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Help! Broken molars - anaesthetic resistance and fear of dentists.

(12 Posts)
moosemama Wed 13-Apr-16 16:06:25

Backstory is that when I was a teenager my parents took me to a dentist, who was later struck-off or whatever they call it. She insisted on filling all my lower molars, telling my parents it was because I had 'dimples' that would inevitably lead to cavities. hmm She then proceeded to remove so much tooth that I was left with mainly filling, with a thin shell of tooth around them.

I am now in my mid/late forties. In my twenties the corner of one my back left molar broke off. I had no pain and never have had, so didn't go to the dentist.

Then, about 7 years ago, the second to back molar on my right needed a root canal. I am terrified of dentists and resistant to local anaesthetic (family is just being investigated for Ehlers Danlos) but managed to get through it - just - with the help of a very nice dentist, (who actually said my teeth were in very good shape, especially for someone that actively avoids dentists blush).

I had the root canal done during my maternity exemption, they left it with a temporary filling on top and I was due to go back for a crown, but was ill and by the time I was able to go back my exemption had ended and I couldn't afford to have it done. The temporary filling only fell out last summer, although the filling in the main part of the tooth is intact, it was the top bit in place of the crown that fell out. Again, we were broke and it wasn't causing any problems so I didn't go to get it fixed.

Part of the filling from the top of the back right molar came away late last year, but there was so much amalgam there that there was no hole and I never developed any pain from it. Then, a few weeks ago the corner broke off that tooth, again, no pain or problems and I couldn't pluck up courage to go and get it looked at. Then, this morning the corner came off the other molar on my left - no pain or problems with it and it was only the top of the corner.

Sooo, essentially, all four of my back molars (excluding my wisdom teeth) are damaged, three with corners that have broken off from around the mega fillings and one that had a root canal done 7 years ago, but has no filling or crown on the top.

I know I need to go and get this lot looked at. Quite apart from anything else I have sharp edges on both sides and of course there's the potential food/drink may get past the exposed filling edges and cause decay and/or infection.

But ... beside the financial implications, I am simply too scared to go. The nice dentist has left and the other one at our local dentist is downright rude and intimidating (haven't seen her myself, but have been told about her by lots of people).

I'm worried they will tell me they can't do anything or that I will need all those teeth drilled out and either crowned or root canalled, then crowned and I don't think I can cope with going through all that. I think the teeth have been weakened so much that this is just going to keep happening until I end up in a lot of pain or with abcesses and infections.

Not even sure why I'm posting really. Partly to see if any dentists can advise me and also in the hope there are some other people who are scared of dentists but have managed to get past it and have dental work done.

Any support/advice would be appreciated.

2under2aagh Wed 13-Apr-16 16:21:39

If you want to avoid pain you go could to a dentist who uses the wand
Google it
It's very good
saw it used on a lot of old people on my placement at the dental Hospital

I'm afraid if you needed a root canal then you must not have very strong teeth but of course a dentist isn't going to tell you that lol

Use pro enamel toothpaste to protect the healthy teeth you have left and you could join dental plan and pay monthly for your treatment

moosemama Wed 13-Apr-16 16:36:52

I will google the wand, thank you for the suggestion.

The root canal was on one of the teeth that had been drilled to death by the dentist in my teens. She left all of my back four, lower teeth as just thin shells around huge fillings. I have no fillings and no problems at all with my upper teeth. I don't think my teeth are weak genetically, iyswim, they were just destroyed by a dodgy dentist. She did exactly the same to my elder sister and she has also been told she has excellent teeth for her age, other than the ones that were bodged by a bad dentist.

I already use pro enamel toothpaste, have done since it first came out.

We were in a dental plan through dh's work, but it hardly saved us anything on the cost of the work he had done.

The money isn't the problem really these days, it's more a morbid fear of dentists that's the issue. blush

moosemama Wed 13-Apr-16 16:54:44

Just looked up the wand. Don't think it will help. It's not a fear of injections, it's that I feel the whole procedure, because local anaesthetics don't work properly on me and that's what I'm scared of. So many dentists seem to be totally dismissive of this, even though it's apparently this is common in people that have EDS.

