• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a general dental forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Periodontal surgery and more required

thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
This morning I had my dreaded first appointment with the periodontist for a comprehensive evaluation & consultation. It was even worse than I had expected.  :cry:

My gum recession is very serious along with bone loss. There are three procedures I need to have done. 1) gum graft on several lower front teeth 2) gum graft on some upper right teeth 3) bone graft on my tooth in bottom lefthand corner. Needless to say, it cannot all be done in one day. The torture will be spread out over an undetermined amount of time.  :scared:

To make matters worse, I need two crowns done that my regular dentist keeps getting on my case about. The periodontist stressed to me today that these need to be done very soon too.

The total cost of everything is extremely expensive. I have dental insurance, but am already near my calendar year maximum. If I could sell my soul at this point, I'm sure I would. I don't know what's upsetting me more at the moment: physically suffering through all of these procedures or financially suffering through all of these procedures.

As if all this weren't enough, an unknown driver hit my parked car in the last 24 hours and did some serious damage.

The expression is TRUE - when it rains, it pours!  :hidesbehindsofa:
 
T

takingflight

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Messages
938
Location
VA
I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a bad day.  I wish I could give you some information on the gum grafting but I've not experienced that.  I did have a bone graft done but I was out cold when they did so I can only tell you about the after experience.  (Stitches were annoying and there was a little numbness & tingling because they worked close to a nerve - not too bad though!)  

I can appreciate what you are going through regarding the crowns.  My dentist is pushing for me to have a bunch of them but after what I just spend getting to this point it won't be happening for a couple of years.  I hope that you can have things done over time so that your insurance can at least help.  :thumbsup:

I'm sure everything will work out and things won't seem as bad as they do right now.  We'll be here for you if you need support!  :grouphug:

Take care,

Pam
 
scaredstiff

scaredstiff

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
2,294
Location
Wales
I don't know if this is any comfort to you, but however bad things may seem and we all know that these things tend to run in a string, just bear in mind there's always someone worse off and though we may all have our various degrees of dental anxiety and money worries they are not life threatening. Everything can be overcome, things always have a way of working out, though you may not see that at the moment. You say some work the dentist says needs to be done sooner than later, can you not ask the dentist for a report on what needs to be done when, with costings so you can plan ahead and see exactly how you are placed financially.  With regard to car damage, were there any CCTV cameras around? But, if you are fully comprehensive, although you will lose no claims bonus, at least you will be able to get car fixed, so just have the inconvenience of it being off the road - but there again if you're fully comp. no doubt you get replacement car while yours is off the road.
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
takingflight said:
I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a bad day.  I wish I could give you some information on the gum grafting but I've not experienced that.  I did have a bone graft done but I was out cold when they did so I can only tell you about the after experience.  (Stitches were annoying and there was a little numbness & tingling because they worked close to a nerve - not too bad though!)  

I can appreciate what you are going through regarding the crowns.  My dentist is pushing for me to have a bunch of them but after what I just spend getting to this point it won't be happening for a couple of years.  I hope that you can have things done over time so that your insurance can at least help.  :thumbsup:

I'm sure everything will work out and things won't seem as bad as they do right now.  We'll be here for you if you need support!  :grouphug:

Take care,

Pam

Well despite another sleepless night worrying about my dental woes, it actually managed to be a better day at work. I'm waiting to see what my insurance company will pay for all of the periodontal procedures. Keeping calm in the meantime is going to be easier said than done for me.

From what you told me, maybe the bone graft sounds worse than it actually is? I'm sure when it comes down to getting it done, the real panic will set in. How long did it take to heal? How long do the stitches stay in?

I never had a crown, but part of me thinks I may get those two done first. I'm thinking I will probably delay the gum and bone grafts until next year. I'll still be hit with more out of pocket expense than I can handle, but it should ease the burden a little.

This past month has been nothing but bad news for me, hope it turns around eventually. Thanks for the words of optimism, Pam! It's so nice to be able to talk to others who have gone through the same.

For now, I'm just hoping to resume sleeping normally at night. The anticipation of that periodontal appointment kept me up for far too long and last night I just kept contemplating everything.

