• Dental Phobia Support

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

@Anxiety Riddled honestly I was petrified of going. Just like you. My teeth sound like they're in worse shape than yours and they just acted normal with me. It wasn't like a big, ''oh wow, I see why you been hiding it", it was just professional and she was really nice with me. She'd ask me things like what did I think contributed to my issues, did I do certain things that maybe made it worse etc, and then the gameplan of how we're going to fix it. It wasn't judgmental at all.

I know it's easy for me to say because if you told me this just days ago I'd have laughed, you can read my older posts to see what a mess I was, but I think you should really go for it. One thing that convinced me to go is that whatever is going on isn't going to change if I go or not. If I've got teeth that need to come out then all I'm gonna experience is pain and that tooth, along with the others, just falling apart. I figured if anything is savable it's gotta be now I just sort it out, because even with great dental hygiene it wouldn't fix my problems.

If you're worried about your gums maybe look at it that way. Two choices; don't go and things get worse, or go and they can help with whatever is going on. If you don't go, then it's just going to bother you forever. If you do go, and even if your gums are as bad as your mind thinks they are, they're the only people who can help you. That's how I eventually saw it.

And yup, my face just seems to now sit in that closed mouth almost drooping position, like all the muscles I haven't used with smiling are so weak
@Whyohwhy12 I’m not as scared of possible judgment as I am the outcome of the appointment. Getting bad news is my worst fear.. I won’t handle it well. A big concern also for me is my gums because I believe more than likely they are going to tell me I have gum disease and if that is the case you are supposed to have dental visits every 3 months to prevent progression and I won’t be able to afford that. I do not have a job and do not have dental insurance to use. Your advice is very similar to what people in my life have been telling me. I wish I could just get over my mental block and go. I know in the long run I’m making things worse by avoiding it and not to mention the damper it’s putting on my life. This has by far been the most miserable 6 months of my life and I know the problems aren’t just going to go away by avoiding them. People in my life say things to me like “they are just teeth, even if you loose them so what?” And there is always mention of all the replacement options like dentures and implants but even if I wasn’t completely terrified of the idea of losing my teeth the cost alone for either of those options is something I could never afford.
@Anxiety Riddled I was exactly the same. The outcome of the appointment or the unknown was ultimately what bothered me, the condition of my teeth was a secondary embarrassment in the short term. But I spent hours watching videos of people getting dentures (ultimately the only option that I could maybe afford and even then I'd be putting myself in a precarious situation even with a 5 year credit plan) and implants and stuff and I'd pause the video to try see the condition of their teeth, and compare mine, and I came out thinking that I would 100% need them. I watched about 100 videos on dentures, and I convinced myself that is my fate.

So I was terrified of going because I believed that would be the outcome. But I thought to myself that on balance I'd either end up losing them all anyway due to decay and other issues, which I think would be more embarrassing especially if I was at work or something and my front teeth just fell apart, or I could go now before it's too late and see if anything is salvageable.

And if it wasn't, and I came out of there with the bad news, then I could either sit on it and hope I got over it and just let my teeth die over time, I didn't HAVE to go through with it, or I could get the bad news, stew on it a bit, and then make the decision to go through with a radical procedure. Or my third option which I said before was just to remove myself entirely from all I know and either go homeless and off the grid, or off myself. Which isn't really an option.

That's just how I see it and see my situation right now with all these procedures. Not going won't change it, but going now might save it. If you read my posts you'll see how anxious and how much of a mess I was but I just got over that block (40mg of Diazepam and 600mg of Pregablin sure helped though)
@Whyohwhy12 yeah I’m hoping I can just bring myself to go. I know ultimately that is the only way. Like you said it’s either get what I can fixed now or just let them go and suffer the consequences of that. Honestly it would just be nice to feel comfortable again. I miss laying down to sleep and it would be amazing not waking up in pain every morning. Being able to eat again would also be a bonus. I kind of miss being able to have actual food. I’m hoping after this wisdom teeth extraction procedure I’ll gain the confidence to go get an appointment with a general dentist. In my mind if I can go get 4 teeth pulled and get over that why would I not be able to go get an exam and a deep cleaning (which I desperately need). And by the way 40mg Diazepam sounds intense, I didn’t even know you could take that much… my primary care prescribed me that medication to take before dental appointments to calm me down and she only gave me 2mg tablets. 2mg does absolutely nothing.
So I've had a call front the dentist today. Next appointments are June 18th/19th or June 25th/26th. JUNE. It kinda threw me out my stride a bit because on my online credit thing it says my next appointment is 22nd May with the same dentist I saw, but that's just through the credit so I suppose it was subject to change. I don't really feel good about that. When she said ''we have the 18th....." I quickly looked at the calendar to see it was 4 days time, then she said "....June" and I was like...June....June?

