- Feb 18, 2022
I guess I’m looking for support and perhaps others facing the same challenges? (Although I am not ready to hear the specifics of other dental stories so I’d be super grateful if you could avoid posting detailed clinical stories here). For anyone worried about dentistry, please skip over this story as I wouldn’t want to imply that this will happen to everyone. My story is that I received periodontal treatment last year (huge deal for me) and one area did not respond to treatment. This led to a recommendation of a root canal which totally freaked me out due to certain negative dental experiences in the past that I won’t describe. Cue different opinions (second/third/fourth endodontists and periodontists) before finally consenting to treatment. Problem is, the treatment is not going to plan. (Not the first time this has happened to me). The endodontist appears not to have given up hope (yet) but I simply know my own body and mind and the treatment is simply not working. In fact, there is evidence of an infection still present and the endodontist admitted that the situation is ‘unexpected’. I’m starting to realise that my fear of dentists is based on lack of trust. It’s not pain, or needles, or sitting in the chair (not belittling those things at all – just not my experience). I fear being left in a worse condition post treatment than before it. Therefore sedation is of little assistance to me. I have reached out to the practice to explain that I have lost my confidence and asked for my options in the circumstances (hoping a conversation will help) but the whole experience of visiting (multiple) dentists has left me feeling quite bitter and hopeless. I’m in a real pickle this time because I am part way through treatment with a temporary filling in my mouth. Most of the dentists have been friendly enough but the outcomes have been questionable (based on my lived experience dealing with my mouth) with countless referrals, pontificating, X-rays, CT scans and more information than I can effectively process without having a meltdown. I feel like a total failure having tried so hard to get on top of my dental health. I hear of so many stories of people overcoming their fear of dentists by picking up the phone and making that first appointment but my fears are actually worsening with each dental interaction. I’m so desperate to be a success story but then things go wrong and I turn into even more of a mess! I have some CBT scheduled tomorrow to try and reframe my thinking but part of me feels like this would just be gaslighting myself in circumstances where the dentistry objectively keeps going wrong and making my life worse. Has anyone else felt trust issues this severe and managed to turn things around? I’m not even sure it is about finding the right dentist as I have honestly seen around 10, including top specialists with great online reviews. If anyone has any words of support, I’d love to hear them. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. My home care has improved massively (as noted in multiple reports) but my mouth feels more uncomfortable than when I was blissfully coasting through life, unaware of all my issues!