Friday, July 27, 2018

Dental Health Matters

Dental Health Matters
Why Dental Health Matters
I'm pretty sure that I've talked about my anxiety issues here, but if I haven't, I have some anxiety issues. These stem a lot from my PTSD...yesterday, I realized just how bad it's affecting me.

Due to a variety of reasons, I haven't seen a dentist for any real dental care in approximately 17 years. Over the past half a dozen years, I've started losing teeth. Still, I didn't seek out a dentist.  A lot of that has to do with having zero dental insurance and knowing that I had no way to pay for any dental work. The rest has to do with my anxiety. I had to have a lot of dental work done when I was younger and most of it wasn't pleasant. I've developed a very real anxiety when it comes to dentists.

Still, 2018 is the year about being brave so after some serious anxiety attacks, I made the appointment. Yesterday afternoon, I drove the 20 minutes to their office. I fought back tears and panic the entire drive. The hygienist was nice, but before I even got to see the dentist, I was in tears. The entire thing felt completely overwhelming. When the dentist actually came in, they sat behind my head and went over the x-rays as if I wasn't there. He poked around my mouth some, gave her some notes, and then left. I think he told me to have a nice day but I don't remember. I was too wound up by that point. I know that he never introduced himself to me or anything.

The rundown? The TL;DR?

  • My insurance will only cover: routine cleanings, extractions, fillings, and partial dentures.
  • They will not cover: root canals, bridges, crowns, or deep cleanings...or even Nitrous.
I need:
  • 5-6 extractions (most of these are broken stubs of teeth)
  • 11-12 fillings
  • Debridement
  • Normal cleaning
  • Root scaling/planing (also known as deep cleaning)
  • Antibiotics to fight an infection
  • Prescription toothpaste to help try to strengthen the remaining teeth. ($22)
  • Nitrous Oxide to help calm me down. ($23/visit)

 Everything except that last one and the toothpaste will be covered by my insurance. The deep cleaning? That one will cost about $610. $610 that I really don't have but if I don't have this procedure done, my oral health will just continue to to get worse and I risk losing more teeth.

All of this is extremely stressful and when added to my anxiety, I ended up in my car afterwards having a complete breakdown. It was bad enough that the friend who called me suggested that I contact my doctor's office to see if they would prescribe me something that I can take before I have to go in for my next appointment. I don't know how many appointments this will take...I have 2 currently scheduled and that's just the start. I'm scared spitless so I guess it's just as well that the toothpaste has the added bonus of making me drool.

As for my weight, etc? Well, I got started on Monday and did well Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and yesterday were all about anxiety and stress so I didn't do as well. I'm trying to get back on the horse today. I made a smoothie for breakfast and took my meds and then brushed my teeth with that god awful extra minty toothpaste (I hate mint toothpaste!). My water intake is slow but it's all I'm drinking and I have hopes of getting in my 64 oz before bed tonight. I even bought a scale yesterday!

The numbers?


Starting Weight: 314.4 lbs
Current Weight: 313.8 lbs
Change in Weight: -.8 lbs

It's a lot. It's overwhelming, especially when you add it to the rest of my life, but I've started the ball rolling so now I just have to keep it going.



4 comments:

Unknown

Thank you for being brave enough to over come your anxiety and start taking better cafe of yourself. This is easy for me to say, not to follow. I need to find a doctor I can trust... Its not fun waking up on the bathroom floor with no recollection of how you got there...
Yes, I would ask a doctor for maybe a few valium or something to take before next appointments. Had your dentist spoken with you, he may have mentioned if that place offers that for patients as well. I know the last dentist I saw, 6 or so years ago, would give me 1 valium per appointment. It didn't do a lot.. But it did help.
I am sorry you are struggling with these issues, as youbare so strong for everyone else.

Crystal

I again applaud that you went forward with your appointment. I am so sorry that it was so traumatic. I would suggest contacting your mental health professional and ask them to recommend you be anesthetized to avoid this trauma continuing with each visit.

Katie

I did a quick edit on the post to add that my insurance won't cover Nitrous either. It's $23/visit for me to have that level of sedation. Not having good insurance sucks but I'll do what I can with what I have. I'm not sure how I'll find that $610 but somehow it will work out.

yanmaneee

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