First I'm still super upbeat to get this tackled and out of the way right now while I have that lingering confidence that I went, but I dunno how I'm gonna feel after an entire month! That's twice as long as it's been since I made my first post, and that genuinely feels a long time ago now. And also I'm super worried I'm going to cause more damage somehow between now and then. It's alright saying I need a large filling on that cracked in half molar, but what condition is it going to be in a MONTH? What happens if I forget somehow and eat somethin or chew on it (I chew gum constantly...) and it damages it? I don't feel so hot with like cracked in half exposed stuff just sat there for a whole month.

Genuinely it's took the wind out of my sails a bit to be honest. I feel a bit deflated and like my mind is starting to wander again into that circle of worrying and being so concerned about things that I can't even focus while "relaxing". Damn it.

@Anxiety Riddled Exactly. I know it sounds so incredibly simple to say it but I honestly think you should just get it out the way. If you don't go it isn't going to change the outcome, you're just going to stress more and more about the unknown, and if you do go you may actually catch anything that could be a problem early before it becomes a real problem. That's how I saw my situation. I could ignore it and keep hoping I could hide it for as long as possible (with a slightly chipped front tooth I don't suppose I'm doing a great job but my top front 4 aren't so bad and my bottoms until the pre-molars are all okay) but eventually things are going to get out of hand to the point front teeth are breaking in half, then to the gum, then infections and pain, and looking back that scared me more than going to the dentist did.

yeah 40mg haha. I must have a high tolerance naturally I think because I've never used them regularly in my life and I took 10mg, then 20mg when I mentioned using it in a previous post, so on the day I had 20mg in the morning as I knew I'd handle that fine, felt even more anxious as the day went on, so had another 10mg at lunch, still heart pounding anxiety and no impairment or anything so I took another 10mg 30 minutes before as I thought about setting off. I still don't think it helped massively but I attended the appointment so maybe it did somewhat?
@Whyohwhy12 I know how you feel about having to wait for your appointment. I had my consultation with my oral surgeon for my wisdom teeth surgery on April 10 and still have yet to have my appointment. My appointment is May 30. It’s coming up a little faster now but it’s been miserable having to wait because I’ve had a lot of discomfort and pain since then. Unfortunately now a days with doctors it’s nothing but the waiting game… they are always so booked up. Hopefully your situation won’t get any worse. Honestly mine probably only did due to my lack of oral hygiene. Just can’t bring myself to do anything to my mouth with the state it is in (it’s too sensitive and painful). And yeah I’m hoping to get my dental issues situated throughout the summer. I’ll have my wisdom teeth extraction at the end of this month then I’ll give myself time to heal from that and then I’ll (hopefully) book my appointment with a general dentist. And yeah I would say you have a high tolerance to be able to take 40mg haha. My primary care doctor said 2mg should do the trick because it’s a strong medication and I took it and felt absolutely nothing. I’m sure 40mg would knock me on my ass haha. I saw online the usual prescribed amount for dental appointments is 10mg so I’m not surprised the 2mg didn’t work for me. Felt like my primary just gave it to me as a joke because it was such a low dose. Before the Valium she gave me 0.25mg of Xanax (that was a bigger joke) it was like taking a vitamin.
@Anxiety Riddled It really knocked the wind out of me. I thought I'd get stuff sorted this month and dare I say it but I was kind of excited to get going and have all this sorted in just 3-4 appointments and be done by summer, and I thought it might be a couple weeks until my next appointment.

