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The Journey Starts Tomorrow

C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
I will just start by saying that I haven't been to see a dentist for 20 years after suffering terrible abuse by one during childhood. I'm not going to go into details but it included filling all my molars without anesthetic and actual physical abuse. I have only recently started to even talk to my husband of 25 years about my dental phobia.

I have been having some issues in the past couple of years, pretty sure I have gum disease as one of my front teeth is a little loose and one of them has twisted slightly. And I have a gap that I never had before. My fear and embarrassment over the state of my teeth has stopped me seeking help. Now I am scared of how much work I will need done and how much it will cost.

Finally, one of my old silver fillings cracked the other day and I jumped out of my skin, realising I would have to go and get it fixed! It has started to hurt but not badly but the pain is getting worse. So I reached out to someone I know through Facebook who is a dentist. We messaged backwards and forwards a bit and I have booked an appointment which is coming up tomorrow. I had wanted to only see a woman as I was abused by a male dentist.

In a weird way, although I am scared, I am also a little relieved that this is now out in the open. She knows I'm scared and she asked me if I just wanted to come in a talk which made me feel good. She has also said that I might choose to go to a clinic where I can get a sedative if I choose (and hopefully she will help me find that if I need too).

I am really scared about the amount of treatment I might need but on the other hand, I like having a plan. I have promised myself that I will take this as slowly as I need to. After all I waited 20 years to get to this point. I tell myself that it might take 20 or more appointments to get anywhere near back on track. I am going into this expecting a fair bit of bad news. Pretty sure my gums are bad and that some drastic treatment might be needed.

The main thing I want is to at least start. So that I don't have to lie awake at nights (as I have over the past 3 years) worrying about my teeth. At least if I know how bad it is, I can at least move towards fixing it. Having said that I am now quite shaky writing this all down.

Any words of support much appreciated!
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
331
Location
NJ
So sorry to hear you’ve had such a traumatic dental experience however very proud of you for making that first step!! 😊 your new dentist sounds compassionate and understanding and that is a super important trait in a dentist, at least in my opinion. Sending good vibes your way for your up coming visit ❤🍀
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
Thank you so much for your kind words. The closer the time gets, the more anxious I am getting and all my teeth are hurting right now. Still determined to take the first step tomorrow though.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Us
You can do this. I know it feels scary and overwhelming right now - the unknown is always so terrifying- but hopefully you will feel a little better after your appointment. You sound like you’re prepared for whatever the outcome is, and that is a big step. I’m so sorry to hear that you were abused and I highly recommend considering therapy to deal with that trauma as well. Sending good wishes and keep us updated if you like! :friends:
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
You can do this. I know it feels scary and overwhelming right now - the unknown is always so terrifying- but hopefully you will feel a little better after your appointment. You sound like you’re prepared for whatever the outcome is, and that is a big step. I’m so sorry to hear that you were abused and I highly recommend considering therapy to deal with that trauma as well. Sending good wishes and keep us updated if you like! :friends:
Thank you so much for your very kind words. I already feel better. I will try and hold this support in my mind when I go tomorrow!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,791
Location
Minneapolis, MN
CassiMoghan,

I will definately be thinking of you tomorrow in your first appointment after so long. You are SO brave! I'm so sorry you had a bad childhood experience like that.. its really hard to overcome. My experience with childhood dentist and orthodontist was pretty horrific expecially dentist and still have flashbacks. I can say having a kind , compassionate patient dentist who understands you have this anxisty is really so important and it sounds like this dentist is very kind from what you share. even though you don't have in person experience the fb interactions sound very compassionate! That is a really good sign and especially since she invited you to come and talk.

I had some fb converstaions wtih a few dentists personally when looking for dentists and they offered same thing I went to visit both and they were very lovely people anxious friendly. I then ended up finding my dentist who had moved from the practice so didn't go there but my sister ended up going to one and just loves them! anyways. this is all a great sign with this! It sounds like she is very sensitive to your needs.

I also really love how you honored your own needs by only going to a female and if that makes you safest that is how it should be! Great job on that! For me My dentist was older like 60 plus very old fashioned as a kid ..( now as a kid 60 seemed really old lol now. not so much , as I'm 50) so for me I've stuck with dentists who are younger than I am, that in no way resemble my old dentist . I do happened to now know through volunteer work a few older dentists than myself that are the most kind people you want to meet , several retired that If needed I would go to them in a flash because I know their hearts.. but all to say.. good to honor yourself and not go where you may get any triggers or emotional flashbacks.. A different environment and personality that makes you the most comfortable.

