• Dental Phobia Support

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Not to be dramatic but honestly, I can't do this


One extraction to do and a bunch of white fillings to do over 4 appointments. Gums are fine. I said I just want to get it sorted and over with now so I’m going to book in asap.

Once I got in the chair I was fine, she said I seemed very anxious at the start and seemed to calm down, but honestly i feel so relieved. No root canals either. It’s gonna cost me 2,500 but I was expecting 5s o that’s a relief.
Your outcome seems quite positive considering how you probably thought it was going to go. Good for you! I’m glad you finally can have some relief. I’m hoping to feel that way at some point and I know getting through the initial first appointment is the only way to do that. Fillings of course are no fun but definitely less unpleasant than root canals (I would assume). It’s also great that it sounds like your gums and bone are in good shape being that you had that concern going in. Hopefully after your treatment you will start to feel better, more like yourself again. I know all too well after these last 6 months how dental issues can put such a damper on your life. Congrats on making your first big step towards getting better!
@Anxiety Riddled thanks a lot.

I’m a bit annoyed that I’ve got like 13 fillings but at least on the sheet most of them are small with only a handful of medium and large ones. They also can save the molar that broke but unfortunately not the premolar on the other side so it’s coming out.

She said she could maybe save it with some heroics but she’s not convinced it would work and would just be a waste of money. I’m a bit concerned now by the impact of taking it out (maybe a bit of bone loss or something?) but I’ve seen other people say it’s not impacted them at all.

Honestly I really thought I was going to need most of them removed and I’ve spent all week watching dentures videos convincing myself that was going to be me, and I couldn’t handle that, nor am I in a position to with someone to help.

They were actually really nice and gave me an opportunity to explain things which I’m happy about. They also said if I wanted we could just do one filling to boost up my confidence.

This sounds strange but I just want to do it now and get them done. I wish I could just go tomorrow, I feel almost tainted or dirty knowing I’ve got so much work to do. Like you said, it has such a big impact on your life.
Also 2.5k! That’s not even with implants or anything specifically fancy. I managed to pay on a credit plan over 3 years so it’s only 70 a month and the APR/interest is really reasonable. To be honest if it makes me actually smile and avoid crippling pain…you can’t put a price on that.

My phone contract has gone up to 70 somehow and that ends in August and I’m going for a cheap SIM after so i guess it’s okay. I just desperately want them to get started now, which is really strange to say.
@Whyohwhy12 yeah 13 fillings is quite a lot but at least most of them are on the smaller side. With the broken molar that they said they could salvage, is that going to require a crown? And as for the tooth that they have to extract, I’ve heard and read from many people that they never had complications when it came to a pulled tooth causing bone loss or other issues. I think you will be ok, maybe an implant to replace the missing tooth at some point? I too have myself convinced all of my teeth are going to fall out or need to be removed by the time I receive my dental care. I can’t even fathom the idea of having dentures.. But it’s good to hear that they were nice and compassionate to you at your appointment, that’s always extremely helpful especially when you’re anxious. As for wanting to just get it over with now, I understand that too. I’m sure now knowing what is going to take place makes it a lot easier. And also I would just like to say I totally get why you may feel tainted or dirty due to the state of your mouth but you shouldn’t. From what I’ve gathered there are a lot of people out here in the world with anxiety when it comes to their teeth and a lot of people with a phobia that keeps them from seeking the care that they need. You are definitely not alone and from what I’ve gathered while being a member on this site is that the dentist has “always seen worse” but even then they aren’t as judgmental as they were back in the day.
@Anxiety Riddled they didn’t say about the broken molar and crowns. She said there’s one they probably can’t save, the chance is too small and she could try some heroics to fix it but it’s unlikely. I think it’s the way it broke maybe?

At least the rest will be fine. When she said she couldn’t save one I asked is it my recent broken molar with a lost filling and she said it wasn’t which surprised me. With the broken molar I assume they’re just going to fill it again? It’s interesting because the right side is worse than the left, and she noticed it too, maybe it’s how I smoked or the way I had soda?

Like you I’m just happy that there isn’t any gum issues or anything that would cause everything to fall out. I could not handle dentures. I think it’s awesome for people to get them and it turns their life around, but even just logistically/schedule wise. I couldn’t do it. I watched so many videos of people getting them and that’s what I expected for some reason.

