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Revolving Dentists and Bad Experiences



Junior member
Apr 8, 2022
I've had some unfortunate issues with my front teeth. First it was trouble getting them numb which led to my first in-person panic attack at the dentists office from just way too many painful needles in the front of my face. Then for another filling near the gum line I was advised to try nitrous which made the experience worse overall. The dentist forgot nitrous was in my treatment plan, was dismissive of my fears, and that filling ended up leaving a sharp edge on the gum line which I later had to get 'fixed' by a different dentist resulting in an annoying gap that then bothered me for more than a year. Then a part of the problem tooth chipped off because a previous filling apparently left too little original tooth in place and a different dentist fixed it but she left it kind of bulky on purpose so it wouldn't be likely to snap off again so the surface is rough on the front but it's only noticeable sometimes and it looks okay so I've never asked anyone to smooth it for fear that it might break again. She also said if that happened I might need veneers and I'd rather not have it come to that.

Through all this somehow I persisted in searching and finally found a dentist who listened to me, respected my anxiety and was just so wonderfully patient and kind about all of it. She fixed the annoying gap for me and several other problems, and I made major strides on getting through the needles with her. The trust she built helps me so very much with the entire experience. I felt like I could ask her things and she'd make sure I was comfortable before moving on, and she was willing to leave things be that weren't needing immediate attention because I just had so much going on at once. Everyone else at this office (I've seen four different dentists) pushes hard to sell you Invisalign and when I tell them it's too much for me, she's the only one who understood, validated me and let it go. Everyone else pushes and pushes and makes me sign stuff saying they explained it to me and gave me an estimate, it's weird and off-putting, but I digress.

Now I have this little problem at ML 7 which has been there since 2021. To my memory my dentist (the one I liked) left it alone because fixing it would mean drilling into my number 8 front tooth again and that would be somewhat risky for it with the other work I had done. She told me to be careful not to catch it when flossing and it remained like that.

Yesterday I showed up at the dentist and got a different doctor. They told me the other dentist only does implants now and I can't make appointments with her. This sort of thing seems to happen a lot in the US, they don't give you one dentist, you just get whoever happens to be available and they rotate without telling you. I hate it. I liked having one dentist who knew me and remembered me (or at least pretended to lol, we're all human), and here it seems to be just a random chance who you get and whether they even look at your history or not. So this new dentist wants to fix this thing and I have an appointment for Tuesday, along with some other tiny fillings on my molars, and I am completely terrified that this person I have only just met and don't know if I can trust is going to mess up my front teeth again.

I asked for the updated x-ray and they haven't sent it to me, maybe it's worse now and that's why it needs fixing but I'm super worried about the risk of something getting botched again. At the same time, I don't want to let my anxiety make me an avoider to the point of causing myself future pain either. I'm caught between these two fears and I'd really appreciate any advice. Should I just work on acceptance; like something may go wrong but it'll be fine somehow? Can I ask them to leave this tooth alone, just do the molars on Tuesday so I can give the new dentist a trial run, and just keep a watch on it for when I come back in August or is that risky?

I hate searching for new dentists because nobody seems to do initial consultations here where you meet the dentist before they're doing work on you, and I get blank expressions when I explain that I have dental anxiety. Trying to find somebody who cares is overwhelming and absolutely exhausting. Then again, it seems I'm rolling the dice on someone new whether I want to or not.

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