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First Post

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Raz95

Junior member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
9
Location
United States
This is my first post. I've been suffering with dental phobia for I guess years now. Although it presented itself in a much more dormant way until recently. Last time I was at the dentist was 5 years ago. I'm 24 years old now. I haven't taken very good care of my teeth until recently, only brushing occasionally, rinsing with mouthwash only when I felt like it or had bad breath. I always hated looking at my teeth in the mirror because it just looked worse than the time I looked before. The reason for prolonging my dental care was a combination of not having insurance or sufficient funds while in college and dental phobia.

I was never very good at taking care of my teeth as a child either. This partially results from bad habits since my parents don't practice the best oral hygiene either. My phobia results from negative experiences of dentists from childhood. Going to the dentist was always a bad experience and I guess I've always avoided going since becoming an adult. I recently got medicaid dental coverage a few months ago and still put off going. My mouth looks terrible and I'm dreading what the dentist is going to say even though I know I have to do it. I have multiple cavities and part of the enamel on my back teeth have come out, and enamel worn through on others. Looks like a couple impacted wisdom teeth as well. White spots on several teeth (I'll obviously know more when I go to the dentist)

I guess uncertainty anxiety kicks in not knowing what needs to be done, how much it's going to cost (medicaid dental coverage in my state covers $1,000 a year). I still have some money saved up from a summer job and I just got my tax returns back that I can put towards it, and my summer job is going to kick in again soon. I'm going to a clinic that does sliding scale that I used to go to as a kid (old dentist I went to doesn't practice there anymore). I'll get done what I can. I'm still worried that the dentist is going to yell at me because that's what dentists did when I was a kid. But I guess it's easier to yell at a kid than an adult. I think dentist are in general wonderful people that do great things, but unfortunately there are some that don't have the best chairside manner, even the pediatric ones. If you're a dentist and you're reading this, Don't yell at kids, they will remember that into adulthood.

I'm going to make the appointment tomorrow and get seen as soon as I can. I feel better typing this all out. My anxiety is less about the appointment itself and the procedures and more of me blaming myself for not taking good care of my teeth and embarrassment. This is obviously going to take awhile but I'm committed to improving myself. I think that commitment fills me with confidence and I hope it gives my dentist the same confidence.
 
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CourageAndBraveryASAP

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
112
Location
NJ/NY/CT
Completely understand your fears and how hard it is financially! You’re in a great place, many experiences like yours of people who’ve been traumatized and fearful and overcome it to get treatment. It is very inspiring. I just recently went to the dentist for the first time at the age of 35. The first appointment was xrays, an exam (just with gloves hands and a tiny mirror in my mouth), and a treatment plan. I have now been back three times for treatment and it feels amazing to be on my way. Check out some of the success stories and journals for motivation! Keep us posted, wishing you well. If you can talk to the dentist right away about your fears, they will be more able to help you!
 
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Raz95

Junior member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
9
Location
United States
Got a consultation scheduled in a couple of days with a different provider than one mentioned who was able to get me in much sooner. They take medicaid patients so hopefully they will work with me financially. If not I will get done what I can. I don't want to borrow money from parents since they don't have much themselves but I guess I need to swallow my pride and do what I have to.
 
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CourageAndBraveryASAP

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
112
Location
NJ/NY/CT
I see you're in the US, so worth a mention: for my latest treatment, which was a long visit with multiple procedures done, I couldn't afford to pay it all outright, but my dental office offers CareCredit. Maybe you can call them and see if that is an option. It allows you to charge healthcare expenses but it gives you a certain promotional period of time, like 6-18 months I think, to pay it back interest-free. You have to make a minimum monthly payment for the promotional period of time. In my case, this visit was $10k, which I never ever ever would have been able to afford but the promotion is for 18 months. So as long as I pay $250 a month, and I have 18 months until it is due in full, without being charged obscene interest. And you can pay it as soon as you want too, so if you get a tax refund or cash birthday or holiday gifts and can pay it all off, you're done, no penalty. I had used this before to save my pet's life in an emergency because the vet offered it too, but I had no idea it could be used for myself too!

Good luck with your consultation in a few days. Rooting for you!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,620
Hi Raz95,

great to read that you managed to schedule. Did you tell them about your worries regarding the dentists behavior? As you pointed out, it is unlikely that anyone would yell at you nowadays, but if your dental team knows what worries you, they can take even better care of you.

Finances is a huge factor when it comes to treatment. The most people believe they need more work than they really do so it might be a good idea to focus just on the next step which is a chat with a dentist and an exam. If you need more work than your budget allows, your dentist should be happy to discuss options with you. You can start with the most urgent things and spread it a bit or use options as CourageAndBraveryASAP suggests. The first step is, however, to find out what treatment you need. I am sure you will feel better once you have a treatment plan.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
 
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Raz95

Junior member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
9
Location
United States
Hi Raz95,

great to read that you managed to schedule. Did you tell them about your worries regarding the dentists behavior? As you pointed out, it is unlikely that anyone would yell at you nowadays, but if your dental team knows what worries you, they can take even better care of you.

Finances is a huge factor when it comes to treatment. The most people believe they need more work than they really do so it might be a good idea to focus just on the next step which is a chat with a dentist and an exam. If you need more work than your budget allows, your dentist should be happy to discuss options with you. You can start with the most urgent things and spread it a bit or use options as CourageAndBraveryASAP suggests. The first step is, however, to find out what treatment you need. I am sure you will feel better once you have a treatment plan.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
Just had my wisdom teeth out today. You can check out my journal as my journey progresses. I didn't need as much work done as I thought (although it was still quite a bit, as expected). I felt a lot better just having a plan in front me now. The doctor was very considerate and stressed that we were going to take it at my pace financially and mentally. He was pretty adament about getting the extractions done first however (wisdom teeth + decayed molar) since that was what was causing me the most pain and wanted to get me out of pain before doing anything else. It also made the most sense financially since it was the most expensive procedure and would be the best use of my insurance benefit amount.
 
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