I said before I’d be happy if it’s just a few extractions and root canals and fillings, and it’s just fillings with one extraction so I can’t complain. 2.5k for me is a lot of money but I can’t live like this anymore trying to talk without really moving my lips and exposing anything.

I do feel dirty now though. Knowing I’ve got all this work to do and I’m walking around with holes in my teeth just feels so horrible. I hope they have an appointment for me soon. I’m gonna have to go during work which is going to be interesting but maybe not on the extraction day.

Where are you at with the dentist at the moment?
@Whyohwhy12 so as for the tooth that they can’t fix, I’m assuming that is the one you are referring to that has to be extracted.. Did you even have issues with that tooth to your knowledge? From how I read that it sounds like it was broken and you didn’t even know it? And yeah the fact that your gums have no issues is great. The thought of having gum disease scares me but I’m pretty sure I do have it. I’m just hoping it’s not as bad as I’m thinking it is. My gums as of lately have taken a big hit due to recent infection and lack of oral hygiene. I’m hoping this improves after my wisdom teeth removal. 2.5k is a lot of money but from what I hear any dental work is crazy expensive so for the extent your having done that doesn’t sound too outrageous. It’s great when they give you the payment plan option though, makes things a little more affordable in the long run. Hopefully they are able to get your first appointment soon so you can get treatment started. As for me unfortunately I have not been to the dentist since I was a teenager. This upcoming wisdom tooth removal surgery is my first dental experience in years. One hell of a welcome back… I’m hoping though that after this I will feel more confident to see a general dentist. My oral surgeon told me to wait until after my appointment with him to see a dentist for a cleaning and all so it looks like I won’t be doing that until well into the summer if I can even muster up the courage to go…
@Anxiety Riddled No I never had any issues with it. I'm wondering if it's a filling I had when I was younger that had decay under it but it happened like 3 years ago so I can't remember. Looking at my paperwork it's actually the "UR5" tooth for extraction, the upper right 2nd premolar, so on second thoughts it's not even one of the teeth I could see that I figured was beyond saving. It's one of the upper ones that I couldn't even really see. She didn't mention a bone graft or anything for the extraction so I don't know if that's something I should mention?

Which has actually has confused me because the two teeth on the bottom that I thought they couldn't save are not even the ones for extraction. That means the premolar on the lower left that split like cutting a log for a fire they can fill...and I broke that 4 years ago, can see dark inside it and have continued to eat hard stuff and chew gum on it ever since. And the lower right side molar that just lost a filling and is basically just the front of the tooth remaining with the back half almost gone entirely to the gumline can be fixed. Crazy. Looking again at my paperwork I think they're my larger fillings.

I guess that just shows how even what you think must be impossible to repair can be.

She did ask if I wanted white fillings at the back and it's entirely a budget thing and I said yes, so that's probably boosted the price up a bit. On second thoughts maybe I shouldn't have, but it's done now, and with a credit plan it's only going to cost as much as my monthly phone bill so I shouldn't really notice the hit once my phone contract is done in August and I go for a cheap 5-10£ card. I don't even use the data and minutes anyway.

And good luck with your journey. I'll be here if you want to chat about it any time. I was so nervous as you can tell, I was basically shaking in the waiting room, but honestly once you're in there and they've seen your teeth it feels like the game is up, you can't hide it anymore, they know everything and all the dirty little secrets, so you may as well let them do their thing, if that makes sense? Once I sat down and said about all my issues and how I know this tooth and that tooth are bad before the initial check it was somehow liberating, and after the initial investigation I relaxed a bit because there was no ''oh wow you're so screwed" reaction, it was just professional.

