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haven't been to the dentist for 8 years and terrified

(50 Posts)
aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 19:51:53

I had a bad experience with a dentist when I was much younger and that is when my phobia started. I suffered depression for most of my late teens and probably didn't look after my teeth as much as I should, I recovered from that and ever since then I've tried my hardest to look after my teeth. I have build up behind my teeth from smoking and staining from drinking too much coffee. I use the arm and hammer tooth paste but ever since my LO was born I have been building up the courage to go to the dentist, thinking I have been through child birth so I can go to the dentist. Now I know my teeth aren't like the horror pictures that you see of people's teeth but now I have started getting tooth ache in one of my bottom teeth and now I have a funny taste in my mouth. My fear is I may have an abscess or have gum disease from my lack of oral hygiene from when I was younger. I am going to try and book am emergency dentist appointment tomorrow but was just looking for some advice or personal experience

Also when you get child tax credits do you recieve free NHS dental treatment as if I have to have work done I don't know if I'm going to be able to afford it.

Onlyaphase Sun 16-Dec-12 19:57:09

No idea about the tax credits, but I'm so pleased for you that you are going to the dentist soon. Just think how light and happy you'll feel walking out of the dentist after your appointment.

I didn't go to the dentist for years - about 10 years - in my late teens and twenties, following painful treatment in my earlier teens. I only finally went as a bit of tooth broke off one day and I went to the dentist at work that afternoon. She was lovely and was really nice about my phobia, and missing 10 years of treatment. I don't think it is that uncommon TBH.

I had to have a couple of sessions having my teeth cleaned properly, as they couldn't do it all in one go. And then there was more treatment than the original broken tooth too, but all done painlessly.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:01:12

I understand that you can get dentists that are sympathetic, my last dentist wasn't sympathetic, I had a tooth break and had to have a filling but heads overly lectured me and was quite rough, that is my fear, the pain is dull but during work today I had one random sharp stabbing pain that lasted a few seconds, like someone stuck a needle down into my gum, this is why I fear the worst and hope I don't have to have teeth removed

ImNotCute Sun 16-Dec-12 20:05:29

I know some of the practices round here specifically advertise that they deal with patients who are anxious about dental treatment, so that should guarantee a dentist who is sympathetic. Perhaps you have similar near you?

I'm sure it will be fine, good luck.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:10:27

I hope so, I'm going to go the same place my partner goes to, he had gum disease and they were fantastic with him, they didn't lecture him because they knew he wanted to help himself and make his oral hygiene better, I just hope they are the same with me

Pozzled Sun 16-Dec-12 20:16:46

OP I k.ow exactly how you feel. My mum was phobic about dentists and stopped taking me as a child. I didn't find the courage to go again until I was late 20s and was terrified. The dentist I saw was not very sympathetic, but I did have a bit of treatment, then after another couple of years not going I found a really kind and sympathetic practice, through a recommendation from a friend. Again I was terrified the first time, but got a friend to come with me and it really was ok. Everyone at the practice, even down to the receptionist, was very friendly and non-judgemental. And I was very surprised to find out that my teeth weren't as bad as I expected.

I would definitely try to find a dentist that advertises themselves as being good with anxious patients, or try to get a personal recommendation. Also can you take someone along who is comfortable with dentists?

Hope it all goes well.

Pozzled Sun 16-Dec-12 20:18:07

X-post. Sounds like they will be good. Can your partner go with you?

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:21:25

My partner will be going with me as when he was having his gum disease treated I went with him for support even though I was terrified. The thing with me is I always think the worst, but my partner got told that if he didn't get the gum disease treated when he did, he would have lost his teeth, mine don't bleed but I've been told thy bleeding is a symptom of developed gd

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:22:21

It's just the bitter taste in my mouth that makes me think I have an infection in my gum or a tooth

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 16-Dec-12 20:34:00

Hi, I went to the dentist a few months ago after 16 years of not going due to my dental phobia. I found this website really helpful for summoning up the courage.

I took a long time researching different practices to find one that was good with nervous patients. Turns out that while my teeth are fine, I have really bad gum disease. This was a surprise as my gums have never ever bled. I had to have two teeth out as they had become too wobbly to save and have had two lots of cleaning done and am due some more.

The worst bit was going in for the first check up - I felt really tearful and pathetic but the dentist was really kind, put up with me dithering around for about 5 minutes before I'd even get in the chair and didn't lecture me at all. I pay privately so I can have IV sedation. I couldn't tolerate the cleaning without this. It is possible to get sedation on the NHS - you ask the dentist to refer you to a dental hospital but there will be a waiting list - if you're in pain now, it might be best just to throw some money at it if you can.

