questionshow to get dental work done when you have no…

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For the love of God, please if you have any suggestions, I need them. The pain is amplifying and I've already took my meds only a couple of hours ago. The dentist's office is closed today.

please.

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Dentist is plain expensive, but it's your health and there's no better way to spend your money than on your own health. So if you have to put it on a credit card than you do it, it's your health we're talking about here.

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Ok, I don't have the money on credit either... and I can't get loans, and my family is not any help. I've taken a hardship withdraw from my 401K but that won't get here till tuesday, and it only covers a third of the expenses.

I just need advice about stopping the pain on top of the three meds I'm already on, just till I can use the 401k money for the first procedure

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Me too. Just paid an oral surgeon 750 to pull mine. All out f pocket. What insurance nowadays? All goes to the politicians and upper class who blame us for living.

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Double up on the meds until you get the pain under control.

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Dentists can no longer give pain meds unless they see you in person and attempt to do something that relieves what is causing the pain. Its a new world. Good luck. Had mine pulled yesterday. Will work tomorrow and 2 more Saturdays to pay for it.

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@unitcode: Unfortunately, no one can really help you with pain management other than suggesting you double up on the meds you have available and go see a dentist/doctor ASAP. Have you called your dentist and spoken to him/her/the office manager honestly and frankly about your monetary problems? Offered to set up a payment plan? Applied for Care Credit? And even though your dentist's office is closed today, there should be an emergency number you can call to at least speak to someone. If your dentist is aware of your specific issues, the pain that it is causing, and has recently seen you, s/he should be able to call in a prescription for something slightly stronger without any problems. If there's no way to contact your dentist at all for emergencies, then you need to find yourself another dentist. (My dentist forwards all calls to a cell phone that is used for receiving emergency calls when the office is closed.)

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@goldenthorn Yes, they said that I had to apply for credit, they refused to set up a payment plan.

Care Credit denied me this morning, and none of my family is willing to be a co-signer.

No, I hadn't called to see if they have an after hours number :( I should, but I'm on a considerable amount of painkillers already.

Oddly, I just found something that worked.

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@unitcode:
To get rid of dental pain: make a thick paste of baking soda and water, place it over the tooth that hurts for about 3-5 minutes, rinse and brush with a sensitive toothpaste (ie. Sensodyne). Rinse with warm salt water about every 4 hours, and take sudafed as directed. You should feel some relief immediately. Most dental pain is caused by abcess. Taking an antihistamine and salt water will help dry it out while the baking soda paste should relieve some of the pressure. You can also rinse with Listerine.

This does not take the place of a dentist, but will help you until you can get in to see one.

NOTE: I am not a dentist, but have had significant dental problems all my life and have used the remedies above to allow time to get to a dentist. Also, Listerine and salt BURNS, but it will help with the infection.

Good Luck.

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@unitcode:
Dude go to the ER. Tell them that the pain in your face is so intense that it is causing your heart to palpitate (sp?) and your chest to hurt. I think that all ER's have to admit you if you have chest pain. You might get socked with a bigger bill this way but they can do emergency oral surgery this way and it comes out of healthcare difrent than a regular dental appointment most times. Also if the pain is gone you can get on a payment plan after the fact.

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Get in touch with the nearest dental school. The nearest one here charges something like $150 for a tooth extraction, and if it's an emergency (hurting constantly) like your case would be you'd get in pretty quick.

If you can get to the St. Louis Metro East area, then you might be able to travel and save.

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Do not take medical advice from a deals forum...

All told.

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I would think that you may need a new dentist. Pain management and relief should be #1 to your doctor. If it isn't, then they aren't the people you want to deal with. Really though, if you're in unbearable pain and your doctor won't help you stop that - find a different doctor.

Once you see your doctor to get your pain taken care of, ask them if pulling the infected tooth is a more affordable option in the mean time.

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@philosopherott: ERs must see everyone who presents with a complaint of chest pain, but when an EKG reveals no cardiac involvement, you will most certainly not be "admitted" to the hospital. In fact, presenting at the ER with a complaint of chest pain secondary to dental pain is the route least likely to help the OP: he would labeled a drug seeker in minutes and get kicked out the ER with no pain medication (ERs don't do emergency oral surgery of the dental variety anyway). If the OP has no other option, presenting at the ER with intolerable pain resulting from a dental abscess might result in 2-3 days' worth of pain medication.

Of course, none of this helps the OP with his presenting concern: financing dental work. I wish that I had useful suggestions for him, but in case anyone is reading this and is ever tempted to present at the ER with false chest pain in order to receive care, I wanted to make sure folks knew it essentially guarantees an outcome different than they desire.

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@jumbowoot: You remind me of Silent Bob, you do not say much but when you do is is golden.

I am not a doctor but I play one in the forums!

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If cost is the main issue, search your local area for low cost dental care programs. I know nearby there's a dental program that travels city to city that does free dental care for patients-- there is normally a long line when it comes into town, but it could be an option if there's something like that in your area. I googled and found one in Florida, too, so Ohio isn't the only place that has em. Start by calling your state and local health department and see if they have a list of places to refer you.

edit: http://www.dentistryfromtheheart.org is one that has many upcoming events. If you're in urgent pain they might not have anything soon enough, but just in case... I also see something called Mission of Mercy that does them in many areas.