But June? I've got to wait just over a month to get this sorted, which is concerning me a lot when I still have that one tooth where the filling fell out and the inside is literally all exposed. How am I supposed to keep that intact for a whole month so it only requires a large filling still? It's so big I don't even think I'd attempt a temp filling nor would I want to make it any more complicated even if I could. I don't think the inside of a tooth is that durable is it to last a month without any further damage so it won't require another extraction or adding like 2k onto my bill for a RCT and a crown? It almost makes me scared to eat at all now when it's the difference between 200£ or 2000£ or another extraction which is priceless really as I don't want another.

Also in your situation can you not even brush lightly? Or even some sort of mouthwash even? I dunno your situation exactly, obviously brushing lightly isn't an option or you'd already have done that. How much of it do you think is in your head or how much is reality? I know that's a stupid question because I guess your reality is what is in your head, but if you said "f it" and just brushed, do you think your teeth themselves (ignoring gums) are that bad they couldn't take it? I know when my filling fell out and I was hyper aware of it my whole mouth felt weak somehow, so I sort of sympathise with your plight. I'm still scared to brush down that side of my mouth even but I just about do it making sure to avoid the exposed part of the tooth.

Also yeah I think 10mg is a standard dose with anything over 20mg getting into heavy ish territory. I had 40mg in my system and I don't think I noticed it. At least not enough to impair me at all at work or do anything stupid like people do on Benzos. Equivalent to about 2mg of Xanax. Maybe I just somehow have a chemical makeup that is tolerant to them, I'm not sure. I did actually attend the appointment, so maybe they helped a bit, but I have a feeling I'd still have pushed through even on nothing.
@Whyohwhy12 yeah it’s a shame they can’t get you in sooner. I guess all you can really do is just chew very carefully on that side. I don’t blame you for being concerned. Having to wait doesn’t help with the anxiety portion either… As for my situation with the brushing.. I believe almost 95 percent of it (if not more) is in my head. I have a mental block about brushing my teeth. It’s a ridiculous one too! I have this unrealistic fear that if I brush my teeth (no matter how lightly I do it) they will fall out. I have always had anxiety about my teeth but never like this (I was never afraid to brush). I have a lot of discomfort in my mouth that I hyper focus on and it makes me get these odd sensations like my teeth are loose or moving. I’m starting to believe my anxiety is the cause of these sensations. Oddly enough I’ve read stories from a lot of people with this same fear and most of them say they couldn’t get relief until after seeing a dentist and them telling them that structurally their teeth are sound and not loose. I’m hoping that when I finally do go they are able to tell me that it is in my head and that my teeth are not loose. I am also terrified to hear that I have bone loss (another huge concern/fear). I just wish I could get over this dental anxiety. It literally ruins my life being that it is all I’m able to focus on (especially these past few months). And yeah when it comes to the medication I’ve tried for anxiety (Valium and Xanax) I feel like neither of them did anything for me. My doctor said it would not take a high dose of either one of those to calm me enough for an appointment but I didn’t feel any different at all. She said that I “probably didn’t notice but it was working”… interesting way to phrase it.. I’m like “so your saying my anxiety is keeping me from realizing I don’t have anxiety?” Haha.
@Anxiety Riddled so are you not eating solid food at all then? You've been on a liquid diet essentially for all this time? I only ask because if you can eat anything solid then you must chew, so brushing lightly wouldn't hurt them? It's weird to say if you truly believe they're so weak, but have you ever just tested it? Like with your tongue or even fingers? How long has it been since you brushed and what condition generally are your teeth in (apart from the wisdoms)? Where do you think this fixation on bone loss comes from? I wouldn't have even thought of bone loss until I came here, so where did that fear stem from?

Anxiety is difficult and there's a fine line between it being justified and it being irrational. It's obviously stupid to compare situations as we're two different people, but just a week ago I was seriously mulling over ways to end my life over this, so for me to actually go through with an appointment has me feeling like if I can do it, I'm sure others can too. I have never been so petrified. It was like the almost blackout anxiety I had with the nerves generally and giving a speech at my wedding as someone who is introverted in front of like 50+ people. And honestly escaping with 1 extraction and basically a dozen fillings was like a victory. I had dentures in my head and went with the thought I needed full extractions and told most of my teeth are beyond repair even if a lot of them look okay.