Good luck, your DP's practice sounds good.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:39:13

That was something I wanted to say, I also did some research as I don't know if I would be able to cope with local anasthetic and was wondering if you could go under. I just looked, it does look like I can get free NHS treatment with my tax exemption card that came with my child tax credits. Not sure what it covers but will talk to the dentist tomorrow.

If you do have to have teeth removed, do they replace them with dentures? I am not an overly confident person and if I have to have teeth removed, the gaps would destroy my confidence

StuffezLaBouche Sun 16-Dec-12 20:43:14

I feel your panic, I haven't been in 6 years due to an awful experience where my dentist said I would be fine having root canal with no injection. I really, really haven't got over that experience.

Luckily I haven't got any aches or pains, but I know the plaque on the back of my teeth needs cleaning away and I would like to get back to visiting the dentist regularly.

WRT the taste in your mouth, I would say that indicates some kind of infection/gum problem (NOT a dentist, obv, just IMO). Try that Corsodyl mouthwas stuff, it's very good.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:48:17

I have a bottle I will use that instead of my usual mouthwash. I have been gargling salt water as I know that helps but doesn't cure

amillionyears Sun 16-Dec-12 20:51:55

I would say that general dental work is a lot less painful than it was even 10 years ago.
I think they have new instruments that dont generally hurt as much.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:56:33

Yeah I guess so, I want to teach my little girl good oral health so this is a big step for me, she may only have seven teeth but I want her to look after hers so much

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 16-Dec-12 20:58:31

Yes, you'll be offered something to fill the gap if you have to have some out.

My gaps are all at the back on one side. If I had enough bone left they could fit implants but the gum disease has destroyed the bone and there's not enough left to put implants in so I am due to be fitted for a denture.

The NHS dentures have a big plasticky plate that sits on the roof of your mouth. I've been advised to go private and get a chrome denture because they feel far more like normal teeth. Apparently it's a big initial outlay - around £750, but if I need any teeth adding to it in the future it's much less. I'm still umming and ahhing because my gaps don't show or affect my speech so there doesn't seem a huge rush.

Stuffez, it was a similar incident that set off my dental phobia - some stupid wanker of a dentist told me I didn't need an injection for a wisdom tooth filling. I've never had any root canal work done but that sounds far worse sad

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 21:03:02

The tooth that's is causing my trouble is one of my front bottom teeth so it will be visible if it has to be removed

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 16-Dec-12 21:17:56

You might not have to have it taken out but if you do they might be able to do an implant.

Just make the appt and try not to think about all the possible outcomes until you've been seen. I don't know if this will help (or even make sense) but when I phoned for an appt I pretended to myself that I was phoning on behalf of somebody else, that way I only had to mentally cope with making the phone call, without thinking about the actual going to the dentist bit.

aimzbub22 Sun 16-Dec-12 21:23:54

The going to the dentist bit isn't the bit that scares me so much now, it's the treatment. I will post when I know what is going on. I feel better for knowing that I'm not alone. Thank you :-)

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 16-Dec-12 21:25:53

good luck! Come back and let us know how you get on smile

VikingLady Mon 17-Dec-12 14:05:52

Dh has severe dental phobia, and we registered him with a dentist so they could refer him onto a phobia specialist for the actual treatment - he needed an extraction, root canal work and a serious scale and polish (you couldn't see some of his teeth). If they refer you on, it counts as NHS work and you only pay a set amount regardless of the amount of work done. For DH it was less than £50 and we were not on any benefits.

If not, can you change to an NHS dentist? Are there any in your area? If you need work doing they will be much much cheaper!

list of NHS dentists here

Good luck and virtual hand holding. Well done for gritting your teeth (so to speak)and ding it anyway!

aimzbub22 Mon 17-Dec-12 14:42:33

There is one in my town, the rest are private. The one I'm registering to is in Epsom. Is it easy to get referred to a phobia specialist, I spoke to the receptionist at the NHS one in my town(they aren't taking patients on until feb 13) she says it sounds like either gd or an abscess so either I'm looking at major cleaning/root canal and the thought of that gets me so panicky and I rarely suffer from panic attacks but I felt like I had one coming on when the receptionist was telling me about the work

aimzbub22 Mon 17-Dec-12 17:37:16

The dentist I wanted to register to isn't taking patients until next year, going to have to phone the NHS emergency line then they will fit me in tomorrow at my local NHS dentist fingers crossed (also fingers crossed for a sympathetic dentist)

aimzbub22 Mon 17-Dec-12 17:56:41

Can you still be referred to a phobia specialist even with an emergency appointment this close to Christmas?

amillionyears Mon 17-Dec-12 18:34:43

I dont know. Am bumping for you.
Have you got time to make the arrangements before you see the NHS dentist. Or do you mean you will need one after hopefully tomorrows appointment?

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