• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a general dental forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Work needed to be done on teeth is causing me crippling depression..

D

Dhistress

Junior member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
9
Location
USA
Hi,

First let me start by saying after reading some of the posts in this forum, I am aware that my situation is not as severe as some that I read. However, that doesn't stop me from laying awake at night, having trouble going to work or socializing, and basically suffering from constant anxiety.

Two weeks ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in almost seven years. I've avoided the dentist because of a handful of bad experiences throughout my childhood. I have met dentists who have berated me, laughed at my fears and overall made the idea of going back to the dentist one that could send me into a panic attack. A filling in between my front tooth must have fallen out and left me with a small gap in between my front teeth which has been driving me crazy and is the main cause of how insecure I am about myself at the moment. It is also the reason I scheduled a trip to the dentist.

Fast forward and I am in the dentist's chair after work one day. After taking several x-rays, the dentist comes in and basically tells me I need to have one of my molars extracted. As you can imagine, I am in a panic because 1) this wasn't even the problem I was coming to the dentist for and 2) the idea of losing any of my teeth has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember. Combine this diagnosis with a rather unfriendly dentist and I am determined to get a second opinion.

My experience at the second dentist went considerably better than the last. The place was cleaner, the people were nicer, the dentist socialized with me more and informed me of my options. He strongly believes my tooth is "fixable" and can be saved through root canal treatment. After weeks of obsessing over tooth extraction and root canals, I wasn't surprised by his diagnosis. I have scheduled my appointment and I am now trying to prepare myself for the procedure. Not to mention, my x-rays also revealed nine other cavities that need to be filled including a few between my front teeth.

I am scared to death to get the root canal treatment done. I am worried I will be in pain, that it will go wrong, or that I will end up having to have my tooth removed anyway. I feel as if I'm a failure for neglecting my teeth to the point where this is even necessary. I know a huge part of it was being neglected as a child and young teen, and also not being properly informed of the consequences of frequently drinking soda and eating candy, both of which were easily accessible to me. For years my main beverage was soda. After a trip to the dentist where the cavity in between my front teeth was fixed the first time (about seven years ago), I was determined to have better oral hygiene habits. I began to drink less soda and eat less sweets. I also began to brush and floss more. Still, I never returned to have the remainder of my cavities filled.

I am 21 now and my oral hygiene has improved considerably since I was a kid. I floss once a day as well as brushing and rinsing twice a day. Still, I am facing 9 cavities to fill and one root canal. I believe three or four of the cavities are between my front teeth. I am unsure if these are all the same ones I had the last time I went to the dentist or if there are more. I am scared to death that having them filled with alter my appearance and make me feel uglier than I already do but I know the work needs to be done. I'm afraid people will notice that I have fillings because they will be discolored or perhaps change the shape of my teeth altogether. The idea makes me contemplate suicide more often than not. I feel as if I have no escape and that even with proper oral hygiene and a new dedication to routine dental visits, I will still be faced with cavities and fillings until my teeth are so rotted out of my head that I will need dentures by the time I'm 30 or 40 like my mom and uncle. Some of my front teeth have small white spots that I feel will turn into cavities and become so unsightly that I will no longer be able to stand looking at myself in the mirror. I feel as if I will soon be too ugly to love because of my teeth and unable to enjoy a normal, happy life that isn't obsessing over my teeth. The stress and anxiety that has plagued me since my recent trips to the dentist has already caused my quality of life to decline.

