• 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 dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

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So many issues, and running out of time!

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tombstoneteeth

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Jun 29, 2015
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I'll try to make this as brief as I possibly can. I have severe dental phoebia, suffer from anxiety in general - which has manifested into agoraphobia.

Having not seen a dentist in 12 years, I have stored up a wealth of problems; which will mean extensive work and lots of dental appointments. Due to gum disease, I have lost a total of four of my bottom teeth, and it is only a matter of time before the top teeth give way(they are wobbling severely). So, I will definitely need extractions. My gums have receded quite dramatically, and I have the gums of someone twice my age!

Needless to say, my diet is poor, as I'm extremely limited as to what I can eat - given that my capacity to chew is almost non existent. I am a Type 1 diabetic, and my bad teeth is having a knock on effect on my overall health.

What I'd like to know, is whether anyone can recommend the best way forward for me. Can I for example get a referral to one of the larger dental hospitals in London? I should add here, that I live in North London(Zone 4), but I'm prepared to travel to a recommended dentist, who is good with nervous patients, and will not humiliate me due to the state of my teeth.

I should also mention that I require a dentist that does all the work I would need on the NHS, as I cannot afford private treatment. This is why I mentioned a dental training hospital, as I've read that I would get the same treatment, but at the fraction of the cost - due to it being for those training in dentistry.

Has anyone gone down this root(no pun intended), and if so, how was it for you? Would you recommend it?

On a final note, I've read posts whereby people have mentioned being referred to a dentist by their GP. I asked my GP for a referral a few weeks back, and was told that it was for the dentist to make a referral. It's the first time I've seen her, and perhaps she's just not knowledgeable about these things, or it's simply down to the individual GP's discretion?

Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm determined to get my teeth sorted out this year, in order that I can have a better quality of life, and just being able to smile open mouthed would be quite something.
 
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MuggleMama

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May 18, 2016
Messages
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As you wait to obtain dental care (and advice here from people who are much more qualified to discuss it - I'm still working my way through my own dental visits...) are you able to start taking large doses of Vit C?

These things have been a lifesaver for me. My gums are looking and feeling so much stronger and healthier. They were receding in places, but are now starting to fill in the spaces between my teeth (and in a healthy, firm, pink sort of way - not a puffy, red, infected sort of way).

Best wishes to you!
 
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Tink

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May 14, 2013
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Hi, and welcome to the forum!

First of all I just wanted to say well done for taking control and deciding to do something about your teeth - that's a big step, and there are lots of us here who understand what a big deal that is and how hard it can be.

My understanding is that you generally can get treatment at the dental hospitals. I'm not sure how you access that - perhaps Carole might know, she's well versed in the NHS system and I think has had treatment at a dental hospital. As far as I'm aware though, if you need a referral, that is something that you would get via a dentist rather than your GP. You *may* be able to go to the dental hospital directly, I'd suggest the best place to start finding out might be their website, or ask your local health board.

A good dentist will not humiliate you about your teeth, happily these days most of them are like that and there are very few dinosaurs around. Their job is to help you get back to good oral health, and they will want to encourage you and support you, not put you off!

Regarding diet, have you tried asking for advice at your diabetic clinic? They might be able to advise on the best things to eat to maintain stable blood glucose levels while keeping to soft foods that don't require you to chew too much.

The big thing you can do with T1D to help your teeth right now, is watch out for the effects of hypo treatments, especially at night. As the blog post says, don't brush your teeth immediately after treating a hypo with something sugary, but do use mouthwash or at least rinse with water.

Good blood glucose management will help your teeth and gums a lot, and conversely, getting any infection in your teeth sorted out can help your diabetes management, so you are doing yourself a big favour there too.

Hope something in there is helpful!
 
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tombstoneteeth

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Jun 29, 2015
Messages
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Thanks so much Muggle Mama and Tink for your advice. Muggle Mama, I'm going to order the Vitamin C powder from Holland & Barrett - even though I think my gums are beyond help!

