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11 cavities at 20 years old -- what do I do?

A

anxietydisorder123

Junior member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Raleigh, NC
The last time I went to the dentist was in 2018. I haven't gone back in so long due to general anxiety as I have an anxiety disorder -- they told me I needed to get my wisdom teeth taken out but I put it off for years.

Anyways, I noticed how bad my wisdom teeth have gotten (they are completely horizontal) and are a trap for bacteria. I also have depression so I haven't taken the best care of my teeth... I don't floss and I usually only brush once per day, twice on a really good day. So I know I'm bound to have a few cavities (I've never had fillings or cavities before).

I went to the dentist today... The dentist assistant was extremely nice, friendly, and put me at ease. When examining me she noted that I likely had mild gingivitis and also a few cavities. Okay, I thought, probably 4 or 5 cavities, no big deal.

The dentist came in at the end of her exam and the X-rays. He was kind of awkward and didn't seem to make small talk with me, put me at ease, barely looked at me. That's ok I guess, he's probably busy. He looks in my mouth and immediately counts out 11 cavities. I'm shocked. That's A LOT. I also want to emphasize that I haven't felt any aches or pains in any of my teeth, even my wisdom teeth that have grown in sideways. Sometimes my teeth are a little sensitive but that's it.

The treatment plan was printed out. $77 USD to treat the gingivitis, which is fine, okay.... but then boom. ~$800 total to do all of my fillings. I'm stunned. And I haven't even gotten the cost estimate for my wisdom teeth yet, which will probably be ~2k+ as I'm getting general anesthesia (not covered by my insurance).

I'm freaking out, I only have about $3.5k to my name. My boyfriend has amazingly offered to cover my portion of our rent while I financially recover and my parents have offered to help with some wisdom teeth costs. But I am so concerned about these cavities.

Apparently some of these cavities were in the system from 2018 but I don't remember the dentist (different office) telling me about them at all. So I've probably had some decaying for years. I can also see one deeper cavity in one of my bottom teeth. What I'm concerned about is all the stories online of dentists either lying about cavities to get money, or filling VERY SMALL cavities that could be stagnated and aren't even an issue. What do I do?

I panicked and scheduled half of the fillings 2 weeks from now (on July 15th). They also said they would call me in the afternoon to schedule a cleaning within this week. Should I tell my dental assistant or dentist about my concerns after the cleaning? I want them to explain my cavities to me and I want to ask if they're sure all of them are deep enough to be concerning. I want to avoid filling any small inconsequential ones. I don't know if it'll be offensive to ask for my X-ray photos and recommendations for other dentists for a second opinion. How do I ask these things without my dentist getting angry with me? Or should I just ask the dental assistant? Also, since I used my free exam I'm scared that a second opinion will put me out another $60-$120 just for them to tell me the same thing. And I'm concerned I won't fit into another dentists' schedule in time before my appointment.

I want to note that I am not low-income (I'm on my parent's insurance) so I don't qualify for any financial aid.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,020
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Anxietydisorder 123,

:welcome: to DFC! Glad you are hear and shared your story and concerns. You are in a great place with alot of people who understand and support you. It took alot of courage to g
o to the dentist as well as write this post!!

I'm glad the dental assistant was nice and put you to ease. sorry to hear the dentist did not quite follow in the same way. You sure gave him grace. Didn't seem he had too much of a good bedside manner. Then you got the shock of the 11 and the plan and what to do.. It really can be all overwhelming to process and figure out.

I would definately see if you could talk to that assistant again and tell her your concerns? or maybe an office manager? I would definately start with little things with that dentist to see if you feel comfortable enough to do more. As it would make me a little nervous he didn't talk to you much. Do you think he would be patient if you needed a break ? or listen to your concerns? Sounds like you are trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.. Just know you are worth the most kind and compassionate care. especially starting out again, it makes all the difference.

you are strong and brave and I really wish you all the best with this.. I hope they will help you figure out things financially.. That is hard.. I've had that struggle myself.

:grouphug:
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,740
Hi there and welcome ?,

What I'm concerned about is all the stories online of dentists either lying about cavities to get money, or filling VERY SMALL cavities that could be stagnated and aren't even an issue. What do I do?

If you're in any doubt, it would be a good idea to get a second opinion.

The dentist came in at the end of her exam and the X-rays. He was kind of awkward and didn't seem to make small talk with me, put me at ease, barely looked at me. That's ok I guess, he's probably busy.

I think you deserve better! My advice would be to vote with your feet and see if you can find somebody who actually cares about their patients. We've got some pages with information for finding a good dentist here:



I get that you don't want to pay for a second opinion if they might tell you the same thing, but at least, if you do your research beforehand, you would probably end up with a nicer dentist - and that's really important for overcoming dental fears in the long run. I'm sure you could postpone the appointment while getting a second opinion...

Wishing you the best of luck whatever you decide to do
:grouphug:
 
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