You are not my Dentist: My teeth are causing me a great deal of pain and anxiety, but I'm not sure if my dentist is giving me the right advice. How do I determine a course of action to become pain-free?
About a year ago dental coverage from my employer came through. One dentist visit later and I was scheduled for two fillings and a root canal in one of my canines. Fun, right? But then things got worse.
A short time after the first visit I started experiencing a dull, persistant pain in my back teeth and jaw, mostly on the right side. The pain would be increase gradually over time, and it felt akin to a sinus headache in my mouth. The pain was also maddening in its inconsistency, increasing and decreasing in severity seemingly at random throughout the day. Over time it got worse, and I was taking a lot of over-the-counter meds(Extended Release Tylenol and Extra Strength Ibuprofen), but even in combination they could only dull the pain. My dentist thought I may be grinding my teeth, and was fitted for a night guard
. This helped a bit(I no longer felt like I had lockjaw all the time and I was able to stop taking the pills), but the pain has persisted. I haven't had a truly pain-free day in a long, long time.
Here's the situation as it stands now:
My dentist wants to remove my wisdom teeth, as he feels they may be responsible for some of the pain. He also says that my bite is bad, and that it is likely I will need extensive ortho work that would cost thousands of dollars (Which I can ill afford - my dental plan isn't that good) followed by dental surgery to re-set my jaw and improve my bite(Which evil socialized Canadian medicine will cover). This is all especially delightful after having spent years in braces only to have all that work seemingly come undone.
The tooth removal worries me because I've already had four molars taken out - two top, two bottom - during my teenage years due to the aforementioned braces. This may sound stupid, but I'm honesty afraid I won't have enough teeth left back there to chew properly. Further, I think that the removal of the wisdom teeth is the first step in a plan I can't afford to finish. I'm afraid that the job will be left half-done and more problems will crop up as a result.
This all come to head(har!) in a completely overwhelming time in my life, which includes(but is not limited to) bed bug infestation, a new therapist, and a pretty severe uptick in anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I don't know who to ask for help, or even how to begin a plan of attack.
Help me, DentalFilter, I'm tired of hurting all the time.