Author Topic: Visit to the dentist  (Read 1299 times)

ditchdwellers

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Visit to the dentist
« on: 18 Mar 2021 09:12AM »
I'm going to start this by saying it takes a lot for me to drag myself to the dentist. Over the years I have had some really traumatic experiences at the hands of brutal dentists who just wouldn't listen to me, and failed to understand the complexities of my health conditions and how they affect my oral health. 

Since moving, I decided it was finally time to seek out a dentist as I have been having toothache for over a year and haven't seen a dentist in the last 8 years. When I made my first appointment a couple of months ago, I was very surprised by the calm and professional manner my new dentist approached me. He actually listened! He had read up about my medical complications prior to the appointment and actually asked me how they would affect my treatment  :f_smiley:
I was amazed! 
Turns out I needed two extractions. 

So, yesterday I had the first of the extractions. We worked out a signal that I could use to let him know if I experienced any pain and it was over and done with very quickly. 
I'm so relieved I finally had it dealt with and I'm so pleased to have found someone I can trust. 

From now on, I will regularly have my check ups here. Ace dentist  :thumbsup:

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #1 on: 18 Mar 2021 03:54PM »
Well done in going to the dentist to get a check up and then again to get work done  :big_hugs:

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #2 on: 20 Mar 2021 04:38PM »
I'm really pleased you've found a good dentist.  It's not easy.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #3 on: 21 Mar 2021 12:24PM »
Thank you both. I must admit it's a huge relief to have faced my fears. 
Thankfully, dentists today don't seem to be intent in causing you pain or carrying out unnecessary treatment like they used to.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #4 on: 21 Mar 2021 09:44PM »
I think sometimes it's pot-luck.  I had one dentist a few years back who said I needed a root canal and inlay.  I wasn't convinced an inlay would be best and said I wanted a crown but he was adamant that an inlay was what was needed.  He wanted £400 to do it.

I was wary and got a second opinion from an NHS dentist who X-rayed it and said it didn't show on the X-ray, but in her opinion, it was cracked and should be extracted.

I did my research.  Problem.  An NHS dentist would make a loss on a root canal and inlay or crown based on NHS fee scales at that time, but a private dentist would make more profit on a root canal and inlay than on an extraction.  However, about £400 was indeed the going rate for a root canal plus inlay.  I decided to take a gamble.

The private dentist did the root canal and put a temporary filling in.  Then when I phoned to arrange for the inlay he wanted another £350.  I'd been cheated but coughed up.  I hadn't had the quote in writing, so there was nothing I could do.

Frustratingly, not long after that, the tooth fell apart.  Either it had been cracked before, or he'd cracked it doing the work on it.

My current dentist is very technically competent and doesn't rip me off, but his paperwork or computer equivalent leaves a lot to be desired.  I have had two hospital referrals from him where the  hospital has denied having had a referral.  Based on certain enquiries I made, I'm afraid I believe the hospital.  But I trust him with my teeth.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #5 on: 22 Mar 2021 06:19AM »
Well done on going DD and so good that you've built up trust in your dentist. 

I have quite a severe phobia of dentists plus am scared of men so my only visits to the dentist in my adult life have been for wisdom tooth infections. One impacted wisdom tooth had 4 infections before I agreed to have it removed. Because of my dental phobia it was removed under general anaesthesia in hospital and they totally catered for my fear of men by making sure everyone I saw while awake was female. Now I have another wisdom tooth that's impacted and has grown into my cheek. It's been infected twice now and because I have adrenal insufficiency it has to be removed in hospital and because of my phobia I have requested a general anaesthetic again so although it would normally have been removed by now, all the day surgery anaesthetists have been seconded to the Covid wards so no oral surgery is happening yet so I am unsure how long I will be waiting. It's constantly painful so I can't wait for it to be removed. Unless I have future problems with infections and pain with any other teeth I have no intention of returning to the dentist ever again!

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #6 on: 22 Mar 2021 12:23PM »
That is horrible for you.

I think it's difficult for hospitals to cater for a range of fears, as we each have different ones, and it's beautiful when they do.  It must be warming for them as well as for patients when they're able to help.  Just to put that in perspective, I feel, generally, unsafe in single-sex wards.  Hospitals can't always deal with these contradictions but it always warms my heart when they try.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #7 on: 22 Mar 2021 06:28PM »
Quote
We worked out a signal that I could use to let him know if I experienced any pain
What an excellent idea and it must have given you more confidence - to echo the other comments here, I add my 'well done you' for biting the bullet (forgive the tooth-related reference there!)


Fiz, these delays caused by sodding Covid are a nightmare - you shouldn't have to bear that level of pain.  Oh, may we return to some sort of normal sooner rather than later....

Sunny, you were wise to seek a second opinion; like in every profession there are rogues out to just line their wallets.  I've never understood why teeth -and eyes, for that matter - are considered so differently than other parts of the body, ie costing money to examine and treat (where's the 'grr' sign when I need it)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #8 on: 22 Mar 2021 07:01PM »
The trouble with the second opinion on the dodgy dentist was that I got ripped off anyway.  I suppose the lesson to be learnt is to get it in writing, and also to move on elsewhere promptly if the service isn't up to scratch.

I'd say that in general where I've had problems with professionals and tradesmen, it's where I haven't made sure that I've got a very specific quote and specification in writing.  You'd think I'd have learnt by now, but I still get caught out by it sometimes.