So for anyone reading this just go and book that appointment. You've seen how bad I was from the prior messages, and I think if you don't go now then things will only get worse and teeth that you think are bad and can't be saved could, but if you leave it another 5 years then maybe they won't be.
@Whyohwhy12 yeah that is interesting that the teeth that appear the worst are the ones that they can save with just a filling. It’s crazy the advancements they have made in dentistry since I was a kid. From what I’ve heard it sounds like the things I hated most back then at the dentist are things they don’t even do anymore. And yeah I definitely need to get in to see a general dentist. I’ve put it off for years because I’m so scared. I’m a little different from you in regards to how I feel towards getting the actual work done. You seem to be ok with what they have to do (once you know about it). I’m all around terrified of anything, even something as small as a cleaning. It’s something about the tools and the pain/discomfort of it for me. I am afraid of the unknown but also the whole process so I find it very difficult to bring myself to go. It’s quite defeating really. I’ve considered therapy like most people recommend but it’s very expensive and honestly I don’t know how well that would work for me anyway. They say “exposure therapy” is the best when it comes to dental phobia so literally just getting there and doing it is the best way to get yourself to overcome the fear. Easier said than done I think but I’m hoping to finally get to that point after my wisdom teeth extraction surgery.
@Anxiety Riddled yeah I thought for sure those two were coming out and possibly something on top. When she said there’s only one tooth we can’t save in my head I was thinking “wow just one?” but I assumed it was one of my lower teeth that I can see, so I said that and she’s like nope, it’s not any of those.

I can’t even put into words how broken the two are on the bottom, but imagine if you took an axe to a log and chopped it in half, that’s basically those two teeth. Vertical breaks to the gumline. One the front portion is broken off, and the recent filling that fell out has the whole back gone. But somehow they’re just going to be large white fillings.

I think they set an appointment for the 22nd of May but there’s a thing to click that says I want my appointment sooner, so not sure how that works. But I just want it done and out the way now. You’re right, the actual process isn’t really what bothers me, for me it’s more the embarrassment of letting myself get to this state and someone actually seeing my teeth closely after years of doing everything I can to hide it. Once I got over that part and I knew she’d seen the damage it was a relief.

I know that probably doesn’t help you, but once they’d seen the damage and just acted normal about it after my anxiety dropped a lot. I thought I’d get a weird response from them and they would act kinda strange because they were thinking about how bad they were and feel more embarrassed. But nope. I was beyond scared going and was stood outside thinking about leaving but once you’re over that it’s fine.

All I can say is really try to go. Teeth you think can’t be saved possibly could be, but if you leave it longer maybe they won’t be. Im excited for the appointments now in a weird way because as I said before I feel dirty with so many fillings and the one tooth that is pretty much behind saving. I’m gonna ask if I can wear headphones and listen to a podcast of a good music playlist, I think that would help. I’m
Also I’ll add the unknown is what bothered me. I really thought I was going to need like multiple extractions and maybe I had an issue with gums I wasn’t aware of, but once that initial checkup was over I feel much better. Still embarrassed and kinda crazy I just spent 2.5k just like that, but I guess you can’t put a price on preventing potential toothaches and infections and stuff and actually being able to open my mouth and smile and laugh for the first time in like 10 years.
@Whyohwhy12 that’s crazy (incredible) that they can just repair the two broken teeth you have with fillings. I would have assumed extraction as well by the way you describe the damage so it’s great that they are able to avoid removing them! That’s awesome that you got some relief after your appointment. It’s sounds like the difficult part of the process is over for you being that the treatment isn’t what you’re most nervous about. I’m hoping that the dentist I end up going to is also compassionate and understanding. I hear most of them are not judgmental but it’s all about picking the right one. I have an office in mind but I’m truly just picking them based off of reviews I’ve read online. I’m hoping they are as good as people say they are (especially with anxious patients). I think in my case I’m more scared of the status of my gums and bone rather than my actual teeth. I had one tooth break a few years back and from what I know after seeing the oral surgeon it was my wisdom tooth which is getting removed anyway so that was a minor relief. I thought for the longest time that it was a regular molar. As for the money I agree it is a hefty price when it comes to dental work but to your point in the long run it is worth it to not have to deal with the ongoing issue and to feel better again.
Glad you're getting your issues sorted out. It was similar for me a few years ago when I went to the dentist for the first time in about 7 years I went from having only 2 fillings to having over 10+ fillings now with a couple of large ones like yourself! I had to pay around the same as you are to get them all done.