Combined with other factors in my life, this has pretty much made it impossible for me to go to work. I struggle every day. I have found myself cancelling on my friends and avoiding going on new outings because I am so paranoid about my teeth. I'm paranoid to the point that i have limited when and what I eat so severely that I barely even eat anymore because I don't want to rot out my teeth. I feel as if everyone notices all the things I've mentioned and will notice all the work I need to have done after it is done. I'm so so so afraid and it seems as if no one I know personally can relate to me and calm me down. I feel so alone.
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,615
I can relate to the depression. No matter how severe or simple the treatment needed, the issue is real to each person. Having to go back and get work done, and the fear of uncertainty of what else might happen is real.
My biggest fear was losing my teeth. My first and second root canal failed, and I was facing extraction. I was devastated and depressed. I will admit that I was overwhelmed by the thought of cost and extraction and implants. I ended up at the point where I either had to do something about it, or I was just going to spiral out of control. I spoke to my doctor and started antidepressants for situational depression. I was okay with it as I know that the plan was to only be on them for 6 months, then reassess. I know it isn't permanent, and it has really helped me accept the fact that my worst fear happened, and I am surviving. I am losing a front tooth, which is terrifying, but I realize it could always be worse, and getting the issue fixed is more important.
We are here to listen, and we understand. Just to reassure you, I had a filling on a fourth of my front tooth (from breaking it as a child), and it was not noticeable unless you knew it was there. Yours will not change your tooth color or shape.
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
497
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
@Dhistress, If you are contemplating suicide, please immediately get help. No dental issues is worth taking your life away.
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
627
Location
US
Please call 211 (or your local crisis line) and tell them what you told us.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,244
Dear Dhistress,

sorry to read about your situation, it sounds like you are back on track with your teeth finally and at the same time really struggling with your everyday life. I don't even know where to start, but first of all, as MountainMama said, everyone has their own fears and triggers and your fears and struggles are severe as they are for any other person with dental anxiety, regardless what treatment they need.

Another thing I would like to let you know straight away is this: one of the criterion for fillings on front teeth (or white fillings done anywhere else in mouth) is to make them look like teeth. Your dental team will chose a color that matches perfectly and form the filling in a way that nobody ever can tell. I even witnessed a situation where a front filling was so well done that even the dentist didn't notice it. I know dental practice employees who have most of their front teeth filled and of course nobody can tell. Getting dental treatment won't lead to you losing teeth, it's exactly other way round. In this sense it's a team work with your dentist: your job is to attend and let him know about what worries you and his job is to take care of the rest. This can only work with a nice dentist, but it sounds like yours is a nice one.

You are facing your fears now and I can see it is not only the fear, it's also the past, it's how you felt and feel about yourself, it's all the suffering that those past dentists caused you and this all is sitting there and working now because you are in a phase of facing treatment. Not only this - you are facing a new dentist who seems to be trustworthy and kind but there is still trust and team work to build so of course you feel insecure and nervous. It is not unusual for people to feel worse and struggle in huge ways during this phase.

It is very easy to put yourself down for things you have done or haven't done in the past. Looking around here you will find many posts of people who hadn't had the perfect oral hygiene or eating habits in their past and honestly, who had? It takes support from so many sites (your parents, your teachers, "the system") to develop a healthy habits and it doesn't sound like you had that so you really haven't done anything wrong. On the contrary, you decided to get back on track in the past and that takes a lot of energy. Now you decided again and I am confident that it will work out this time. So if any possible, try to stay kind to yourself and don't put yourself down. You have been very brave and courageous so far and doing a great job. I am sure once your treatment is done, things will settle back to normal again. Your dentist sounds like a nice one so from now on he is your partner in dental things and will help you to take care of it.

I was glad to read your tooth is salvable, however I understand that any procedure you haven't done can be scary. Root canals have a really bad reputation among public, but it really isn't anything else than a filling. There should be no pain involved during the procedure (that's what numbing is for) and should you have any discomfort afterwards, a simple over the counter painkiller will take care of it. I have had a root canal done 16 years ago and it's perfectly fine.

Dealing with dental fear can seem like a very lonely place but rest assured that you are not alone. Feel free to vent here how much you need (we even have a journal section where you can write about your journey, past experiences and anything that worries you) or to take a look at the success stories here. There is also plenty articles about the fears that might give you an idea that everything is solvable with the right dentist. By the way, getting dental treatment won't lead to you losing teeth, it's exactly other way round. In this sense it's a team work with your dentist: your job is to attend and let him know about what worries you and his job is to take care of the rest. This can only work with a nice dentist, but it sounds like yours is a nice one.

Last but not least, you mentioned contemplating suicide which only shows how hard things are for you right now. While a lot of people touch this in their thoughts at one time or another when experiencing a crisis, it is important to have an eye on this and know when is time to get help. It might be a good idea to be kind and caring to yourself and should this thought ever appear again, to get in touch with the Samaritans. By the way, they are here for any sort of problems and will be happy to offer an open ear for you should you ever feel like talking to someone kind and non-judgmental, no matter what bothers you. We have an article about feeling depressed or suicidal. You might find there some interesting input, if you haven't taken a look already.

