My teeth are in really bad shape, but I am too scared to visit the dentist.
7th July 2011

Hi Jennifer I am writing to you in the hope that you can help me. I am a 27 year old female from the Midands. You are the first Dentist I have come across both online and in person that seems approachable and friendly. The way my teeth look at the moment is seriously effecting my confidence. I cant bear to talk to people outside in the daylight because they will notice how awful my teeth look. The main problem is my bottom teeth - my gum and bone have deteriorated really badly over the last two years. The front 3 teeth have risen up and are now so tall in my mouth they hit the roof of my mouth when I eat. They are also incredibly loose which means I haven't actually bitten into food for several years for fear of losing them. I have to cut everything up into tiny portions so I don't use my front teeth. As well as being much higher than the other bottom teeth, they are also dramatically different in colour and whatever I do - I cant seem to make them look any cleaner. Slowly but surely their appearance has eaten away any confidence I had and I am now struggling to socialise - keep my relationship going and keep my job. It is hard to convey in an email just how badly this is effecting my life. I have attempted to resolve the problem but I was just so terrified and the 3 different dentists that I saw were very rude to me and one even said ' you take care of the rest of yourself by the looks of things - why have you not taken care of your teeth'? One Dentist referred me to the BIrmingham dental hospital and the first appointment was fine but then I knew she was going to inject me and touch my front teeth at the next appointment and I just could not make myself go in. I am sorry for the long babbling email - I just need to know if you can give me any advice on a few things? I need to see a dentist for a deep clean but I am really scared of anyone touching my teeth. Do yo know of any in Warwickshire that may offer sedation? I also desperately want to have the front 3 bottom teeth in my mouth removed. I would like to have a bridge but if this isn't possible - implants. The problem I have is finance - I have no savings. Is there anything the NHS would do for me? I just feel totally down about the whole thing at the moment and see no end in sight. If I can find a way of getting these unsightly teeth out of my mouth and replaced with normal ones - it would literally change my life. Sorry again for the length of this email! I hope to hear from you soon Many thanks

A. Hello You sound really depressed about your teeth , but the good thing is that you are actively seeking help . There are one or two things that stand out from your post . 1. You are frightened of the injection needed to have the deep clean . There are some sedative medications that could help you , such as diazepam or Oral Temazepam , and you could ask about that . Im sure that there are dentists in warwickshire that offer sedation , to help you find one go to www.dentalfearcentral.org and join in . There are recommendations there by region , someone who is dental phobia certified on this site may be available . Your Primary Care Trust may know where there are sedation clinics on the NHS . Its highly unlikely to impossible that implant treatment will be available on the NHS . When you have your teeth removed usually a temporary denture is placed at the same time the teeth are taken out . when the gums have healed and shrunk another option may be feasible . Some dentists find dealing with dental phobics difficult and may explain the negativity you encountered . However there are empathetic non judgemental dentists around and I hope you are able to find one Jenny

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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