Need so much work and I can’t afford it.

I have a flipper that I’ve worn for a good decade and I broke it (again) tonight. I know it may be able to be fixed, but broke down. Why? I’m a 27 year old female. I had OCD as a child and a bad home life. The combination meant that I was not able to care for my teeth until I was in high school and after. By then, the damage was well past done. I now have at least $20k of work to be done. I can’t afford to do it, or I would. Not a day goes by that I don’t pray I can figure this out somehow. But I can’t afford payments or the work. I can’t find help because it is extensive work – a removal along with several crowns and bridges. My dentist won’t do reduced work and can’t come up with any other solutions or me.

Please, let me know if you can help me or know of someone who might. I will be forever grateful. 

Thank you,
Katie from Michigan

Katie,
I don’t have any special resources or a dentist near you that I could refer you to, but I may have some suggestions.

I don’t know exactly what you need, but judging from what you seem to be telling me, it seems to me that you should be able to phase your treatment somehow in such a way as to make your dentistry affordable.

When you have a lot of decay, broken-down teeth, and teeth that need to be extracted, here is a way that can sometimes be done to try to fit this into a do-able budget.

First, the dentist can go in and remove all the decay, just filling the decay as economically as possible. If the tooth needs a crown, the crown can wait, and the dentist can just do the buildup. If necessary, temporary fillings can be placed, just to eliminate the decay. Glass ionomer filling material is fairly easy to place, it has a moderate bond with the tooth, and it releases fluoride. It isn’t a long-lasting filling material, but it’s a great base or a buildup for a crown, it’s relatively inexpensive to place, and it releases small amounts of fluoride to help guard against further decay.

The second step would be to take out any hopeless teeth. For teeth replacements, if you can’t afford implants or bridges, there is a less expensive option. A removable partial will save quite a bit of money.

If your dentist is unwilling to discuss these options with you, I would call around and find a dentist who will work with you. Just explain when you call that you need a lot of work and want to phase your treatment so you can afford it, and ask if the dentist is willing to do that. Some dentists will let you come in and ask questions without charging a consultation fee.
I hope this is helpful.