Last year was pretty rough on my teeth. In June of 2013 I was diagnosed with cancer and went through two rounds of chemo. As you can imagine, the treatment really took a toll on my teeth. I survived cancer and am now cancer-free, but every time I look in the mirror I see a reminder of what I had to go through. My mouth looks pretty bad and I’m in some pain. I’d really like to get it fixed, but I’m a little scared of the pain I might have to endure. I feel silly—I battled cancer, but I’m fearful of going to the dentist! I’d love to know what some of my options are. I’d also love to see my true smile again.
Being fearful of the dentist is extremely common so there’s no need to feel silly. I’m in awe of your courage. And the fact that you are considering tackling your dental anxiety just proves how much courage you have.
First, it is very likely that the chemo contributed to your current dental issues. The chemicals from your treatment wreak havoc on tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to tooth decay. It’s also possible to get tightness in your jaws or mouth sores, some or all of which you may be experiencing.
So you would like to know your options. I think you should definitely seek out a dentist who specializes in either gentle dentistry or sedation dentistry. These types of dentists “cater to cowards,” which means treating patient anxiety and dental fear is a component of their practice. Therefore, they make it their job to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Some perks provided by these dentists can include listening to music with noise-canceling head phone, viewing movies, enjoying refreshments, or even being offer spa-like amenities such as aromatherapy, massages or paraffin hand-wax therapy. Once you’re relaxed, the dentist will be able to do a full work up on you to assess your current oral health. Then he or she can plan the proper course of treatment.
And later, if needed, a cosmetic dentist can help fix your smile, too. There are wonderful things dentist are doing with porcelain veneers that can completely transform an undesirable smile. You just have to do a little searching to find the right dentist for you and your needs.
Also, don’t worry—you’ll find that beautiful smile again!
This blog is sponsored by Buffalo dentist Warren M. Krutchick, DDS.