Really Nervous About My First Appointment Tomorrow

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Romalotti

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Nov 25, 2010
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12
I'm 33 years old and haven't been to the dentist in about 9 years. The last time I went I needed $3000 worth of work done on my teeth. I only got half of that done (the right side of my mouth was worked on) and I planned to go back to finish once I'd saved enough money but you know how things are, I kept saying 'next year I'll go' and putting it off. It was mostly for financial reasons, but after a few years I knew that my teeth had gotten pretty bad and that I'd never have enough money to do the necessary work.

In the past couple of years, I've had some tooth pain, mainly in my back teeth. But this past year, a couple of my front teeth on the left side have developed major cavities. The decay has wrapped around my tooth and is visible in the front of the tooth. Also, I believe that the back of my front tooth is rotting away and the nerve may be exposed (I'm not sure because I don't know about these things).

After making and then cancelling an appointment this past summer, I finally worked up the courage to make an appointment for tomorrow (Black Friday, how appropriate). I am so nervous about the state of my teeth, especially the front ones that are pretty bad. I feel pressure in the tooth and it feels like I have a big piece of food permanently stuck between my teeth.

Not only am I afraid of what the dentist will say about my teeth, I'm worried that my front tooth will have to be pulled, which is my worst nightmare. I'm even scared that the cleaning itself will be so painful because even though the tooth doesn't hurt much, I am sure that picking at it with a sharp metal hook will send me right over the edge.

How bad does a tooth have to be to need extraction? And how can I deal with the fear of a dentist seeing my mouth under bright lights when I've been hiding my smile for years now? I think I would cancel my appointment but I'm afraid that if I don't see a dentist soon, my teeth will start breaking apart and falling out, which is scarier than a dentist visit. I never thought I'd post in a forum like this, but here I am...
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi J and welcome :welcome:!

It's great to hear that you have worked up the courage to meet a dentist. I think most of us here know how difficult that must have been :respect:.

We always recommend that the first visit should be a "get-to-know-you" meeting, where you can voice your fears or concerns (away from the chair, if at all possible!) and where you can figure out whether or not you like and trust the dentist. There's plenty of fish in the sea, and if this dentist isn't right for you, there are hundreds of others out there!

So if you don't get the feeling that you don't like the dentist you meet tomorrow, you can always walk - you are the customer! Of course, if you do feel comfortable with them and feel s/he is a keeper, you can go further during that first visit. Only proceed if you feel comfortable with them, though :).
The best way of finding a caring dentist is usually through personal recommendations from friends, colleagues, family or acquaintances (especially those who used to be scared themselves!).

I feel it is important that you let your dentist know about any concerns you may have (e.g. their reaction to seeing your teeth and making negative remarks). It makes things much easier for both of you if you honestly voice your concerns :thumbsup:. Dentists aren't mind-readers and the vast majority really appreciate it if you tell them what bothers you and how they might be able to help you ("I hate dentists" usually isn't the best summary ;) - it helps if you know what your fears are and if you are able to voice them!).

You were asking when a tooth needs to be removed - usually, when there's not enough tooth structure left to attach a crown (though sometimes little sticks can be used to attach it, and even very little bits of tooth can often be sufficient), or when the tooth has a bad crack below the gumline (where it can't be repaired for obvious reasons), or in cases of severe gum disease (in which case the tooth would probably be pretty loose anyway). From what you've described, it sounds to me as if your front tooth can be fixed, probably quite easily (though I'm not a dentist! see caveat in signature).

Wishing you the best of luck for tomorrow - fingers crossed s/he's a keeper :thumbsup:!!! Let us know how you get on regardless though!
 
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mghstl

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Oct 16, 2010
Messages
672
Don't cancel your appointment, please.
Right now now, your fear has the upper hand...welcome to "the club". But really, truly, honestly, if you can stay the course and see a dentist tomorrow, you will be happier than you are at this moment. Make sure your dentist is aware of your pain issues and anxiety. Novocain can be your best friend! Take your MP3/iPOD and let it help you overcome any fear. If you aren't comfortable with anything, stop and find another dentist. You are in control. Whatever your course of treatment, you will be a happier and healthier person in the end.
Good luck tomorrow. I've been in your shoes, and seven weeks later, I am SOOO glad I'm doing it. Hope you feel the same way this time tomorrow. And, yes, I totally understand the financials of this dental journey. You'll find a way.
 
