• Dental Phobia Support

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ISO judgement free dentist in N. Idaho



Junior member
Feb 28, 2021
N. Idaho
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!
I just wanted to wish you luck in your search and congratulate you on getting back on your feet!! You are so amazingly strong!! I'm glad you didn't stay at that bad dentist because you are so right, NO ONE has the right to treat you like that. Good luck to you on this journey, you will do wonderfully!! ?
Hi NotUrAverageBear :welcome:,

I was so shocked to read how you were treated in that practice! Untrue assumptions, stigma, lack of care and a lack of humanity... lack of ethics too.. I’m just speechless. Experiences of this kind is what makes people avoid care altogether, be it dental, health or mental health care. I was relieved to read that you found another emergency dentist eventually and that he finally appreciated your reasons not to go back. You also seem to know what your standards are and what you are looking for in a dentist, which is great too and a basis for finding one. Too many people who deal with dental anxiety tolerate intolerable things and fear “fighting” for their rights and that’s a bummer.
Now, you have your experiences and your opinion about how probable it is to find the dentist you look for. To offer you a different perspective: those are assumptions too and they may or may not be true. Dentistry is business like every other and you will find amazing dentists and also crappy ones. You will find kind ones and not so kind. You were really unlucky with the experience you described, but on the other hand, the second emergency dentist was non-judgmental, wasn‘t he? Errant assumptions and baseless accusations are not the standard in any form of care, or at least shouldn’t be. Dentistry is a business and you pay for a service (no matter what your income or payment plan is) and it is not helpful to offend clients, is it? My point is: there are many dentists with a good chair side manner and many who are willing to help, it just may take some work to find them. I understand that your health issues may make things more difficult, but please don’t lose hope. There is a right dentist for everyone.
We have some advice about how to find the right dentist here. Generally speaking, googling around and getting in touch with the practices to explain your situation may be the best step. The replies that come back will tell you more about their level of kindness and friendliness.
It’s impressive to read about how you got back on your feet after being homeless and I admire your strength and bravery. This is such an achievement and you deserve care and support on your further way.

All the best wishes and keep us posted
I just wanted to wish you luck in your search and congratulate you on getting back on your feet!! You are so amazingly strong!! I'm glad you didn't stay at that bad dentist because you are so right, NO ONE has the right to treat you like that. Good luck to you on this journey, you will do wonderfully!! ?
Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate your kind words! I am sincerely hoping that there is a dentist somewhere in my area that has the compassion and drive to not only understand, but is willing to take on the challenge of helping me with the extensive amount of dental work that will need to be done. It's a daunting task, to be sure. I know that many people with substance abuse issues have severe problems with their teeth and being as I am low income and somewhat young, I am afraid that may be the common bias that I will run into and probably many times, before finding a dentist. To me, that is terribly tragic, that people in general would assume they know how you got into such a predicament, but I also tend to believe that it should not factor in so heavily as to whether or not they take on a patient. I firmly believe that even people with substance abuse issues deserve to have dental work done! Although that isn't why my teeth are in such deplorable condition, I feel strongly that every human being has the right to fair and equal treatment in this arena and that stereotyping or making errant assumptions all too often prevents this from happening. I can only hope that it won't take too long to find a dentist that will forgo any such assumptions, though, and offer to do their best to help me. Because that is all that I am really asking for. I have no illusions of receiving "free" dental care (as stated by one particular dentist) but affordable dental care is imperative, seeing as how we are just now getting back into the swing of things after being homeless for so long. Again, thanks so much for your kindness and encouragement. They mean the world to me. Life is difficult enough without having to deal with the more negative aspects of interacting with people who, regardless of how well intentioned, are also misguided. Interacting with people that are willing positively lift someone else up and provide the encouragement to keep going, even when the going gets tough, balances those experiences out for me. It helps me to keep in mind that there are some genuinely nice people out there in our world and prevents me from becoming jaded by the less than desirable experiences. I can appreciate that. Best wishes on your own journey, as well!
I must say, im a person who loves to read. I love how people write, im not so good at it but I truly love words.. reading them, "seeing" what people say, enjoying how they say/write things. And the way you express yourself is an absolute treasure. I also agree with you very much. Everyone deserves affordable dental care in my opinion, without bias or judgment. Your words are beautifully written and I have no doubt your soul is just as amazing. I truly hope you find the care you deserve and get the right treatment for you. Thank you so much!! ?