To go into debt for desperately needed dental treatment?

(31 Posts)
HopefulAnnie Wed 18-Jun-14 19:18:17

Am terrified of the dentist, always have been - deathly afraid, as in - gripping the arm rest, shaking, crying, severe anxiety . Have had some horrific experiences with cold, unsympathetic dentists when I was a child which scarred me for life basically. I haven't been to a dentist in 4 years shock sad

Teeth were generally ok until last year,(warning: tmi) a small hole formed in my lower left molar, I ignored it and it has decayed and decayed until part of the tooth has actually broken off, it is extremely painful, extremely sensitive - I can barely eat because moving my jaw hurts.

I have found out about something called dental sedation, and I would really love to just be knocked out and wake up with my teeth fixed.

Problem is, the price is sky high for where I live (London) I've been told £250 per hour shock We can't afford that, but the only other alternative is suffering in extreme pain and possibly becoming a painkiller addict.

What can I do?

Please don't suggest going to a regular dentist, I can't, I really can't.

bleurghblah Wed 18-Jun-14 19:23:11

I had a root canal which went wrong and left me an absolute crying wreck inconstant pain. The nhs dentist tried seven different times to sort it out and in the end I went private to have some temazapan.

Bearing in mind I couldn't even talk about the dentist without crying, I sat happily through the appointment which lasted two hours and I think it's worth every single penny.

I wouldn't drive afterwards though, it's kind of like being so battered you don't notice when you fall over.

Sorry for you and good luck. Anyone who says you just need to grit your teeth isn't helping your anxiety so avoid them xxx

headlesslambrini Wed 18-Jun-14 19:30:32

Try your local dental hospital. I was knocked out to get my molars out. Done on nhs so didnt cost anything.

Ragwort Wed 18-Jun-14 19:30:42

Can you get to a Dental Access Centre and have a referral from there - that's what happened to me and I ended up with 10 appointments totally £45. blush. I was going to have sedation as I too was terrified but I had such a fantastic dentist that in the end I trusted him and didn't need the sedation.

HopefulAnnie Wed 18-Jun-14 19:30:44

Gosh, I am so sorry about your root canal - it sounds horrific.
God knows what else is wrong with my teeth - I can't believe it's been 4 years.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Wed 18-Jun-14 19:31:25

I'd do it without thinking twice about it. But only if I knew I could afford to pay off the debt in the first place.

honeybeeridiculous Wed 18-Jun-14 19:31:29

I could have written your OP, Iv not seen a dentist for 4 years and am now beginning to feel some niggles. I am dreading full blown toothache as it will mean finally facing the dreaded man sad
It was a childhood dentist that put me off, no pain relief, miserable bugger and gave us boiled sweets afterwardshmm
I have been since childhood and had root canal work which wasn't as bad as I thought but it's the actual just sitting in the chair that freaks me out, I know it won't be that painful but dread it, sweating, shaking etc
You have my sympathy thanks

KnackeredMuchly Wed 18-Jun-14 19:31:38

I would do it.

HopefulAnnie Wed 18-Jun-14 19:31:53

I'm not sure if I'm with the NHS or if I'll have to go private. How would I find out if I'm covered by the NHS?

resipsa Wed 18-Jun-14 19:34:51

Yes, definitely. Don't let it get worse. I did. BIG mistake. Teeth are awful. Extraction and root canal in last 12 months. More work required but I'm procrastinating as usual...

lyndie Wed 18-Jun-14 19:35:00

You can make an NHS appointment just to get it looked at. They can't do any treatment if you don't want to. Would it be worth seeing your GP and maybe they would give you a low dose diazepam to take prior to the appointment?

honeybeeridiculous Wed 18-Jun-14 19:35:02

Around here (south east) there are plenty of NHS dentists offering treatment for new patients so I have no excuse!

momb Wed 18-Jun-14 19:37:35

Do shop around: dentistry has moved on enormously in the last 10 years even. We are with a NHS dentist (though have to travel 10 miles to get to him as no local NHS availability) but they have sedation as an option (for which you pay a private price but in the £10s not £100s) and they are really really lovely: nothing like the demon dentists of my student years.

bleurghblah Wed 18-Jun-14 19:54:22

A dental access centre sounds amazing. Don't spend the money unless you have to. I am fine now, although I have had a baby since and I reckon the pain of the drilling into an infected nerve was possibly worse....

