Teeth are making me severely depressed (long story)


sad

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I have a bad history with the dentist. My parents never taught me how to brush my teeth as a little kid and they refused to take me to the dentist unless I needed a tooth pulled, which happened twice- the first time was a severely infected baby molar and the second was an adult molar (#3) that chipped when I was only 11 years old (they didn't do anything about it until I was 17 or 18- and elected to have it pulled instead of RC'd).

During my teens I got a mouth full of amalgam and some composite fillings. I was really clueless during this time, these were my first times to the dentist besides when I had my infected child tooth pulled. I implicitly trusted whatever the dentist did, or rather obliviously. Then one day, one dentist had to drill a hole in the side of molar number 19 to put in a filling. Well, he didn't. He drilled the hole and either put no filling, or the filling fell out.

I went home and brushed my teeth and got the worst kind of pain. I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see this perfectly smooth, drilled hole in the molar. We immediately called the dentist and he denied everything, but told me to come back in the next day.

I did, and he refilled the tooth, free of charge (but still denied everything).

Eventually, bit by bit, the filling fell out again. I didn't realize this as food or spit would impact the tooth and make the side of the tooth smooth most of the time. It sounds silly, but it was easy to miss as my tongue rarely went there and it looked the same in the mirror. Basically, long story short is that the filling fell out completely and decay got under the tooth.

I finally went back to the dentist recently, a dental clinic. I'm in my 20s now, but currently unemployed and getting some help from my family. The dentist said I needed 5 of my fillings redone, 2 new fillings (one very tiny) and that horrible hole filled.

She filled the whole about a half a day ago with amalgam. I asked her if composite would be better and she insisted amalgam lasts longer and that it was going to be a bigger filling.

Halfway through the drilling, she told me it was very deep and that it was very close to the pulp, and that she was going to fill it but that I'd eventually need a root canal. I've read tons of horror stories about root canals, that basically the tooth is eventually lost. I'm afraid this is going to happen to most of my teeth, as I have some large fillings on other molars.

I have severe anxiety around this issue. I have OCD and anxiety issues which cause bouts of depression, and when the dentist told me this halfway through the drilling, it triggered the anxiety in the worst way.

When I got home I wanted to kill myself (again). I don't mean that figuratively, I was thinking of how I was going to go about killing myself. The last time I went through this was in September and it last about 10-12 days. I lose my appetite and can barely move my body. My body literally hurts from the tension. My vision is hazy. I barely have any money and even if I get a job and save up, the best a dentist can do is eventually kill all of my teeth and then eventually those will fail and I'll need dentures (since a mouth full of implants would be tens of thousands of dollars).

It just feels so hopeless. I was reading about laser treatment for healing pulp and pulp caps and how they can be done instead of root canals. So far I don't need a root canal and I have no major infections, and the only thing that calms my anxiety is the hope that I can eventually do procedures to rebuild dentin and hold on to my living teeth for an extra 10-15 years or more. I'm not even 30 and I'm picturing extreme pain and fake teeth in my near future.

I've been brushing and flossing and using fluoride for the past 4 years. I've been taking better care of my teeth. I wish I did when I was younger. But it feels like it's too late.
 
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I am sorry you are sad. I would approach the situation with the most logic you can, in a slow manner. When you are anxious, thoughts are fast and irrational.

I think your first priority should be comfort. You want to keep your mouth comfortable. Second, you want to be healthy. You are brushing and flossing, but you can also add rinsing with listerine to your routine.

For your dental work, if you can borrow money from family, then maybe get one problem taken care of every month, or every 3 months, whatever you can do. If you do all you can do for your health now, then you will have the best results you can get.

The best results may or may not be what you want, but you do not know what will happen for sure in the future, so just keep going one month at a time.

I was missing most of my adult teeth, and was lucky enough to have my parents get me dental work for the top of my mouth when I was a teen. I was never able to get my bottom teeth fixed, and it has always been mostly gaps, (4 adult teeth in the very back, and a few small ones in front, which are all gone now but one).

So you are not alone in having dental problems. So do not feel bad!
 
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sad

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thanks meow. I'm trying to take it one step at a time. It's tough because my entire family is in debt one way or the other. I don't have any rich relatives. Any money I've earned recently has been to help my immediate family out with food and stuff.

The worst part of it all is the uncertainty. Uncertain if my dentist is making the right decisions (or any dentist, since some seem to be scam artists and some are legit). Uncertain if I will wake up in throbbing pain in a tooth and not have money for a root canal. Uncertain if most of my molars will need to be pulled by this time next year. I guess that's life- uncertainty. But unlike cancer or a car crash or something more serious and out of my control, rarely anyone has sympathy for people with teeth trouble. They scold them, laugh at them, and generally don't care even though they have to live in pain, discomfort, misery and shame and struggle just to keep teeth to chew with. It just makes me feel even more isolated and my OCD truly makes everything worse.

I'm not trying to say losing teeth is anywhere near as serious as those things, by the way. It's just more serious than people think, since most people don't have to deal with it.
 
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