All the best wishes and keep us posted!
 
D

Dhistress

Junior member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
9
Location
USA
Thank you all for the replies. They are giving me a bit of insight and it's a relief to know people have experienced something similar to what I have and still go on to lead a normal and happy life.

I do have a few questions though. My root canal is a molar. Will my general dentist be capable of doing this? He said he's done plenty of root canals but he didn't specify if they were molars. Should i see a specialist?

Also does anyone else have white spots on their front teeth? I'm so paranoid mine will turn into cavities.
 
Sol

Sol

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
240
Location
USA
I'm glad you are feeling a bit better. I'm sure a lot of people you know have experienced things like this with their dental health. Its just that most people don't openly talk about it.

My root canal is a molar. Will my general dentist be capable of doing this? He said he's done plenty of root canals but he didn't specify if they were molars. Should i see a specialist?
Depends on the dentist and your anatomy. Some dentist have more experience with this than others so they are comfortable with handling it. I remember my mom was told by her dentist that she had "curly" roots so she was referred to an endodontist.

Also does anyone else have white spots on their front teeth? I'm so paranoid mine will turn into cavities.
White spots can be caused by a few different things so I don't think its uncommon. It doesn't mean that the area will turn into a cavity, just keep up with a normal cleaning routine. If the appearance bothers you, there are things that can be done to help them match the rest of your teeth.
 
B

Brina8

Junior member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
2
Location
Ireland
Hi,

First let me start by saying after reading some of the posts in this forum, I am aware that my situation is not as severe as some that I read. However, that doesn't stop me from laying awake at night, having trouble going to work or socializing, and basically suffering from constant anxiety.

Two weeks ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in almost seven years. I've avoided the dentist because of a handful of bad experiences throughout my childhood. I have met dentists who have berated me, laughed at my fears and overall made the idea of going back to the dentist one that could send me into a panic attack. A filling in between my front tooth must have fallen out and left me with a small gap in between my front teeth which has been driving me crazy and is the main cause of how insecure I am about myself at the moment. It is also the reason I scheduled a trip to the dentist.

Fast forward and I am in the dentist's chair after work one day. After taking several x-rays, the dentist comes in and basically tells me I need to have one of my molars extracted. As you can imagine, I am in a panic because 1) this wasn't even the problem I was coming to the dentist for and 2) the idea of losing any of my teeth has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember. Combine this diagnosis with a rather unfriendly dentist and I am determined to get a second opinion.

My experience at the second dentist went considerably better than the last. The place was cleaner, the people were nicer, the dentist socialized with me more and informed me of my options. He strongly believes my tooth is "fixable" and can be saved through root canal treatment. After weeks of obsessing over tooth extraction and root canals, I wasn't surprised by his diagnosis. I have scheduled my appointment and I am now trying to prepare myself for the procedure. Not to mention, my x-rays also revealed nine other cavities that need to be filled including a few between my front teeth.

I am scared to death to get the root canal treatment done. I am worried I will be in pain, that it will go wrong, or that I will end up having to have my tooth removed anyway. I feel as if I'm a failure for neglecting my teeth to the point where this is even necessary. I know a huge part of it was being neglected as a child and young teen, and also not being properly informed of the consequences of frequently drinking soda and eating candy, both of which were easily accessible to me. For years my main beverage was soda. After a trip to the dentist where the cavity in between my front teeth was fixed the first time (about seven years ago), I was determined to have better oral hygiene habits. I began to drink less soda and eat less sweets. I also began to brush and floss more. Still, I never returned to have the remainder of my cavities filled.

