Sometimes it feels like I'll never get over this

B

Bookworm

Junior member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
12
Well, here I am again. This is a long rant I'm afraid but I really need to get it all off my chest.

Four years ago I posted on this forum and got some really excellent support for which I am still grateful. Long story short, the day before my 21st birthday (what luck!) I developed a huge abscess in the roof of my mouth. I was in agony and eventually I worked up the courage to allow my mum to make me an emergency appointment. A week later I managed to find a practice taking on NHS patients and went through a course of treatment. It all seemed to be going so well but looking back I'm not so sure.

Initially I went for my first appointment which was to be a check up. I got there, sat in the chair and opened my mouth. So far so good. I was starting to feel fine. This wasn't so bad after all right? That was when the dentist told me that one of my wisdom teeth needed to be extracted then and there. I seem to remember him asking if that was okay and me nodding. I remember that the extraction was painless and my dentist was lovely, however, I'm beginning to think that this appointment has caused me more problems than I realised. I had very conflicted feelings at the time. On the one hand I was elated, I had not only faced my fear and gone to an appointment but my dentist was kind and had not embarrassed me about the condition of my teeth (definitely the main source of my phobia) but then I remember holding it together until I left the building then bursting into tears on the street.

I did manage to gather my composure and continue to visit the dentist over the next few months. I had a further two wisdom teeth removed which I was fine with. I went for the appointment, nervous and shaking but there, and I left feeling positive. I was just glad that my teeth wouldn't be causing me any more pain. I was happy with my dentist and he was thoughtful and kind when explaining the work that needed to be done. Unfortunately, my wisdom teeth were not my biggest dental problem and I had to have further work done on two of my upper teeth. Both required root canals which I was terrified about but figured that after extractions they couldn't be that bad but again that famous luck of mine cropped up. One root canal went well; a slight twinge of pain but I put my hand up and my dentist gave me some more injections to numb me and I was fine. At this point I was even starting to feel fine about going for the second root canal. I couldn't believe that I had gotten to this point and was so proud of myself. My dentist even told me how brilliant it was that I had come along so far from the first visit and I didn't even shake in the waiting room any more!

Looking back it's hard to imagine that person was me. I went for my second root canal and haven't been able to go to the dentist since. Everything seemed to be going well. I had walked in, not exactly confident but definitely approaching comfortable, and I sat in the chair. My dentist began to work on the tooth but then stopped. He told me that the tooth would not be able to be saved and that I would have to have it extracted. Holding back the tears I said that this was okay and the tooth was pulled. Afterwards my dentist said he would see me at my next appointment three months later in order to arrange a crown for my previous root canal and a bridge for the tooth that had been pulled that day. I just about managed to leave the building without bursting into tears there and then. Now I had a tooth missing and a tooth that was half missing and discoloured from the root canal, both of which were visible when I smiled, laughed and spoke. I have since been told that it would have been possible to have a "flipper" for my missing tooth but I was not told this at the time. I really wish I had because I think it would have made a huge difference if I had been able to get that. Instead my confidence began to erode to the point where I now fear the dentist even more than I initially did.

I no longer smile for photos. I laugh with my hand over my mouth. I speak in a mumble because I am too self conscious to open my mouth fully. I still know that people can see the state of my teeth and it mortifies me, some people have even commented on them which has caused me to avoid social situations where I know these people will be. I have had ongoing troubles with depression and low self esteem which are worsened by the state of my teeth. I know that my problems will only get worse if I do not see a dentist but I feel that my previous experiences have made it even more difficult for my to face my fears. I am embarrassed by the condition of my teeth and worried that a dentist will judge me for abandoning treatment before it was completed. I am terrified that I will go for a check up and instead have teeth pulled. I know that I will not be mocked but friends have recounted stories of being given "the lecture" by dentists and I worry that my self esteem is so low at this point that another bad visit to the dentist will stop me going for good.

I have stayed up all night with a range of conflicting emotions. I have decided that in the morning I will attempt to find a dentist who is accepting NHS patients. If I am unable to find one I'm not sure what I will do as I can't afford private care but I think it is important to remain positive and hopeful that today will be the day that I start to get over this fear. I want to smile for photographs again. I want to smile at the people I love. I want to be able to speak with the confidence I had when I was younger, not worrying about how others will react when they see my teeth. But as always I am sat here, painfully aware that I have made this decision before and been too afraid to pick up the phone. (It might help if any of my local dentists were able to drag themselves into the information age and at least list an email address!) My mum has been sat here with me as I type this, sat just on the other side of the room, and I haven't even been able to tell her about my plans. My mum has been the only person who I have ever trusted enough to fully explain my problems to and now I have reached the point where I'm too self conscious to even mention the "d word" to her. I know that this has become a real problem because I am terrified that my own mother will laugh at me for the state of my teeth. I know that she never would, in fact I am more likely to win the lottery whilst simultaneously being struck by lighting than to be mocked by my mum, but this is one of those awful irrational fears that logic can't help with.

So here is hoping that today is the day I begin to sort out my teeth. Here's hoping that in four years time I will be back here, not experiencing yet another relapse but sharing my success story, reassuring people that it is possible to overcome dental phobias. Wish me luck!
 
carole

carole

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,814
Hi welcome back. Could you go back to see the dentist you saw before. I know you say you lost confidence in him because he had to remove your tooth instead of doing a rct but he sounds as if he was very understanding and good with you.

If you could go back I am sure he would understand if you explained how you felt. I think you did really well having a wisdom tooth out on your first visit, and with everything else you had done as well.

Good luck let us know how you get on :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::butterfly:
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
830
You should definitely tell your mum. She'd want to know that you're having trouble facing this, and she'd want to help. Imagine it was the other way around and she wanted to confide in you - wouldn't you want to know what was wrong and do whatever it took to help? You deserve support, and she can provide it. I was afraid to tell mine too, but eventually she brought it up when we'd both had too much gin (gin makes you brave!) I was so glad she did because it really helped having someone be there for me, someone to take me to appointments.

When you're sitting there working up the courage to call the dentist, keep the outcome in mind. A smile you love, being able to sleep at night without thinking about your teeth! Make that your goal and concentrate hard on it. It might give you that extra push you need.

Best wishes x :hug4:
 
M

marco

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
128
Hey bookworm

You are fine and I think you should go back to that dentist you felt comfortable with. He wanted to save
your tooth but when he opened it up he realized that situation is way worse then he thought.
From your post he seems like awesome dentist I have no idea why you would look for new one.
They won't judge nor they care about that stuff this is their job and they have seen way worse.
Don't feel so bad about abandoning treatment they will just be glad that you decided to have it done.

Finish that crown and bridge and you will have that smile you are missing so much.
 
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