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I think my teeth are beyond help...

(28 Posts)
SheShellsSeaSells Sat 04-Feb-17 22:29:04

I'll start by saying that I'm TERRIFIED of the dentist! I last went when I was in my teens when I had a brace! I suffer with anxiety too... my bottom front teeth have very receding gums and tonight, whilst eating a chewy chocolate bar-a piece of the tooth nearest the gum, has come away. It's on the inside of my mouth, thank god, do not yet visible to the outside world! I'm devastated. 4 of my back teeth have all pretty much crumbled away too. This got worse and worse with every one of my 3 pregnancies. Nobody knows about this shameful secret I have. Not even my husband! I'm so ashamed. I can't afford to go to a dentist, and god knows how much all the work I'd need will cost?! I'm in the U.K.

I'm only 36 and to look at me, you wouldn't suspect a thing. How can I sort this?! I'm so scared. This is one of my many fears!!

WishITookLifeSeriously Sat 04-Feb-17 22:32:22

You could be me! I have no advice, only support but I would love to know if there is a solution

iamapixiebutnotaniceone Sat 04-Feb-17 22:37:20

I could have written this myself, add in OCD which presents as an intense phobia of teeth brushing/anything teeth related and that's me! (I feel incredibly anxious just reading your post and writing this reply!)
If you can find an NHS dentist the cost won't be horrific, make the appointment and then speak to your GP about something as a one off to calm you. Don't leave it, it'll be so much worse if you do. I wish I could take my own advice! flowers

vichill Sat 04-Feb-17 22:40:00

yep, 2 pregnancies in 2 yrs and extended breastfeeding have fucked my teeth up too. I so wish I had ritually taken vit D and calcium. I think there should be more advice given around this as part of ante and pre natal care.

Montezumasrevenge Sat 04-Feb-17 22:40:52

Let's see? Might not be as bad as you think.

I've been to the dentist no more than twice for a scale and polish in 20 years and don't look like Worsel Gummidge yet. If you were in great pain you'd go. As you're not it might be fine.... if you can't see it no one else surely will.

DrCoconut Sat 04-Feb-17 22:44:34

Is there any way you can be seen at or referred to a dental hospital? I have periodontal disease and was sent to the Charles Clifford in Sheffield. I also hate going to the dentist but it was nowhere near as bad as I'd thought and free because it's a teaching hospital.

elephantoverthehill Sat 04-Feb-17 22:44:40

Dentists have changed so much over the last 20 years, they are so different to when I was a child. Ring up, talk about your worries and go for an appointment, if you don't feel comfortable you can leave. As for the money side you can always ask about it upfront.

MrsEricBana Sat 04-Feb-17 22:46:51

There are lots of dentists around now that specialise in dental phobias. Could you see if there is one in your area then go for a chat?

Tequilamockinbird Sat 04-Feb-17 22:52:35

Look for a dentist who specializes in phobias. I actually pay to visit a private dentist because he's brilliant and the only person I trust.

Before I found him, my teeth were awful. I had cavities in nearly all of my teeth, including visible ones at the front. I seriously looked like one of those Jeremy Kyle contestants blush.

I managed to get the work done under sedation and now go every 6 months for a check up. Although I still take oral sedation even for a check up.

A good dentist who knows about phobias and how to treat them, is what you need.

Good luck.

everdene Sat 04-Feb-17 22:55:23

OP, three years ago I was you. I used to get the sweats when I drove past roadworks as the drilling reminded me of dentists.

I cried when I made a dental appointment after not having been since I was 14. I sobbed during the hygienist appointment - so hard that I couldn't keep my mouth open. I had to take the day off work so I could go home and sleep as I was so upset and exhausted afterwards.

In the end I just told the dentist I was petrified and hadn't been for years. It honestly, honestly was not as bad - or as expensive - as I thought. I think I had two fillings and then the hygienist.

A couple of years down the line and I have had numerous bits of work done - every time it's got better and I don't worry at all now (currently have braces so I see an orthodontist every other month).

Please, just go. You don't have to get anything done you don't want. Take a couple of painkillers beforehand and an iPod and just tell the dentist how you feel.

Studyinghell Sat 04-Feb-17 22:56:51

My dentist prescribed me diazepam, works great

SheShellsSeaSells Sat 04-Feb-17 23:03:55

Thanks for all your replies! Especially the ones who are in a similar situation. I'm terrified my husband will be disgusted by me and leave and that my mum will be disappointed in me(she's suffered terribly with her teeth) and that my children will be embarrassed by me too...
what a mess I'm in!