Also yeah, I'm kinda reeling from being told it's June. Crazy to say I'm actually annoyed it's not sooner, guess it shows my change of heart knowing I'm salvageable. It's frustrating because now I'm incredibly anxious about this one tooth and even others. I don't know how I'm going to protect it for an entire month. I don't feel like the inside of teeth is particularly durable which means I've got a month straight of eating on the other side...which already has that broken pre-molar I had for like 3 years which structurally seems like it would hold up better (and has, I suppose).

And to be honest it feels so dirty as I said before knowing I've got that one totally exposed and one extraction that needs to come out, along with others that need work. I'm walking around, working, talking, interacting with people with that going on in my mouth. I already can't focus when I think about it, and knowing I've got an entire month before we even get started on fixing the problems is bothering me. On the credit plan online where I can track the payments etc it said my next appointment was May 22nd and named the dentist who saw me. Not sure where they pull that info from exactly but I had it in mind we'd start in May at least.

It's really screwed me over. Especially as I was riding a high from actually going. Now that enthusiasm has fallen off a cliff. A month is a long time to wait.
@Whyohwhy12 my last solid meal was on Christmas Day. For the past (going on) 6 months I’ve had nothing but mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and Mac and cheese (thin noodles only so I can just swallow it). I have not chewed anything in months due to the discomfort. I’m down almost 40 pounds. I was hoping to be able to have my first meal by my birthday this year but I’m not sure if I will be able to. My wisdom teeth come out at the end of this month and my birthday is June 21. Just not expecting the easiest recovery being that I’m over the normal age of recommended removal… I’m afraid to put any pressure on my teeth. Honestly even running my tongue along them (which I compulsively do all day/night and it drives me nuts). When I move my tongue along my teeth I feel like they are loose but honestly I think it’s all in my head because I don’t see movement. I think most of this stems off of me looking up things too much. Like the bone loss. I never even thought of that possibility until I started googling things obsessively. I hate to say it but I haven’t brushed I think in a year or more. I don’t even know at this point… My anxiety just skyrocketed after I stopped working and I almost just got into a depression where I stopped taking care of myself. All I do are mouth rinses. Whether it be mouthwash, salt water, or now a prescription one the oral surgeon gave me. My anxiety is bad but I know it could be worse. To your point a lot of people get so overwhelmed that they consider “ending it”. I’m an overthinking to the max and I just can’t seem to stop it. I want to just get these appointments done and over with and hopefully go back to normal but I know it’s going to take some time. I know what you mean about the feeling dirty thing. I feel that way about my teeth mostly due to my lack of oral hygiene. I don’t even leave my home really anymore. If I do go anywhere I won’t open my mouth, not even to talk to anyone, I just keep my head down and ignore everyone around me. It’s quite sad. I’m a naturally shy/quiet person anyway so it’s not like I’d just strike up a conversation with someone out in public but it’s sad that I feel so down on myself that I won’t even look up and acknowledge that there are other people around me.. I especially don’t like to come off as rude because that is not me. I also know what you mean when it comes to riding the high of your initial appointment. I too was so proud of myself for making the baby step for my consultation just to be told I had to wait another month and a half to get the surgery. I don’t think these dentist realize how much courage it takes those with anxiety to get to an appointment and to get treatment. We almost need to keep the momentum after we make that first step or we lose the confidence to keep going.
It’s funny how anxiety works because I want to say just go for it and brush lightly. Because of my own situation and expecting the worse I don’t believe your teeth are as bad as you suspect. It’s rare for teeth to be in that condition isn’t it? I know it can happen of course but to be so weak they can’t even stand a light brush? I know I’m probably not going to help you with this but I really urge you to go (or anyone reading this lurking in the shadows. Just go, get it done. If you don’t go it won’t change the state of play, and if anything you’re missing out on a chance to make things better) Just imagine your life if you got these things sorted and the energy of worrying about your teeth could be applied to something else. That weight off your shoulders would be amazing.

I’m still quite low to be honest from the news about my appointment. How the hell am I supposed to keep this thing clean? Can I even brush that area or would my electric brush just well, mash things up? I don’t imagine the inside of a tooth is particularly durable. I’m now incredibly paranoid what was large fillings even elsewhere is going to turn into RCT/crowns which I can’t really afford, so it’ll be extractions. And I don’t want more extractions.

