addicted, him more than I haha) and he started making comments about one of the contestants weird teeth. Now I am even more freaked out than I was before :( Her teeth weren't great in all honestly but probably did not look that much worse than mine from a distance and you can pretty much guarantee they were more healthy! How the hell was I meant to feel after that? I felt embarrassed and sick and changed the subject ASAP.

Now he and I are in a pretty good place at the moment, we have been together about a year and he is truly lovely and hot as...could be an Abercrombie and Fitch model, which is why I thought he would be more bothered about me looking perfect, because he does. He only allowed me to meet his friends for the first time about a month ago. There was always some reason why I was not invited on nights out etc. I just thought he was ashamed of me and my horrid teeth, I never got a proper answer as to why I had to wait so long. It has happened all too often, men not wanting to admit publicly they have been seeing me. In my mind, this is always because they are ashamed of being seen with someone with such awful buck teeth. Argh...sorry I am ranting now....just frustration I guess

I am digging deep trying to take that first step of emailing again, but, I somehow can't do it, so annoyed with myself!

Hopefully I can knock some sense into myself over the weekend. I'd love to think in a years time I could smile. I just know I am going to need so much horrific orthodontic treatment after my teeth are made healthy I think that is holding me back as much as anything, I really don't know if I can handle it.
 
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icandothis

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
27
Of course you can handle it!!!

I started by emailing various dentists and the way I thought of it was 'It's just an email, I don't even have to do anything further than that' It's a lot easier for me to know I can still 'runaway' if it all gets too much ( I emailed giving no personal details apart from my first name - that way they couldn't hunt down my rotten teeth!! LOL)

The way I saw it was even if I can only manage one appointment then at least my mouth will be oh so slighty healthier than it was, and up to now I've managed 4!!! I never thought I could do that, and to be totally honest my problem was more to do with embarressment than a true phobia. I don't like going to the dentist but what I hate more is the thought of someone looking in my mouth and seeing everything. I feel more exposed than if I had to go in naked!!!

If it helps take tiny little steps ... Thats whats helped me to get through this, yeah it's taking me a heck of a lot longer, but each little step is getting me closer to my goal.
 
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Bint37

Junior member
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
4
I had a moment of feeling brave last night and looked on the database of NHS dentists taking on new patients within a few miles of me. I googled and googled and could not find email addresses for one of them! I found a contact form for one, or so I thought, but it was actually a booking agency and they never forwarded my comments to the actual dentist, so when they called out I freaked out when they asked me if I wanted to book an appointment argh.

Looks like snail mail then....

Annoying I can email all the private ones but not NHS :(
 
C

Cactus

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
43
I only found two nhs dentists local to me who had email addresses. Only one of those two replied! It's really surprising how few of them use email, isn't it?
I found it helpful to keep in mind when I called that I wasn't speaking to the dentist. It was the receptionist. So she was kind of a buffer between me and the scary part.
 
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