TEN cavities? You have GOT to be kidding!

So I got to the dentist for a cleaning. Admittedly, it’s been 18 months since my last one. (Hey, I had a kid and moved across the country!)

She looks in: “You’ve never had a cavity before?”

“Nope.” (feeling smug)

“How would you feel if you did?”

Uh-oh! Ten, count’em, TEN cavities! So she wants to fill them all and seal them afterwards. My dental allocation for the year is blown away and I have to pay $900 out of pocket. Yikes!

Not to mention that I sprung $400 for teeth whitening. (I smoke and drink gallons of iced tea, sue me.)

On top of all this, I have had braces (twice), head gear, retainers (4), a frenectomy (where they cut that piece of skin that connects your upper lip to your gum), and wisdom teeth removal.

Make me feel better, tell me your tales of oral woe. (Is that leaving me open for jokes or what?)

I dont trust them.

They SAY you have 10 cavities…but do you really?
Do they hurt?

Why fill them if they dont hurt?
“well if you dont fill them, they will get worse”
So fucking what??
So they get worse…and then…you …FILL…them!

Sue, I wouldnt take this at face value: if you went in without any cash, poor, or whatever - how many ‘cavities’ would they find then?

Just a thought.

My tales of woe: I had braces (my front teeth were overlapping a wee bit) it was fixed, and then he filed them all off to make them level…he took off too much enamel off the bottom, and the teeth are wearing away from the inside. I figure ten more years and the front will break off the back. Now the two front ones are moving apart, and I have a wee gap.

Um… why does one get a frenectomy?

And- I would get a second opinion. Ten cavities in 18 months after a lifetime of none is odd.

</start tale of woe>

The dentist is NOT your friend. Remember that. :wink:

My tale of woe is that I went to the dentist about 3 years ago with a feeble, tiny cavity, to which the dentist decided to completely take out the inner contents of my tooth. 6 injections in the gum later, tooth completely hollow, he says “That’ll be all for today”…

I never went back and my tooth is still a shadow of it’s former self. I’m scared of the dentist and I’m not going to go get it filled in until it starts hurting like a bad motherfucker.

</end tale of woe>

I’ve never had a cavity. I’ve never had a problem with my wisdom teeth.

The only close call I had was when my unit was mobilizing for Desert Shield. Going through the dental processing, we were “examined” by dental techs. Some doofus looked in your mouth and then told you to step in line “A” or line “B.” Everyone in line “A” got teeth yanked. Everyone in line “B” did not.

I was in line “B.” I’ll never believe this exercise was anything more than random designation.

It sounds like you went through the first step of a root canal, but did not get the gutta percha and the permanent filling in place? For God’s sake, have that done! Your tooth is so fragile without that, it could break off right at the gumline. Or, the temporary filling could come out, letting crap go directly down into your jaw through the hole.

And the second step of the root canal is not that bad - they take out the temp filling, file a bit, and fill. Since the nerve is already gone, the pain is only a small fraction of the first time.

You may even still need a crown with a root canal - please do this if you do need it! A broken-off tooth will just lead to much more pain and trouble.

And hey, I’ve been there with the dental fear. My suggestion - find a good woman dentist. Shop around through the 1-800-dentist people, or get referrals from friends, whatever. Stress you want a female dentist for chickens (scared people, not livestock). Believe me, there are nice, good ones out there, and my current dentist is one of them.

Tales of woe, hmmm… let’s see…

Minor cavity in a baby tooth, since lost (obviously)

Uh… checkups every six months since, flouride bath every year… braces suggested for slight overbite/crossbite… teeth perfectly straight, aligned, and white… wisdom teeth fit perfectly, no surgery needed… slight gum recession from having slightly softer than normal gums, though not really noticable… hmmm

Sorry, looks like can’t help! :smiley:


Well, I had braces, retainers, no head-gear, but did have my wisdom teeth all out. My mom had great dental insurance, so I got put into the local hospital, knocked out and had them cut out (impacted pretty badly). I was sick for about 2 weeks afterwards, as I am apparently sensitive to the anesthesia. I have had several fillings in my life. The worst part to me is the shots.

Kelli, generally the dentist will show you the x-rays that reveal the cavities in your teeth. Yes, they will get worse and yes, they will start to hurt. That means that you’re getting really close to root canal time since the pain is coming from the tooth pulp. The cost difference on a simple cavity filling at the dentist and a root canal (plus filling) at an oral surgeon is huge.

