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Terrified but after nearly 19 years, I finally made an appointment.

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FrozenFear

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Orange County
Hi everyone,

I posted on here last August. It took another 5 months for me to finally make an appointment. Actually my husband made it for me. I couldn’t do it myself.

My appointment isn’t for another month 2/25. This dental office has excellent reviews but the appointments are always a month out. Anyway, I’m terrified. I went 19 years without seeing a dentist! What have I been thinking??!? I’m just so terrified of what I’m facing now.

The bad part is that my gums have receded a lot I can see I have quite a bit of bone loss and my front tooth has shifted slightly back. I know this means periodontal disease. No doubt. I also have quite a few metal fillings that are going to need, at the very least, replacing. I will get composite this time. I’ve been so embarrassed and petrified over this for years! For 10 years I’ve been worried and putting it off. What was I thinking??

The good part is I have no pain at all. I eat without any issues. My smile “looks healthy” because my gums don’t show when I smile. I have good oral hygiene habits. My gums don’t bleed, my breath doesn’t smell, no foul taste and other than looking thin and receded, my gums look like a healthy pink color.

I just wanted to share that I finally made an appt since I posted here back in August. I only hope I’m able to keep it. My biggest fear at the moment is the dentist and assistants seeing my 19 years of avoiding the dentist. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed. Another huge fear is that I’ll chicken out and cancel or postpone. I need to start getting my mouth healthy again. I just want to be healthy and happy again.

Thank you for reading my post.
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

Super Moderator
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Jun 14, 2012
Messages
2,193
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Massachusetts, USA
Congratulations on making an appointment!! That’s a HUGE first step. A good dentist will not shame you - they will just be glad to help. If you feel like cancelling, please come back here for support so that we can also continue to encourage you. A month is a long time to wait and to ruminate on the ‘what-ifs’. Can your husband ask for you to be put on a cancellation list in case they have a last-minute appointment open up? That used to help me a lot when I first started going to the dentist after many years. Hang in there!!!
 
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Housefullofkids82

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
It's great that you called! I'm guilty of cancelling or postponing appointments myself. Now I've got an abscess and have to face it. The fear can be overwhelming.

I agree with the cancellation list idea. Good luck!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Frozenfear

Congratulation on making this appt that took a lot of courage. ! And to ask for help from your husband to do it and you mentioned reviews so it seems you really checked this and have done some research. Also from what you describe your teeth seem in not a bad state. Its still really to go take that step and you did it and are doing it! I hope you give yourself a lot of credit!

I work as a patient care coordinator and scheduling for a Drs office. @FearfulInMA. Is totally right. See if they gave a cancel list and even if they don't. Keep calling to check on cancels if you want to get on. People have la st minute meetings, sick kiddos and out of town trips cone up all the time. My clinic I work for doesn't have cancel list per say but I always tell people to keep trying
 
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FrozenFear

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Orange County
Thank you for all the support! I’m okay waiting until my appt date. For me, it has to be on my day off from work, so waiting for a cancellation would probably not work out since I only get one weekday off each week. I’m so afraid of devastating news that the idea of going to work afterwards (I work swing shift) just gives me anxiety. I need the day off to be able to just let it all sink in. I’m the worst procrastinator (obviously lol) so the waiting doesn’t bother me. But this dental procrastination has been out of pure and utter fear.

For now I’m trying really hard to have a positive outlook.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
88
Location
United Kingdom
FrozenFear,
Well done indeed. You have taken the biggest step already, I reckon.
I'm a fellow procrastinator (Pleased to meet you. :) ) and I can always give you a thousand why not to, but only one reason to; because you deserve this!!
It does sound like you have looked after yourself very well. I'm hopeful that you won't need a lot of work. Our teeth can be very hardy, if we treat them carefully. Sounds like the wear-and-tear might be quite minimal… Fingers crossed for you. :)
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Well done on moving forward with making an appointment. I’m glad to see that you are back. Waiting is the hardest part in my opinion. Hang in there!
 
F

FrozenFear

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Orange County
Waiting is starting to feel torturous actually lol. I’ve been in such a funk. Like my whole world is about to fall apart. It’s silly and dramatic yet so real and I am having such a hard time being level headed about it. My stomach does somersaults all day long. It’s awful how I feel these days. I guess this is par for the course when facing a phobia It’s so much easier ignoring. But I cannot ignore anymore.
 
