Starting Somewhere

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nicole_ts89

Junior member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
4
I’ve done it. I’ve made an appointment.



Allow me to share my dental journey.



Growing up, visiting the dentist wasn’t something we did regularly. I suspect it was because I had a young single mother who was struggling financially. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a dentist.

I went twice when I was very young; I don’t have many memories of these times other than just being there.

When I was 12/13 my mom told me she had made me an appointment. I was terrified. I refused to go. I think it had been so long I had no idea what to expect. I did end up going and returned to have two cavities filled and a piece of a baby tooth removed. Surprisingly, this wasn’t a notably bad experience either. I don’t remember feeling any pain or particularly negative feelings.. it kind of just happened.

During my teenage years, I talked my way out of dentist appointments even though my siblings had gone. I don’t know why this anxiety would overwhelm me. When I was about 18 a cycle came again when my siblings and parents had all been to a dentist; my mom pushed me to go as well. I had begun to feel a wisdom tooth pushing through and had developed some aching in my teeth, I agreed to go. Again, this appointment also wasn’t particularly scarring. To my surprise I had no cavities! The dentist mentioned that my teeth and gums were in good condition and that I had been caring after my teeth well. She did mention that my wisdom teeth had started coming in and that may be something I would want to address (this is where the aching had come from).



Fast forward, I’m now 28 and it’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve seen a dentist. I have all of the excuses - I didn’t have insurance anymore, I spent 5 years doing volunteer work, etc. As I have entered “real adulthood” I KNOW this is something I need to prioritize. I haven’t had any traumatizing experiences at the dentist, I don’t really have any reason to be so anxious but I am.



I’m afraid of laying back in that chair, opening my mouth, and being poked at. It’s such a vulnerable state, control is so important to me. (I do have a history of SA, so this might be part of that).

I’m afraid of what they’ll find, that they’ll shame me for not taking care of my teeth. I know I have work that will need to be done. My wisdom teeth have partially erupted, I have on and off pain where I had had those cavities filled, I have sensitivity to cold, more poignant in some teeth. I know I have cavities. I am so worried at how many they’ll find, how bad they’ll be. I don’t want to lose any teeth.



About 6 months ago I enrolled in a dental plan. I thought “I’m not committing to making a dental appointment, I’m just making the option available”. The past couple of weeks I’ve been considering more making an appointment. Eating ice cream has become a painful experience, and I love eating ice cream. I began researching dentists in my area, I do the classic “this person isn’t right because of this reason, that office isn’t right for this other reason”. There is always a reason.

Yesterday I came across a practice that had a simple online appointment system. I didn’t even have time to think about it! Before I knew it I was putting in my information and choosing my appointment time.



I have a dentist appointment September 21 at 0800. That is less than three weeks away!!



My stomach is turning. I’ve been scouring this forum and obsessively Googling since I’ve made the appointment. I already feel like I’ve made a mistake and want to cancel
 
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Nicci

Junior member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
19
Hi, well done on booking your appointment :)
I made my appointment online, I don't know why but I struggle calling so it takes that pressure off doesn't it :)

Like you though I like things to be right. I've looked at their work, their practice, their reviews.. even whether they had parking so it would be one less concern (I still like to feel I can escape to my car tbh). I think all of this is ok if it helps get you there :)

They'll likely just have a look around your mouth and not do anything too invasive or nerve wracking, if anything is too much though just let them know.
I find the fear is worse than the actual event.. I've seen so many new dentists and they've normally been ok (one was too pushy/didn't listen - so he didn't do anything awful to me as such!). Overall they've been very kind and understanding, it's finding someone who's right for you imo. Good luck, don't cancel and have something nice to look forward to after, some sort of treat as a reward! :p
 
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nicole_ts89

Junior member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
4
Hi, well done on booking your appointment :)
I made my appointment online, I don't know why but I struggle calling so it takes that pressure off doesn't it :)

Like you though I like things to be right. I've looked at their work, their practice, their reviews.. even whether they had parking so it would be one less concern (I still like to feel I can escape to my car tbh). I think all of this is ok if it helps get you there :)

They'll likely just have a look around your mouth and not do anything too invasive or nerve wracking, if anything is too much though just let them know.
I find the fear is worse than the actual event.. I've seen so many new dentists and they've normally been ok (one was too pushy/didn't listen - so he didn't do anything awful to me as such!). Overall they've been very kind and understanding, it's finding someone who's right for you imo. Good luck, don't cancel and have something nice to look forward to after, some sort of treat as a reward! :p

Thank you for your kind words, booking online definitely does take so much of the pressure off!
And I’ll have to keep that in my mind as I go into this: “they’ll only be having a look”
I do like the idea of planning something nice for myself after the appointment
 
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nicole_ts89

Junior member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
4
Less than two weeks away now; definitely taking up a lot of my brain space!
 
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JellyBaby

Junior member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Hi - well done on booking your appointment! I know what you mean about taking up a lot of brain space - I must be one of the world's worst for being nervous and overthinking what might happen at an appointment. I can't sleep at the moment for worrying about a couple of appointments I have next week. I have problems with my gums and one part is hurting at the moment - my dentist has referred me to a gum specialist and I am dreading what she will say to me! In more rational moments, I try to tell myself that I am not going to achieve better mouth health without appointments and work, so it's something I just have to get through, and I will be pleased when it's done. I am sure you will be OK - anticipation is always worse than the actual event!
 
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TKB1974

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
121
Good for you for making the appointment! I didn’t visit the dentist in 10+ years and a bad toothache kind of “forced” me into making the appointment. Honestly, making that first appointment & then forcing myself to go to that first appointment was the hardest for me. Things were not nearly as bad as I thought they’d be. I’d created this awful scenario in my own mind that I’d go, get scolded, be told I had a million things wrong with my teeth, need teeth pulled, have to spend my life savings, etc. In reality, I needed two root canals/crowns and two old fillings replaced. That’s it. It’s almost never as bad as we imagine it will be. Wishing you the very best on the 21st! You can do this! ❤️
 
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nicole_ts89

Junior member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
4
Thanks all for your kind words and stories of your own. Sometimes I think it may be easier to make appointments on short notice so you don’t have time to work yourself up. Only one week left for me 😬 I picked up one of those small dental mirrors from the drug store to have a better look. It’s been helping me feel better about having a tool in my mouth too. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated when I have my appointment!
 
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