FortunaMajor Sat 04-Feb-17 23:17:07

I felt like this. My last dentist was a nasty bully and I couldn't face going. I haven't been for years. I was forced to a few months ago due to a dental emergency with a top front tooth and coudn't go out in public for shame. I went to a new surgery as I have recently moved and the lady I saw is THE nicest person. I burst out crying when I first walked in. I now go in once a month so she can work little by little. I had one bottom tooth near the front that was black and half rotten away. She has removed the black part and rebuilt it with white composite.

As for the cost, I am an NHS patient. I was charged £19.20 for the first emergency appointment in which she temporarily fixed the problem. Then I went in as a proper patient for her to do an assessment. I need a crown on the front tooth that I went in over, so I have been charged band 3, otherwise it would have been band 2. This includes everything that needs doing and it is a really long list, involving 8 appointments.

There are three NHS charge bands:

Band 1: £19.70 covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further treatment.
Band 2: £53.90 covers all treatment covered by Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions).
Band 3: £233.70 covers all treatment covered by Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.

Please see www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1781.aspx?CategoryID=74 for more info.

Some dentists will let you pay in instalments.

Please see if you can find an NHS dentist and be brave enough to go. I didn't think I could be and thought I was beyond help or that they would be mean or rude abut the state of my teeth. My mouth is not perfect, but it's a miracle in comparison to what it was. I've felt too ashamed to smile in photos for years, now I feel like I can.

MrsNuckyThompson Sat 04-Feb-17 23:30:03

You need to ask around for recommendations for a local kind and caring dentist AND hygienist. I found an amazing hygienist who is really helping me get my teeth back on track. She never scolds and is so lovely that I genuinely try to do everything she tells me so that she praises me next time.

I don't think it is ever too late to turn around bad habits. Your gums have the ability to heal and you might be able to salvage a lot.

SheShellsSeaSells Sat 04-Feb-17 23:31:11

Fortuna, I could cry tears of relief at your reply. Thank you. I'm going to look one up and make an appointment xx

empirerecordsrocked Sat 04-Feb-17 23:33:38

It can be bloody hard to find an NHS dentist though, there are none where I live.

If you think you need work and it sounds like it might be worth looking into denplan or similar if you live somewhere without access to nhs dentists.

gandalf456 Sat 04-Feb-17 23:37:09

It might just need a small filling. Gum recession is common. I have it (without periodontal disease, mind) and I just have to use Sensodyne . I have an NHS dentist and they don't rip you off

tobecontinued2000 Sat 04-Feb-17 23:40:06

I used to be terrified of the dentist.

Could you ask a dentist to refer you to a sedation clinic?

TeethDrama Sat 04-Feb-17 23:40:23

Whilst you work on your dental phobia and finding the right dentist, you can do quite a lot for yourself by keeping your teeth clean in the meantime. You can probably improve the health of your gums at least by brushing properly twice a day and rinsing with mouthwash. I hope you find the courage to go to the dentist. They are there to help you, not frighten you. Good luck x

TeethDrama Sat 04-Feb-17 23:41:57

Empire - my dentist will only sign off for Denplan once the teeth have been stabilised.

FortunaMajor Sat 04-Feb-17 23:42:32

SheShellsSeaSells that makes me so happy. I really hope you manage to get it all sorted out.

empirerecordsrocked Sat 04-Feb-17 23:49:41

Teeth - I can sign up to denplan at any point through work benefit with no dentist sign off.

SheShellsSeaSells Sat 04-Feb-17 23:53:39

I'm lucky to live in an area with quite a few de trusts. Just had a google and there's a couple of NHS ones that have spaces. Will contact them on Monday

Thegiantofillinois Sat 04-Feb-17 23:59:14

And don't be ashamed. My dentist says gum issues are the luck of the draw. I go every 3 months cos mine are awful (stress makes gum issues worse and my job is v stressful about 3/4 of the yeAr), for scraping and look after them well (these days; early 20s,not so much).

He has one patient with perfect teeth, whose dental regime is to.......eat apples. hmm

languagelearner Sun 05-Feb-17 08:57:04

Seashell, your husband has probably figured it out already so you probably quite safely can rule out the "leave me because of bad teeth". In any case he's going to go with you to the dentist, for hand-holding. He's probably figured it all out: "Hmmm... let me see, when was the last time Seashell had a series of appointments with the dentist? Hmm..." (there's usually more than one - first they only check things up, then they do the filling.) You're mum will be disappointed, of course, but that's the way some mums are... you don't have to tell her either. From now on you could book an appointment to check things up every six months or so, then it will never feel so uncomfortable or unfamiliar and things don't deteriorate all that much in such a short time span. My dentist taught a trick and that is to squeeze the skin hard between the thumb and index finger on the left hand (if you're righthanded, and vice versa). That way you sort of concentrate on that and it takes focus off what's going on elsewhere. It's a sort of "acupressure"...

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