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Terrified, don't want to lose another tooth



Jan 5, 2015
Sorry this is going to be a long post, but five or six years ago I broke my top second premolar, a filling had gone bad and I hadn't been in for a checkup and it wasn't caught until it was too late. That tooth had to be pulled. Two years ago the same thing happened with the same tooth on the other side and again it had to be pulled. Not having those two wasn't quite so bad as I thought it would be, I could still eat fine and in time I got used to it. At least they matched and the gap wasn't so big. Both cases were completely my fault for not finding it in time but I'm so terrified of going to a dentist that I just don't even want to think about it. I know that's stupid and I've paid for it over and over. My parents never took me to a dentist as a child, not even once, so by the time I was 20 and went for the first time they were really bad, and to make things worse the old man I went to got really mad and scared me to death telling me I was destroying my teeth. Up to that point it wasn't even my fault. But anyway, on to the present.

Two months ago I felt my first premolar with my tongue and something felt weird, it's on the side facing the tooth that was pulled a couple of years ago. I felt with my finger and was horrified to find that it seemed that the end facing the missing tooth and the entire inside of the tooth was gone. I tried to look with a mirror but couldn't see it well. The top and both sides are still there and feel normal, no pain at all. It just seems like there's nothing left inside it and I thought I could see like the top of the root. Is there anything that can be done at all, I'm sure they can't just fill it. A cap? Root canal? I've never had one but it seems like one of the most horrible things people always talk about. If they say they have to pull it I don't know if I'll even let them. It doesn't hurt and I can still chew with it, but I know that's just putting things off and asking for more trouble.

I don't know what happened, did they maybe crack it a few years ago pulling that one or was I just an idiot and let a cavity eat it away? Anyway I couldn't get an appointment anywhere and the only place I could get in didn't have an opening until May 23. So for the last two months I've been trying to put it out of my mind but now the time is here and I'm having panic attacks. I just know what's going to happen, they're going to tell me there is nothing they can do to save it and it will have to be pulled, now leaving a huge gap on that side. I don't know what I'm going to do or how I'm going to face this. Not to mention the others aren't in great shape, I'm sure I probably have at least several cavities and I'm so afraid of more bad news.

It feels embarrassing to be sitting here crying and sobbing like I'm 8 instead of 48. I always had my dad to go to and talk with before which helped some, he understood how afraid I was and always tried to make me feel better. We lost him a few years ago though and now I have no one to talk to. I feel so stupid for letting this happen again, all I had to do was take better care of them and go in for regular checkups. Every time I got them fixed I would tell myself it would be different but then I end up never going again until it's too late. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about going though, I don't know why but it's the most terrifying experience I can think of. I think I'd rather have open heart surgery, I know it makes no sense but I just can't handle it. 😢
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Thank you so much for sharing your story,, you are a very brave person. I know it is so scary and seemingly just overwhelming to think about after all you've been through. You are amazingly courageous even taking the steps you have despite really so much fear. I think you are not alone in the closer an appt gets,, especially if its been lurking around the corner for a month or so. the anxiety seems to creep up and just hit you!

I am so sorry for that dentist that was hard on you and rude.. we don't need that.. I know how that is and unfortunately its why many of us are here fearing the dentists because people have been rude and mean to us, in and out of the chair.. I'm very sorry you had to deal with that.. Are you going somewhere else? I hope you will get a kinder more compassionate dentist! I think it seems many are really understanding dental anxiety and fear more and hopefully you find someone like this

I also hear how sad and hard it is you don't have your dad to talk about this on top of it all. It sounds like he was a wonderful person to talk to and go to . My condolences on the loss of your father!

No matter how old you are dental fear and anxiety is real. I volunteered at a dental outreach a few years ago wanting to see things from the other side and we had hundreds of people that hadn't went for decades due to fear and anxiety and even crying at the outreach. You are not alone , you are in a good place to talk here! I hope you can find something kind to do for yourself for taking all the brave steps you have!! I really hope you get a kind dentist.. know you are worth it.. and if they are any bit of a jerk to you, you can use my bathroom trick and escape out the door and try another. you never should be treated less than kind..
Thank you so much for your reply, it really helps. Yes I'm going to a new place this time; it was so long ago that I'm sure that first dentist I saw has long since retired. I hope they can help me where I'm going on Monday but I'm so afraid they are just going to say that it can't be saved. I've read a lot of the other posts here and know there are others in much worse situations than me and my heart goes out to them, but even losing one more tooth feels like a nightmare to me. If only I had gone back for regular checkups maybe it could have been as simple as a small filling.

