Dear Dr Bohara,
I write to you with serious concern and constant anxiety over my dental health.
Having suffered severe depression in my teens I failed to take care of my oral health and pretty much lived off fizzy drinks which has damaged my teeth pretty badly, to the extent where ever since I seem to be spending most of my time at the dentist trying to “make the best of what is left”.
I have now had two bad dentist experiences which, in combination of not so much a fear of the dentist but of my actual teeth (I cannot view them in the mirror for example, even while brushing, it’s too deeply rooted in shame for me), has left me disillusioned and resigned to my path heading towards dentures.
Last year I had a big filling come out while I was abroad, upon arriving back in the UK I was intending on going to the dentist to sort it out come what may, but on my first night back I was having a meal and bit into some white bread, which in turn caused the whole tooth to crack. I immediately booked myself to see the dentist, this was a tooth I had had root canal on so I wasn’t in pain. This dentist proceeded to drill out a substantial part of my tooth while “repairing” this tooth. Within 15 minutes of leaving the filling itself cracked from me putting normal pressure on it so I went back. He repaired the filling again and said it was fine. A couple of hours later I went to lunch and the tooth cracked again, this time a chunk of tooth came out. This dentist took one look at it and said it was fine and should last anyway, but from feeling around the tooth there is only one giant lump of filling and no actual tooth left, so this has left me fearful of eating on that side at all.
My problem is that he also quickly repaired another tooth while he was at it, one of my last not completely demolished teeth on the other side, which had a small cavity growing in it. The filling he has put there, next to an abscess after the removal of a tooth previously, seems to me suspiciously large for the size of cavity, infact since this bad experience I have become convinced it is of a poor quality as he appears to have removed about a third of my tooth on a slant and built up the filling just on one side of the tooth making me dread that if I bite into it this filling will come off in an avalanche effect and just slide off the tooth.
This has left me in a position where I am afraid to eat anything that requires chewing. I have literally been living off soups and yoghurts for months ever since, which obviously can’t be good for my health in itself but after trying to see another dentist and have this one suggest I remove most of one of my better teeth in order to support a bridge I have lost faith in your profession.
I guess my question is: If you have severely damaged teeth, is it possible to repair them to such an extent you are able to chew steak and boiled sweets again or is it soup forever for me?