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Today I went to the dentist for the 1st time in 18 years!

(41 Posts)
MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 19:41:59

(Thread maybe to help others in my situation but also has some questions for people with dentist experience)

I stopped going to the dentist when I was 20.

Didn’t have a fear or anything, I just hated going.
They told me I needed a brace and I already wore big glasses and was spotty, so I thought a brace would just be the rotten cherry on an ugly cake.

Anyway. Through the 20 years I didn’t go I became more and more embarrassed of my crooked teeth and as a result I never smile or laugh with them showing (which is not easy!)
The longer I didn’t go the harder it was to want to go.

If i heard people talk about teeth I wanted the ground to swallow me up incase they asked me about mine.

I started to stress more and worry more about them.

Then one day I finally just thought- FUCK IT and I plucked up the courage to make the decision to change my ways and do something about it.

So today I had my first appointment in 20 years blush
Couldn’t get an NHS so had to go private so it was £99 for my checkup plus £50 for 4 X-Rays.

The dentist was nice and gave me lots of advice and explained things well. I felt in good hands and pleased that I went.

I have no tooth decay at all (result!) so no fillings or crowns required.
But I have one damaged root so I have to pay £400 to see a specialist who will repair it
- anyone ever had that done?

I then have to see a hygienist to work on getting rid of my plaque and calcium etc. That’s going to cost £300 over 4 sessions. Eek.

THEN I can see about braces. The consultation for that is £160 alone.

I am going to get a credit card for all this because unfortunately I am not rich!! (Waiting list for NHS in my area is 18m-2years.

I have started using interdental brushes- can anyone tell me are you just meant to poke them in then out or are you meant to go in-out in-out in-out?

Anyway, if you are in a similar situation to me I urge you to bite the bullet and go and see the dentist. You won’t regret it but you will regret not going. I wish I’d had someone who would have give me good advice back when I was younger to make me go.

captainprincess Tue 14-Jan-20 20:08:28

Well done for going!! I spent 2 years wearing a brace from age 12, didn't really want to but now I'm so glad I did!
I hope you get the teeth you want soon grin

Snaleandthewhail Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:30

Well done!

My gap was 13 years, and the bill much less costly, but now I wonder what I was putting off. Go you!

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:14:01

Thank you both grin

@captainprincess I really wish I had gotten a brace when I was young rather than worry about what my peers would say! So definetly be glad that you did it at 12!

Muminabun Tue 14-Jan-20 20:16:18

Well done to you op and best of luck with your treatment. It sounds like money well spent. A lot of people are too scared to go to the dentist so hopefully they might follow your example.

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 14-Jan-20 20:18:12

in-out-in-out-in etc for the tepee brushes.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:22:05

Push the brush in and saw it back and forth for a bit.

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:24:55

Thanks for those tips.
I actually quite like using them.
I also swapped to an electric toothbrush recently and it is amazing. I wish I’d got one ages ago.
What a difference it makes.

captainprincess Tue 14-Jan-20 20:26:27

Yes! Electric toothbrush is the way forward, before I had one I didn't realise what the fuss was about, but they are awesome!

Pavlova31 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:33:35

I have an electric flosser that sprays mouthwash between your teeth and does a very good job of dislodging anything caught between them. My Dentist thinks they are a good idea too.

needanewnamechange Tue 14-Jan-20 20:33:49

I hate the dentist I haven't been for a few years maybe 8 years .
The last dentist was awful he kept saying I must have a lot of sugar which I don't. i don't have any sugar in drinks or eat sweets . I do eat a lot of fruit though but he made out I must eat loads of sweets. I must have weak teeth as I know someone who eats sweets all the time and a sugar in her coffee and has never had a filling . Anyway I had a tooth out and it was agony honestly I'd rather have a smear or give birth again . The noise of the drill and all the poking about in my mouth urgh . So I never went back again , Luckily I've had no problems but I know I need to go again . I'd be happy to pay if I was assured it wouldn't hurt and they wouldn't speak to me like a naughty school girl who eats too many sweets . I'd probably have to go private I doubt I'd get a nhs dentist.

Heatherjayne1972 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:35:06

Op. Ask the hygienist to show you about the tepes when you go. What sizes. And get them to demonstrate to you in the mirror so you know how to use them
Ask about how best to use an electric brush which one. Which heads how to brush
Ask lots of questions
You’ll be grand

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:40:10

@needanewnamechange
I totally understand you. I think some dentists can be a bit crap at their jobs. My original one back when I was younger was really odd. He was slightly creepy. And I didn’t warm to him.
Perhaps if I’d had a nice one it would have been a different story.

