Our Community Cares: Dental issues 29

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Starts at 60 member Karen wrote in to us recently asking for some community advice….

I am a product of the 60’s dental system. As a child I had anything from 5-10 fillings done with amalgam every 6 months in primary school. This was extremely traumatic (not many painkillers around then), and the needles were huge and really hurt, over the years I have avoided dentists and have difficulty walking into one. As a result (50 years down the track) I know that I have major work to be done and am considering false teeth. Would love some advice from readers as to what they have experienced and done about this problem. I think I would gain more confidence also if this problem was addressed.

Can you help Karen? What did you do in regards to your dental health over the course of your life? Tell us below.

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  1. Karen I sympathise with you one thousand percent I am the same I tremble with dentists too firstly I found a dentist who does not use needles but a laser believe me no pain whatsoever even when I had fillings I told them how terrified I was and the dentists these days are nothing the ones we had years ago good luck Karen be brave and even just go and visit the dentist first to see how you manage

  2. I’m hearing you girl!! I hate, despise, loath the dentist & I have to admit I haven’t been for a while myself. I feel nauseous the moment I step near a dentist let alone walk into one.

  3. hi Karen, I, like you had dental work done at an early age, the work I had to have was in the 50s and I know that things with dental care didn’t change very much during the 50s and 60s, so I am aware of how you feel about getting work done on your teeth. My advice, don’t put it off, the worst part for you will be to sit in that chair, only now you don’t have that dirty great drill starring you in the face, nor the spitting bowl, which I called “the VOMIT dish” very conveniently placed so that, when needed, you wouldn’t miss it!
    All I can say to you now, “you will reap the rewards by being able to eat what you like, with out the worry of the agony of eating”, good luck, keep us posted.

  4. It is important you look after your dental health. I went a few years keeping clear of dentists but now go every six months. Dental care has improved so much .

  5. When I go to the dentist I have to take Antibiotics one hour prior as I have a heart problem called aortic stenosis before this I was terrified of dentists but I have laughing gas it didn’t put you to sleep just a wee nosle over your nose and you can’t feel any thing they adjust it to your pain reaction don’t get false teeth it’s called nitros oxidised not spelled properly sorry let me know how you get on the dental hospital in Sydney put me off going to the dentist they drilled my tounge and did other things they were all students some of my friends use laughing ga s now they do it in some medical procedures as we’ll good luck

    2 REPLY
    • I went to the Dental hospital in Sydney as a kid and it wasn’t the best ( but I suspect mum n dad couldn’t afford anything else). I now go as necessary but I have a needle for anything more than a check up. Things have improved in the last 50 years but it was not good back in the day. I still get a bad feeling when I see thst building a Central Station (assuming it is still there…..haven’t been there for about 10 years!!)

  6. I personally have no problem with going to the dentist as these days the pain relief is brilliant. I will hold on to my teeth as long as I can as I can’t stand even a partial plate in my mouth,it fits well and doesn’t hurt but I hate the feel of it. Get friends to recommend a dentist and go regularly .

  7. I share your fear. I tried a few dentists until I settled on one who accepted my fear and worked with me to help overcome it. He told me what was needed to be done but told me what was most important to start with and what we could do deal with later. This took about 7-8 years to do. Several years later my teeth are in good shape and I don’t have a breakdown at the thought of going for my six monthly checkup.

  8. After being traumatized by dentists when young I found a wonderful dentist but she has now left the practice. I am in fear of seeing someone I don’t know but as I know I have a dental problem I have to go next week..wish me luck!! Twenty years ago a dentist told me I needed to have at least $10,000 worth of work done on my teeth..to date I have only needed to spend $600 so I live in hope that I can hold onto my teeth for at least another 10 years with minimal cost. Hopefully I will be able to trust the dentist I am seeing next week!!

  9. Know the feeling. At the age of 6 I had my first filling and remember it well. My mother didn’t come in with me (coward) and it hurt so much. Put me right off – my mother still sent me every 6 months and it seemed like I’d only just finish a 6 month visit and I’d be there again – I had that many fillings. Having said that dental work is no longer as painful as it used to be.

  10. I too felt as you do for the same reasons butI i now go every 6 months and no longer have any fear. Dentists today are wonderful and painful needles no longer a problem. It really is essential for older folks to have good dental health …. I also have my teeth cleaned every 6 months.

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