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Romalotti

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Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12
Thanks for your support and advice, it really means a lot to me. Today's the big day! I'm awake early and I think I'd rather do just about anything than go to the dentist in 9 hours, but I'm sure I won't cancel because I made sure to tell a few people about my appointment, including my girlfriend, so if I cancel now I'll just feel stupid. However, it will be on my mind constantly all day, I wish I could've made a morning appointment just to get it over with.

Unfortunately, I have no idea who the dentist is that I'll be seeing. I am signing up for a dental plan and I just chose the nearest dentist that accepts the plan. I am hoping that 12 hours from now, I will have made it through the appointment and this fear will finally be over. But right now, I'm staring straight into one of my biggest nightmares. I do plan on telling the dentist about how nervous I am over all of this, so hopefully that will help. I will report back this weekend with how it all went. Thanks so much for your help, it is so relieving to have people to talk to about this.
 
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Romalotti

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Nov 25, 2010
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12
Well I ended up cancelling my appointment, but for a good reason. It turns out that the dentist office I was planning on seeing was part of a corporate chain of offices that has really poor online reviews. I asked a friend about them and she told me that she knew someone whose teeth got really screwed up due to poor work done at this particular office (I don't know if I'm allowed to mention their name here, but I would like to, just to warn others). In fact, my friend's dentist had advised her NEVER to go to this dentistry chain because they are known for performing faulty work and are very impersonal. I'm so glad I found out before I went, a bad experience might have just scared me away from dentists for a long time.

Anyway, my friend recommended her own dentist, and I'm going to make an appointment there as soon as possible. It may turn out to be more expensive, but I'd rather have quality work done that will last than slipshod work that will leave me in pain or worse. I'm a little upset because I had finally gotten in a decent mental state to finally see a dentist and now I have to wait a bit longer, but after hearing these horror stories, I think it is for the best.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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So glad you found out all this info before heading off :jump::jump::jump:!
Very relieved that you checked out the reviews - and even better to hear that you've got a recommendation now :D

*breathes a huge sigh of relief*

Congratulations :cheers:!!!!

(P.S. you asked if you could mention the name of the chain here - yes no problem, seeing how the chain has already received lots of negative reviews elsewhere on the web. You're only drawing our attention to what you've read elsewhere, right ;) ?)
 
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Romalotti

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Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12
The dentist I cancelled with was Allied Dental. I haven't heard one good thing about them.
Anyway, I FINALLY have my first appointment scheduled for next Thursday. The dentist is the best in the area, and he practices sedation dentistry, which is a big plus because there is no way I will be able to deal with just laying there conscious while he does countless hours of work. I'm still scared as hell, but the decay on my front tooth has become so bothersome that it's almost all I think about. I just hope that most of my teeth (especially the front tooth) can be saved and that I don't have some full-blown panic attack at the initial appointment.

I am going to try very hard not to cancel, because this time there really is no reason to. If I cancel this appointment, it would be purely out of fear, and I just can't put this off any longer.
 
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ButterfliesInHerEyes

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Oct 4, 2010
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153
It's SO important to find a dentist you feel really comfortable with and trust. That's half the battle right there. Glad you found out beforehand that this place gets consistently bad reviews. Hopefully the new one will be someone you really like and who does top-notch work!

Please don't put off getting your teeth fixed. That only prolongs the psychological agony... not to mention the teeth get progressively worse. Speaking from experience here. :rolleyes:
 
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Romalotti

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Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12
I definitely know about the psychological side of it. This past year has been consumed by me thinking about my teeth. In fact, that's what got me to decide to do something about it and make an appointment. I can't live my life this way any longer, especially when I'm eventually going to have to see a dentist anyway. I figure I might as well do it before I'm in horrifying pain.

Thanks so much for the support. If it wasn't for the people on here, I'd have no one to talk about this with. It's going to be a long, anxiety-filled 8 days before the appointment, I hope I can get through it.
 
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Romalotti

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Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12
Well, 2 days after I made my appointment, I got my hours severely cut at work. I was planning on spending my income tax money on getting my teeth fixed, but now I have to save most of the money to cover living expenses. I considered cancelling my appointment (since I can't afford the treatment now), but my mouth feels so bad that I'm afraid what will happen if I let it go much longer.

I have no idea just how bad the situation with my teeth is, or how much money it will cost, but I know it won't be cheap. Right now, I feel like the decay behind my front teeth is spreading. Also, I feel tremendous pressure across all of my front teeth, even the ones that aren't so bad. Does anyone know what this could be? I just would like an idea on what is wrong with my teeth and how much money it will cost to fix them before I go in a week. I can't cancel the appointment, or else I'm dooming myself to even further dental hell.
 
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