Sounds like you are so hard on yourself.. I hope you can give yourself all the compassion you would give anyone else. You are so courageous! You are stepping up now. I hope and pray for the best news possible. take one step at a time. I know the mind comes up with all kinds of things we can be anxious about.. the "what ifs" are awful right before appt.. agh. I know.. We all have our struggles and are here to support you through yours :grouphug:
@Patricia5 i think your very brave, and I wish you the best of luck, I'm sure it will be fine
Thank you, I really don't feel very brave though. My appointment is at 8 AM tomorrow so it feels like the doomsday clock is ticking down. Tonight will be my last night before going and I doubt I'll get much sleep if any. Soon I'll have to wake up early and get ready to leave, I've been dreading this for months but now that it's time it doesn't seem real. The only reason I'm going at all is because I know that if I don't things will end up much worse, this is the only chance I have. I couldn't even make the appointment, I had to get a family member to do it for me and take me tomorrow. Kind of embarrassing at my age.

I am more worried about the future than the appointment though, if they have to pull that tooth it's going to be a major life change for the worse, from the weird feeling of it not being there, making eating more unpleasant, and just being ashamed for people to see it not that I ever smile much anyway. The thought of a partial or anything like that feels impossible for me, I can't stand anything foreign in my mouth. The only chance for me I think would be implants but I don't know how I could ever afford that or if I could even get them anyway with how bad my gums are. I'm really fearful of hearing the words bone loss. They've never come right out and said it but the last appointment I had they gave me the impression that my teeth were on borrowed time.

I wish so much that I could go back in time and fix everything. I had an aunt who would have helped me when I was little if only I had told her. To think I could have had braces, gotten those impacted wisdom teeth out as a child and been taught to take care of them properly along with regular appointments. What's done is done though. I wish I could find a dentist that had time to listen to all of this and understand what I'm going through; it seems like all the ones I've been to are on such a rushed schedule and they just want you in and out. Thanks again for your support, I can really use it. Sorry to sound like a baby but I'm just so scared.
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I wish so much that I could go back in time and fix everything.

I feel this so much! I was making deals with the devil the past few months, almost willing time travel or a do-over to be actual possibilities.

I’m a few years younger, but I just had bone graft surgery for bone loss due to periodontitis. If you’re worried about bone loss due to the missing molars, then maybe a bone graft would be an option for you? It was actually a very quick and easy surgery. And the bone graft could buy you time until you figured out financing for implants. There are just “IFs” though. IF you needed to go that route. Waiting to know is so stressful. Once you know, you can make plans to stabilize everything!

I have also had 3 root canals, one when I was as young as 20, which I had retreated recently. Root canals are also an easy procedure IMO. Wish I didn’t need them, but they work and maybe that will be an option for your recent problem tooth.

Best of luck tomorrow! Do something relaxing today and try to distract yourself :) at least it’s an early appointment so you can just wake up and get it over with first thing!

I will be thinking of you tomorrow morning! I hope you will have the most patient care providers that take all the time to listen and really respect all your bravery! I know you may not feel it but I hope you can at some point... you are taking huge steps tomorrow will be a big one!

Also please remember that you are the boss and hiring them to do their job. so if they don't respect you or you feel too rushed you have the power to stop it. There are a lot of good kind dentists out there now! I hope you get the bet of them! Let us know how it goes

If you need as well, alot of us will write a quick, "I"m here, wish me luck" type post in the waiting room and put on here :).. We are rooting for you! :cheer2: :grouphug:
I went to bed early last night but I didn't sleep one minute. Just tossed and turned, watching the clock and counting down the hours. It's time to get ready and go and of course now I can barely stay awake. I'm almost too tired to be scared, I just want to get it over with and come home and go back to bed. Turns out the person who was going to go with me couldn't make it so I also have to go alone. I guess this is it...
I'm finally home. I'm not sure if I should even tell what happened because I don't know if anyone will believe me. As I was getting ready to leave this morning my stepmom showed up and said she was going to drive me in case I didn't feel like driving home. So we're on the way and I'm sitting in the passenger seat crippled with fear, but it was nice to have someone with me. We got there about ten minutes early and the parking lot was empty so we waited. Soon cars started showing up but no one was getting out and it was nearly 8:15 by the time the first employees showed up and opened the place. As I got out of the car she told me she was going to run on into town real quick to go to the store. I went in and there was already a crowd in line and more coming in by the minute. I was thinking why on Earth did this tiny office make so many appointments at the same time, no wonder I had to wait two months if they were that swamped. Then it was my turn at the window. I gave them my name and insurance card and she looked up something on the computer and then apologized saying they couldn't take my insurance. I'm not sure why this didn't come up back when I first made the appointment.