Annoyingly I keep chewing gum stlll and it’ll go over that side without thinking and i feel it. It’s not painful, I just know it’s there more than if I wasn’t doing anything, if that makes sense. A feeling like my body is saying “no stop that right now”. Thing is the dentist didn’t say anything about it in regards to this, not even a suggestion of a quick temp filling over it?

I’m not sure if that’s just her confidence somehow a half destroyed tooth is fine for a few weeks, or they just forgot to discuss these things with me. Can anyone chime in who maybe was in a similar situation? It’s been 2 weeks since it happened, and my first appointment isn’t for a month. How strong exactly is a tooth that lost a filling with the inside visible?
@Whyohwhy12 yes it is very rare for teeth to be in that bad of condition to not even be able to handle a brushing. They’re supposed to be one of the strongest parts of your body from what I hear. As for your question I highly recommend going into the “ask a dentist” portion of the forum. The dentist “Gordon” has been very helpful to me and lots of people answering medical questions! I’m sure he will have some insight for you.
@Anxiety Riddled @Whyohwhy12 I have inflammed gums and bone loss but I'm not sure how much inflammation and bone loss I have so I understand about feeling anxiety every day about dental problems. I know anxiety riddled we have discussed this on my thread and whyohwhy12 I want you to know that you also have my support and it's good that we understand what each other is going through. I feel anxious when I don't brush and floss and anxious when I do brush and floss in case I haven't brushed and glossed well enough and there could still be plaque or tartar there. I have had the inflammation ever since I was in my 20's. I'm 40 now and recently was diagnosed with the bone loss. It confuses me that different dentists at the same dental surgery have said different things. The bone loss and inflammation terrify me. I have an appointment for a deep cleaning in two weeks time which I have every three months. It's uncomfortable and a lot of blood comes out of my gums during it. I am anxious about what the dentist will say to me at the next appointment too.
Hoping you're doing well. I know what you mean about waiting for appointments, I like my dentist, but I have to wait ages for appointments where I am too, and this is at a private dentist.

I mentioned I have a root canal in the middle of June, well that was booked near the start of April! So I'm having to wait pretty much 2 and a half months for the appointment. I have an active infection because the tooth has died, I'm just having to hope it doesn't spread as luckily im not in too much pain with it at the moment, otherwise I'll have to go onto antibiotics to tide me over until my root canal.
I've had to wait 1-2 months for fillings at same dentist in the past too.

Think it's the same its lots of parts of the country, lots of demand and not enough dentists, either private or NHS.
@Neos Hi again. Yeah it's so frustrating when they're sure a tooth is salvageable, yet it sits there broken and exposed to the elements. I feel like I'm walking on a tight rope with it and one chew without thinking is going to somehow break what remains and I'll be told they can't fix it now. I obviously really don't want to lose it so I'm kinda pissed off they're just like ''oh yeah, wait over a month". I'm private too. And June 18th is just my first appointment, I have no idea yet what is on the cards that day to get done, and when the next one will be after that. I have 4 I think, so at this rate I won't be done by October.

I can really sympathize with your situation. It sucks knowing I have all this work to be done yet I'm working, around colleagues, but my mouth has so much to be done. It feels dirty somehow. I can feel it in my mouth like a weird ache that isn't painful at all. It's annoying because you finally go through with it and get told you need a dozen fillings and an extraction, you sort out the funding for it, then get told it won't even start for a month. It's like the adrenaline/high I felt finally getting it out the way and being told I don't have any gum issues or need a dozen extractions just dumped entirely, and now I'm just left with the anxiety about it and feeling back to where I started. It's going to be the longest month. I just cannot wait to get all of this out the way and maintain good oral hygiene, keep the soda out of my diet (I'm kinda adverse to even eating sugary things at all now), and then have checkups which I don't even think about.

I'm also slowly starting to notice a weird bite thing, where if I try bite down the opposite side to the broken tooth comes down first and the other side doesn't touch. Never had that before, I used to clench now and again just prior to this filling falling out and my bite was good. But now it's driving me insane biting down over and over again with my whole mouth feeling out of alignment. It's like every time I try it's a slightly different feeling and I have to strain hard to try get the other side to come down, my face scrunches up. I have to physically push my jaw that side to make it happen. I'm not sure if that's because I'm attempting to chew mostly on the non broken side and it's my bodys way of trying to protect the broken tooth, or if it's because that one tooth is so broken it's not enough to contact the other side. But as I say I was clenching fine prior to that filling falling out the tooth, so it could be that? No others have changed.
It's funny that before I was incredibly scared to go, but now I'm so frustrated that I CAN'T go, and I want to go to the dentist as soon as possible.

