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Successful crown and root planing/scaling, after a 20 year hiatus!



Junior member
Sep 16, 2016
Long-time lurker, first time poster here. Back in July, one of my molars broke. I knew I had to go see a dentist, but I hadn't seen one since I had my wisdom teeth pulled at 19 (I'm 39 now). So, that's a 20-year hiatus, due to fear. When I first found this web site, I was so relieved to see that I'm not the only adult who has been negligent with their teeth. I wanted to share my story, maybe it will help someone else the way the stories on this web site helped me.

I plucked up my courage and made an appointment with a highly rated dentist, one who offers various levels of sedation. I explained that my molar broke, I hadn't seen a dentist in 20 years, and I needed to "get control of my oral health." I warned them that I was petrified, and they assured me I wouldn't be the first, and I wouldn't be the last.

On the day of my first appointment, I was crying in the waiting room. The fear of the unknown overtook me. I was certain I was about to be told that half my teeth needed to be pulled. I was certain I was going to be chastised. I was certain I was going to gross everyone out the second they looked in my mouth. The receptionist gave me a tissue and asked if I was okay; I just nodded pathetically.

Fast forward, I'm in the chair, talking to the dentist's assistant. Still crying, by the way. She explains that today is just x-rays and making a plan. I feel relieved - no drills or blood today. I can do this! The x-ray process was uncomfortable, but I lived. Then the dentist comes in and takes a look at everything. They tell me that all things considered, I'm not a lost cause - in fact, I'm not that bad. A couple cavities, a crown, and a deep cleaning/planing and scaling, and that should get me back on track. I walked out of there feeling like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.

The crown came first. My sedation of choice was xanax and nitrous oxide. Unpleasant, but not so bad. I just had the 2nd half of the scaling/planing yesterday, same sedation technique. For those of you who say you felt nothing, I'm envious of you. I got at least 8 shots each time, and on the bottom half of my mouth I felt quite a bit of discomfort. But all in all, each planing/scaling appointment (half at a time) was only about an hour. It was worse in my head than it was in reality.

Now I am armed with a waterpik and a fancy toothbrush, and I am just amazed at how many stains came off of my teeth from the planing/scaling. My teeth aren't pearly white, by any means, but they are good enough that I no longer have any reason to feel embarrassed. All the gunk is gone. My gums are a healthy light pink. The bleeding has stopped. I can actually fit dental floss in there now - before it was so full of gunk I couldn't even get the floss in there in a lot of places.

I just wanted to share my story. I'm so very happy I finally broke my anti-dentist streak, and so happy I found this forum, which gave me the courage to make that first appointment and get into that chair!


Well-known member
Aug 8, 2006
Congratulations!! :jump: I love hearing stories like yours and am very proud of you for facing your fear; you should be too! :respect:

Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sure it will be a help for others that are considering making an appointment.

Keep smiling! :D