Broken Doll, as was said, if your tooth is a hollow shell, it stands a good chance of breaking off, or at least chipping down and rotting further. I did the same thing, and eventually the tooth had to get removed altogether. Now, instead of finishing the stupid root canal, I have to pay for a bridge which means that two of my other teeth have to get filed down to fit the bridge on there. I guess my other choice is to just have a hole in my mouth for the rest of my days, but I’m trying to avoid that.

I guess my point is that when you have minor dental problems, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money by fixing them ASAP and not waiting until your tooth cracks in a restaurant one evening and you’re calling dentists at 9:30pm trying to get an appointment for the next day.

For the record, I have a few major dental issues that need to be addressed, but I’m waiting another month or so on it for the age old reason that I can use up my year 2000 dental coverage in November-December and then in January, use up my 2001 coverage. At least that way, I get all my problems fixed at one time (well, in several sessions).

I had some problems with my teeth when I was younger. I had to have one tooth crowned, which always made food taste like metal. I had to have my baby eye teeth pulled out, because they had been hooked when my adult teeth came in. So the dentist broke and pulled one out with very little problem, but the other one just wouldn’t come. Also, it hurt like hell. So he gave me more novacane, and more, and more. Then, I passed out from the novacane. I don’t know if he stuck it in the wrong place, or what, but it wasn’t from the pain or anything. He had to turn the chair upside down (he adjusted the chair until I was upside down) so the blood would rush back to my head. Never went back to that dentist before.
I’ve never had braces, and my wisdom teeth don’t need to come out. Yes, I’ve got a big mouth. :smiley:

I may be the only person on earth who loved getting her root canals (I’ve had two). It was heaven when the nerves of those two teeth were finally dead and I didn’t have to go through some painful procedure on them every year.

I have teeth that rot easily for no apparent reason. Of my twelve remaining molars (four were removed, including my wisdom teeth, because they didn’t fit into my mouth), four are crowned (two of them after the aforementioned root canals), six have onlays (the intermediate step between a filling and a crown), one has a regular filling, and one has a small cavity that we’re “watching.”

Fortunately, I love my dentist. I even have a small crush on him (kind of an S&M thing, if you will). He makes sure that I’m not in pain, he listens to me when I tell him things, and he pays attention to the little nonverbal signals (like clenching every muscle in my body) that indicate I might be in distress.

What’s a frenectomy like, by the way? My dentist tells me my older daughter should have one because that piece of skin is attached too low on the gum and it’s forcing her front teeth apart.

Okay, now everyone is scaring the bejeesus outta me.
Maybe I should go see the dentist, seeing as my tooth has already started breaking bits off. It’s like a bad nightmare. Eep!
I’ll make that appointment ASAP.

What a coincidence, I just had a cavity filled today. Two in fact. My tooth had been bugging me all weekend so I went in and had some x-rays done, and sure enough there was some decay on one of me teeth. I would suggest you get them filled ASAP. They may not hurt now, but take my word for it, they can start to hurt real bad, real fast. Also it is relatively painless to get a small cavity filled, compared to a full blown root canal. As Jophiel said, they will show you the x-rays and any areas of decay will be fairly obvious.

Now for something completely different…

My tale of woe.

It primarily concerns the removal of my wisdom teeth. What had happened was that my two top molars had grown in normally, but the bottom two had actually grown in sideways and had wedged against two other molars. They (the bottom ones) couldn’t simply be pulled out like the top ones were, and instead I had to go through one of the worst experiences of my life. First it took about four needles to freeze me, including one which hit a major nerve in my cheek. This caused a pain similar to about a thousand needles all entering my eyeball. After I was froze, the dentist then had to take a saw and saw half way through my tooth. After this little bit of joy was over, he then took a small metal pry bar and inserted it into the cut that he had made. He then proceeded to yank back and forth with intense pressure until my tooth eventually fractured into several small pieces, which he then began to pick out of my jaw. It felt like he was trying to remove my entire jaw, not just a tooth. Then he proceeded to do the exact same thing on the other side of my face. It was so bad that when he went to work on the upper molars, I never even felt them leave my mouth.

Is it any wonder that I pretty much view dentists with an almost pathological fear?

Oh, I think I pretty much have everybody beat as far as teeth problems go.

