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FAQ:  Sedation Dentistry

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First let me say I'm sorry for taking up your valuble time, I know for myself time is hard to come by and I'm only 28 single and no kids. To start with I can be classified as having dental phobia but it's not really a fear of the dentist as much as a fear of the discomfort. The sound of a drill does not bother me it is actually painful to me. My teeth have always been so sensitive that every experience I had with a dentist as a child was excruciating. I have never drank bevrages with ice and it has probably been twenty years since I had ice-cream. I know I need some type of sedation but I'm not sure which kind and whatever dentist I see will surely push something in his line of expertise and not really what's best for me. I am missing several teeth, some in front, and a couple badly decayed and broken. I know you've heard all that before and I'm sorry for bothering you with it but i just wanted to give you a breif history of myself and how my neglect started. I saw one sedaton dentist and after driving close to 100 miles and him telling me that he could give me a beatiful smile in no time and I could sleep through the whole process with anesthesia; he then tells me $10,000, I don't take insurance and I'll need it upfront. My appearence means alot to me and I know having nice teeth would really help me in the buisness world but I don't have ten grand. Basicly I need your help in finding out what forms of sedation are available, which are effective and in which ways, and would it be cheaper and a better long term to go with a dental implant, I really don't want to have a full set of dentures at 28, or try to repair what I have and fill in the gaps with bridges and stuff. The Doctor who wanted to charge me ten grand said he wanted to fix what I had, but I really didn't think that was a good idea, ten years of neglect is not just gonna go away over night I'm sure I would have been going back and spending more money the next time something broke. Again thank you for your time, I really hope you can help because there is nowhere else to go to ask dental question you just have to sign the check and hope the Dentist has your best intrest in mind and not his wallet. ...Visitor from NJ

It is never a bother to try to educate someone about what can be done for you. I understand your concerns and agree that you do not want to waste your money on something that will only fail.

If you buy a car you expect it to wear out don't you? Well things in your mouth can wear out as well. The way to slow that process down is related to the following:

1. The operator... who ever performs the work... Dentistry is highly technical work and some technicians are better at it than others. Every doctor is in my mind at least on one level a technician. The better the technician, the more he/she charges for the services.

2. The patient... some people have a better physical make up than others.

3. The environment the teeth are in. How well are the teeth cleaned and taken care of every day. I have patients who spend 30 minutes a day really cleaning their mouths.

It seems to me that you have some decision making to do. If you were comfortable with the last dentist then you might go back to him and ask if you can have the work done over a period of time. Or if you can pay an outside financing company over a period of time so he can go ahead and be paid for his services.

If you are not comfortable with him then find another one... The problem will become that you may be given several ideas about how to go about accomplishing what you need to accomplish.

Good Luck with the road you are on...

Editorial Staff

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