So after waiting all this time I couldn't even get in, and now my ride wasn't there either. The little office was packed with people so I decided I would just walk into town and either find her car in the parking lot of the store or meet her along the way. It was cool and cloudy out, and there's a sidewalk alongside the road all the way into town so I walked about a quarter mile to where I thought she would be thinking about the look on her face when she came out of the store and found me sitting n the car, but she wasn't there. Guess I'd better head back in case I missed her somehow and she was back at the dentist's office waiting for me, but along the way the rain started. By the time I got back to the office I was dripping wet, and of course she wasn't back there yet either. I didn't know what else to do but wait there for my ride; behind the office at the back door was a little stoop with a roof so I sat down on the steps under the shelter beside some big boxes of garbage. All in all my day was going much better than I had expected.

No, really. I felt so relieved that I didn't have to sit in that chair and endure whatever treatments awaited me even though I knew that just delays things and now I'll be going through all of this again in a few weeks, or months. I think I'm either going to have to try and get some better insurance, or just try to get into that really nice sounding office over in the next county and just pay out of my own pocket. I'm glad that I'm not actually in pain because this is ridiculous. Thanks again so much for all of your support.
Hello there dear Patricia.
As the others have said, you are not alone at all. I struggle with so much anxiety centered around my teeth it's really almost like a mental dental disorder.
That rhymes! And it should.
We don't know why our brains work the way they do but you need to give yourself the grace and the love that you are doing something now the past is the past just accept what's happened and do your best that's all we can do.
I went to three different dentist to try and save my bottom number 30 molar and I think that if I had gone to one more dentist he would have done the extra work to try and save it. It wasn't infected it wasn't inflamed it's just was decay under the crown and no one wanted to go the extra mile. So it was pulled it's like one more tooth after the next and now I just did a crown and my nerves are so heightened that this crown won't settle down no matter what I just have a really sensitive mouth and so I completely get everything you're saying we're here for you.
@Patricia5 you should be proud of yourself as you showed up, it's not your fault they wouldn't accept your insurance. I'm proud of you and you should be too

What a surreal and emotional morning.. I"m with kml1988 you showed up despite all your anxiety you really should be proud. You sound really strong through being thrown for a loop and may have dodged a red flag operation.. I'd be hesitant with the whole situation so many people and not knowing about your insurance and having to turn you away after waiting. I really do hope you can get into the place you want in the next county that seems better! :grouphug:
Thanks everyone, I'm afraid it has almost been one year now and I still haven't done anything. Sorry for bumping an old post but really it's just a continuation of my first post. A few weeks ago something happened though, I noticed my bite was really messed up. My back teeth on one side seem to be coming together wrong, like they are hitting too soon and at the wrong angle. When I eat I have to chew very carefully or I can feel them scraping together. I haven't even told anyone yet let alone tried to make an appointment anywhere. I can't even sleep well anymore because I just lie there in terror thinking about what's happening, and tonight I finally got up and did a quick search and found something called TMJ disease that sounds like what I'm experiencing, but I was afraid to read any more.

I already had enough problems with them, my gums are so bad now and I'm sure I need so many fillings and who knows what else, and of course the broken one that started this thread a year ago, and now this on top of it, it feels like everything is coming to an end. Will I have to wear those things in my mouth, have surgery, what if they say they have to pull them all? I don't know how bad everything is because I'm even scared to look at them in the mirror. Even when I brush I look away from it, I think I have some kind of mental illness that has caused all of this, and as I think I posted earlier never being taken to a dentist even once as a child didn't help things either. I'm so afraid at this point of ending up with dentures and the thought just scares me to death. Sorry for rambling, anyway the last few weeks have been pretty hard on me.
I still haven't seen anyone, I'm just afraid it's far too late now. One of my top front teeth seems to have moved back some, it looks different and it keeps hitting my bottom one, sometimes when I'm talking. I usually avoid even looking in the mirror at them but I took a quick glance a while ago, just long enough to see how awful my gums look, I think they've receded a lot and very pale. Then I had a panic attack. I'm pretty sure I have advanced PD and considering how bad things have suddenly gotten in just the past few months...it feels hopeless. I'm so scared to even see anyone know because I don't want to hear the bad news that I know they're going to tell me. It's so bad for me that as I said I can't even look at them in the mirror, I just want to put it completely out of my mind and not think about it.

I wish my father had taken me to a dentist as a child, he never did not even once. Never taught me to take care of them. By the time I was 20 and went for the first time you can imagine how bad they were, and then the dentist gets mad and jumped all over me like it was my fault. That was over twenty years ago now though and I've hardly gone back myself or taken good care of them so now it is completely on me. It sounds crazy but I was just praying that they would last another thirty years and then it wouldn't matter, that was stupid though and now I'll be lucky if they even last another three years. I just don't know what to do. I don't know if the forum is still active, maybe I should have made a new thread. I hope I haven't become too annoying.

My dear it is never hopeless. I absolutely know how it can feel that way. And I know the feeling of not wanting to know but the very best thing you can do for yourself right now is go in find out what’s going on and work with your dentist on a path forward.