Thanks again for your reply. I sure do appreciate it.  :)
 
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
scaredstiff said:
I don't know if this is any comfort to you, but however bad things may seem and we all know that these things tend to run in a string, just bear in mind there's always someone worse off and though we may all have our various degrees of dental anxiety and money worries they are not life threatening. Everything can be overcome, things always have a way of working out, though you may not see that at the moment. You say some work the dentist says needs to be done sooner than later, can you not ask the dentist for a report on what needs to be done when, with costings so you can plan ahead and see exactly how you are placed financially.  With regard to car damage, were there any CCTV cameras around? But, if you are fully comprehensive, although you will lose no claims bonus, at least you will be able to get car fixed, so just have the inconvenience of it being off the road - but there again if you're fully comp. no doubt you get replacement car while yours is off the road.

The past month has brought a lot of bad news for me and yesterday was no doubt the worst of it. Scary as it all feels to me, you're right...it's not a life threatening situation. Maybe life overwhelming sums it up better?

I'm starting to think about possibly getting the crowns done first and perhaps putting off the periodontal surgeries until next year to try and soften the financial blow a little. Part of what really scares me is the financial impact since I relocated cross country only a year ago and am not in the best position to pay for all of this work yet.

Thanks for your concern about my vehicle. Closer inspection shows it's not as bad as I had thought and is easily/cheaply fixed. Now if only the same could be said for my teeth...
 
scaredstiff

scaredstiff

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
2,294
Location
Wales
Glad your vehicle is not as bad as initially thought. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised, and when you are able to get your teeth seen to, it won't be half as bad as now seems. I do hope so anyway. Keep us posted and we'll keep sending the positive vibes your way.
 
mikey

mikey

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
1,106
Location
South Carolina
Yea, your mind is making things seem like your going to die of pain/anxiousness but it wont be bad. I've had 6 extractions, 5 fillings. It might seem bad now but 3 days after its done you will be proud of yourself for going and your mouth will thank you.

1.just ask for nitrous, while at the visit and it will relieve 85% of the anxiety. while you still realize whats happening you dont give a $%^& about it!

2. get iv sedation if possible-this puts you so far under that you have no clue whats happening nor memory of it. Yet you can still communicate with doctor.

3. get them to give you a valium perscription-its like perscription weed* it relieves almost all the anxiety and when combined with nitrous= all anxiety is gone.

4. bring some type of distraction ae. ipod or mp3 player..it helps alot.

Above all..your appointments will be fine all myn were and ive had expirance with nitrous and iv sedation and they are great, and make you feel great. :cloud9:


**weed* (weed is just a slang term meaning marajuana, it is an illegal drug in all 51 states in the USA.)
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,764
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
thegrimace said:
I never had a crown, but part of me thinks I may get those two done first. I'm thinking I will probably delay the gum and bone grafts until next year.  

I'm not medically qualified but I would have thought the periodontal procedures were likely to be more urgent than the crowns....your dentist and periodontist should be able to advise you better what is indeed the score in your case.
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
Well the first rounds of torture have now been scheduled after talks with my periodontist and dentist.  :sick:

Exactly three weeks from today I am getting the two crowns done. I've had two root canals done years ago. Are crowns worse? Would anyone here consider it too sadistic getting two crowns done at the same time? Is it going to be very painful? One word that was thrown around has me particularly scared and that would be grinding.

February 1st is the day of my first periodontal procedure. That day I will be getting a subepithelial tissue graft. The process has now been explained to me in greater detail and sounds to me like a horror film come to life. I hear that healing differs from person to person, but learned that one patient who had the procedure done last month needed seven days off from work to recover.  :scared:

Also discussed was what kind of foods I will be able to eat or more extensively what foods I won't be able to eat immediately after surgery. This won't be easy!

