Something to consider:
Cats can suffer from tooth resorption, or FORL (Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions). It can affect any adult cat, not just seniors. This is VERY painful. Essential the tooth starts to be broken down and reabsorbed. It usually starts out looking like a small hole or cavity, and by the end, looks like a bump of gum tissue.
At a certain point there is no treatment. The resorption just has to run its course. In which case, the veterinarian may choose to use painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs to help your kitty feel a bit more comfortable. Before this point, the only treatment is extraction (removal).
Diagnosis can usually be made on visual inspection. Whether the teeth should be pulled can only be determined with dental x-rays.
Not saying that your cat has this, but it's definitely something to consider. In the mean time you can soften her kibble up with a little bit of warm water, however moist/wet food should not be left out for more than approx. 30 minutes, as it makes for an amazing bacteria breeding ground.
As for your kitty going crazy, you can try any of the pheromone products on the market (An example is a product called Feliway). These work to calm anxious kitties using natural responses. Definitely transport your cat in a kennel, not a soft one.... they suck butt. Hard kennels with a removable top work the best, and often your vet will have some kicking around. You can try calling and see if they would be willing to lend you one
Everyone that has responded thus far is correct, the veterinary staff are experienced in dealing with the most unruly of animals, but it's always better for the animal if you can make the trip/experience as stress free as possible.
I attached a feline dental chart for you (Its not the best one I've ever seen, sorry about that). This way you can take a look at your kitties teeth and have a better idea if what your seeing is a space where a tooth should be