Pannacott Wed 13-Apr-16 22:49:28

In our area, there are specialist NHS dentists for 'nervous patients'. They are warm and calm and explain things clearly and simply, go slowly, only go ahead if you want to. Will meet with you to talk things through before arranging interventions. Your local PALS could be a good place to start?

Mrsmorton Wed 13-Apr-16 22:57:04

PALS deal with NHS hospitals, not dental practices.

Recommendation is a good way to go. It's also absolutely crucial that you go in good time (as you know) before you get toothache as then you really will have limited options.

It's impossible to say what needs
Doing without having a look. All sorts of teeth need root canal treatment, even some with tiny fillings. I wouldn't necessarily slate your childhood dentist too much, we still do this prevention now except we have better materials that don't require drilling to cover the "dimples". Again, impossible to say what was done and why and it doesn't matter now in any case.

IV sedation can be excellent for the anaesthetic resistant folk. The NHS sadly doesn't commission much of it but you can pay privately for it whilst the actual dental treatment is done under NHS terms.

So ask around, ask to be referred for sedation to get things sorted and then go about finding a plan for the future.

moosemama Thu 14-Apr-16 11:55:13

Thank you Panacott and Mrsmorton.

MrsM the dentist that filled those teeth had a terrible reputation and was later deemed unfit to practice. It isn't just my opinion that she was dreadful, lots of people locally had terrible problems with her at the time and everyone knows who you are talking about if you mention it, even without naming any names. I can understand filling the dimples to some extent, but she left such a thin shell of tooth around a massive filling, that this was inevitable.

I have googled and the community dental service, attached to our local hospital, will apparently take gp referrals for nervous patients and there are quite a few reviews online from people with severe dentist phobia who have had very good, pain-free, treatment there, so I'm hoping that might be an option. Both my ds' see the special needs dentist there, but I didn't realise it might be an option for me too. I have a gp appointment anyway on Monday, so will see what she thinks.

Another complicating factor is that I am currently under a cardiologist and just about to have an echocardiogram, partly due to abnormalities in my ecg and an irregular heartbeat and partly because my mum has just found out she has a dilated left atrium and ascending aorta, which is suspected to be due to mitral valve dysfunction, as a result of EDS.

None of us are diagnosed with EDS yet, but the referalls have been made for getting it properly assessed. My echo is in two weeks and if I they do find I have mv issues, then I'll need antibiotics before and after dental treatment. I also have autonomic dysfunction with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome which means I react badly to adrenaline and suffer from tachycardia. So, I'm wondering if those complications might be another reason to have it done in the hospital clinic? Will have to see what my gp thinks.

I am very worried that I am going to end up needing four crowns and there's no way I can afford that, even on the NHS. sad

Mrsmorton Thu 14-Apr-16 12:11:28

It's not often that a crown is needed There are usually options so don't worry about that. Your dentist will need to refer you, not your Dr.

moosemama Thu 14-Apr-16 14:05:59

Ah - ok thanks. I thought it would be the gp, as she referred my ds' to the sn dentist in the same clinic.

moosemama Thu 14-Apr-16 14:41:19

Right have just bitten the bullet and called the dental surgery. Seems the guy that did my rc hasn't left after all, so that's at least one bit of good news, as he got me through the rc relatively unscathed. I think the person who told me that must have confused him with a different dentist at the practice.

So I've booked an appointment. Only problem is, they can't see me until 9th May! Given none of the teeth are painful, is that ok?

The only slight problem I have is that food keeps going down between the two teeth where the corner came off yesterday and I've been jabbed in the gum a few times, which now means I have a sore gum there. Would it be worth, in the meantime, buying an emergency dental kit and trying to remould that corner a bit?

Thank you so much for replying to my thread. I am actually daft enough to be shaking now, just from having booked the appointment. Lord knows what I'll be like on the day of the appointment. blush

Mrsmorton Thu 14-Apr-16 15:40:19

There's no harm in trying to fix it, it might not work though- it depends on the shape of the hole.

Good luck smile

moosemama Thu 14-Apr-16 19:41:28

It's not a massive hole, just the top cusp towards the front. It's very jagged though, so I think I will give it a try.

Thank you. smile

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