Two more periodontal surgical procedures await me after this one coming up in February. Factoring in those along with all of the followup periodontal visits, mandatory three month cleanings with the dentist, and the two crowns - I will be spending way too much time in dental offices (translation: hell on earth) for all of the foreseeable future with no end in sight. The reaction I keep getting from everyone is that I'm too young for all of this to be happening at 36. I really feel depressed and worry that I will be going through this for the rest of my life.  :shame:
 
scaredstiff

scaredstiff

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
2,294
Location
Wales
Well, good for you for getting the appointments sorted out. I personally have never had a crown but I know a man who has! (I tell a lie, it's actually a female). You mention the word grinding which makes it all sound very unpleasant but though it is done with the drill, it is just taking some of the sheen away from the tooth, and/or possibly, filing the shape down of the existing tooth so that the crown can adhere cleanly to it. It shouldnt be too unpleasant but I'm sure the dentist will give you something like gas and air, numbing or something else to keep you calm.
I know you seem to have an awful lot to be done to your teeth and I know how worrying the finance aspect of it can be. I had this problem too and though my treatment is now over and done with with nothing more expensive for another 3 months at least, it will be many more months before I've finished paying for the last lot. However, when it comes to your health, and teeth do play a large part in that (which I never really realised before) it is important to get the teeth sorted out and worry about the finances later. Everything has a way of working out. I'm sure you are worrying unnecesarily when you think you may be plagued with dental problems for the rest of your life. Sure, you have been unlucky, so young, to have these problems but once all your treatment is finished, I can't see any reason why your teeth shouldn't remain in a good, healthy condition, so long as you look after them properly. So, hope the waiting won't be too hard on you, and remember that we're all here and will be thinking of you in 3 weeks time. :grouphug:
 
V

vict4ia

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
391
Location
New Hampshire
I had a crown done a couple of weeks ago on an upper right molar - well, I had the temporary crown done. That's when they do all the grinding and the prep work. I have to go back next week for the permanent crown. As I've joked on here before, I view getting my permanent crown as my coronation. ;) Anyway, everyone is different, of course, but mine didn't hurt a bit. The gum around the tooth was just the teeniest bit sore that night (not really even as sore as when I've burned my mouth on hot food in the past) so I was just careful when I brushed my teeth.

As for the grinding, there really wasn't much to that. It sounds much worse than it is. I certainly didn't feel it. In fact, the dentist had to grind a tiny bit off of one of my lower teeth so that my bite would come together once the crown was in place. Even though my lower teeth weren't numbed I didn't feel a thing. Think of it more as buffing than grinding.

Good luck with it. :XXLhug:
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
scaredstiff said:
Well, good for you for getting the appointments sorted out. I personally have never had a crown but I know a man who has! (I tell a lie, it's actually a female). You mention the word grinding which makes it all sound very unpleasant but though it is done with the drill, it is just taking some of the sheen away from the tooth, and/or possibly, filing the shape down of the existing tooth so that the crown can adhere cleanly to it. It shouldnt be too unpleasant but I'm sure the dentist will give you something like gas and air, numbing or something else to keep you calm.
I know you seem to have an awful lot to be done to your teeth and I know how worrying the finance aspect of it can be. I had this problem too and though my treatment is now over and done with with nothing more expensive for another 3 months at least, it will be many more months before I've finished paying for the last lot. However, when it comes to your health, and teeth do play a large part in that (which I never really realised before) it is important to get the teeth sorted out and worry about the finances later. Everything has a way of working out. I'm sure you are worrying unnecesarily when you think you may be plagued with dental problems for the rest of your life. Sure, you have been unlucky, so young, to have these problems but once all your treatment is finished, I can't see any reason why your teeth shouldn't remain in a good, healthy condition, so long as you look after them properly. So, hope the waiting won't be too hard on you, and remember that we're all here and will be thinking of you in 3 weeks time. :grouphug:

Maybe I wouldn't be as scared about the crowns if the dentist used another term other than grinding? That magic word put the fear in me. My biggest worries about the crowns at the moment are the pain potential and having heard that temporary crowns can sometimes fall out. The periodontal work is causing me more sleepless nights compared to the crowns. Trying not to think as much about the gum surgery since it will be on February 1st.

With the appointments now lined up and the finances addressed, it sure does feel like the dental industry is going to be owning me for quite a while. You must feel great in knowing that your treatments are over and that the worst is behind you. What I wouldn't do right now to feel that peace of mind and contentment!

I've never used an electric toothbrush before, but just bought a Sonicare Elite a couple weeks ago. Hoping this helps make a difference with my teeth.