I really hope things go well tomorrow.. I know for me taking a few deep breaths before and maybe having a reward thought out for after .. helps. :grouphug:
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
CassiMoghan,

I will definately be thinking of you tomorrow in your first appointment after so long. You are SO brave! I'm so sorry you had a bad childhood experience like that.. its really hard to overcome. My experience with childhood dentist and orthodontist was pretty horrific expecially dentist and still have flashbacks. I can say having a kind , compassionate patient dentist who understands you have this anxisty is really so important and it sounds like this dentist is very kind from what you share. even though you don't have in person experience the fb interactions sound very compassionate! That is a really good sign and especially since she invited you to come and talk.

I had some fb converstaions wtih a few dentists personally when looking for dentists and they offered same thing I went to visit both and they were very lovely people anxious friendly. I then ended up finding my dentist who had moved from the practice so didn't go there but my sister ended up going to one and just loves them! anyways. this is all a great sign with this! It sounds like she is very sensitive to your needs.

I also really love how you honored your own needs by only going to a female and if that makes you safest that is how it should be! Great job on that! For me My dentist was older like 60 plus very old fashioned as a kid ..( now as a kid 60 seemed really old lol now. not so much , as I'm 50) so for me I've stuck with dentists who are younger than I am, that in no way resemble my old dentist . I do happened to now know through volunteer work a few older dentists than myself that are the most kind people you want to meet , several retired that If needed I would go to them in a flash because I know their hearts.. but all to say.. good to honor yourself and not go where you may get any triggers or emotional flashbacks.. A different environment and personality that makes you the most comfortable.

I really hope things go well tomorrow.. I know for me taking a few deep breaths before and maybe having a reward thought out for after .. helps. :grouphug:
Thank you so much for your very lovely words. Today is the day and I am feeling a little anxious but also looking forward to getting the first one out of the way. I hadn't explained very well that I actually know this woman on Facebook in real life. She is a good friend of a friend of mine. So that makes it all the more comforting. I will take all these kind thoughts with me and I will write about what happens tomorrow...
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
First appointment was really good!!!
I was really anxious all day. Waves and waves of panic and nausea but I kept saying "I'd rather know than suffer this worrying about my teeth for the rest of my days. I got there and she was so sweet and kind. She said it was ok if we just talked for as long as I needed. We didn't have to do anything today. I felt instantly at ease and told her again about all my issues with my phobia. Then I said can you have a look and tell me what you think!!!! I surprised myself but I had hoped I would be ok for her to see the cracked filling. She took a good look with just the mirror. She showed me the mirror first and explained everything that she was doing.

The filling was cracked and hanging out really. She said I can just pop that out without the drill and give you a temporary cover. She did it really gently, blew a bit of air on it after telling me she would. Then she showed me a little instrument with some white stuff on and said she would just pop it in. No scraping or pushing, nothing. It was done, a temporary fix.

So, after the visual exam and the "filling" she said that things are not as bad as I had imagined. She wants me to do a panoramic xray and then has recommended a deep cleaning in 4 or 5 sessions. She will numb each area and do it over the next month or so. I have a couple of fillings to replace but that will happen after the gums are taken care of. She said the deep cleaning and antibiotics should do it.

Then to the gap and slightly loose front tooth. She said it's not too loose and that it would most likely tighten up. Then I might be fitted for a night retainer or she might use a band to straighten the teeth back again. I asked her about a worst case scenario and I have to lose that tooth. Especially at the front. She said if that's the case (and she thinks not) I can have a bridge. It's not a big deal.

All in all, I am relieved. She feels like the gentlest person I have come across in ages. And very kind. I have booked for Monday for the filling. She reckons 3/4 hour and I'll be done. I will get the xray at the weekend and then we can plan and book the rest of the visits after that. I believe in a few months, I will be on the right track!!!

