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Wobbly teeth, and trust issues!

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Parvaneh

Junior member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
3
Location
Dorset,United Kingdom
Well,here goes..A few months ago,I went for my usual check-up,and was told my teeth were wobbly!I was so shocked at this,I just didn't know what to think!Although I've always found it ..difficult,going to the dentist,I always kept regular check-ups,every six months and haven't needed any treatment at all,for years,assuming I was keeping up a pretty good oral health regime,mainly because I hate the dentist!..so I was dumbstruck to be told this,it's a wisdom tooth,and no,I hadn't noticed.The dentist I saw,is a "new" one,I haven't had him before,and I don't particularly like him.He is pretty brusque and simply told me "most adults have gum diseases" and made a sarcastic remark,when I told him I do smoke,yes..
.It really upset me,stupidly..I never actually,knew this could even happen!I was then told I would have to see the hygeinist,that the treatment I needed wasn't available on the NHS,and I'd have to pay.I wasn't told what the treatment would even be,so i duly went along,having done some research,I gathered it would just be a "clean" ( my "treatment plan" simply said cosmetic scale and polish) and that this wouldn't hurt at all.
Oh dear...That's where the problems began,it hurt like hell!I can't describe how awful it was,I had to stop her several times,and began to feel myself beginning to panic and I wanted to cry..! I haven't felt this way since I was 6 years old and at the school dentist...I stuck it out,but felt shaky and totally freaked out.The hygienist hadn't even started on my wobbly tooth,she was busy cleaning stains from my bottom teeth and casually told me I'd need "several sessions" and "didn't the dentist explain this"? No,he did not!
I found myself feeling shaky and sick,but managed,before I left,to tell her I thought I'd need anaesthetic,next time,I didn't want to go back,and was furious to think I'd been through all that,and she hadn't even started on my "bad" tooth!
So,the time for my next appointment came around,and I'm petrified,but I have determined,that I've got to get this done,and that I will make sure she gives me anaesthetic,this time.
So,I ask her,and she says "I don't need it" and tells me to sit down,and that she'll only be using "hand tools"..
I get in the chair saying again,I'd really be a lot happier with some anaesthetic ( Please,god!!!) and again,she says "you won't need it I"m only going to be using hand tools""..I'm in the chair,my heart is racing,and all I can think of is,how much this is going to hurt,she might as well fix jump leads to my teeth and wire it up to the mains and let me have 240 volts....I have no idea what she's going even going to do,if she's only using "hand tools",will that work,isn't she supposed to be doing root planing,my treatment plan says it's only "cosmetic" what if she puts me through all this,but hasn't even done the job properly..
Before I know what's happened,she's firing up the same electrically-powered scrapy-machine thing,and I'm pulling off the plastic apron,the protective goggles,and saying,No,no way,this is not happening,I'm sorry,and I'm out of the chair,and across the room,trying my best not to cry.I am 43 years old,and I'm angry and upset and scared witless,and I have never done this before!..and no-one says a word,I am putting my coat on,and am wondering why she hasn't even said anything!? I pick up my bag and as I'm walking out the door,all she says is "Try to keep up with your cleaning" and I see her exchange a "look" and a shrug of her shoulders,to her assistant.I feel utterly humiliated,and enraged,in equal measure.
By the time I get home,however,the surgery has called,and said I Can go in,and the dentist himself,can perform the injection,for anaesthetic,and then,I can see her.If I want to ( I'm assuming she simply isn't qualified to give injections? Why do I have to see the dentist,and her? why didn't she says so!?)
I am so desperate for this tooth not to fall out,I have agreed to this.However,I now notice,my other wisdom tooth is loose,and ..bluntly,I feel sick.I don't want to go back in,there come hell or high water,it's not just the fear of it,I just now,have NO faith in these people,I feel they have treated me so badly,and I'm still freaked out by this loose tooth,and by the thought that I'm going to have to keep going back every three months,for cleaning?? All the information I have about my teeth,I have gained from the internet,my dentist and the hygienist seem to have the attitude that I don't need to know anything about what they are doing with my teeth..for a start,they are already breaching NHS guidelines,by refusing to offer me this treatment on the NHS,which,as I understand it,should be available,so,to add insult to injury,I think they are lying to me and making me pay for treatment,they seem to want to insist is purely "cosmetic" and making me pay for it,privately..I have had to wait weeks,since diagnosis,I can't wait much longer to get this fixed,I tried calling another dentist,but they couldn't offer me an appointment until next April,2013! I live in a rural area,there are few dental surgeries in my are taking on NHS patients,so I can't "shop around" much,and I can't drive,so my options are limited..but I need this tooth fixed...but am also worrying about whether they'll just want to pull it out,anyway,it's become really loose,now.
I've never had a tooth extracted,and am terrified.I don't want to go back at all,I feel sick just thinking about it,I can't sleep and as well as all this,I'm freaked out that my gums are that bad,the rest of my teeth might just drop out if I stop going to the dentist,and I'm angry that I feel they are not even very good "healthcare professionals" and are just trying to make money out of me..I'm so wound up about it all,I wonder if I ever want to go back to any dentist,ever again,I look at my 43 year old mouth,consider the years of treatments I've had,how much I hate it,and I feel like something's snapped,and I never want to see another dentist as long as I live,they don't seem to have done anything to help me,only to have ignored problems and then,"patched them up" and sent me on my way..I have cried myself silly over this,I feel trapped by the need to see these awful people,but also,feel they have treated me so badly over the years,what's the point in even putting myself through this anymore? No-one in my family knows how I feel,I don't have any friends,and o-one to talk to,for some reason,I feel shamed and angry, so I'm just trying to "soldier on" but it's really causing me so much upset,it's taking over my life,I don't know what to do..I am sorry,I just really needed to "talk to someone" about it! I am still proposing to go and have the treatment,with the anaesthetic,and see how it goes,but after that,I don't want to see another dentist again...to be honest,I can see me walking out of the surgery without treatment again,if I feel it's not going very well,and my fear and questions aren't going to be answered..but I'm afraid of "rocking the boat",too,in case they take me off the register,and I'll have to try and find another dentist...it's just doing my head in :shame:
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,965
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
Hi Parvanah
I am really sorry you have had this bad experience. Many of the moderators on here including me can relate to painful dental hygiene experiences (mine not in UK though) and for the most part we have learnt to avoid them by being very careful who we let work on us.