I believe United Way also helps people find low-cost dental things in their area, so that might be a start if you contact them, too.

As far as the pain though, I agree that there should be an after hours emergency number to call.

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Not sure if this is applicable to you, but I have done trades with dentists. Installed the software for a Kodak digital panographic x-ray in exchange for dental work on my son's mouth.

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FYI, I just (18:05 PST) got a text from the ex-wife: doing another trade for my kid for dental work, it appears.

BTW, my kid is 21.

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Your dentist sucks if they won't set up a payment plan in extenuating circumstances, I'd poke around. My dental plan is good, so check later into getting something better if you can.

Meantime, sounds like you have an immediate incentive to find a new dentist that'll treat you well and set up a payment plan. You cannot function when you are in such pain, and any payment plan you can work through, but that sort of pain you probably cannot.

I would not recommend doubling up on pain meds. Remember pain medication is ultimately a toxin, and there's a reason dosages exist. Yes it will likely be unbearable and awful. You have my utmost sympathy, I can't imagine what you're going through and this is a horribly stressful event. Call any dentist you can find, they will come in for emergencies like it sounds like you are in.

Worse comes to worse, if you have medical insurance, call the nurse hotline if there is one and see what they recommend too. Maybe an Urgent Care will help you.

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@jumbowoot: Agreed! Mixing medicines is a recipe for disaster.

Like others have mentioned, you need a new dentist. Since you have dental insurance, I would start there. Give the insurance company a call (or go on the web) and see if you can find any lower cost dentists (just to see what the other covered dentists are). Failing that, just open the phone book or yellowpages.com and search for dentists. Call them all until one of them is willing to take a payment plan or something similar to that.

Outside of the pain, today is a Friday, it is a bit strange that the office is closed.

Good luck with the pain, I've had work done on my teeth and toes as well. It sucks.

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Certainly not a permanent fix, but, go to your nearest health food store, get a bottle of Clove Oil.......apply it to the affected area, and be careful not to get any on your lips or tongue, as it burns, leaves a nasty aftertaste.

Good news is, it may give you some level of relief. I had a "hot nerve" on a tooth, and repeated applications of pure Clove Oil saved my life a few months back (until I finally got myself into the dentist).

Use a cotton swab to apply it, just google it, you'll see what I'm talking about.

http://www.ehow.com/how_2310972_use-clove-oil-toothache.html

Hope it helps, at least some.

Good luck.

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I don't know where you live, but viva Mexico! Cheap dental work and only a small risk of kidnapping.

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Anyone wondering what one could possibly have done in the dental field that requires as much money as OP is implying?

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Go to a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for some suggestions. Most pharmacies stock OTC pain-relief meds for tooth ache. I've used Ora-Gel successfully (it's intended primarily for children who are teething), but your level of pain may be past what Ora-Gel can do. Ask the pharmacist.

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@fat50strat: Dental work is not cheap. Back when I was having my teeth worked on (I have/had mild periodontal) it would easily go in to the thousands with insurance.

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@unitcode: http://careington1.com/ if you can, it took about 70% off my dental bill several years ago. Good luck.

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I noticed clove oil mentioned. That stuff can be a miracle worker. But be careful! If you have a bad infection, it can cause a few blessed minutes of absolute relief, and then bam - the infection somehow feels like it's pulled to the surface and hurts more than before+. Great for a few hours until your dentist opens - bad, bad, bad as a longer fix.

+ Just personal experience. Didn't want you to go through the same thing.

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please be very careful with the lortab 5/500 (identical to vicodin). it's not the 5 mg of hydrocodone you should worry about - it's the 500 of acetominophen (aka tylenol). more than 4000 mg of acetominophen per 24 hours can be quite dangerous - acetominophen is a liver toxin at higher doses than recommended. if you happen to take some tylenol along with the lortab, you can get in the toxic range quickly. it's also a bad idea to drink alcohol when taking significant doses of acetominophen.

another problem i've seen many times is really bad constipation from vicodin / lortab. i tell all my patients to start immediately on a stool softener if they need to take even one HC/APAP. one good one is docusate, 100 mg. taking one or two a day is a good idea.

you really don't want to be constipated AND have a toothache . . .

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First of all, i hope that the toothache pain has been resolved. In case it has not, I read all of the feedback- wow! there is a lot of it too! Many mentions to go to ER/ED. Not sure where you are demographically, but the hospitals out here do not treat tooth ache patients with Narcs. They will give you a nice shot of NOVICANE and that takes care of it until the morning. I know having worked ED/ER as a nurse for many years, we have a dentist that we refer our toothache patients too. Perhaps that would be the case in your area. The dentist we recommend to our patients is not "officially contracted" with the hospital, however, he has agreed to take patients any time, day or night, insurance or not. It is only 1 provider that is willlng to be so accomodating out of several in our small town, but 1 good dentist is all ya need, right? Exacto! So, that is the end of my maternal lecture/recommdation. Best of luck to you.

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@fat50strat: I had a tooth extraction and then an implant on one of my front teeth. Cost around $4k.

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Dental schools do work cheap. You have to start somewhere.

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@craigster38: Me too, a back tooth extraction & implant. Bone grafts are $$$$.