I am 23 years old, and I have never been to the dentist. To make matters worse, I completely neglected them when I was younger. I'm sure I probably went over a year without brushing at one point, and it was only within the last year or so that I started brushing on a daily basis.
My parents were self employed when I was growing up, and apparently didn't think that taking their children to the dentist was worth the cost. Well, I'm paying for it now.
My teeth are pretty horrible. As you can imagine, they're quite yellow. I needed braces when I was younger, but I obviously didn't get them. I have a large gap between my two front teeth at the top, and the bottom ones are very crooked. I rarely ever smile because I'm so ashamed of what my teeth look like.
I noticed that the teeth on the bottom are starting to turn black around the part near the gumline. I assume this is not a good thing... Also, the tips of my front teeth seem to be "see through" like, not solid. I don't really know how to explain it. I can also taste blood in my mouth sometimes, and my teeth are very sensitive to cold. One of my front teeth is starting to hurt at the back, and I don't think I can deal with this much longer.
Well, basically, I feel like I need to get something done. I know it's late, but better late than never, right?
I have no health health insurance whatsoever, so I will have to pay out of my pocket. I will have to live with the crooked teeth if it's going to be too expensive to fix, which I assume will be the case.
Does anyone have any idea what I'll be looking at, dental issues and cost wise? Any advice?
I'm pretty embarrassed about this. I can only imagine what the people at the dental office are going to think.
First of all I am sorry that your parents neglected your health like that. You need to get busy and start calling around to dental offices, free/community clinics and asking what they can do for you and how much it might cost. Be aware though that many people will tell you that they need to see you and your mouth before they can really say what it will take. Also, are there any schools that teach dental hygeinists/dental school near you? I'm not sure about how they do things where you are but here there is a local school that offers free/reduced fees if you are seen by the students. Your mouth does not sound healthy, buy yourself some good toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash and toothbrush; use them daily; if you aren't already. Is there anyway you can get insurance? Good luck. I hope you get to start smiling soon.
There actually is a dental school nearby that someone recommended, but I'm pretty nervous about that. They charge 2/3 of what it would normally cost. The problem there is that your treatment is done completely by a student dentist, and that really scares me. I don't want to walk out worse than I went in... Not to mention I have a fear that they're going to laugh at me, or something...
I'm surprised, because I thought my teeth would be much worse than they are considering the situation. I don't want it to get worse, though. I can tell my front teeth are messed up, and it's only going to get worse...
hi lioii...any good dentist would be happy to see you in their office and pleased that you are taking control of your health which includes taking care of your teeth
You are so young and you're right, it's never too late! I got braces on my top teeth when I was 30!
It might feel overwhelming right now if you think too much of what might be wrong with your teeth. You're facing an unknown until you have your teeth assessed by a dentist. I really encourage you to take that next step! After the first appointment, I'm sure any embarassment you might have felt will disappear. After all, dentists are on this planet to promote healthy teeth! Ask your friends, co-workers, etc to recommend a dentist to you who they have found to be kind and caring.
You're lucky to be near a dental school so that you have that option to consider. I'm sure the students are well supervised. Even if you go for the initial appointment to the dental school i.e. for xrays and consultation, I doubt that you would be obliged to continue with them for any work that might have to be done.
I know financing can be a real problem..especially without insurance. But, for now, just take it one step at a time. After you find out what needs to be done on your teeth, then you can start making a plan. Remember that everything doesn't need to be done at once. If you can't afford insurance right now, you could, if possible, start a savings account right now for future dental work. For example, saving 50 dollars a month would give you $600 in
12 months to put toward dental insurance or more expensive procedures like braces if you need them.
I really hope you find the courage to make the first appointment...and please keep in touch.
Last edited by charlottefr; 02-29-2008 at 12:39 AM.
I'm so sorry that your parents didn't take care of your teeth!
If your teeth are turning black, it may mean that they are dying. If you don't go to a dentist right away, you may get an abscess. Dental students should do a good job, as their grade depends on it and they are supervised.
Well.. My parents never neglected me, but I DID Neglect myself.. I've had reflux pretty bad, so brushing made it worse, and I would avoid it, so sometimes I wouldn't brush but a few times a week, and yeah I don't open my mouth to smile, so I know how you feel..
Originally Posted by Lioii
What should I expect?
Well.. Typically You will get an X-ray, they put a little piece of plastic/cardboard in your mouth to bite down on, and they take few pictures with this camera type x-ray...
Then they inspect your teeth, gums, and then they will use a dental pick and scraper to get off any junk so they can see the tooth better... Your gums will probably bleed, mine usually do since I hadn't been taking good care of them.. But it's not as bad as it sounds..
They will usually then floss and brush your teeth with an electric brush and when they rinse, it's usually cold, but cold stops any bleeding..
Usually they have you come back a day or week later to fix any cavities you have... You may be sire being this is your first time, but they usually give you floss, brush, and toothpaste so you can keep up the new cleanliness.. After about a week (of brushing post-dental cleaning/exam)if no other work is done, your gums will get better with hot/cold, and feel a little better..
I hope my teeth aren't really, really bad. I can taste blood right now, so I know that's not good. When I brush, there's not very much blood at all, but I can still taste it.
I can't put the blame entirely on my parents. I neglected my teeth up until I was in my early 20s. I probably wouldn't have done anything about it if it didn't start to become a problem. Even still, it sucks that my parents didn't care enough to take me to the dentist even once, even when it was clear that I at least needed braces. My teeth have been in this condition for a long time. I have never, ever smiled in pictures, even when I was a kid. My siblings all have nice, straight teeth, but mine came out horrible. Very crooked, big gap in the front, overbite, etc. I hate it. I also have a small chip out of one of my front teeth. It's barely noticeable, but it's probably due to my teeth going bad.
I wish I could get braces now, but there's no possible way I could afford it. I'm already expecting a huge bill from the restorative work, whatever needs to be done.
I'll probably never have a good smile, but I definitely don't want my teeth to start rotting and falling out. I hope it's not too late already.
This particular dentist offers a home whitening kit for $300. I might check into it.
right now dont worry about how pretty they are. you have taken a positive step just getting the courage to make the appointment. i didnt learn proper dental care as a child and had minimal care resulting in many large fillings. now they are old and need repair and crowns and its costing a bundle when i combine my low paying job combined with no insurance. i am in the same boat as you are. i sucked my thumb and that was my parents excuse not to get me braces since it was my own fault they were crooked. time went by and my overbite has moved back on its own (it took years) but i still have a lower side fang that looks terrible to me with a gap that looks like a tooth is missing. i will let you in on a secret. most people dont notice unless i point it out. others wont perceive the problem as bad as what you think. people are just not too observant. right now concentrate on making your teeth as healthy as you can. take it one step at a time and most dentists will take the time to plan everything out and will set you up with a payment schedule or a financing plan. they can also prescribe an anti anxiety medication to take before your appointments to help you relax. i wish you luck. maybe things wont be as bad as you think! also stay away from the whitening kits until the dentist tolls you its ok. it sounds like you could have enamel damage and whitening kits could make it worse. plus the 300 might be needed for other procedures first.