My first concern is that you have been attending regularly at this NHS practice and that this is the first you have heard of any gum disease issues or the first time you have been advised to have a more thorough cleaning. It is actually a bit on the late side once a tooth is loose. The better idea is to have a decent home care regime of cleaning and flossing and to get a clean from the hygienist or dentist say 6 monthly, especially once you are no longer a spring chicken like me.
Unfortunately the UK NHS dental offering has never been that into cleaning - I used to get a quick scrape and polish from my ex-NHS-private dentist for years - and it was only at a different UK private dentist and when I moved abroad for several years that I realised that actually people can benefit from seeing a hygienist every 6 months or so even if you do a great job of cleaning your own teeth inbetween.
So my first point is that you can probably complain to the GDC about the way the practice has handled you over the years, the lack of consistency in seeing different practitioners (if so), and the fact that it is only now a tooth is loose that someone has alerted you to a need for additional ongoing care.
Whether or not this should be on NHS is debatable and may also have a different answer based on whether you are in England/Wales or Scotland.

My second concern is that having told you (correctly or not) that you have to pay privately for this they have given you such a horrible bad uncaring service and denied you anaesthetic. I have never needed anaesthetic for cleaning when I have found the right hygienist to treat me but everyone's case if different and if you need to be numbed they should be willing to do this especially privately. I think the nly reason they have got in touch and suggested the dentist numbs you and you go back is because you are paying as a private course of treatment.

So if I were you, if there were anyway I could afford it, I would simply walk from this NHS practice (offering private on the side but badly) and find a proper private dentist who cares about repeat business and patients being comfortable during care and then make it a priority to keep your remaining teeth for life, using anaesthetic if necessary (it may only be necessary at the moment while you are dealing with current issue).
You may be able to get appropriate care on NHS if you look hard enough but it seems to be much harder to do so and if they are going to charge you for it anyway, you may as well go to a private practice that wants to wow you a bit and certainly not to humiliate you.
I personally could not return to that uncaring hygienist in your shoes..the eye roll would do it for me. It is important to prioritise dental care over say cosmetics and hairdressing as we age, if we want to keep our teeth for as long as possible.
Good luck...you could have a GDC case against them re failing to pick up your gum disease sooner but time is not on your side really and it is more important to get regular comfortable care in place.
All the very best.
http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/scale-and-polish/
 
Last edited:
coolin

coolin

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
400
Location
Scotland
Oh my goodness! You poor thing :XXLhug:

No-one should be treated in this way. Please don't go back to that place. They obviously don't care too much about keeping their patients - I suppose the lack of dentists in your area keeps them that way....

