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I want to smile more. [Teeth]

KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, I'm not proud of getting to this point. Please try to keep the lectures at a minimum.

So years of crappy teeth healthcare (lazyness and bad habits, low income family growing up, etc) have finally caught up to me. I'm incredibly embarrassed by the condition of my teeth. I done a lot to improve myself in the past couple of years but I still feel like my teeth are holding me back.

I know I shouldn't be but I'm also embarrassed to go to a dentist. I guess part of me feels like there's nothing they could do at this point. So any advice? Can dentist improve my teeth? And cost?

Here's a picture of my teeth..again not a pretty sight.
IMAG0244.jpg

Kyougu on

Posts

  • ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    You could be a lot worse off. They're pretty straight, and assuming none need to be pulled completely, you could fix most of your visible problems with tooth-colored fillings (which are more expensive than the silver ones, but not prohibitively).

    Usually, ones in your smile are covered by dental insurance, as well... so those, at least, wouldn't cost more.

    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    Also:

    Yes, go to a dentist. You're not nearly as bad off as you seem to think.

    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    Er... and to answer the cost question: That would depend on the dentist and how much actual work needs to be done, but fillings, individually, aren't terribly expensive. I would think multiple hundreds of dollars, as opposed to multiple thousands... and most likely they wouldn't do all the work at once, so you could spread it out.

    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Yeah, your teeth don't look that bad at all. The coloration is off and your breath is probably terrible (built up plaque) but they can take care of that. You need to get that taken care of as well because you're starting to see gum recession.

    You need to go. They don't care. They've seen much, much, MUCH worse.

  • MadpandaMadpanda suburbs west of chicagoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Can't see the link from work, but I'm guessing you are nowhere near as bad as I was. Close to a decade of being a smoker, drinking lots of soda, and brushing maybe every few days.

    It took ~3 years and a few grand, but it was worth it.

    Don't be embarrassed about it, the more time you waste being embarrassed and not treating the issue, the worse it is going to get.

    Don't settle on the first dentist you come across unless you really like them. Part of the reason I stopped going for years was my previous dentist, who was the only one i could see due to being under my dads insurance, did not like giving out any kind of anesthesia even topical. I think it was a cost thing.

    Make sure there payment system works for you, a few around here required full payment upfront and then it was my job to deal with the insurance company. My current one doesn't do that.

    Look into flex spending accounts if your work offers it, especially if they allow direct billing to the FSA so you don't actually spend money "right now".

    Cost out of pocket depends on your insurance, you should be able to get a decent quote beforehand. Off the top of my head after insurance I paid ~$90 for a root canal or filling ~$300 for a crown.

    Madpanda on
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  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    deffinatley not that bad. After having my daughter and not having dental for a few years my teeth were in awfull shape. I went to my dentist and after a year of fillings, root canals, and stainless steel crowns my dentist and I decided that a full upper denture was the only thing. Now your teeth are no where near as bad as mine were. So if you can get it taken care of now that would be awsome and save you from lots of pain and stuff down the road.

    I paid about $2500 out of pocket for all the work done on my teeth, but then I have a great dental plan that covers 80% on minors and 50% on majors to a max of $2000 per year. and despite that they still covered the denture at 80%. You can talk to your dentist about if you can do payments and talk to your HR about your dental plan at work.

    Mom2Kat on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Ask about Veneers. They'll be a few grand, but you'll have movie star teeth.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    Ask about Veneers. They'll be a few grand, but you'll have movie star teeth.

    He doesn't need veneers. He needs a cleaning and maybe some bleaching.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User regular
    Dentists can perform black magic miracles

  • matbot3imatbot3i Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I have the exact same story. I did a lot of things to improve my situation and confidence but put this off.

    I endured a bunch of pain and embarrassment putting it off. Endured a fraction of that going in and getting it taken care of. It was expensive in the end (sedation and cosmetic procedures are not cheap) but it was sooo worth it.

    Also, my teeth were visibly worse than yours.

    matbot3i on
  • GalFridayGalFriday Community and Social Media Manager NovatoRegistered User regular
    I would not worry so much, discoloration is easily fixed and any other issues should be looked at. Your dental health is directly linked to the rest of your body so go to a dentist. I know this all seems obvious but think about it; you posted a pic of your smile on the internet (not always a friendly place) and you survived it. I think a dentist is -less- frightening. ;)

    Seriously call around, explain to the receptionist your fears and go with the one that made you feel the comfiest

    @Ga1Friday is the twitter account I use to talk about everyday things. Sometimes work things. Lots of work things.
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    Go a dentist. Get a cleaning. A good, ultra mega cleaning.

    Delaying is not doing you any favors.

  • WhacktoseWhacktose Registered User regular
    If you don't have dental insurance and are worried about cost I would recommend going to a reputable dental school in your area (where do you live? I can give you a recommendation) and getting the work done there. The majority of the work would be done by a dental student, but with specialist supervision. It will be significantly less expensive and, short of oral surgery, you won't see a difference in the quality of the work.

    Also: I will reiterate what others have said: Go to the dentist sooner rather than later. You have nothing to be embarrassed about (my father was a dentist and dear god, the teeth photos I saw when I was a child...) and the longer you wait, the more likely you are to end up with a truly major problem.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    Dentists deal with people with teeth literally rotting out of their jaw. They deal with people who only go when their mouth is essentially broken.

