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Oscillating between feeling cautiously hopeful and terrified



Junior member
Nov 7, 2021
Everett, WA
Well, I guess I might as well just get the whole story out there. I'll be 29 in a few months, and starting at around age 16, I've basically been on my own. My mom had a major stroke and became disabled, and around that time my dad developed a major drug addiction (luckily he has been clean for a few years now). The dentist basically went down about 100 spots on the priority list, and it stayed that way basically up until last year. I got a wisdom tooth pulled in 2020 that was really bothering me, and they took out the molar next to it as well since it was completely sideways and had a cavity. No reason trying to rescue it. Otherwise, last October was the first time I had been to the dentist in probably a decade.

My dentist last year gave me a regular cleaning, and I got one root canal and the tooth next to it got a deep filling that also needed a crown. They scheduled me again in 6 months for a cleaning, which I put off since I hadn't...vibes with the dentist very well, for lack of a better phrase.

I scheduled with a new dentist last month, and I've had 2 appointments with her now, next one is in a week. I cried at that appointment because I needed so much done. I've had 2 more deep fillings/crowns. One will most likely end up being a root canal because it's aaaaaalmost at the root, but I'm hoping maybe it'll hold out. One of the crowns the last dentist placed has a gap between it and my tooth so that needs to be replaced, I believe she said that one was on the tooth with the deep filling, and jostling the tooth like that will probably turn it into a root canal. I'm getting ANOTHER root canal next week with the endodontist that comes to her office, and then I believe #15 is iffy. They might be able to pull off a deep filling or root canal or whatever, but she said they might need to pull it. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Not even 30 and I have a mouth full of crowns. Makes me want to cry every time I think about it.

I also got a deep cleaning, which was weird to me. Less than a year ago I just needed a simple cleaning, now I need a deep cleaning even though this is the most consistent I've been about brushing/flossing in my life? Ugh.

I also got a referral to an orthodontist, since a lot of my problems can be chalked up to my terrible bite and crowding. Some of the teeth were inevitably gonna go south since it's so hard to clean them. I had the consult with him last week, that's the part that kind of raised my spirits a little, but did open a can of worms.

I've always been insecure about my teeth. I've got a pretty big overjet, and a crossbite. I wish that had been able to be fixed when I was a kid, but... Whatever. I'm trying to let it go and just do what I can now. Hard to let go of so many years of being so insecure, though. The orthodontist wants me to do Invisalign over traditional braces, since I'm going to end this all with about 5 or 6 crowns, and I guess it's hard to stick the brackets to crowns and they're more prone to falling off.

I went into the appointment armed with all my internet research totally convinced he was going to tell me it was jaw surgery or nothing, but nope. He did offer that as an option but I was like "nooooope" when he asked if that was even something I wanted to pursue, and he crossed it out pretty quickly. It won't be exactly perfect with just orthodontics, but I'm fine with that. He seemed confident we can still get it looking great, and a lot healthier. So once I'm done with this saga of dental work, I'll start that process. Cautiously optimistic?

Until I start thinking about my mouth being Root Canal Central, all my crowns and fillings and ugh. It just makes me feel awful. Plus, any twinge of pain or weird feeling sends me spiraling into a dental version of health anxiety. I just wanna get this all over with. I wanna look nice. I want my mouth to be healthy. I don't wanna have to endlessly worry about the health of my teeth.

I just hope I can make it through all of this still intact. I hope it's not too many more dental appointments. I hope, I hope, I hope. At least the dentist and the orthodontist both have payment plans, I'm sure I'll be in debt to them for a long while.
Hey Jordan!

I’ve had 3 root canals so I’m Crown City (oh wait you said Root Canal Central!) right there with ya. I had my first at maybe 19/20 years old. And my other molars all have fillings. Fun stuff.

I also got a deep cleaning, which was weird to me. Less than a year ago I just needed a simple cleaning, now I need a deep cleaning even though this is the most consistent I've been about brushing/flossing in my life? Ugh.

Did you ask about gum disease? Or did they bring it up? I only wanted to mention this because my dentists never told me that a “deep cleaning” = “scaling and root planing” = something that I think is typically for gum disease. They’d have to see bone loss on your X-rays though to confirm gum disease. Not saying that’s the case with you, though!

It’s great you’re getting on top of things now. I missed sooo many appointments in my 20s because my parents never taught me anything about dental hygiene and so I just didn’t know better! Hell, missed appointments in my early 30s too. But crowns can last a long, long time! And sometimes they just need to be replaced.
I think Root Canal Central Ave Crown City must be neighboring cities. 😂

They didn't say much about gum disease, the dentist was just sort of saying numbers as she checked my gums and then said I needed a deep cleaning. That's kind of the problem being at the dentist, I have 0 idea what they're talking about so I'm kind of at their mercy. They could say basically anything and I'd have to just go along with it.

I'm glad I'm going to the dentist again, I just wish I didn't have so much work to be done. I'll be glad when all the big stuff is over and I can just go back to cleanings.
Ugh, now that my next root canal is in a few days I'm suddenly very anxious. I've had one before and it was pretty okay, just felt like a filling but took longer. Just suddenly afraid that something will go wrong or something. I've set up a playlist of relaxing music for me to listen to during, and my dentist is really good about making sure we get through everything quickly because she knows how anxious and claustrophobic I get. The root canal itself will be done by an endodontist that comes into her office, but they made an appointment with my dentist for right after. I'm assuming for the crown placement, luckily they do same day crowns. That really helps. Agh. Not sure why I'm suddenly so nervous. I just want all this big work to be over. :(
Got that root canal done today, went super smoothly. It's so much nicer just getting the permanent crown on the same day. The endodontist was awesome too, man, if anyone ever needs a root canal I'd insist a specialist does it, both of mine have been so easy with them. The dentist thinks I should pretty much only need one more appointment. One more root canal and two fillings and I'm pretty much good to go. She does think we'll probably wanna pull the rest of my wisdom teeth before I go ahead with the Invisalign, but I'm just happy I can see the finish line.
Welp, home from the dentist after another 3 and a half hour session (root canal, crown placement and 2 fillings). Looks like I did it! Completed my treatment plan! All without having too much of a breakdown. I do need to get the rest of my wisdom teeth pulled, but I'll probably shoot a message to the orthodontist and see if he wants me to do that before Invisalign or if we should get the show on the road and I can get them pulled during treatment or whatever.

Wow. Feels kinda weird that I'm pretty much done until I either get my wisdoms pulled or until my next cleaning in November. I'm really happy I got all of this taken care of. Still feel kinda weird about having 6 crowns and 3 root canals before 30, but....at least I got it all handled. Guess I'll just try to relax for the rest of today and feel a little victorious.
Thought I'd update, I have my next cleaning in early November. Kinda back to being nervous because I'm waiting until then to schedule pulling the rest of my wisdom teeth (they have an oral surgeon that comes in) then I'll get going with the Invisalign, but I have a nagging fear that I'll go in and need more root canals or fillings, or god forbid something failed and I'll lose teeth. Agh. I've been diligent about brushing 2-3x a day and flossing every night, I just hope it's been working.