I am 21 now and my oral hygiene has improved considerably since I was a kid. I floss once a day as well as brushing and rinsing twice a day. Still, I am facing 9 cavities to fill and one root canal. I believe three or four of the cavities are between my front teeth. I am unsure if these are all the same ones I had the last time I went to the dentist or if there are more. I am scared to death that having them filled with alter my appearance and make me feel uglier than I already do but I know the work needs to be done. I'm afraid people will notice that I have fillings because they will be discolored or perhaps change the shape of my teeth altogether. The idea makes me contemplate suicide more often than not. I feel as if I have no escape and that even with proper oral hygiene and a new dedication to routine dental visits, I will still be faced with cavities and fillings until my teeth are so rotted out of my head that I will need dentures by the time I'm 30 or 40 like my mom and uncle. Some of my front teeth have small white spots that I feel will turn into cavities and become so unsightly that I will no longer be able to stand looking at myself in the mirror. I feel as if I will soon be too ugly to love because of my teeth and unable to enjoy a normal, happy life that isn't obsessing over my teeth. The stress and anxiety that has plagued me since my recent trips to the dentist has already caused my quality of life to decline.

Combined with other factors in my life, this has pretty much made it impossible for me to go to work. I struggle every day. I have found myself cancelling on my friends and avoiding going on new outings because I am so paranoid about my teeth. I'm paranoid to the point that i have limited when and what I eat so severely that I barely even eat anymore because I don't want to rot out my teeth. I feel as if everyone notices all the things I've mentioned and will notice all the work I need to have done after it is done. I'm so so so afraid and it seems as if no one I know personally can relate to me and calm me down. I feel so alone.
I know exactly how you feel! I avoided the dentist for 6 years after a terrible experience and when I finally plucked up the courage to go I ended up needing numerous fillings and a very large bill! The best thing you can do is get the work done and keep on going, I lost two of my teeth because I avoided the dentist for so long and I wish I hadn't.. As scary as it can be, putting it off only makes it worse! I'm also 24 so I know how scary it is thinking about having no teeth by you're 30! For the first while after that I was so stressed about my teeth but now I just get on with it and check in with my dentist regularly which is all you can do. Hang in there and it will get better ❤️
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,019
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Dhistress,

I'm glad you are here in DFC. You are definately in good and supportive company! I'm sorry all you have went through. It does sound like you are doing what you can to improve your oral care and hygeine for some time now and that is great. You also being aware and processing through your dental fears and anxieities with others is such a huge step.. Really well done! it is really hard to step out and go to the dentist after awful experiences.. and I know myself I have felt alot of shame and embarassemtn going and also about my habits of pop and candy through my teens and younger adult years..

The 2nd dentist you went to sounds so much better than the first and good for you for getting that 2nd opinion and going where you feel more comfortable

I've have several molar root canals all done by general dentists. I do know some dentists refer out more than others depending on experience. but many are very capable of doing a molar root canal. What I would want to know is will they listen to me and be concerned about my comfort and patient with any anxieties too.

I really wish you the best. I'm glad you are doing a little better.. know you have alot of people who understand and care here!!
 
S

scaredykat11

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
27
Location
US
Dhistress,

I know exactly what you're going through as I went through the same earlier this year in March. My anxiety was so bad about my teeth and seeing the dentist that I was super depressed and anxious to the point I didn't want to go anywhere.

I did go to work, but I didn't want to be there. I didn't eat much, and have since lost 20+ pounds (it's ok, I'm overweight).

I'm still struggling but have found help seeing a therapist. Have you considered seeking out a therapist?

They could probably work with you to develop a care plan and provide relaxation techniques for when your at home worrying and for when you're at the dentist.
 
Cat Mom

Cat Mom

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Oregon
Bless you and thank you for posting here. Happy to hear for your sake that you are getting this taken care of. I am no stranger to depression and the hurdles it can put in our way; I have mild clinical depression and dental anxiety doesn’t make it any easier. But you are stronger and braver than you can ever imagine!
 
S

sbeth

Junior member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
2
Location
64030
I am 22 and just went to the dentist for the first time ever (uninsured and broke) and had the same worries. Sorry your first dentist was so nasty to you im glad you found one that was kinder. When I went I found out I needed a few fillings and like you was worried about my fillings making my teeth look ugly. My dentist used composite fillings and they look exactly like my tooth. You could ask your dentist to use that instead of the amalgam fillings. I included a picture you cant even tell which tooth has a filling. Also if your white spots on your teeth bother you your dentist can fix that as well. My mom had literally mustard yellow and white spotted teeth from soft enamel and the dentist gave her teeth a light buffer and a very diluted bleach and her teeth look brand new. I'd encpurage you to open up to your dentist about your concerns and they will be very happy to help you come up with a treatment plan for all you ? As far as your thoughts of suicide I strongly encourage you to seek counceling to help you get through this tough time in your life. I spent years obessing and worrying about my teeth also but I finally decided to take care of it and am so glad I did ?
Hi,

First let me start by saying after reading some of the posts in this forum, I am aware that my situation is not as severe as some that I read. However, that doesn't stop me from laying awake at night, having trouble going to work or socializing, and basically suffering from constant anxiety.