So grateful and so relieved. Thank you all for your fantastic support. I will let you know how the filling goes on monday...
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
Nerves are playing up again today as I am due to have my first filling replaced today. She also has my panoramic xray now and I am scared of what that shows even though she told me not to worry. Hoping I can get through a proper procedure today. I'm not really scared of pain as such but the whole process of drilling and scraping and all that. Makes me feel a bit sick to be honest. I know it's only the first step on a much longer journey but it's a big one!
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
636
Location
US
Good luck! You’ll do great. Let us know how you do.
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
So this will be in two parts; the negative bit and the positive outcome.

Part One: The Negative Bit
I was nervous going into the appointment as I was anxious about the xray and what it would show. My suspicion turned out to be correct and my front tooth is loose because of bone loss. My lovely dentist, who I have come to trust and like very quickly, was so kind but confirmed that she cannot save it and that I will need a bridge. She also said that she wanted to start the deep clean today and that because the filling is only chipped, it could wait. So 2 shocks in one go and I had a bit of a cry. A (my dentist) and E (her lovely assistant) were very supportive and gave me some time. A revealed to me that she has implants, crowns and root canals and she's a dentist!!!

Part Two: The Positive Outcome
I am beginning to feel at home in the dentist chair! We talked a bit about the bridge that will be made and the procedure for that and how it will restore my beautiful smile (her words). Because of the gum problems and the gap that has formed in my front teeth, I haven't been smiling as much as I used to in the past year or so. And on top of that the staining has added to my self-consciousness. When I started to feel think about it I admitted to myself that getting my smile back and having lovely clean healthy teeth again was worth losing a single tooth and not having the worry any more!! To be totally honest, I'm looking forward to it.

She numbed my gums before the injection so I didn't even feel that. Then she set about deep cleaning (again reassuring me every step of the way). She had an ultrasonic thingy and none of the procedure hurt at all. A couple of twinges perhaps but no pain. She did 5 teeth this session and we booked the next session for Friday. I was so relieved and happy to see the results, I wish the appointment was tomorrow! I don't want to wait now :)

I saw the result and I am thrilled. Lovely healthy looking gums at the back top teeth. It was a bit sore when the anesthetic wore off last night but I took a paracetamol and it was fine. I understand why she doesn't want to do my whole mouth in one go though.

I am getting a new soft head for my toothbrush today, I have a mouthwash she recommended for the duration of the deep cleaning sessions and she advised me about flossing with the inter-dental sticks which I have been reluctant to use on my filthy teeth as there didn't seem to be much point!!!

I have come a very long way in just 2 sessions. I am loving my new found respect in my teeth. The fact that I am only losing one after 20 years of neglect is miraculous to me. And I have a beautiful new smile and clean mouth to look forward to.

I said to her at the end that I am looking forward to coming to her twice a year like a regular person. She said "You will, very soon". I actually walked out feeling happy and looking forward to the future, smiling as much as I used to!

Next appointment on Friday. It's the next stage of cleaning so I know what to expect.
Thank you everyone who has helped me on my way. It's nice to have found a place where people genuinely care.
 
S

Scared all the time

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
331
Location
NJ
So this will be in two parts; the negative bit and the positive outcome.

Part One: The Negative Bit
I was nervous going into the appointment as I was anxious about the xray and what it would show. My suspicion turned out to be correct and my front tooth is loose because of bone loss. My lovely dentist, who I have come to trust and like very quickly, was so kind but confirmed that she cannot save it and that I will need a bridge. She also said that she wanted to start the deep clean today and that because the filling is only chipped, it could wait. So 2 shocks in one go and I had a bit of a cry. A (my dentist) and E (her lovely assistant) were very supportive and gave me some time. A revealed to me that she has implants, crowns and root canals and she's a dentist!!!

Part Two: The Positive Outcome
I am beginning to feel at home in the dentist chair! We talked a bit about the bridge that will be made and the procedure for that and how it will restore my beautiful smile (her words). Because of the gum problems and the gap that has formed in my front teeth, I haven't been smiling as much as I used to in the past year or so. And on top of that the staining has added to my self-consciousness. When I started to feel think about it I admitted to myself that getting my smile back and having lovely clean healthy teeth again was worth losing a single tooth and not having the worry any more!! To be totally honest, I'm looking forward to it.

