First, hello and greetings to everyone.
I've been pretty naughty with my teeth but I'm sure I'm not the only person who hasn't behaved. I went through my whole childhood and teen years and even my 20's without taking care of my teeth like I should have. But I never had any pain, never broke anything, and I never needed any fillings or any such thing.
Now (I'm 34 now), a few years ago all my teeth decided to rebel...they broke, cracked, fell apart, dissolved, started fights with each other, and I think two of them are going through a divorce. But really, they just started to crumble. I can look in my mouth (I hate looking), and see that there is not a single tooth left that is whole. Some are broken at the gum line (actually quite a few). It looks like that 'meth mouth' business. Except I've never touched anything like that.
So, after a few years of multiple infections, and many many sleepless nights with -that- pain. (I'm sure most of you know what I mean.). I decided this can't stay this way. Unfortunately I have such severe anxiety and panic that I'm actually on disability for it. It is quite difficult for me to leave the house, but I can usually grit my teeth (tee hee) and fight my way somewhere if I have to.
So I cheerfully called around to many many places and finally found one dentist in my small town who said he'd take a look without actually charging me. Keep in mind I have little money and no insurance...I wish I lived in a place that had the NHS, despite the few bad things I've heard about it. But anyway, this dentist is a very nice man, and he sat me down in his office and reassured me he would just look. So I showed him, and he rushes out of the room to bring his oral surgeon friend that has an office across the hall, who also peers in there. They're both quiet for a bit then they ask if I do drugs. Very nicely, though. I told them no, I take anxiety meds and blood pressure meds, which is probably from my anxiety in the first place, but anyway...they ask me what kind of money I can come up with and I tell them I have about $2000 on hand and just Medicare really. Of course, here in the U.S. Medicare doesn't cover any dental at all.
So the nice oral surgeon gets on the phone right there in the office and calls the University of Iowa Dental College (hello from Iowa, everyone!). It's about a 3 hour drive from here to the University, but that's not important at the moment. So after some help from this oral surgeon, who said, by the way, that he would love to help me but he just can't, because of the costs, the Dental College made me the following agreement.
I will go September 20th for X-rays and impressions. (I didn't know what an impression meant at the time but I went with it.). They are not going to charge me because the surgeon insisted that I need help fast. I'm pretty happy about this. Then he called the local Human Services department which agreed to sign me up for some state program in which I don't have to pay for extractions. At this point I'm starting to figure out what's going on....
So in a month, I go get X-rays and impressions and a week later they will send me to the actual University Hospital to extract everything. The oral surgeon wants me to have it done at the actual hospital because some of it looks 'extremely difficult' and he would rather I had real hospital staff nearby. At this point I can feel my anxiety waking up and sniffing the air.
I finally asked him what all this meant and he says, well, you need it all taken out and you need dentures or implants. He's looking at me all sad-faced, as though this news will crush me. Heck no! I am gleeful. I haven't been able to chew properly in a long long time, and I can't stand the infections and the antibiotic regimens, and the throbbing toothaches, not to mention the pain from something breaking. I know I'm a bit young to have this sort of thing done but to be able to actually open my mouth when I talk to someone sounds wonderful. Oh my God, ice cream! Maybe even a date!
So everything is all set, and all parties have agreed to do everything. I even have the money ready to flat out pay for my dentures. I just have to wait. This was on Monday that this all happened.
Then today...my muscles are so tight I can barely move. My anxiety is trying to break world speed records for how fast it can kick me in the rear, and all I can think about is the three hour trip down there, and the trip home, and the second trip there and so on, not to mention the actual surgery, as I've never had surgery in my life. On top of that I've been worrying excessively about how painful it must be after you wake up with having multiple broken teeth practically cut out of your gums, and what happens if the dentures fit badly? It's a long trip to get them adjusted.
Now I'm nearly terrified, and I have to wait another month just to see what happens next. Not to mention I need to find someone willing to give me rides that far, as I won't be in any condition to drive, even to the initial appointment (my panic is that bad).
Agh! Sorry, I just had to vent. Hopefully this will all end well. If you read this, I appreciate it.