I know some dentists recommend silver fillings for back teeth especially if they're large as silver fillings are generally more duarble and normally last longer and those teeth obviously take the biggest beating being the main chewing teeth. I personally have white fillings mainly because my current dentists doesn't offer silver filllings otherwise I may have gone for a few silver fillings on some of my back teeth but oh well.
@Anxiety Riddled yeah I’m surprised about the 2 teeth I mentioned being savable. The one that had the filling fall out I had a slight hope they could maybe they could refill, because it’s like for like, filling fell out and replace the filling. But I assumed the decay had crept under it and that’s why it came out as it feels like the whole thing came out as one, and it already seemed right on the brink of saving when they did the initial filling, so they couldn’t save it as much more damage had been done after that.

Same as the other tooth. That broke a few years ago and I guessed eating/chewing hard gum etc on it for years had also damaged it, and with it being exposed like that for so long I assumed that was 100% an extraction. I’ve seen posts on Reddit dentists where a tooth in better shape than mine was claimed to be an extraction. No idea how that tooth/nerve structure has held up years to be just a large filling?

I suppose they still might get to doing them and realize they’re not savable. That’s still a big concern for me. I know I had a thorough investigation and x-rays (they even did an extra one in one area) but you never know once they get started.

@Neos yup sounds like we were in the same situation. How large were your fillings? I’m surprised they can sort the teeth I thought were beyond repair with fillings because it seems like only half the tooth is remaining. Once I get everything done I am going to be well on top of my teeth hygiene and have checkups regularly because I want to keep them as long as possible.

I’m second guessing myself on getting white fillings now as it probably nearly doubled the cost, but I also thought to myself when she asked that seeing the metal fillings now bothers me because of the contrast, they just stand out so much and they just don’t look clean. So I automatically said white fillings. Even in areas that nobody would likely ever see even if they were with me every day, I would just feel better knowing they were white for some reason.

I'd say i have 3-4 large fillings and the rest small to medium. Sadly one of those teeth never settled after the filling and actually died off recently sadly enough.
I'm booked in for my first ever root canal + crown next month and I'm not looking foward to either the procedure itself nor the cost!
Did consider just having it pulled, but I don't really want to be losing teeth yet in my early 30s if i can avoid it.
@Whyohwhy12 well hopefully they can salvage the teeth as they planned to do. It sounds like you had a pretty thorough exam so they probably see strong potential that they can be fixed.
@Neos I see, I'm wondering how my large fillings are going to go. That's causing me some anxiety because of how damaged the teeth appeared to be. It's good thinking now I have a plan I can settle a bit on the idea of all this work, but that doesn't mean that plan is actually going to come to fruition. Things can change and I'm worried that the teeth that require large fillings aren't going to hold up in the process. But I'd like to think their investigation and experience means they're practically certain it will be a success, otherwise they'd have been upfront like with the upper tooth and said they're 50/50 or whatever.

And yeah, when I was researching I 100% expected at best a couple teeth to need RCT/Crowns (if not taken out) and the budget is just sickening. It's infuriating knowing the price on the NHS and the discounts people get who are in an NHS dentist with a good dentist who cares. I know the NHS experience probably isn't as good as private, but I bet some are still great, and knowing I'm paying like x5 or x10 what I would with an NHS dentist (that don't exist around me at all) is annoying. Especially when I don't really have the money and this month of upfront costs and the first month of the credit plan going out I winced at.

@Anxiety Riddled I really hope so. They had a good look at them and did all the x-rays so I'm hoping that and their experience means the plan will be accurate and we won't encounter any issues. Fingers crossed, because I don't know how I'd react on the fly if plans changed.

To both you guys but also anyone else, does anyone else find their face feels so tight from trying to hide their teeth for years on end? It's strange but I was 'smiling' to myself to imagine myself actually smiling like that organically, and my face feels so tight when I do it. It genuinely doesn't feel natural at all. Even just raising my lip to show the front 6 teeth feels so tight. It's like I've not used those muscles in my face for so long, even down to the way I've been speaking for years, and they've literally atrophied and have become weak, and my face almost takes on a slight downturned scowl at rest now.

Not exactly something I can google but I know there's people who claim facial 'exercise' works, and it's something people are encouraged to do routines after certain surgeries if I remember right, but I wonder if that also works in this situation too.