Two weeks ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in almost seven years. I've avoided the dentist because of a handful of bad experiences throughout my childhood. I have met dentists who have berated me, laughed at my fears and overall made the idea of going back to the dentist one that could send me into a panic attack. A filling in between my front tooth must have fallen out and left me with a small gap in between my front teeth which has been driving me crazy and is the main cause of how insecure I am about myself at the moment. It is also the reason I scheduled a trip to the dentist.

Fast forward and I am in the dentist's chair after work one day. After taking several x-rays, the dentist comes in and basically tells me I need to have one of my molars extracted. As you can imagine, I am in a panic because 1) this wasn't even the problem I was coming to the dentist for and 2) the idea of losing any of my teeth has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember. Combine this diagnosis with a rather unfriendly dentist and I am determined to get a second opinion.

My experience at the second dentist went considerably better than the last. The place was cleaner, the people were nicer, the dentist socialized with me more and informed me of my options. He strongly believes my tooth is "fixable" and can be saved through root canal treatment. After weeks of obsessing over tooth extraction and root canals, I wasn't surprised by his diagnosis. I have scheduled my appointment and I am now trying to prepare myself for the procedure. Not to mention, my x-rays also revealed nine other cavities that need to be filled including a few between my front teeth.

I am scared to death to get the root canal treatment done. I am worried I will be in pain, that it will go wrong, or that I will end up having to have my tooth removed anyway. I feel as if I'm a failure for neglecting my teeth to the point where this is even necessary. I know a huge part of it was being neglected as a child and young teen, and also not being properly informed of the consequences of frequently drinking soda and eating candy, both of which were easily accessible to me. For years my main beverage was soda. After a trip to the dentist where the cavity in between my front teeth was fixed the first time (about seven years ago), I was determined to have better oral hygiene habits. I began to drink less soda and eat less sweets. I also began to brush and floss more. Still, I never returned to have the remainder of my cavities filled.

I am 21 now and my oral hygiene has improved considerably since I was a kid. I floss once a day as well as brushing and rinsing twice a day. Still, I am facing 9 cavities to fill and one root canal. I believe three or four of the cavities are between my front teeth. I am unsure if these are all the same ones I had the last time I went to the dentist or if there are more. I am scared to death that having them filled with alter my appearance and make me feel uglier than I already do but I know the work needs to be done. I'm afraid people will notice that I have fillings because they will be discolored or perhaps change the shape of my teeth altogether. The idea makes me contemplate suicide more often than not. I feel as if I have no escape and that even with proper oral hygiene and a new dedication to routine dental visits, I will still be faced with cavities and fillings until my teeth are so rotted out of my head that I will need dentures by the time I'm 30 or 40 like my mom and uncle. Some of my front teeth have small white spots that I feel will turn into cavities and become so unsightly that I will no longer be able to stand looking at myself in the mirror. I feel as if I will soon be too ugly to love because of my teeth and unable to enjoy a normal, happy life that isn't obsessing over my teeth. The stress and anxiety that has plagued me since my recent trips to the dentist has already caused my quality of life to decline.

Combined with other factors in my life, this has pretty much made it impossible for me to go to work. I struggle every day. I have found myself cancelling on my friends and avoiding going on new outings because I am so paranoid about my teeth. I'm paranoid to the point that i have limited when and what I eat so severely that I barely even eat anymore because I don't want to rot out my teeth. I feel as if everyone notices all the things I've mentioned and will notice all the work I need to have done after it is done. I'm so so so afraid and it seems as if no one I know personally can relate to me and calm me down. I feel so alone.
 

Attachments

  • 20190725_085655-1.jpg
    20190725_085655-1.jpg
    574.4 KB · Views: 18
Top