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Housefullofkids82

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
I'm in the same boat. Waiting for my dentist to call me back so I can get in today to deal with this infection. I know it has to happen, but I'm so overwhelmed with fear that he's going to say I need my front teeth extracted even though I just saw him on December 20th and everything was fine except this abscess.
I haven't been sleeping well, I can barely eat. I tell myself I'm not being rational but I can't stop. I'm exhausted.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Waiting is starting to feel torturous actually lol. I’ve been in such a funk. Like my whole world is about to fall apart. It’s silly and dramatic yet so real and I am having such a hard time being level headed about it. My stomach does somersaults all day long. It’s awful how I feel these days. I guess this is par for the course when facing a phobia It’s so much easier ignoring. But I cannot ignore anymore.
I can relate! I have been waiting for 3 weeks to do some fillings. 6 more days for me... we can do this!
 
T

thisisme

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
297
Waiting is starting to feel torturous actually lol. I’ve been in such a funk. Like my whole world is about to fall apart.
Your whole world IS about to change but not in the way you think and feel. It’s impossible to see this now, so you will just have to take my word for it. 🙂
 
W

WishForCourage

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
26
Location
US
Congrats on making an appointment! I know its hard not to do, but please dont let your mind run wild with thoughts of the worst. It seems like you take good care of your teeth and I bet it's not as bad as you are imagining. Theres also no need to be embarrassed. Hygienists and dentists have seen it all. You are going to feel so good when your appointment is over. Instead of stressing about your oral health, you will now have control over it. And that is an amazing feeling!!

P.s. I went 20 years without seeing a dentist so I can totally relate.

Hugs! You can do it:hug4:
 
F

FrozenFear

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Orange County
Thank you for all the replies! I’m just trying to be more positive. Being able to share this with ppl who get it is huge. I feel so much better thanks to all the encouraging words here. This is so hard but I can do this.
 
F

FrozenFear

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
33
Location
Orange County
I made the mistake of dr googling. I stayed up late just obsessively looking up stuff. Now I am convinced that I have advanced periodontal disease. The teeth shifting and the gum recession points to severe periodontal disease. The scary thing is that even if your gums look nice and pink and your gums don’t bleed and no halitosis, you can still have advanced periodontal disease. I’m in devastation mode. I should stay away from dr google because it’s really scary!!! I’m even more terrified to see the dentist on the 25th. How am I going to do this? Now I’m thinking he will do nothing but refer me to a periodontist. That will be earth shattering for me 😔

I’m not eating or sleeping and I’ve lost 5lbs over the past 2 weeks and my everyday life is just a blur these days. I slept 3 hours and I just needed to get this out in writing so thank you for reading my crazy post.
 
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Ilovemydentistreally

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Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
88
Location
United Kingdom
Not a cray post at all, FrozenFear. It is simply the truth. Let's not hear the negative self-speak? It isn't deserved. Your fears are real, valid and you feel totally swamped by them.
Dr Google, on the other hand is like a pantomime villain here. Any time your reasoning self gets anywhere and decides that stuff might not be as bad: here he comes telling you, " Oh yes it is!!" He's a fiend and needs shot. Not helpful in the slightest. :(
You have 23 days to go. Let's spend 23 days telling yourself that you really don't know anything until the dentist can tell you the truth. Cross bridges when you come to them. Try not to give the evil doc G anymore ammo. The less he knows about you: the less he can use against you.

Lecture over. :D And I'm just as bad, by the way.. But instead of troubling the good (??) doctor, lay your concerns here, where you are more likely to get real answers, I venture to suggest, without knowing everything, that it sounds like, by your description, your gums are apparently in good health. Start with that observation and see if you can build on it. It's a strong vantage point and if, God forbid, your worst fears are true; you will begin the battle from high ground.
However, as yet you don't know your enemy and have no knowledge of what you are up against.
(Sorry for all the metaphors... I have had a strange few days.. :D )

So you are back to dealing with your anticipation-related worries. This is enough to deal with. But you can cope. Sure 23 days seems like forever but it will pass. Think about saving your energy for as much of that time as possible. Do, something, anything else you can to stop catastrophisising (spell check??) .