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 18-Jun-14 19:59:13

Don't panic. If you can only go the normal dentist route, see your GP, who may be able to prescribe you something to help calm you down. I bloody hate the dentist. Had to have three fillings and a tooth taken out a few years ago and was able to have a conscious sedation on the NHS and it didn't cost any extra.

I'm due to have a crown fitted in August (shit teeth) and I'm bricking it but my dentist is lovely, if a bit brisk. Tell the dentist you are scared, they might be able to suggest something.

HopefulAnnie Wed 18-Jun-14 20:12:03

Drilling into an infected nerve sad sad That is so terrifying, I don't know if I'll be able to cope with that. Once sedated do you feel any pain?

bleurghblah Wed 18-Jun-14 20:15:48

I am sure you do, but you will be mostly numbed up, but you literally don't give the tiniest shit. my husband said it was like someone flicked a switch when the temazapan started to work. I went from crying my eyes out to laughing and then was happy to go I and sit in the chair. Very weird but it was the start of a long route to trusting dentists again.

PaperPomPom Wed 18-Jun-14 20:20:33

Definitely try dental hospital, like a Previous poster said. I ah a wisdom tooth out earlier this year and they offered me a general anaesthetic for that. I paid nothing for it.

babybat Wed 18-Jun-14 20:32:23

Are you currently registered with a dentist, OP? If you are, they may provide NHS and private treatment, or just private. They may not offer the level of treatment you need under the NHS, but they may be able to refer you to a dental hospital, like
Kings College or Eastman

If you're not registered with a dentist at the moment, and you've just got the prices by phoning around, go and visit your local dentist, find out if they offer NHS treatment, and have a consultation. A good dentist will understand that you're nervous, and will do their best to tell you what treatment you need and whether referral is possible without making your pain worse.

HopefulAnnie Wed 18-Jun-14 22:31:43

I'm not sure if I'm still with them, I haven't visited since early 2009. I'll be calling tomorrow to find out. I really hope they're able to refer me to a dental hospital, where I can get the sedation I need.

Brummiegirl15 Wed 18-Jun-14 22:46:21

OP - I'm the same, truly terrified of dentists. Sedation is great, you do not remember a thing. They give you a drink of something (as not anaesthetists) and whilst you are awake, you remember nothing.

Best bet is the University Dental hospital. I live in Birmingham (obvs) and I went to University of Birmingham Dental School. Manchester has one so I am fairly sure Kings College or University College London will have them. Good luck but you need to get it sorted!

Twrch62 Wed 18-Jun-14 23:02:46

I am with a private dentist but needed a tooth removed, my dentist would have charged, but didn't want to do it as tooth was near a nerve or summut.
He would have charged£150, but referred me to nhs which cost nowt, they asked if I wanted sedation, I said yes, and although you know whats going on you basically don't give a monkeys. Hope you get it sorted.

kitnkaboodle Wed 18-Jun-14 23:49:54

I had a partially-through wisdom tooth removed under sedation a couple of months ago. I thought I would be woozy but conscious the whole time. Instead it went like this:

Nurse (after having taken blood pressure): Now I'm just going to put the sedative in. You'll feel a little scratch.
Me: How long will I ...
Dentist: Right, that's us finished then

It was like a time lapse. The 40 minutes I was being operated on just never existed as far as my consciousness was concerned. It jumped from the start of the sedation to the end of the procedure. Lovely! Then you get to rest in bed for the rest of the day while another person has to look after you.

That cost me about 300 pounds. Well worth it. Do you have to have it done in London?? You ought to be able to find somewhere much cheaper

kali110 Thu 19-Jun-14 00:16:22

Does anyone know what happens when you have wisdom teeth out? I want to be knocked out as im petrified!!do they do that?put you under general anestetic?id freak out being awake.had to have a tooth out in my teens and it traumatised me.

Btw do it op before it gets worse, i was traumatised in my teens so couldnt go for years and ended up needing two fillings and they may not have even worked :-(

parentalunit Thu 19-Jun-14 05:53:31

I hate dentists too. Many years ago I went to a student hospital (I think it was Guys and St Thomas...it was near London Bridge) and had a root canal by a student dentist. He was fabulous, and it was all overseen by a teacher/prof. I would do it again. It was VERY inexpensive, £20 or so, but I had to arrive very early in the morning and wait in a line. I was one of the first to arrive, so got seen very quickly, but it might take a while for those arriving later.

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