The Dreaded Dental Exam

I never suffer anxiety the way I do when I need to go to the dentist. I dread it so much. Even though my dentist has never hurt me, I am scared to death to go. Growing up, we never went to the dentist unless we had a pain level above an eight. Those habits have carried on with me into my adulthood. However, I always made sure my daughter went regularly. Her teeth are still beautiful. Mine, not so much.

I am ashamed of my teeth as they have become more and more crooked and stained through the years. I admit, I do not get regular cleanings like I should. In fact, it’s been years. They are sensitive and hurt. So a couple weeks ago I bit the bullet and went with the intentions of getting another bad tooth pulled. That’s usually how long I wait to go. I can’t afford root canals so I have had three pulled in my life. 

During my visit, the dentist took an xray and examined my hurting tooth. He said, “We are not going to pull this tooth. I see nothing wrong with it and your pain is just tooth sensitvity”. I was given a tube of special toothpaste and advice to come back for a full exam. 

So yesterday I went for the full dental exam. I was scared and nervous that It was going to be painful. After the dentist took full xrays, he began stabbing my gums with a prison shank. It was not comfortable, but It was bearable. I’m glad that’s over.

Good news: I did not have any cavities or serious issues. No bone loss and my gums are healthy. I was so surprised! I just suffer from tooth sensitivity.
Bad news: I need a couple old fillings replaced, one crown and .....braces.


This is a big deal for me. I need to think about seeing the orthodontist about the braces. This is a decision I will need to make. I do not have dental insurance and my health insurance breaks me each month. I mentioned braces to Nick and he is not 100% on board. 
He’s thinks my teeth are fine the way they are but I know they are not, but do I really need to go through all the expense when I can just have the fillings fixed and have them bleached of the stains? I may loose sleep over this one. 

The plan: I have a cleaning scheduled in two weeks. I am already nervous just thinking about that. Yikes. Then I plan to call and set up a consultation with the Orthodontist just to see what braces will cost me and whats all involved. I just paid my car off so maybe I can afford a payment plan. I just don’t know. I don’t want any bills. 

I would love to have pretty teeth. I would feel better about my appearance and smile a lot more, but then again, I am 50 years old and could live out the rest of my life with them crooked and save a few grand. Decisions, decisions.

Do you have braces or ever had them?  If so, what is your experience?

20 comments

  1. You definitely photograph well, the teeth look great. But only the owner can know how they feel. The last major 'teeth' work I have had done has been in Mexico. But since we travel so much that has been no problem and just made a good trip out of it.
    I do sympathize with the cost here in the states, I have paid here also so I know the difference. A dentist in Florida gave us a price of 11K when I said no he went down to 10K, I got the work done in Mexico for about 1K. Big difference, Of course part of that difference is insurance. My last dentist there, lives in the USA and works in Mexico.
    :-O
    Sherry & jack
    on the banks of the Catawba!

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  2. That’s right, I am right there with you. The anxiety I feel from dental visit is almost debilitating. And I don’t mind pain a bit and my dentist is awesome. It’s just a thought! I have a tooth that broke and need to get myself in but I keep pushing it off. Maybe I’ll go now. I did have braces and my teeth still are not perfect. To be honest with you, your smile is beautiful and I would not even mess with them.

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  3. From someone who has just had major dental work done....all for cosmetic reasons...at the cost of $13,000 I would encourage you not to do it. I am in far worse pain than I ever have been in my life....all because I wanted my teeth to look better. The dentistry world is not what it used to be. They tell you that you can do all this but in reality your mouth says something different after all said and done. Please think about this carefully.

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    1. Wow! That's just crazy. The dentist wants my teeth straight so he can complete the other dental fixes such as a bridge, crown and new fillings. I just want them pretty. haha

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  4. Your picture above certainly does not show stained or crooked teeth!! Good luck.

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    1. Yea that was a pretty good shot from about 3 years ago. A little photo lightening and half smile fixed that. haha.

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  5. Your photo shows that you have beautiful teeth - but I guess you don't feel that way. The cost of teeth work is ASTRONOMICAL! Especially when you age and don't have insurance.♥

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    1. They do look OK in that photo but it's also three years ago and only half a smile.

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  6. I had braces as a kid back in the 60's. Things have improved LOTS from back then. I'm glad I had my teeth straightened.
    I wish you could go to my dentist. She is the best and I don't even mind going. I go every 6 months for a cleaning and its a breeze. Using a water pic makes a tremendous difference. Latisha, the dental technician is very gentle!!!

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  7. I just had my second teeth cleaning for the year today, luckily didn't need a thing. I'm always sweating it.

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    1. I even hate those cleanings. Always so painful.

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  8. We did not go to dentists as a child unless it was an extraction.
    When I got drafted, Uncle Sam said FIX YO TEETH. They scheduled me for three dental appointments a week until they fixed all my teeth.
    I psyched myself into believing that I enjoyed dental work.
    Now you have an idea about why I’m so twisted.
    R

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    1. WOw. SO I'm hoping I will become immune.

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  9. Bless your heart...braces! UGH!! I've never had them. One of my sisters had to have them as an adult and she said it was miserable. Have you thought about the invisalign braces? Hugs!

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  10. Oh, I'm with you on the dentist.....no fun. Just got a crown recently, and a year later it fell out and had to go back and be fixed again. I know what you mean, dentist visits can be so expensive. I hope you find the answers you are looking for when making this decision. And I think you already have a nice and warm smile. : )

    ~Sheri

    *to answer your question, Yes, I had braces, but I wore them when I was young. The Orthodontist did do a nice job on them, but I should have worn my retainer after my braces were off, but only wore it for awhile, which I regret. I still have pretty straight teeth, but they would be more straight had I worn my retainer like I should.

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  11. I’ve spent a lot of time in the chairs of dentists. If you want some REAL fun, get some implants :)
    R

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