Post your concerns here, be patient, and don't go looking for info. All the answers you need are from people here. We are legion. No topic is without an answer. Tips are many and support is incredible. Hang on to the thought and get your support right here.
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
337
Location
NJ
I made the mistake of dr googling. I stayed up late just obsessively looking up stuff. Now I am convinced that I have advanced periodontal disease. The teeth shifting and the gum recession points to severe periodontal disease. The scary thing is that even if your gums look nice and pink and your gums don’t bleed and no halitosis, you can still have advanced periodontal disease. I’m in devastation mode. I should stay away from dr google because it’s really scary!!! I’m even more terrified to see the dentist on the 25th. How am I going to do this? Now I’m thinking he will do nothing but refer me to a periodontist. That will be earth shattering for me 😔

I’m not eating or sleeping and I’ve lost 5lbs over the past 2 weeks and my everyday life is just a blur these days. I slept 3 hours and I just needed to get this out in writing so thank you for reading my crazy post.
You and I seem to have a lot of fears in common, let’s both vow to stay off dr Google and try to keep positive thoughts, I like you haven’t been eating I lost 10 pounds in the past couple weeks and the horrible unknown thoughts consume my mind constantly. teeth shift the Older we get and gums recede too with age. I was told that by a highly respect periodontist just last summer. So even though we both are currently in panic mode today over those things let’s try and keep that in mind a bit 😉 because we don’t know Anything for sure yet other then our fears of the unknown manifesting into our worst possible fears. I facing the exact same fear you are right now, if you ever need someone to talk to I’m here . I opted to go back to the periodontist to help ease my mind and if something changed since last year, I feel that his practice is probably the best place to find that out. Your doing the right thing i know in my heart I am too, yeah I’m still scared to hear what he may say but we will get through it 😊 I hope we are both just overreacting and everything. Fear/anxiety will do that to you 🙁
 
I

Ilovemydentistreally

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Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
88
Location
United Kingdom
Great answer, Scared all the time. You say what I am trying to but without getting convoluted. :)

Frozen Fear, take some reassurance, please. There's so much wisdom here. I've yet to come across such a live, supportive forum. We are all in good hands... before and after appointments.
Personally, I've always felt just so out of my depth. Not so much now. DFC has such a positive impact, don't you agree?
Anyway, best of luck. What a great thread. :)
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
337
Location
NJ
Great answer, Scared all the time. You say what I am trying to but without getting convoluted. :)

Frozen Fear, take some reassurance, please. There's so much wisdom here. I've yet to come across such a live, supportive forum. We are all in good hands... before and after appointments.
Personally, I've always felt just so out of my depth. Not so much now. DFC has such a positive impact, don't you agree?
Anyway, best of luck. What a great thread. :)
Thank you. I’m trying hard to take my own advice 😊 it’s not easy but my heart is saying everything I said is 100% true just gotta get my mind to agree 😁
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,903
Location
Minneapolis, MN
@FrozenFear , I totally get being tempted by Dr Google too.. and it seems the more time I go between appointments the more tempted I am..as I want to fill in the blanks with information ...and Dr Google is so accessible.. Something my previous dentist told me sticks in my head when I'm tempted and I can hear his voice saying, "Google can't see your teeth , I can..it doesn't know the circumstances and what is going on either. ".. I too come on here and will look up posts on things like sinus lifts.. as I'm getting 2 next week.. I do have one dentist who I will go on his website andlook at things because he always explains things in a very calming nice way that isn't scary and he doesn't try to diagnose anything . It Sure is tempting .. thats all I have to say.. @Ilovemydentistreally . so well put below.. so well put!!

Dr Google, on the other hand is like a pantomime villain here. Any time your reasoning self gets anywhere and decides that stuff might not be as bad: here he comes telling you, " Oh yes it is!!" He's a fiend and needs shot. Not helpful in the slightest. :(
You have 23 days to go. Let's spend 23 days telling yourself that you really don't know anything until the dentist can tell you the truth. Cross bridges when you come to them. Try not to give the evil doc G anymore ammo. The less he knows about you: the less he can use against you.
 
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