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Extensive dental care needed. Need advice. I'm so worried it's making me have trouble sleeping.



Junior member
Apr 26, 2024
St.Charles, Missouri
A little backstory, when I was like 12 I fell down the stairs and cracked a front tooth. I also have panic and anxiety disorder and after cracking my tooth I would get extreme anxiety whenever thinking of teeth, so I just didn't ever brush. I'm 26 now and I've got several broken teeth and decided to go to the dentist after having many nightmares of my teeth decaying further than they already have. The dentist was amazing. The whole staff and the dentist himself was great. I'm uninsured and extremely low income and they created an "aggressive" plan because all my teeth can be saved aside from the tooth that cracked and broke off almost completely. They said I have a gum infection and I'm scheduled to have work done in two months. My true anxiety is I'm low income and without insurance and the full treatment plan(split up into 10+ visits) is $17,000. Them saying they want it to be aggressive and me agreeing to starting in two months has me terrified. The second visit is $5,000. I need peace of mind from someone who knows about dental plans if I'll be able to space these visits out and potentially make this treatment plan last several years so I can afford it all? I'm just so worried they want me in as soon as possible for every step of this and I can't afford $3,000+ visits back to back. I know at the end of the day it's my choice whether I schedule the visits or not I just don't want to upset them by saying I want to space the plan out for years in advance. They seem to be an amazing establishment and I want to get the work done and I can't afford it if given enough time.
Hi there,

this sounds like a difficult situation and it seems like you are not only worrying about the money, but also about upsetting them. What is the worry about upsetting them - are you worried they refuse to treat you?
To me it sounds logical that you can't afford a couple of thousand dollars just like that. I am financially pretty okay and a bit older than you and still wouldn't be able to afford that. The amount of money is paralyzing and that's not about you but about care being so expensive in the US. With that said, you are not the only person who is struggling with this and talking about money sadly is a part of planning the treatment. Your office should be happy to accomodate your needs and be willing to discuss priorities with you and make it work on your terms.
I could imagine there was a lot of stress on your first visit and a bit of pressure to agree on everything so why not reaching out to them now and have a conversation about how to go best about things given your financial possibilities? Believe me, they do this all the time. If they make you feel like it's not okay, it's them and not you.
Also, you could still try to get a second opinion somewhere and see whether there is a practice who can make it according to what you are comfortable with.

All the best wishes
Thank you so much. Yeah, I'm not used to having to do things like this. I've been very lucky my whole life and never had to pay any bills or stress about anything financial so this has made me feel quite helpless but you're right I think it's best I talk to them and if they aren't willing to accommodate me I'm sure there's other places that are just as accepting and professional, maybe even cheaper too.
i would talk to them about your finances, many will let you know what needs to be done now and what can wait, also do what you can do mentally as well, that is just as important. I would also see if other dentists' near you have cheaper rates for what you need. I have a $1400 crown that needs replacing and i have anxiety about spending that money and also getting it done a week on Thurs. so know how that feels- i have dental but of course it doesn't cover crowns!
You should also seek a second opinion. Many dental offices will do them for free. In the US, we have to worry about some corporate chains that really over-treat. For your peace of mind, make sure you really do need the work before you drop 17k on your teeth!! Even if they all need work, there’s a high likelihood that the work could be spaced out over several years, treating the most urgent issues first.
Four months ago I was given an extensive dental treatment plan. This was a month after booking an emergency visit upon my second premolar snapping in half and its subsequent extraction.
It was frightening to say the least. I had spent 12 years away from the dentist’s chair through fear and embarrassment.
The day I got my treatment plan was the hardest. The multitude of photos and scans to determine the decay problems was internally demoralising and embarrassing. The dentist was lovely about everything. In fact, she’s been amazing.
I am now through 7 fillings and 2 crowns. I have four wisdoms to come out and two implants to hopefully go in left. So still a bit of a mountain, but I can now eat without any pain or sensitivity. I realise how bad my molars were in particular. Some of them had cracks in them.
We are lucky in Australia that we have access to many great dental offices and dentists tend to be honest. I also think you should seek a second opinion. It’s something my dentist suggested I do with some of my treatment and you absolutely have every right to. All the best! 🙂