Still, we learn from one another.  For me, with these things, I am struggling horribly with a sense that I always get bad service or ripped off by professionals and tradesmen, but when others tell me their experiences, I remind myself, amongst other things, that it doesn't always happen; that it happens to others as well as me, therefore it's not some deep failing on my part; and that there are techniques one can use to reduce the risk.

And when others like Fizz say they've asked for, and got, an adjustment for a need, it encourages me.  It was an Oucher who told me about NHS England's Accessible Information Standards (i.e. "I'm deaf/Deaf/HoH - make adjustments, or else!")  They don't always work, but they help, and merely being told about them and being prompted to refer to them has given me more courage to be assertive over communication with  health professionals.

So I want to give Fizz very big hugs for two different things - reinforcing the message that it's worth asking for adjustments, and also to offer my little bit of comfort when she's in pain.

:big_hugs: :big_hugs: :big_hugs:
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #9 on: 04 Apr 2021 04:57PM »
About six months ago I rang my dentist to ask about getting small fillings repaired and was told that they were triaging and since I was not in pain they would ring me back when they were able to give me an appointment. I am so lucky not to have an infection from the now bigger holes and knowing my luck would run out I rang the dentist and asked for a private appointment and got one in the same week  :f_yikes: this was both a shock and brilliant. Not having weeks of anticipation meant I did not get so worked up about having to lie still on my back. The dentist and I got on okay but he could not make the dental repairs there and then so I have an appointment for about a month away. It sounded like the dentist has to wear more gear erm visor or something but I am unsure. Could anyone give me a better idea of what the Covid measures are during treatment. Also about adjustments, my dentist has been good about the times I have missed appointments and did asked if I needed help to get down the narrow corridor to the toilet. 

Oh and it turned out not to be a private appointment but a NHS one and the dentist did not know why I had not been called back. I did leave wondering how I got such a prompt appontment. Maybe people dont know dentists are open open now.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #10 on: 04 Apr 2021 07:11PM »
I'm so pleased for you that you managed to get a quick appointment. 
My dentist wears a visor type thing with a sort of ventilator attached to it that keeps the visor clear and extracts air. 
It wasn't noisy and I could clearly hear what my dentist was saying.

I'm going back for my second extraction next month and I feel ok about it, which surprises me after previous experience with other dentists. 

I hope this helps Sunshine.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #11 on: 04 Apr 2021 10:08PM »
I've found some official sources of info, one for dentists, one for patients

General Dental Council advice for dentists, including links to official guidance on protective equipment - links to rather detailed advice/info, but you could select anything you thought would tell you what you want, e.g. what they're being told they should wear and what they should or shouldn't be doing.

https://www.gdc-uk.org/information-standards-guidance/covid-19/covid-19-latest-information/covid-19-latest-guidance-for-england

British Dental Association advice for patients, which includes a bit of info on what dentists are doing differently

https://bda.org/advice/coronavirus/pages/patients.aspx
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #12 on: 05 Apr 2021 04:50PM »
Thank you both your replies helped me feel better settled. 

DD I hope you next appointment goes well and you continue to feel better about going to the dentist. I do still miss the dentist I had for about 15 years up north and do sometimes feel jealous that my sister still lives in the town he works in so remains on his list of patients. He was always kind and never scolded me, he also saved teeth that other dentists would have taken out. The dentist I have now is okay I just dont feel confident that he will save teeth that can be saved. I really with Phillips electrical toothbrushes had been available when I was young. I still remember when my sister was home from college and saw me brushing my teeth holding the brush in places and moving my head back and forth. She thought it was really funny laughed out loud and even pointed saying negative things. Feck I just triggered myself.

Sunny I checked out some of the links you posted to and as I said they helped, I also found the information about the psychological welfare of healthcare workers including dentists. Fifty y ears ago there would have been little thought and les action in place to help staff cope. I am glad our world has changed so much.

Fiz

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #13 on: 06 Apr 2021 12:25PM »
I've phoned the hospital where they do dental day surgery a few times now to try and see where I am on the waiting list for my wisdom tooth removal. The hospital is run by a subcontracted company paid by the NHS. All I get is an answerphone and despite leaving my name, number and NHS number no one has called me back. I tend to make each call when my jaw is particularly painful! I keep telling myself that it's probably just as well I am waiting as my adrenal insufficiency needs to be more stable! I really hate the dentist with a passion. The problem is that pain burns cortisol which I am deficient in so it's making me ill, the wait. 

You all sound like you cope pretty well with the dentist. Talking of shame Sunshine, I used to hate those horrible pink tablets the dentists have that showed you where you'd missed in your brushing! They call the cones that domestic pets wear after surgery "the cone of shame" due to the sorrowful looks the pets have wearing them and to me those pink tablets were the tablets of shame! Hated them.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Visit to the dentist
« Reply #14 on: 11 Apr 2021 02:10PM »
This is the first dentist I have ever felt comfortable with Fiz, and I haven't seen one prior to this one for about 10 years. My sister has to be sedated for all her dental treatment because she was so traumatised as a child. Apparently, dental phobia amongst people our age is not uncommon as dentists and treatment used to be brutal when we were kids. So you are not alone in fearing the dentist. 

I remember the pink tablets of shame! We were given them in school before the visit from the dreadful school dentist. I wonder if they still have those? That used to be a humiliating experience.