• Dental Phobia Support

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Terrified that I'm Beyond help. Please, I need someone to talk to.

I am glad you have managed to find a dentist you can go and see. In the meantime if you do salt water rinses as often and as warm as you can stand it without burning your mouth, it won't cure your sore gums but it might help a little bit, I often use salt water if my gums feel a bit sore. I am not a dentist but a few dentists I have seen have said this is a good thing to do.

I wish you well when you go and see the dentist. Good Luck. :)
Hiyer socialxanxiety,

Have you made an appointment with them already ?

Let us know how you get on.:)
I made an appointment for this Tuesday after waffling around on the phone for a while...

I've done a lot of research regarding costs. Costs of Root Canals, Fillings, Veneers, and Crowns.

As well as Periodontal scaling and if necessary extraction and dentures. Can anyone tell me whether or not plans such as care1 500 and other plans are scams or if I can actually count on these?

My sister and mother are willing to occasionally help me. And I'm pulling as many shifts as possible if needed to pay out of pocket.
Hiya :)

dental discount plans are not "scams" as such. The way they work is that you pay 100% of the rates negotiated by the dental plan company directly to your dentist – these discounted fees are about 10% to 60% lower than what a dentist normally charges, depending on the procedure and materials in question. The dentist gets paid 10% to 60% less than they normally would, and the difference goes to the dental plan provider, for acting as the referral agent.

The problem with dental discount plans is that, some dentists who accept these plans may run a production line, where they're chasing from patient to patient, to make up for the losses through sheer volume. Some may also recommend more expensive or extensive procedures than necessary.

Some dentists work in areas where there's lots of competition from other dentists and, especially if they're starting up a new office, they may resort to taking part in discount plans in order to get new customers through the door. If that's the case, then a dental discount plan may not be a bad thing (for the customer, anyways :p).

If your chosen dentist happens to take part in a discount plan, then by all means go for it to keep costs down - but don't choose a dentist on that basis. Most (but not all) offices will not provide the highest level of care under discount plans.

Also be aware that some of these plans don't give you the list of participating dentists until you have signed up. If you decide you’d like a discount plan, you should choose it based on which plans the dentist of your choice accepts, NOT the other way round (don’t take out a discount plan and then see which dentists partner with that plan!).

Hope this helps :)
Depending if you're in a major centre in the States or not, you could always try the School of Dentistry at your local University. The appointments will be longer, because everything is scrutinized by their supervisor/instructor, but it's less expensive (60% of the usual cost, I think).
CoolBeans is absolutely right! LSU students are allowed to do dental work on incoming patients! In return for being able to work on a patient, the school gives huge discounts (usually between 60 and 80%, depending on what you're getting done) to whoever wants to go get the work done! It's hands-on experience for the student, cheap for the patient, but the last thing you have to worry about is having shoddy work or a lot of complications. Work is slower with students, but they aren't allowed to work on a patient without a professor watching them constantly. From what I understand, the students are super gentle, too. You can always look into your local university for dental work! :)
There has been a lot of good advice given here, and I won't bother to restate what's already been said.

But I did notice that you said you tended to "freeze up" on the phone, and that's something I can certainly relate to! :)

I had a stroke during open-heart surgery several years ago and woke up not even being able to say my name. While I spent 5 weeks in the hospital, going to speech therapy three times per day, and did finally learn to talk again, the aphasia still causes me problems and always will. I find that the more I'm stressed about having to be clear and succinct in my conversations, the worse the problem gets!

I also hated, at first, the idea of having to admit to anyone that I was defective in some way.

This has caused me to have quite a bit of social anxiety myself.

But, over the years, this is what I've learned: If I just start those kinds of conversations with, "I'm sorry, but I've had a stroke and sometimes it takes me a while to find the words I need," I've never yet met a person who didn't immediately attempt to put me at ease and wasn't willing to deal with my problem. They listen patiently, don't attempt to finish my sentences for me, etc. If I'm obviously struggling to find a word, sometimes they will (kindly and with patience) offer a word they think I may be searching for, but if it isn't the right one, they will continue to wait for me.

So, perhaps in this situation, you could begin your call with, "I'm so terrified at making this call that I'm not sure I can explain myself well. Please bear with me." As far as I'm concerned, any dental clinic that can't respond to that with patience and understanding isn't a dental clinic you need to be going to anyway. :)
Well. I've contacted a few dentists, and I've begun to look into this thing called carecredit.

Don't do credit cards or ask for loans for that kind of work. That's the worst idea. Credit cards will ruin your credit, even if you make minimum payments each month. Not many people know that only making minimum payments can negatively affect your credit score. Besides that, with interest rates so high, both will only end up costing you more in the long-run. Ask your dentist about a payment plan. Most dentists in the US offer payment plans for people who can't pay it all off right away.

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree, at least in part, with this.

Ever since the advent of "Care Credit" a lot of dentists here in the United States are no longer willing to work out direct payment plans with their patients, but they do accept Care Credit. Which is rather understandable. Dentists are not in the loan-business. They have their own expenses they have to pay and having a lot of outstanding accounts-receivable can harm their cash-flow.

The advantage of Care Credit is that, IF you pay off your balance within the prearranged time, there are NO interest charges. (That time will vary based on how much is charged.)

For example, I recently charged a dental bill of $200 to have a tooth bonded to my Care Credit card. That amount qualifies me for a 6 month interest-free repayment plan. However, my minimum monthly payment was set at $25. Now, obviously, if I only paid $25 each month, I wouldn't have it paid off within my six months, and I would have gotten hit with quite hefty interest charges. However, I paid $100 each month for two months, and didn't pay any interest.

The caveat here: make sure you don't charge more than you KNOW you'll be able to pay off within the prearranged time-frame as, if you fail to do so, the interest charged will be at a very high rate, and will accrue from the date of the charge, not the end of the grace period.

I do understand that, once you've decided to take the plunge and get this work done, you want to get it finished as soon as possible. But everything takes the time it takes and I'm sure there are priorities here, as well as other things that don't have to be done immediately.

"Free" dental clinics are a possibility. I have to put "free" in quotes because they usually aren't completely free. But they are a darned sight cheaper than a regular dentist. Dental schools are also a great possibility.

I don't know what state you live in, but you could look here: https://dentallifeline.org/our-state-programs/, and see if you qualify for this program in your state.

Please keep in mind that "Rome wasn't built in a day" so it may take you a while to finish getting all the work you need done. But be proud of yourself for having made a start. You WILL get there.

(And stop beating yourself up about this being "all my fault." What's done is done. What's important now is that you're moving forward and getting help.)
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"I'm so terrified at making this call that I'm not sure I can explain myself well. Please bear with me." As far as I'm concerned, any dental clinic that can't respond to that with patience and understanding isn't a dental clinic you need to be going to anyway.

Great advice !
I just want you to know that I fully understand what you are going through, I am 20 years old, sucked at oral hygiene and now have 17 cavities, teeth that chip out randomly and can barely eat anything. Don't ever feel ashamed posting here because if there is anyone that will understand what you are going through it's people on here. :XXLhug:

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