It's a nightmare trying to protect this completely cracked molar that the dentist says is savable, but feels so incredibly exposed right now. The fear that I have a savable tooth that is susceptible to further damage feels like I'm walking through a minefield every second. Like even sneezing puts me on edge that I'm going to somehow damage it further. I also think it's irritating my tongue/cheek, so I'm more aware of that area. I'm also having some more cold sensitivity the same side but on the upper.

I can't even describe how it all feels, walking a minefield constantly is good, or maybe it's like walking with a broken leg that is going to take a month for someone to set into place, and you're hoping you can manage without further damaging it beyond repair. Or having an exposed wound you're trying to protect from the elements that you can't just bandage up, it won't be fixed for weeks and there's a risk you'll end up having an amputation or something.

Just constantly aware of it. And everything as a result feels more sensitive and weak in my mouth. When I eat and feel something in my teeth like a tiny bit of crumb that is a bit crunchy, I keep thinking I've just damaged a tooth further. It's also crazy how my work performance has dipped in the past weeks, it's always there in my mind, and while I do get distracted on the surface level sometimes, even when I'm not actively thinking about it I must be subconsciously doing so.

God I need to get this sorted asap.
This molar is still incredibly irritating. I can feel it constantly. I dunno if it’s my tongue and cheek that is irritated by it, or the tooth itself, or a mix of all 3. But it’s not a pain really, I’m just very aware of it. It feels like when you get a bit of food stuck between teeth and you just know it’s there so it’s really irritating, but you can’t do anything about it. It’s just constant.

But I know if I bit down hard on it I would really feel it and get like a 9/10, tingle in the jaw pain. I wonder how long a tooth would last if a dentist drilled down to put a large filling in, not just a small preventative thing, and then just left it and didn’t actually fill it. I’m basically dealing with that right now.

And my appointment is June 18th. If I get there and they say that it now needs to be extracted because it was exposed so long and further damage was caused…I think I would be so angry. I really don’t want to lose this tooth. I hate this, knowing it could still be alive and salvageable right now, and it’s just a matter of time before it’s irreparable. What makes it worse is I’ve got to work and be close to people and stuff.
@Whyohwhy12 have you been asked to be put on their cancellation list? I'm not sure how flexible you are with work etc. and having an appointment at short(ish) notice, but it might be worth ringing and asking?
@letsconnect Yeah I mentioned to them as soon as I heard ''so we have an appointment on the 18th....of June", expecting "...of May" after the pause, so I almost couldn't hide my surprise when I repeated back ''June?". Then I asked if they have any cancellations between now and then please contact me as I'm desperate to get in and get sorted as I'm having some issues, but they said they would if anything came up.

I'm tempted to ring up and ask but with me already having an appointment set in stone it just feels a bit cheeky doing so. Like I don't wanna rock the boat at all because I'm somehow worried I'll be starting off the relationship badly some how like pushing them into a decision when there's already a plan.

If they could guarantee me it'll be fine till then unless I did something ridiculous like constantly punishing it with hard food and thick chewing gum over and over again, I wouldn't worry. But the fact it's something so large exposed to everything it's making me so paranoid that I'm going to loose a salvageable tooth simply because of time, and because you'll get 100 people in front of me with no more than checkups - which obviously have their value, but for me it's beyond that.

June can't come soon enough and every day feels like it's going 10 times as slow, with the days in the month just snails pace passing by. I'm holding a time bomb just waiting for it to explode if I so much as move wrong in my mouth (that's how it feels like), and the bomb squad is like ''we got you in for over a months time". I just hope she has confidence in resorting the tooth with a closer look/understanding than me, rather than it just being a scheduling thing.
I don't see how asking about cancellations again would be considered "rocking the boat" - you'd be doing them a favour by filling a slot which might go empty otherwise, so it's a win-win situation :)