    You're essentially thinking like you won't take your car to the mechanic because you're worried they might laugh at your car. Get a rec from a coworker, look on Yelp, or just see what's nearby that takes your insurance. If you don't have insurance, call for rates or check if your local groupon or other daily-deal site has a deal.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    You can also look into getting dental work done in another country (Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica being very good options). You can generally get work down for an easy 50-75% cheaper that is also just as high quality, if not higher quality, than the work you'd have done in the US.

    This is easier and a better option if you happen to live close to a place like Mexico.

  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    Don't be afraid to go to the dentist, like so many people have already said, they've seen much worse. I would strongly advise that you take a bit better care of your teeth after it is fixed up though. It's hard to get into the habit, but brushing your teeth at least once a day should be automatic. I'm not sure if you've changed your brushing habits yet (I'm sure you have) but I would start working on that if you haven't already.

    y6GGs3o.gif
  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    I've had several thousand dollars worth of work done after about 5 years of neglect, flossing maybe once a week, brushing once every few days. I paid the price. Two root canals, three additional crowns, had to have a molar pulled and a lot of fillings.

    But I tell you, it's WELL worth it. My mouth doesn't hurt and my breath is a lot better. I now take better care of my teeth, brush and floss daily and use the shit out of mouthwash.

    If anything, go in for a consultation and X-Rays. That should only cost about $100-$130 and they will find everything wrong and map out a plan to fix anything that needs fixing. They'll also tell you what everything is going to cost.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I've been getting better at making sure the habit is there, I brush in the shower. Mostly it just makes it easy for me to remember, but I also use a water pick which basically gives me the added incentive of playing with a gadget.

    I went because I finally chipped a tooth and had a little freak out about it. The dentist was the nicest guy. These guys make alot of money off of life time customers, if they go out of their way to make you uncomfortable, find another dentist.

  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    Also, switch to an electric toothbrush. I did and I love it and won't go back. Mine has a timer for 2 minutes, the time you should be spending on each brushing session.

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    re: insurance

    there are some dentists out there that do not take insurance which will feature more 'reasonable' rates...

    dentists that take insurance inflate their shit to clean out the insurance companies

    it will still be more expensive than not having insurance, but it might not be quite AS bad.

  • Adhoc2008Adhoc2008 Registered User regular
    I'm a dentist.

    You look to have at least 2 cavities on the front teeth. With placement of composite (white) fillings you won't even be able to tell there was a cavity there. Obviously there may be more needed on the back teeth. Other than that your gums look a bit inflamed and need some good professional cleaning and better homecare.

    The fact you are embarassed just means you care. It's a good start. Not to echo the others but when i saw the picture I laughed, you don't even rank on a scale of bad teeth and your dentist won't even blink, this is routine stuff.
    Good luck!

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Thanks all. Glad to see I was over reacting just a bit.

    I do have insurance now so ill be looking for dentists today and making an appointment ASAP.

  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I think I've personally been much worse off than you in the past... I'm starting to take care of my teeth a LOT better and have been getting work done gradually, and it's really helped me. I also want to note, BECAUSE I've had a lot of work done... nothing I've done this whole time has hurt. At all. Root canals (should you need to get one) have a bad reputation, but with a modern dentist the most you'll normally feel from them or fillings is pressure, or the weird feeling when they anesthetize you in the first place. If you DO happen to feel anything, even if it's not that bad, indicate it to your dentist right away and they can re-numb you a bit (and if your dentist won't do this when you ask, switch dentists!).

    Oh, another bit of advice... Like me, you're not used to how dental work is supposed to feel afterward, so make sure if there's anything "funny" with your teeth, you talk to your dentist right away. After I got one particular filling, I noticed it felt a little sharp, in one spot... but I just figured "whatever, I'm sure it was done properly since the dentist knows what he's doing, I'm just not used to what fillings feel like yet..." Well, a couple months later, the filling just spontaneously FELL OUT while I was eating, leaving a nice little hole I needed to fix up (with another dentist at that point since I had moved)! So yeah, make sure you ask if you have any questions, or you might regret it later.

  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    Yeah I had my impacted wisdom teeth out (all four!) with just local anesthetic and I didn't have any pain during the actual procedure, so definitely nothing to worry about there.

  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    Ask about Veneers. They'll be a few grand, but you'll have movie star teeth.

    veneers are a last resort option, as you're destroying you actual teeth in the process. there's no going back. you do it when you NEED perfect teeth, like, a movie star

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Deusfaux wrote:
    Deebaser wrote:
    Ask about Veneers. They'll be a few grand, but you'll have movie star teeth.

    veneers are a last resort option, as you're destroying you actual teeth in the process. there's no going back. you do it when you NEED perfect teeth, like, a movie star

    Right, veneers aren't something you do when you've got a bunch of cavities, they're something you do after you have finished with the fillings and are taking good care of your teeth, and you're still not happy with the appearance.

    You need to go for a couple of years taking adequate care of your teeth before you start thinking about them, if a filling gets decay around it its a hundred dollar replacement, if a veneer gets decay around it you're looking at doing the whole set over and spending another few thousand dollars.

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