I have bulimia. It’s destroying my teeth. I know I need to see a dentist, but if I go to my family dentist they’ll tell my mom. If I go see an emergency dentist, I can give a fake name. Will they fix my teeth?
A. – Georgia
On an emergency dental visit, they generally just get you out of pain and then schedule a follow up visit for what the problem is. What you’re needing is serious work done on your teeth. You could go to a different dentist than your family dentist and use a fake name. But, I’m curious. If you’re worried they’ll tell your mom, it’s likely you’re a minor. Though, I don’t know that for sure. If so, how will you pay for these extended treatments?
My next question is what makes you so certain that your dentist will tell your mom? Is it that you know this dentist well enough to know he’ll do that, or is it just something you’re assuming?
Most dentists want to help their patients. He will know your teeth need help and he’ll want to do anything to make sure you get the care for them that you need. Dentists want to protect their patients privacy.
I have a suggestion. Why don’t you call your dentist and ask him if he’s willing to talk to you in confidence. Get that assurance up front. Have him look at your teeth and tell you what you’ll need to do to protect your teeth. It’s likely, he can give your parents a legitimate, honest assesment of your teeth without mentioning the bulimia.
I will say, even if he fixes the immediate problem, without dealing with the bulimia itself, you’ll end up in the same place (or likely worse one) than you are now.
Talk to a school counselor or other trusted adult to see if you can get help. You’ll find, if you confide in your parents, though they’ll be terrified by what you tell them and could possibly overreact at first (out of fear and love), all they’ll want to do is help. They’ll get their senses together and do everything in their power to get you the help you’d need. At least, that’s what I’d do for my children.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.