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To give up going to the dentist

(23 Posts)
Pansy0926 Tue 06-Feb-18 23:49:07

I just don’t know what to do....we have had very bad luck with dentists. I don’t want to get into details as it will be a very long post, but we are a family of three - myself, my husband and our three year old. OH has pretty bad teeth (discoloured, quite a few fillings), mine are pretty good, and our three year old has no problems at all. We have switched dentists five times now due to OH going to get minor problems sorted and bigger problems being caused by the dentist. Most recently, he went to have a filling replaced and now has to get a root canal because they did something wrong and he has been disorientated and in horrible pain for a week. Coincidentally, he had the same problem before and a different dentist did the same thing.

This has happened so many times now I’m beginning to wonder if we can trust NHS dentists - the only reason myself and my son aren’t affected is probably because we haven’t had to have anything serious done, apart from the next thing I will mention. here’s the thing, I have had one filling in my life, and that was because of my braces - the teeth where the screws were rotted on both sides of my mouth. Additionally, my braces actually made my teeth perfect, then they were left on an additional few months until they were wonky again, so tbh my teeth are in pretty much the same shapes as if I hadn’t bothered with braces.

To wrap this up, everything either of us has had done other than simple teeth cleaning has left us in worse shape, by a variety of dentists. We are on low income so can’t afford private dental care, and I don’t know if it would be better.

What do we do? Everyone we have asked has similar stories from their dentists. Are we better off avoiding the dentist unless necessary?

Pawpainting Wed 07-Feb-18 01:47:13

Are you sure the root canals are because of the dentist doing something wrong? I've been told before when getting a filling that it may need a root canal in the future as it's a large cavity but they will try the filling first. Why did he need the filling replaced? If it's because the existing filling cracked or chipped then chances are he would need a root canal. That wouldn't be the dentist's fault.

It sounds like your DH just has bad teeth for whatever reason. Obviously you cant avoid the dentist, especially for your DS! Just keep on top of cleanings and check ups to make sure that any problems are caught early and hopefully root canals etc can be avoided.

pallisers Wed 07-Feb-18 02:00:19

Tbh I think it is more that you don't understand how dentistry works and your Dentists aren't explaining it to you properly.

A root canal will often start with a filling. the dentist hopes the filling will be sufficient. I had one and the dentist warned me it might work or not. It didn't so a few months later I had root canal. That wasn't because of anything the dentist did with my filling.

For your decay/filling around your braces - this is also very common. Once you get braces you have to be really really careful about cleaning and flossing and what you eat because decay is likely around the screws etc. Our kids' orthodontist shows horrific pictures to scare them into excellent dental hygiene. Even then my middle one had her braces off early because we were worried about decay - she is not a diligent flosser/brusher.

And your teeth will absolutely migrate back to their original position unless you have a retainer. Back in the 70s they didn't seem to get this (which is why, despite having braces, I now have invisilign) but it is true.

Go to the dentist. It isn't just for your teeth. Heart health and other health issues are linked to good gum/teeth health too.

jemjemjem50 Wed 07-Feb-18 07:06:53

Re your brace

Your teeth will move back into their natural position unless there is some sort of retainer wire behind the teeth. This is what I have

Pansy0926 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:30:46

It just seems ridiculous the amount of problems caused to my husband by dentists. I guess it would help if they explained things better...

For myself, I just kind of shrugged and moved on, for my DS I would keep him going to the dentist regardless, but my husband is a different story as everytime he goes to the dentist over the ten years we have known each other he comes back with pain or infection. He even started getting TMJ after getting a tooth pulled.

He has had a swelled up face and missing work for a week now and they just put varnish over the filling and said come back in a week if it still hurts - I mean ffs he was disorientated and in immense pain and they didn’t even prescribe anything.

Pansy0926 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:33:21

Ugh I guess maybe my husband is just more prone to infection and mouth problems. It would fit into the general shape of his life. He is always catching things and he has all sorts of aches and pains despite being only in his twenties

JT05 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:43:27

I hate to say it, but find yourself a good private dentist. One that does a pre pay plan or Denplan.
I have always gone to the dentist, NHS in the ‘good old days’.
I have had some problems now due to the quality of work done in the past when I was younger.
I now have a wonderful private dentist ( it took a bit of trial and error to find her). She looks after my aging teeth and gums wonderfully and always explains the treatment carefully, with no pressure. Most of the work is covered by my monthly payment, around £13 a month.

Pansy0926 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:54:09

I am seriously considering a private dentist for my husband to be honest. £13 a month isn’t that bad, but we are on a very low income and money is tight so it will have to be carefully considered.

hungryhippo90 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:05:18

I’m sorry, I agree.
My DD has had a succession of not very good dentists. We have one who did fillings on DDs teeth not 2 months ago, we have had to book her in again after one of the fillings has broken/ moved from the tooth.
She has diligently brushed and flossed 2+ times per day, and she has also been low sugar since.

It’s horrible to feel like the dentists aren’t making things much better.
Tbh I avoid them like the plague... i will not go unless I need to. No fillings at the ripe old age of 27

ohfortuna Wed 07-Feb-18 10:10:18

£13 a month sounds very cheap JT!

I had braces as a teenager I wore them top and bottom teeth for about 2 years
I've never had a retainer
now in my 50s and my teeth are still perfectly straight
Have I just been very lucky?

hungryhippo90 Wed 07-Feb-18 11:06:04

Fortuna- very lucky.
I stopped using my retainer at 18 because I got a wisdom tooth come through. By 22 my teeth were moving forwards again.