I know you don't drive but there must be buses and trains that will take you to different 'dentally rich' areas? I would go quite far to get a great dentist now that I know the value of a good one. There are some on this list who actually take a plane to go see their dentist!

Use our dentist recommendations for your area and once you find a new one - make sure that the hygienist will use local anaesthetic - my dentist gives me some local anaesthetic even if there is a tiniest possibility of any pain in anything he does.

You could consider complaining?

Coolin
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,965
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
I also wanted to congratulate on walking out :jump: ...I wish I had done that during my bad experience. It is a very difficult thing to do in the dental environment but is the only way to protect yourself from repeat bad experiences - she also lied, hand tools do not make any noise whatsoever.....bitch.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,083
Congratulations on walking out from me, too :claps: - that's not an easy thing to do at all because it's all too easy to get paralyzed with fear or worse, to blame oneself. I can only agree with everything that brit and coolin have said. Unfortunately some cack-handed hygienists and dentists do exist (ask me how I know...). This doesn't mean that you will have a painful experience with a different hygienist who is gentle, patient, and understanding.

The "what's available on the NHS" question is a difficult one since theory and practice seem to be miles apart these days :(. In theory, a thorough cleaning is a Band 2 treatment I think, but in practice, very few people are offered this as part of Band 2 treatment. I suspect it's because it would cost them more to pay the hygienist (and cover the costs for any other treatment/check-up included in Band 2) than the money they would get from the NHS for the units of dental activity they provide.

It would be great though if you complained to the practice about the service you have received - it sounds like it was a ghastly and humiliating experience all around and letting the practice manager know that customers are unhappy is never a bad thing (and may help change the service they provide for the better, even when you're long gone from that practice!).

I hope this experience hasn't totally put you off from getting the care you need and deserve :XXLhug:
 
P

Parvaneh

Junior member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
3
Location
Dorset,United Kingdom
Thanks to you all,for your replies,especially to Brit.It's been such a help,having people who know what it's like,and who understand what I'm going through..I felt ..slightly ridiculous walking out,I mean..I'm an grown up,we're not supposed to "go off in a huff",but I just thought..NO!!! I felt like Michael Douglas in that film "Falling Down"..The fact that they had called my home,and spoke to my father,before I even got back,makes me think they were probably worried I'd complain,or at least realised,this wasn't a good situation,so I took that as a small ( microscopic) grain of consolation!
I think,I am going to take a deep breath,and get this thing sorted out,next week,under anaesthetic.My sister happened to have a day off,and offered to come with me.Time isn't on my side,so I do need to get it cleaned properly.I presume I'll have another one,after that,for the other side ( should be the last quadrant)
I Did ring and ask them to clarify the charging structure,and that I didn't feel my treatment was "cosmetic" and that I felt it should be covered by the NHS, (as Brit says,under Band 2 treatments,should be around £49)and didn't receive a satisfactory answer.
So,I think I have a number of options,and thanks to dental fear,I've been able to think more objectively about them.I think my priority will be to get this current treatment done,if I have to pay then,fine.Then,I can think about making a complaints or contacting the local Primary Care Trust,and I will be asking around,there are a few other practices in the town to choose from,and I think I have to feel I can talk about my treatments and options and my status as a "nervous" patient..I think that will be easier,right from the get-go,at a new surgery,before I've even had treatment from a dentist or technician I haven't particularly liked! And my feeling is,they can't be much worse than the current lot! :hmm: Oh,and I also bought a product called "Sensitrol" which claims to de-sensitise teeth,particularly before deep cleaning procedures,so..I feel I'm as ready as I'll ever be! Thanks again everyone I feel a lot better having some support,it made me feel I wasn't just being a hysterical idiot..:)
 
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