Tink thanks for the encouragement, and link. Hopefully, Carole might be able to provide me with some insight into referral to a dental hospital; and perhaps recommendations of where best to go.
 
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Tink

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May 14, 2013
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Note: If you're considering taking high doses of any sort of supplements (and those are *extremely* high doses of vitamin C that were mentioned), please talk to your diabetes team first. I don't have the faintest idea what effect those sorts of doses of supplements might have on your diabetes and T1D is not to be messed with!
 
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MuggleMama

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May 18, 2016
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My apologies for overlooking the fact that you mentioned you are diabetic.

Best wishes to you!
 
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tombstoneteeth

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Jun 29, 2015
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Bumping in the hope that someone out there can recommend a good NHS dentist in London, and/or a dental hospital.
 
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akn12h

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Apr 21, 2016
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I believe that there is a large training hospital in Whitechapel. As previously mentioned if possible book an appointment at a dentist. And see if there is a referral offered. I'm not sure but could you get the appointment with a private dentist, and see if they can refer you to the training hospital. The cost of a private examination is not much more than the cost of a nhs one. It's only when they get to work that the cost rises sharply.
 
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tombstoneteeth

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Joined
Jun 29, 2015
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A private dentist would charge for x-rays, so I'll try to find a decent NHS one.

I'd not heard of the training hospital in Whitechapel - do you know anyone that has used it? Also, I've been reading up about a few training hospitals, and it would appear that they don't offer the work that I'd need; it seems to be mainly routine work done at the likes of King's College. I guess they don't want to scare off their trainees from dentistry with those that have teeth like mine!

Thanks for your response, and I'll definitely look into Whitechapel.
 
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akn12h

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Apr 21, 2016
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Not personally been to Whitechapel. My sister in law went there for dental work and root planing before undergoing chemo. I'm lucky to have found an nhs dentist but last time I went in private as an emergency I was only charged for consult no extra for x rays. Good luck.
 
carole

carole

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Hi sorry I missed this thread and thanks to Tink for bringing it to my attention.

I have had appointments for dental treatment at a teaching hospital. Years ago the one near me had a walk in system if you needed treatment and I went to this but there were long waits. It was okay and I have no complaints.

About 30 years ago I was referred by a dentist who was baffled because I was in pain and he couldn't see what was causing the problem. The treatment I got was first class and the students were baffled until a senior dentist came along and took my case, he found the problem and I was successfully treated.

More up to date about three years ago I had a failed rct and the dentist I saw said she couldn't better the job I had had done so she referred me to the dental hospital. I saw a specialist and he said it was worth doing a re-treatment and put me on the list to see a student that was qualified and capable of doing the job.

The student I saw was a post grad who wanted to carry on with his studies and specialise to eventually work in America where his parents were. He was lovely, it was a nerve racking few months but at all times he made sure I felt nothing and that at all times I was comfortable. When students work on you they aren't just chucked into a room with you they are working under supervision at all times and if they aren't sure about anything they ask. I was in a big room the size of a small hospital ward that was partitioned off. I thought it would be dreadful but it wasn't I really wasn't aware of anyone else in the room.

A GP can refer you but I think it is down to them, if it is effecting your general health I would have thought that would. Failing that route then see the dentist you have found and see what they can do for you. You don't have to go along with everything they recommend, in my case I saw one dentist that just wanted to remove the failed rct'd tooth but I wanted to keep it if possible so changed dentists to get a second opinion and it was there that she agreed with me and sent me to the hospital.

I understand that there is a general list you can ask to be put on as well and as soon as a dentist becomes available on the nhs in your area you are contacted, I will try and find some info on this for you too. I will be back later with this.

Until the dentist has seen you and you know what you are dealing with it is hard to go forward with this.

You could also try the direct route and contact the dental hospital yourself and explain your position and see if they are accepting patients. Some of them do.

I hope this helps a bit, I would be really interested in how you get on if you would be so kind as to update this thread.

All the best to you, if you would like to know anything else if I can be of help I will be pleased to do so. PM me if you like.

Carole
 
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