It all started when I fell off my bike in the second grade. Heavily chipped my four front teeth. At one time, in grade school mind you, I had four different dentists who took care of various problems surrounding these broken teeth.

Finally, I had four root canals when I was about 10. Problems didn’t end there. The stupid dentist who did my root canals screwed up one of them and the new temporary teeth I got were shotty and very poor quality. I learned to smile without showing my teeth.

Finally, when I was about 18, I got “permanent” crowns. One kept falling out, they were all extremely ill fitted and I had a constant sharp pain in my gums. I figured this was normal, by the way, and didn’t complain.

Turns out my previous dentists were a bunch of idiots. Once I moved to San Francisco, and went to a real dentist, I learned of all the crappy work they did.

Remember how one of my dentists messed up one of my root canals? He left a piece of nerve inside my tooth which became infected, which caused an abcess in the bone on my top gums. That’s where all the pain was coming from and I had to have pretty major surgery to correct it.

The original $5000 “permanent” crowns were totally ill fitted - I couldn’t even bite into a banana. But crowns are really expensive, and until I got this job, I couldn’t afford to get new ones.

Luckily, once I moved to NY I found an INCREDIBLE dentist who gave me awesome, beautiful, perfect crowns (she even had me bring my saxophone mouthpiece in to “custom fit” it to my new teeth. They are really unnaturally perfect, but I feel I deserve them after HELL.

I go to the dentist every three months and faithfully brush, floss and mouthwash three times a day. You have to take care of your teeth because you only get one chance! Get those cavities fixed before it’s too late!

Do you mean to say you weren’t getting the tea into your system fast enough so you decided to start smoking it? Damn. That’s hardcore.

As for making you feel better . . . Well, at least you have a dentist. I haven’t seen one of those scary buggers for about four years now. You’re doing much better than I, no matter what verdict is returned by your dentist.

My teeth are strong, white and happy. With the exception, that is, of my wisdom teeth. The damn things have got to come out. That’s why I don’t like the idea of seeing a dentist. I have problems with the idea of paying someone to rip pieces of my body out through my mouth. Sure, that’s irrational, but that’s just the kinda guy I am.

Have I got the dentist for you. Great guy. Really!

I had to have a horifically infected tooth pulled. Took 5 shots and nitrous oxide. I was numb from the head down. They even had to use what looked like a little circular saw to get the tooth to break apart to pull out. Cut it in two, then pulled each part. And I didn’t feel a thing, espically 5 shots and nitrous. :smiley:

recently, I had to have another one worked on. This doctor was a great guy. Only took 3 shots this time.

If you find a good one, they are worth every penny.

Gather round, children, and I will tell you a tale…

Una (myself) was born without enamel on most of her baby teeth. She also genetically speaking was fucked, because both Mom’s and “Dad’s” side of the family have very poor teeth. So her first experiences with the dentist were getting all the enamel-less teeth capped, and fillings in baby teeth!

Then the permanent teeth came in, and thing’s weren’t so bad. They were a little crooked, and there were a couple cavities, but no big deal.

Then, at 15, she went for a ride with a guy on the first day he drove the car to school on a learner’s permit. He tried to show off by spinning the car around a corner, lost control and panicked by stomping on the gas, not the brake, and plowed head on into a telephone pole.

Una went through the windshield and woke up outside the car. Her jaw was shattered, and she lost 3 teeth.

Over the time since, due mainly to incredible jaw pain (that has NEVER ended after 17 years, thank you) her tooth care habits…declined. Also, the jaw damage caused her teeth in front to be badly misaligned. The oral surgeon who set the jaw and worked on repairing the damage was a sadist, and this all led to her being afraid to go to the dentist.

But there comes a time when you hate your body so much you feel like honestly killing yourself because of how you look, or you start deliberately hurting yourself - these happened on numerous occasions. And then you realize one day, in an epithnay, that you can fix these things with money. So having money, she steeled herself to start a long process of dental repair. Finding a nice dentist, she tells the dentist that she wants “movie-star teeth. Britney Spears teeth.” and says she doesn’t care what it takes. So the process started last month.

What is required:

Root planing and scaling.
6 root canals
6 crowns
6 extractions —> hey, 666?
2 bridges
13 fillings
3 wisdom teeth removed (1 never showed up)
Oral surgery to remove bone fragments
Porcelain veneers, top and bottom.

