Much needed vent.

S

SadFace

Junior member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
1
Hey there.

I don't really expect any help or replies from this, as I'm pretty sure there is nothing I can do about my situation. But it's something I can't talk about to people face to face, it's embarrassing. Just putting this out to get it off my chest I suppose.

I have had an extreme fear of the dentist since I can remember. My last visit was 2 years ago. That was my first visit since getting 8 teeth pulled at once as a child. It didn't go well. The lady seemed nice and we spoke about everything I would need done and about helping me with my fear. My first appointment was just a cleaning, but I found this very painful and when I asked the lady to stop she couldn't hear me because she was talking to her assistant about her upcoming holiday abroad. I paid £40, left in tears and cancelled my next appointment. I then received a bill for £30 a few weeks later. Which I haven't paid, first out of anger, next because I no longer work and can't afford it. This is a nhs dentist I should add.

From then on my teeth have got worse. Currently the teeth next to my front ones, are slowly turning black. I have an infection/boil of some sort on my gum. My gums looks weird as hell, disgustingly weird. I have a constant bad taste in my mouth. And it hurts to brush of course.

I'm a 22 year old girl, who used to have an excellent social life. Now, I stay indoors constantly, only leaving to attend college classes. I can't afford to pay what I already owe the dentist and pay for further treatment, and I'm scared as hell. I breakdown when I think about going. The only other dentist in my area isn't taking on new patients. I don't think I would have courage to go anyway.

I'm starting to think I should just accept I will die from some kind of cancer or infection in my gums.

I'm sorry if I posted that in the wrong place(im new here), or if its taking up valuable space. I guess I just really needed to say it.

Peace out.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,000
Location
UK
Hi and :welcome:

I don't really expect any help or replies from this, as I'm pretty sure there is nothing I can do about my situation.

Firstly, if you're scared about going to the dentist and are not sure what to think or what to do next, you've come to the right place :). There is always something that you can do, so don't despair just yet. If you spend some time reading through some of the posts in the support section and also the success stories, you'll see that there are quite a few people who have been in a similar situation to you and they have managed to find a solution.

The lady seemed nice and we spoke about everything I would need done and about helping me with my fear. My first appointment was just a cleaning, but I found this very painful and when I asked the lady to stop she couldn't hear me because she was talking to her assistant about her upcoming holiday abroad. I paid £40, left in tears and cancelled my next appointment. I then received a bill for £30 a few weeks later. Which I haven't paid, first out of anger, next because I no longer work and can't afford it. This is a nhs dentist I should add.

What were you told needed to be done? There are only three price bands for NHS dental treatment and these are as follows (valid from April 2011):

Band 1 course of treatment – £17.00
This covers an examination, diagnosis (eg X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if needed, and application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant. If you require urgent care, even if your urgent treatment needs more than one appointment to complete, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge.


Band 2 course of treatment – £47.00
This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.


Band 3 course of treatment – £204.00
This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures and bridges.


Usually, if you need anything more than a checkup (band 1), then what tends to happen is that you go for the initial appointment where they tell you what needs doing and at the end of the appointment, you pay for a checkup visit (£17.00) and then you pay the balance at the next appointment when you have the work done.



So for example, at my next appointment (which is this Wednesday.... eeek!!! :o), my dentist might decide that I need a filling, so this will fall into band 2 (£47.00). At the end of the appointment, I will pay £17.00 (because I've only had a checkup so it's band 1) and then when I go back for another appointment to have the filling, I will pay the balance to take the total amount paid up to band 2 (£30). Alternatively, he might just decide to do the filling at the same time as the checkup appointment, in which case I'll just pay one payment of £47.00.


Either way, there is a maximum amount that you pay per course of treatment, depending on what you need doing. Sometimes, if you need something like a root canal (band 2) which might need 2 or 3 visits, they will charge you for the treatment that you've had done that day, so that it's like paying in installments.


The amounts that you've paid don't seem to correspond to the NHS charging structure. Even though it's NHS, they're supposed to provide you with a written treatment plan and estimate for costs. This should detail what needs doing and how much each part (if it's more complex treatment) will cost. It sounds as though the £30 may be a cancellation fee for you cancelling your appointment (you'd need to ask them to be sure), although if it's NHS, they're not allowed to charge cancellation fees, but they are allowed to remove you from their list if you repeatedly miss appointments.


I can't afford to pay what I already owe the dentist and pay for further treatment, and I'm scared as hell. I breakdown when I think about going. The only other dentist in my area isn't taking on new patients. I don't think I would have courage to go anyway.

In theory, your local PCT is supposed to ensure that there is access to an NHS dentist for anyone who wants or needs it. If you contact your local PCT, they should be able to tell you who is accepting NHS patients and maybe put you in touch with someone. From what you've said, it sounds as though you need to see a dentist sooner rather than later and so you should be able to get an appointment at your local PCT's out of hours, unscheduled or salaried/community dental service. These dentists are employed directly by the PCT rather than working in their own practice - they deal mainly with people who have complex medical conditions and/or learning disabilities and in some areas also treat patients with dental phobia.

You mentioned that cost is a bit of an issue for you at the moment. If you click on the following link and scroll down to the bottom of the page, there is a section about who is entitled to free NHS dental care. If you're a student on a low income, you may be able to get help with costs. Another option, if you're really in pain, would be to phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 as they may be able to arrange an emergency appointment for you with a local dentist (they're usually pretty good - I had a root canal done before Christmas that got infected and when I phoned my dentist on Christmas Eve, they'd closed early. I phoned NHS Direct (after speaking to the local PCT dental advice line people) and they phoned me back on Christmas Day to say that someone would be in touch the following morning (Boxing Day) with an appointment. 8.00am the next day, I had a phone call to say that I had an appointment at 9.00am!).
 
L

lel

Junior member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
5
Firstly, Im really sorry to hear your problems, its very hard when you are scared of the dentist.
Cant you find a dentist not in your area? would they not take you on as a patient? you could get a bus. Look around on this site there is an area with recomended dentists, you may find one there near to you.
I really hope you can get your teeth sorted out, you are a lovely young lady, try and be strong, dont get too down, just look around, ask around and try to find a dentist that is sympathetic to your fears and phobias.
Some dentists let you pay monthly, maybe that would be an option for you.
Good luck :)
 
C

Colin

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
27
I hope you find a way around this.
We know how you feel and your not alone.
Don't let this get you down or drive you into depression because it's nothing that cannot be solved with support and positive action.

I'll be thinking of you Sadface.
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,869
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
As per what Vicki said if you are now unemployed you would likely be exempt from all dental charges. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get and the more depressed you will get. Borrow from a relative if necessary...what is 30 pounds in the whole scheme of the rest of your life?

Also agree a stop signal with your next dentist (if NHS 2 years ago she will likely have moved on) to avoid a repeat of what happened last time.
On the fees being out of kilter, I'm wondering if you got a private clean without realising? (NB if it was painful it wasn't up to the standard of a decent private clean though)
Dentistry never has to hurt with a decent dentist.

Good luck.
 
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E

Ester

Junior member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
9
I know how you feel. I had horrible tooth pain for 2 years and ignored it until it became unbearable. It turned out I needed a root canal and crown, which for a graduate student, was expensive as hell, not to mention SCARY. Don't let this dental fear ruin your life. Find a counsellor to talk to. Does your college have a student counselling centre? They are common here in North America. Wishing you all the best.
 
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