She numbed my gums before the injection so I didn't even feel that. Then she set about deep cleaning (again reassuring me every step of the way). She had an ultrasonic thingy and none of the procedure hurt at all. A couple of twinges perhaps but no pain. She did 5 teeth this session and we booked the next session for Friday. I was so relieved and happy to see the results, I wish the appointment was tomorrow! I don't want to wait now :)

I saw the result and I am thrilled. Lovely healthy looking gums at the back top teeth. It was a bit sore when the anesthetic wore off last night but I took a paracetamol and it was fine. I understand why she doesn't want to do my whole mouth in one go though.

I am getting a new soft head for my toothbrush today, I have a mouthwash she recommended for the duration of the deep cleaning sessions and she advised me about flossing with the inter-dental sticks which I have been reluctant to use on my filthy teeth as there didn't seem to be much point!!!

I have come a very long way in just 2 sessions. I am loving my new found respect in my teeth. The fact that I am only losing one after 20 years of neglect is miraculous to me. And I have a beautiful new smile and clean mouth to look forward to.

I said to her at the end that I am looking forward to coming to her twice a year like a regular person. She said "You will, very soon". I actually walked out feeling happy and looking forward to the future, smiling as much as I used to!

Next appointment on Friday. It's the next stage of cleaning so I know what to expect.
Thank you everyone who has helped me on my way. It's nice to have found a place where people genuinely care.
What a lovely update! I’m so glad your dentist is supportive and understanding she sounds great. You’ve taken a huge step with such courage and positive attitude. Big congratulations!
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
So Friday came around again. It's been a super busy week at work so I haven't had much time to dwell on my teeth. Chatted openly for the first time with a friend I've known for years about my dental fears. He shared his phobia of needles that had him avoiding treatment for decades. His teeth had practically crumbled. I'm amazed at how opening up and being honest is such a positive experience!

I leave in 20 minutes for the next deep clean session (second of four or five depending how it goes). I'm not scared of the treatment anymore as I know what to expect. It's just the next step forward... I have a bit of anxiety as usual but nothing like the first time.

If anything comes from this journal, apart from reading back later and to be able to see what massive steps I have taken, I hope it is comforting for anyone who reads it. Honestly, if I can do this after 20 years, anyone can! Best wishes and good dental health to everyone facing their fears and doing it anyway!!!!!
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
What a lovely update! I’m so glad your dentist is supportive and understanding she sounds great. You’ve taken a huge step with such courage and positive attitude. Big congratulations!
Thank you so much. Your messages are very comforting and encouraging!
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
636
Location
US
Good luck. You can do this. Let us know how you do. You are already a success.
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
Not such a great session last week. It hurt quite a bit and I did have a bit of a panic attack in the middle. I got through it but it scared me to be transported back to my childhood trauma. Anyway, Two down, third one on Friday and then I'll be over half way through the deep clean. I'm feeling quite depressed this week about the amount of work to go. My gum recession and bone loss is worse than I thought and I'm definitely going to lose one front tooth. A told me not to worry but I am very sad to be losing my lovely natural teeth. I used to have a beautiful smile and I'm angry with myself for neglecting everything for so long. Does the sadness go away? Does the regret get better once you get your smile back?
It doesn't help that husband who has terrible teeth and has neglected them for years has no serious issues! I'll leave it there for now. I know my positivity is somewhere but just feeling too sad to continue for now. Maybe I'll feel better once I know how we will proceed from here 😢
 
F

frostgirl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
285
Location
UK
Cassimoghan, whilst I can't offer any advice about overcoming losing one of your teeth, I do want to say, keep pushing and keep going if you can. You've been so brave to get this far, we'll all be here thinking of you and wishing for success for you.
 
C

cassimoghan

Junior member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Athens
Cassimoghan, whilst I can't offer any advice about overcoming losing one of your teeth, I do want to say, keep pushing and keep going if you can. You've been so brave to get this far, we'll all be here thinking of you and wishing for success for you.
Thank you so much for the support. I am going to keep going. That's the one great thing to come of this; facing my fears and anxiety and doing it anyway. I just wasn't expecting the sadness I feel right now.
 
F

frostgirl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
285
Location
UK
I think it's natural to feel sad about losing any teeth. I don't think anyone would want to lose any teeth, but with your dentist I imagine they'd be able to help find a way to replace it.

But we're all here for you if you want to vent.
 
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