Kinda bad looking (as am I). But you know, I do believe Aenea has had far worse than this to go through - perhaps she will post her tale.

Damn. I stand corrected, Anthracite, mine wasn’t nearly as bad as that!! Glad to see you’re all fixed up and gorgeous.

Did any of you or do any you experience the fear of water fountains? Whenever I take a drink from one, I’m TERRIFIED that someone will bump into me or a ball will fly into me and I’ll knock my teeth on the metal faucet part.

Nope, I said I just started the process last month. Thus far, I’ve had parts 1 and 2 of the scaling and planing, 1 root canal, and 1 extraction. I will probably have everything but the veneers, bridges, and a couple crowns this year, and get the rest done in January.

Tomorrow I have another root canal, next week 4 fillings and another extraction. In a month, the 3 wisdom teeth go, and I have 6 fillings, possibly 2 crowns. And the beat goes on.

And I will never be anything more than “presentable”, definitely never good looking. I have other things on the schedule this year and next too - plastic surgery to remove scars, contacts (next week), liposuction, permanent hair removal (don’t ask where), and a few other things as well.

At least I won’t be so hideous I have to talk myself out of suicide every day, like currently. It does take so much time from enjoying breakfast…

I am so glad you are continuing at the dentist! You deserve to be able to smile beautifully and without pain.

As many have heard, I completely sympathize with any one who has major tooth pain and fears the evil of dentistry.

Dentists - Ahhh I know them well. I think I am a professional dental patient by now, and not by choice. Like Una, I am from a family with poor teeth. Aside from childhood cavities (and there were many) I broke my front teeth in first grade on the playground. We were playing Ring-Around-The-Rosy, and I went face first into the pavement. Thus my first experience with the oral surgeon. What fun, what fun.

After my adult teeth grew in, I got caps on my front teeth (yes, ill-fitting and painfull) and all 4 wisdom teeth pulled in one shot. 43 cavities and 4 root canals later, I was in real need of major dental work, yet could not afford it. So the years went on…

I lost 2 more teeth due to abcess. Did you know that an abcess can kill you if not treated? Yes it can. If the infection spreads into say a major arterie, it can head right to your heart and well, that is not good. I came close I was told. More adventures at the oral surgeon.

I finally got that great job with the dental insurance (ha ha) and by then my teeth hurt so bad that I had not been able to eat much for months. I was starving. It hurt so bad at times that it seriously felt better to pound my head against the floor rather than just let it hurt.

Yet I was terrified of dentists by now, all they do is hurt you and take your money. So I went on a major search for a decent doctor with a reasonable diagnoses. I knew I needed major work, but some of the diagnoses I got were a joke. Root canal ALL of my teeth ($650-800 a piece for 26 teeth?) and then cap them (another $600 a piece), planing and scaling, periodontal surgery…Christ, they ran the gamut of diagnoses. It was like taking a car to a bunch of different mechanics. :frowning:

During this I had planing and scaling on 3 quadrents, and one periodontal surgery.

I finally found a fellow that teaches up at Chapel Hill and has a practise also. This guy is great! He did not just look at them, he tested each tooth with several tests (ouch!) and then diagnosed them. Verdict- 10 root canals (not 26) and all caps, 2 bridges, realign the bite to stop the excess jaw movement. It’s also called a full maleofacial reconstruction. At least they did not have to break my jaw!

Bless the IPU, I can eat now, and have stopped taking pain meds.

He found me a great dentist who could handle the work, and here I am. Dental ins is a joke, so I have taken a HUGE loan out to pay for all of this.

I’ve had 9 root canals, and will finish another next week. Barring any more deterioration, that will be all. :eek: The worst day was 3 at once, other than that it has gone pretty well.

15 caps installed so far. Yay! I can eat! And like Una, I felt that as long as I was paying for this I want movie star teeth. They look great so far, and for the first time I can remember I can smile at people, with a full smile, not hiding my teeth. :smiley:
Go to the dentist people, take care of your teeth. Also, you have the right to decent care - look for a dentist that will listen to you and care about you. If you can close your eyes and see your dentist in leather, they are probably not the right person for you.

If you ever want encouragement or are nervous about procedures just say something. Between Anthracite and myself and a few others here on the board, just about everything a dentist can do to you has been done to us. We sympathize, really.