Thanks for the words of support. :) I may be back for more encouragement when it gets closer to the Nov. 27th, the appointment for the two crowns.
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
vict4ia said:
I had a crown done a couple of weeks ago on an upper right molar - well, I had the temporary crown done.  That's when they do all the grinding and the prep work.  I have to go back next week for the permanent crown.  As I've joked on here before, I view getting my permanent crown as my coronation. ;)  Anyway, everyone is different, of course, but mine didn't hurt a bit.    The gum around the tooth was just the teeniest bit sore that night (not really even as sore as when I've burned my mouth on hot food in the past) so I was just careful when I brushed my teeth.

As for the grinding, there really wasn't much to that.  It sounds much worse than it is.  I certainly didn't feel it.  In fact, the dentist had to grind a tiny bit off of one of my lower teeth so that my bite would come together once the crown was in place.  Even though my lower teeth weren't numbed I didn't feel a thing.  Think of it more as buffing than grinding.

Good luck with it.   :XXLhug:

Actually one of my crowns is for an upper left molar. Glad to hear yours didn't hurt  :) and the soreness afterwards was minimal. With some luck, maybe I will experience the same. Luck just hasn't been coming my way this year with dentistry.  :(

My entire dental office isn't known for their subtlety. I would have preferred them using a less abrasive term than grinding. Your term buffing is less severe. I predict that while the temporary crowns are in place, I will be worried about them falling out.

Wishing you the best with your permanent crown. Thanks so much for the kind message!  :)
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,764
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Hi Thegrimace
It sounds like you are doing fantastically well :jump:.
Maybe it would help to take things one step at a time and not worry what is to come further down the line...February is next year after all....posters who have experienced periodontal surgery are definitely in the minority but I know Gordon has posted before that patients of his have usually found it less of an ordeal than they expected. It should not be uncomfortable while they are working on you...just a bit sore during the healing phase afterwards. If you think about it, it seems drastic but its actually quite minor in the 'medical surgery' scheme of things. It's scary because you will be awake for it really...rather than because it is very complex.
Good luck :grouphug:
 
V

vict4ia

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
391
Location
New Hampshire
I've been paranoid about my temporary crown coming out, too. Zzzzdentist really helped to put that fear to rest on a thread in the "Your Dentistry Questions Answered" section. Unfortunately, I can't find the thread at the moment. However, he reassured me that the temps don't come out all that easily if you avoid chewing with them and if you follow your dentist's instructions. I've also been assured that even if it does come out, it's not the end of the world. You can put a little vaseline in there and pop it back in until you can get to the dentist's office.

I got the dentist just to take another look at mine at a subsequent cleaning and she reassured me that it's in there just fine. In fact, when the hygienist was flossing my teeth today she didn't remember that I had the temp there and instead of pulling the floss out through at the gum line, she gave a few hard yanks down (like you'd normally do to get floss out from between your teeth) before I reminded her that it's the temporary crown. Now, I'm not saying that's the way to treat your temporary. However, I'm just pointing out that even with that kind of treatment, that puppy didn't budge (knock on wood).

I hope that helps to put your mind at ease some. I'm sure you'll be fine. :grouphug:
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
Hi Brit,

Does this mean I can fool others by appearing strong on the outside? :) Underneath I'm a bundle of nerves...

I think pondering all that lies ahead is probably what's troubling me the most. I have such an impossible time talking about anything dental to family, friends, and co-workers. That's all the more so why I appreciate this forum and other members so much. :) People here know what it's like and have experienced similar.

Next Tuesday morning is my first appointment for the two crowns. My regular dentist will be doing these. She always has a way of making me feel uncomfortable about even the simplest procedures and comes across generally condescending. Wednesday morning I'm going out of town for a long holiday weekend. Hoping to have some fun, but I know the thought of next week will be lingering in my mind.

Thanks for continuing to talk me through this and addressing my concerns.

Brit said:
Hi Thegrimace
It sounds like you are doing fantastically well  :jump:.
Maybe it would help to take things one step at a time and not worry what is to come further down the line...February is next year after all....posters who have experienced periodontal surgery are definitely in the minority but I know Gordon has posted before that patients of his have usually found it less of an ordeal than they expected. It should not be uncomfortable while they are working on you...just a bit sore during the healing phase afterwards.  If you think about it, it seems drastic but its actually quite minor in the 'medical surgery' scheme of things. It's scary because you will be awake for it really...rather than because it is very complex.
Good luck  :grouphug:
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
Good to learn that temporary crowns generally remain intact. Not chewing with them is going to pose some difficulty since I'm getting two crowns done at once and they're not on the same side of my mouth. My dentist will probably offer some kind of strategy.