The one I saw today was really really nice. He p it me at ease and I trusted him.

I also agree it’s not a nice feeling having them poke around in your mouth. Parts hurt a bit but it was over quickly.
Do have a think about going back- but this time pick a new place.
They all have good websites now so you can read about each dentist and see their photos etc.

Lobsterquadrille2 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:41:15

Well done for going!! And even more well done for obviously having done a thorough cleaning job in the intervening years. I prefer flossing daily, but have used the brushes and still do sometimes - in out, in out as a PP said.

Is that root canal work? I've had that once, years ago - they will give you injections to numb the area so although it's not pleasant as such, thee is no pain. I was advised to take headphones and music (I didn't because I wanted to be extremely alert to what was going on).

As for the cost .... if you spread it over 18 years then it really doesn't seem that bad, and could have been an awful lot worse.

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:41:20

@Pavlova31
Ooh not heard of those before. Does it cause a big mess? Can imagine being sprayed in the face!

roiseandjim Tue 14-Jan-20 20:43:41

Well done! Poke the brushes in and out 10 times per tooth, it's time consuming but does wonders for your gums! What kind of specialist are you seeing for your root I've never heard of that?

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:44:13

@Lobsterquadrille2
That’s a good way to look at it. I’ll have saved loads by not going for so long!! wink
I can’t remember what the procedure was called so could be Root Canal. The man who is going to do it has a job title beginning with an ‘O’ I’m sure.
I’m useless. I had so much info to take in today.
I know it involves him drilling a tiny whole through my tooth up to the damaged root. Sounds horrible!

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 20:46:49

Sorry I said and ‘O’ i meant ‘E’ Becuase it’s ‘endodontics’ just looked it up.
Something to do with drilling up behind my tooth into the root to repair the root that has been damaged from an accident ages ago. Didn’t realise it had become damaged.

Lobsterquadrille2 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:55:33

@MiseryChops definitely sounds like root canal - have you had any pain? Basically they drill into the tooth, remove the infected pulp and then fill the root. It's an extended filling - that is how I understand it. It really isn't that bad, aside from the indignity and lack of control (that I feel anyway) as a result of lying in a chair with one's mouth wide open, unable to speak and yet salivating. Just lie back and think of your perfect teeth!

Josieannathe2nd Tue 14-Jan-20 21:00:05

I think it a root canal is decay. I had one and then needed a crown put on top a few months later. They seem to have done a good job and kept me pain free while they did it but it’s good to be prepared for lots of noise! And vibration.

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 21:01:05

@Lobsterquadrille2
Nope no pain ever. I had no idea there was an issue with the root until the dentist looked at the XRays.
But I once got bashed in the face which is where he says it came from. And it’s slowly died since it happened.

QuestionableMouse Tue 14-Jan-20 21:06:12

I need to go but I can't afford private and no NHS dentists taking on around here.

Lobsterquadrille2 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:06:38

@MiseryChops ah, the nerve must have died. Honestly, you'll be fine. The worst part must have been the anticipation after 18 years of not going. I'm slightly in awe of that!! I am so paranoid about my teeth (all psychological) that I go religiously every six months and, if I'm nervous about something, I have been known to make an emergency appointment....

And good luck with the braces too - it'll all be worth it. It might be worth putting your name down for the NHS waiting list, even if there's a wait, if you intend to have regular appointments in the future?

MiseryChops Tue 14-Jan-20 21:14:14

@Lobsterquadrille2
That sounds right- that the root has died.
Thank you for being in awe!! I am shocked at myself as it’s kind of ruled my life for so long and I’ve FINALLY been brave. It’s like ripping a plaster off!
I have actually put my name down for the NHS place so if I ever get the call hopefully I can swap and it will be cheaper.
I think it’s good to be like you and be a bit obsessed with dental care. I think I might become like that myself!

@QuestionableMouse
I originally googled the NHS helpline that you call and they tell you which dentists in your area are taking on.
I live in a city of about 20-25 dentist practices and only 2 were accepting patients but when I called both they said their waiting lists were up to 2 years long!!!
I can’t afford it either which really does suck but I’ve got a credit card with zero interest for one year.

stepitupjuan Tue 14-Jan-20 21:16:21

£300 to get rid of plaque? Crap. I'm going for first time in 8 years next week. Never had a filling but just neglected myself for a while. I know for sure my teeth are filthy though

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