Also does anyone know how durable broken teeth are for day-to-day eating and stuff while I wait for an appointment? That one wrecked tooth I've had for 3-4 years and I've eaten everything on it -- chewy meat, chewing gum, hard toffee, etc -- and it's still standing and not changed. I'm just hyper paranoid now I'm going to somehow cause more damage between now and my appointments.
@Whyohwhy12 your question about the tightness in the face, so relatable to me… my face and mouth are always so tense from me avoiding certain movements like smiling. I believe too it also causes me to grind/clench my teeth in my sleep. The more stressed I am about my mouth the less I sleep. I’ve actually noticed these past few days an almost numb sensation in my bottom lip. I read that could be due to anxiety but naturally I’m thinking the worst (like possible infection or gum disease). I just can not relax about anything involving my mouth anymore at this point.. I would definitely recommend maybe looking into facial exercises if you want to work on those muscles. I’m sure they could strengthen up the more you use them. And as for your broken tooth, it’s quite impressive it’s held up for as long as it has with you chewing and using it as normal. It sounds like what’s left of it is pretty strong but if you’re worried about it I would just take it easy on it until you get it fixed. Maybe softer foods. It sounds like you will be starting treatment pretty soon so it might just be a nice extra protective measure to take.
@Anxiety Riddled you know that scene in Terminator 2 when Arnie tries to smile and it looks awkward? That's exactly what I'm like. Even slightly smiling to myself feels so unnatural, I can feel the muscles in my face almost struggling to hold a smile for more than a second, I just can't do it and I'm not joking. Just raising my top lip a little makes my face feel weird. I think not doing that for a decade almost has caused my face to almost drop and lock into this scowl now because the muscles/structure aren't keeping it up. Maybe a bit of pseudoscience but I actually think that's true.

I also clench a lot, sometimes even completely involuntarily. I'll have almost spasms where I clench my teeth without even realizing. You can even see the muscles in my jaw like the lines sometimes I've been clenching so long and working that muscle.

And yeah the broken tooth holding up so long is crazy especially as I chew gum all the time and get through 10-20 pieces of gum a day, especially at work. 12 hours constantly chewing and it's held up all that time. Eating everything and anything with no pain either. I'm completely shocked it appears savable being that long.

Are you any closer to thinking of booking something? I've not asked you but what are your teeth like? Is it just the gum worries mostly for you, or do you have issues with your teeth to? Any broken or heavily decayed? I felt so uncomfortable at first but once they started to examine me it was so liberating. Like hiding something for 10 years and all your secrets are out, but the reaction I got wasn't bad nor did I feel any judgement at all, so lots of the anxiety left me at that moment.
@Whyohwhy12 haha yeah I’m the same way. I have like a permanent sad face. The only time I look like I’m smiling is when I laugh. I clench a lot, especially at night. I hate it. My face is always so tense and it’s like I’m overly trying to protect my teeth from the clenching that I do it more. Since my wisdom teeth started erupting I’ve been hitting my back teeth together a lot so that has been causing me to try to force my mouth into certain positions so I don’t close it fully. At night I must be grinding my teeth because some mornings I will wake up with a lot more pain and discomfort than other mornings. I haven’t been able to lay my head down on a pillow in over a month. I’ve been sleeping sitting up because if I lay down I get too much pressure in my mouth. It’s absolutely miserable. As for booking an appointment with a general dentist I’m going to have to wait until the summer. My oral surgeon recommended seeing a dentist after my wisdom teeth removal with him and that isn’t until May 30. I’m so uncomfortable at this point I’m almost looking forward to it. I’ve been struggling with this for 6 months now. My last solid meal was on Christmas Day. Haven’t been able to eat anything but soft foods. I’m down almost 40 pounds because of this (not necessarily a bad thing for me). My teeth are ugly but not in crazy horrible shape that I know of. I have a lot of plaque build up due to my gums and teeth being very sensitive right now. I’ve been afraid to brush because my mouth is extremely uncomfortable. I think my wisdom teeth are pushing on the nerves or something. Other than that I think I only had one tooth break but my oral surgeon made it sound like it was my wisdom tooth which is being removed anyway so I was relieved about that (I thought it was my very back molar when it happened a few years back). To be honest I haven’t looked in a mirror in about 3 months. I can’t bring myself to look at my teeth because I start getting anxious and freaking out. It’s quite pathetic really. I’m hoping my mouth isn’t as bad as I think it is but I am really worried about my gums. My teeth always feel loose or like they are moving but I don’t know if they truly are or if it’s just in my head. My mind is set to destroy me..