- Feb 28, 2021
Hello all. I am new here. I found this forum when searching for a means to find a judgement free dentist in the N. Idaho area. I have had a terrible experience with a local sliding fee scale office, to where I was made to feel like I was disgusting (the hygienist didn't even want to touch me and made it abundantly clear) and because of that experience, as well as being extremely low income, I did not return to a dentist until I needed an emergency extraction. At the time I went to the judgemental dentistry office, my teeth were in decent shape. At least, compared to what they are now. A little backstory on me--I am a 41 year old chronically ill person. I am also on a medical treatment that, when used long term, can cause teeth to crumble. Mine are. However, I have had a dentist in my area flat refuse to treat me because, and I quote "The dentist has asked me to tell you that you need to go elsewhere for dental work because it's clear that you have substance abuse issues and are in need of far more help than he can provide". Yes. That's what the problem is. My teeth are bad, I am low income and a person of color. Or at least, that's all I can surmise from what was said, since there was no basis for what was alleged. I am not a substance abuser, I am disabled due to chronic illness. I not only have chronic pain but a myriad of other health issues going on as well. This was the first dentist that I went to see for the emergency extraction. This guy has won AWARDS for his outreach to people that were supposedly in my position and similar!! The dentist that actually did the extraction attempted to refer me back to the original office, where the woman didn't want to touch me. I told him that I would have to decline because I don't have to put up with being treated that way by anyone. He started to argue with me by saying that I might have to in order to get my teeth taken care of so I shared some details of my experience with him. He eventually agreed that no, I did not have to be treated that way. He also declined to treat me any further due to what it would cost for me to have all of the work done that I needed. Now, I am looking at twice the amount of work, since I've just gotten back onto my feet, after being homeless for 2 years due to foreclosure. Coincidentally, the foreclosure came when I experienced a health disaster, that prompted my doctor to sign off on FMLA leave for my spouse and then my spouse's employer announced that they would be relocating the company across the US. It was the health disaster that was the starting point for my dental decline. That was when I could visibly see the first signs of dental issues. And being homeless for 2 years after losing our home, which I am thankful did not happen during the height of the health disaster, was not conducive to getting my teeth taken care of. Now that I am back into a stable place, my oral health is high on my list of priorities, but finding a dentist that will not make errant assumptions or baseless accusations, and will allow me to make payments of some type since the work will be extensive, is imperative. I am terrified of going back to a dentist, only to be shamed and embarrassed, for no real reason. I loved my dentist, as a child. I would even ASK to go to the dentist. Unfortunately, with some of my chronic conditions, I also need a dentist that will approach my dental work with extreme care. I have nerve pain in my mouth and I take more anesthesia than most people do. I started out needing more anesthesia than most people, ever since I can remember, and it's gotten even worse since I developed the nerve pain in my mouth. I know I am looking for a needle in a haystack here, and that I've written a novel, but I am in serious need of help. I feel like I have good reason to not want to go to just any dentist and most of the ones that would be very caring and kind, I probably cannot afford. Anyway, if anyone knows of a truly kind, non-judgemental dentist that works with low income people and has experience in working with chronic health conditions, PLEASE let me know! It's getting to the point where I have constant pain in what is left of my teeth, and I am having trouble even eating rice. It's bad enough that I have digestive issues and can only eat certain foods, it's getting to the point where even soft foods hurt and everything sets my mouth on fire when the food (salt) gets into the holes in my teeth. I want to get this taken care of before I end up with a life threatening infection or completely unable to eat. Thanks for your time and consideration!