My first appointment for the two crowns is next Tuesday the 27th. Yes, I'm feeling nervous already. I guess the temporary crowns will be in there for about two weeks? Not sure.

Glad to hear how smoothly your crown procedure went. Thanks for all of the helpful info. :)

vict4ia said:
I've been paranoid about my temporary crown coming out, too.  Zzzzdentist really helped to put that fear to rest on a thread in the "Your Dentistry Questions Answered" section.  Unfortunately, I can't find the thread at the moment.  However, he reassured me that the temps don't come out all that easily if you avoid chewing with them and if you follow your dentist's instructions.  I've also been assured that even if it does come out, it's not the end of the world.  You can put a little vaseline in there and pop it back in until you can get to the dentist's office.

I got the dentist just to take another look at mine at a subsequent cleaning and she reassured me that it's in there just fine.  In fact, when the hygienist was flossing my teeth today she didn't remember that I had the temp there and instead of pulling the floss out through at the gum line, she gave a few hard yanks down (like you'd normally do to get floss out from between your teeth) before I reminded her that it's the temporary crown.  Now, I'm not saying that's the way to treat your temporary.  However, I'm just pointing out that even with that kind of treatment, that puppy didn't budge (knock on wood).  

I hope that helps to put your mind at ease some.  I'm sure you'll be fine.   :grouphug:
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,764
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
thegrimace said:
My regular dentist will be doing these. She always has a way of making me feel uncomfortable about even the simplest procedures and comes across generally condescending.

To me this comment means you really do not like your dentist on a personal level :(. Finish this course of treatment by all means; but then if I were you, I'd look for someone else who can make you feel comfortable about being there..... once you find a dentist you like and trust :-*, stick with them.
Good luck with the crowns....I'm sure you'll be fine but it would be less of an ordeal for you as the patient of someone who has a calming effect rather than a condescending effect. You never know the periodontist may be heaps better..just a thought.

If you were to discuss this with friends, relatives and co-workers, you'd probably gain a lot of support and encouragement and a couple of negative stories also. Most people have some low level of dental anxiety even if only over the dentist's competence....you truly are not alone in this by any means. Someone who says they don't mind going to their dentist or who even likes/enjoys it, probably has the sort of dentist you should be looking for long term too. :grouphug:
 
thegrimace

thegrimace

Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Arizona
To say I dislike my dentist is a world of understatement. :hidesbehindsofa:

I moved out here to California a little over a year ago from a tiny little town in Pennsylvania. I went to the same dentist in PA nearly all my life. Sure I had anxiety with him, he is a dentist after all, but I had a definite level of comfort going to him for so many years (due in some part that he was friends with my mother).

Living in such a big city environment now, dentistry is completely different. I know hardly anyone out here other than my co-workers. I don't have any family living anywhere near the West Coast. Most of my co-workers go to the dentist I am currently seeing and don't have any complaints. The other local dentists I have heard about all sound like mine: cold, impersonal, and eager to take your money.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE living in California! :D I DESPISE my dentist! :cry:

Brit said:
To me this comment means you really do not like your dentist on a personal level :(. Finish this course of treatment by all means; but then if I were you, I'd look for someone else who can make you feel comfortable about being there..... once you find a dentist you like and trust :-*, stick with them.
Good luck with the crowns....I'm sure you'll be fine but it would be less of an ordeal for you as the patient of someone who has a calming effect rather than a condescending effect. You never know the periodontist may be heaps better..just a thought.

If you were to discuss this with friends, relatives and co-workers, you'd probably gain a lot of support and encouragement and a couple of negative stories also. Most people have some low level of dental anxiety even if only over the dentist's competence....you truly are not alone in this by any means. Someone who says they don't mind going to their dentist or who even likes/enjoys it, probably has the sort of dentist you should be looking for long term too.  :grouphug:
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,764
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Are any of the dentists listed in the Find a Dentist section near you for future reference? Doesn't sound like too good a situation to be in.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top