I’m 27 now and considering Invisalign to get them straight again.

meredintofpandiculation Wed 07-Feb-18 11:34:00

£13 a month may just give you two examinations a year and a percentage off the private dental fees. So check exactly what you're getting before you go for this option - it may be more expensive than you think.

Does your OH see a hygienist? Proper cleaning really does make a difference to tooth and gum health.

Areyoufree Wed 07-Feb-18 11:41:36

Unfortunately the way that the NHS funds dental work makes it impossible for NHS dentists to give decent care. I went private after my NHS dentist assured me that the abscess on my gum was due to me not keeping my gums clean enough. I had an infected root, but she kept missing it. Although, all they would have done is pull the tooth - it's hard to get a root canal on the NHS now, because extractions are so much cheaper. Every time I have been to a private dentist, they can x-ray my teeth and see instantly which root canals were privately done - the NHS ones tend to be too short, which can give a higher risk of reinfection. Am not slating the dentists - it's the system that is at fault. If you can afford it, then private is the way to go, unfortunately.

TimesNewRoman Wed 07-Feb-18 11:45:52

YANBU. I'm always a bit suspicious of dentists and if they told me I need a filling or whatever treatment and I was in no pain - I wouldn't go back for it unless I started to feel it.
It amazes me people getting lots of work done, all these fillings, treatment and never been in any pain.

ohfortuna Wed 07-Feb-18 11:46:19

guess maybe my husband is just more prone to infection and mouth problems. It would fit into the general shape of his life. He is always catching things and he has all sorts of aches and pains despite being only in his twenties
I think this might also be a factor
Ie that oral and dental health is a reflection of a person's overall general health.
Very scrupulous oral hygiene may help so that's using electric toothbrush thoroughly after every meal also using a waterpik, flossing
additionally no sweet drinks no snacks
That's a pretty tall order I realise

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 07-Feb-18 11:52:39

I second getting a good private dentist. They will usually treat children for free so you'd be paying for 2 adults but getting your kids done for free. You have to pay a monthly fee and also pay for all treatment (you will get a discount on this though).

My plan includes 2 dentist and 2 hygienist appointments per year so £13 a month covers this alone and then the other work on top is paid for.

The thing with good dental care is to keep it up and have your regular check-ups because these nip biggger problems in the bud.

I honestly don't think that your husbands dental problems were caused by 5 separate dentists - he was probably just unlucky enough to be born that way.

Gingersstuff Wed 07-Feb-18 11:52:52

You need to come and live in Scotland if you think NHS dentists aren't able to give decent care hmm
I know of maybe one or two people that have had bad experiences. The vast majority have excellent care from our dentists. I'm coming to the end of two years' treatment with root canal, extraction and braces, my daughter has just started her braces treatment and I cannot fault any one of the professionals involved.
Maybe you're just unlucky? Your husband certainly sounds like he needs to be looking closely at his lifestyle if he has has bad teeth and general health in his twenties.

Pansy0926 Wed 07-Feb-18 14:06:50

Ginger stuff, I am in Scotland actually. Maybe it’s just our area? A lot of people we know have similar complaints

JT05 Wed 07-Feb-18 14:37:31

Yes the £13 covers two check ups and two visits to the hygienist. But this care does stop other problems, in the long run and any other treatment, displayed on a price list, is reduced by about 20%.

LIZS Wed 07-Feb-18 14:43:34

Decay behind brace brackets is a risk which should have been explained at the outset. Agree that root canal is often not the first stage of treatment. We have Denplan which is assessed on the current condition of your teeth and the premium set accordingly . However it has increased fairly rapidly in recent years.

ohfortuna Wed 07-Feb-18 15:57:34

I wonder about Denplan...
suspect it's not ultimately going to be any cheaper than pay as you go private dentistry?
Instead it's just a way of spreading the cost out evenly?

Confusedbeetle Wed 07-Feb-18 16:14:45

This is a very sad post, I feel you have not understood much of why your husband has had all these problems. Root canal work is necessary when some infection has gone down the root because it could be entirely cleared with normal filling. Why do you feel you and your child have to go to the same dentist? You two go to one and let him go to another. Your child needs dental care. I doubt if private dentists will tell you any different. Root canal treatment is very difficult and has a high failure rate, There are experts who will do it privately about £500! and there is no guarantee it will work. The only definitive cure is to take the tooth out. This is not a choice a dentist makes casually despite earlier posts. Chronic infection will keep coming back, cause pain and make him ill. It is not the fault of the dentist. Let him sort out his own dental health and you go somewhere else.

rainbowunicorn Wed 07-Feb-18 16:39:43

There are some very strange views about dental health on this thread. To the posters saying that they do not go unless in pain, they don't trust when a dentist tells them work needs to be done because they don't have pain. You do realise that by the time you feel pain, what could have been a very simple filling that takes a few minutes (and is sometimes even possible without having to numb the mouth) may well have become a root canal or extraction involving prolonged treatment and risk of infection?
That is like saying I won't bother with a smear test / bowel screening etc because I don't have any symptoms. It seems a bit shortsighted.
I get that it costs money to go to the dentist but surely prevention is better that waiting until you need more expensive complicated work done.

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