Theriot Family Dental

Discouraged About My Teeth

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Growing up my parents could not afford dental care for us. They tried but there were just too many of us and prices were too high. We only got to go when there were emergencies. As you can imagine, those were painful appointments. Now that I am older and in college, I recently took the subway to a dentist that was listed as affordable. When he told me everything that had to be done with my teeth, I cried. I just don’t know how I’m going to get all of that done. I’m also dealing with some dental anxiety because of how painful the appointments were as a child. I don’t want to let the fear and cost be an excuse for me to stay away, but I’m not sure how I can do all of this.


Dear Lane,

woman asleep in a dental chair


I can tell you are trying hard to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Let’s see what I can do to help. When you need a lot of work, one of the best things you can do is have your dentist “triage” it. Ask him to list things out from the most urgent to the least. Then, you tackle those most urgent issues first, before they turn into dental emergencies. This also allows you to stagger out your appointments in a way that is more affordable, while still making good progress on your oral health. If you don’t have dental insurance, some affordable dentists have an in-house discount plan that works a lot like insurance to save their patients money.

As to the dental anxiety you are experiencing, that is pretty understandable given your experiences. I am going to suggest you see a sedation dentist for your work for two reasons. First, it will give you completely anxiety-free appointments, which in turn allows the numbing medication to work more efficiently. So not only will you be anxiety-free, but pain-free during your dental care. Second, because most people sleep through their sedation appointments, it will allow you to get more work done at each appointment. This will mean you can catch up on all that work you need even faster.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.