I’m a newbie from the UK and have been registered on this site for ages but have never posted. That was deliberate – my fear was so intense that I didn’t feel that I could contribute. Instead, I read all of the posts, and I mean all of them, and I’ve followed your stories religiously.
I hadn’t been to the dentist for over 10 years. When I was small, I had 6 baby teeth removed with gas. I vividly remember a lot of people in white coats holding me down while they shoved a smelly black gas mask over my face. I remember kicking one of them… hard! When I woke up, I felt sick and could see blood all down my favourite t-shirt. They thought they’d make me feel better by slapping a sticker on it!
I had nightmares for a long time afterwards, and my dental phobia began. A few bad experiences in my teenage years didn’t help, and so 10 years down the line, I had a full-blown phobia. I have a few worries – work, money etc. but nothing as bad as the worry about my teeth. I’ve even put off going to Florida and Las Vegas on holiday because of my teeth – petrified in case anything happened whilst I was out there and I ended up in loads of pain. I’ve dreamed about them falling out; I’ve told myself that they’re beyond repair and they should all be taken out and replaced with dentures. I even wished I could do that. Dental adverts – hate them. I even swear at the TV. Ha.
Anyhoo, after reading all of your stories, I decided to research dentists in my area to try and get my main worry sorted once and for all.
I e-mailed one and never got a reply – I’m so glad I didn’t because I now know that they have a terrible reputation. I then e-mailed another two and got lovely replies from them both. I checked out their websites, and it was a close call between the two, but I chose the one that did evening appointments. One afternoon at work I made the dreaded call and… got an answering machine.
Instead of backing out, I left a message with my details, and 10 minutes later, a lovely woman called me back. She put me at ease straight away, and I made the appointment.
My appointment was today, and at work, I was a nervous wreck. I spent 9 hours in the office and it was a nightmare. I was petrified. My appointment wasn’t until 7.20 pm, so I came home, brushed my teeth 3 times, mouthwashed, brushed again and set off. I had directions and still managed to get lost, and I had to go on my own as my partner was working unexpectedly. I pulled into the car park, took a deep breath and walked in.
The receptionist was fabulous! She smiled when I told her my name – she remembered the telephone call where I explained how bad I was. She gave me a medical sheet to complete and put me at ease immediately. She was so cool.
10 minutes later, and she took me into the treatment room where I met MY DENTIST! She stayed with me and sat right next to me, talking all the time to take my mind off where I was. I told them that I hadn’t seen a dentist for around 10 years, and there were no comments made at all. Not a problem. The dentist looked in my mouth and checked the soft tissues and found… an ulcer. Nothing to worry about. He then probed my gums to check for pockets. I’m a number 2 all over – from what I’ve read here I think that’s good?
He then checked all my teeth and numbered them – all present and correct. I then got my x-rays. Didn’t like that. It was a bit uncomfortable but over really quick. He went quiet for a while and then called me over. Guess what?!
I have to have 2 deep cleaning sessions – two 30 minute appointments, and he’s using the Wand to numb me. Left side first and then the right. I have gum problems, and he needs to go about 1mm under the gumline on some of my teeth. Once they’re done, I’m on 3 monthly check-ups. No fillings, no extractions, nothing. I could have kissed him there and then. I am so relieved I feel like running into the street and screaming. I have a lot of tartar build-up hence the deep cleaning, but I can see the end now. By mid-September, I should have a clean and healthy mouth. Now I’m going to research deep cleaning so I know what to expect. Is it bad?
Thank you all of you – I know I haven’t posted before but you have all helped more than you know.
I can’t believe I’ve finally done it and keep looking at my teeth in the mirror because they don’t look like mine. All the gunge and horrible stuff of 10+ years has gone. I even let him use the hand scraper last night much to my amazement. Ok, I was numb but I HATE the noise.
Please – everyone who still needs to make that dreaded first appointment, read these boards and go and speak to some dental practices. You will find the right one and I promise, the smells, sights and fears of our childhood dental nightmares just don’t exist anymore in most places. Big hugs ? to anyone having treatment or an appointment today and once again, thanks to all of you. You, this board, my dentist have all totally changed my life. Might sound corny but to me, this IS a life-changing experience – my teeth have haunted me for so long. I’m now going to book my holiday to Disneyland for next year – the holiday I’ve put off for 6 years because of my teeth. ?
Story 3 of 24
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