I have to go to the dentist today for a cleaning and check-up. My appointment is in a few hours. However, I’m already freaking out. I’m doing everything I know how to do in order to stay calm. And yet, the anxiety has been building since yesterday. Moreover, I’ve canceled this appointment four times in the last two months because the dentist terrifies me. I wish that I could get a grip on this fear. Not only would it make going to the dentist easier, but it would also save me money. Here are five ways I spend more at the dentist because I’m so scared:
1. I Go To a Really Expensive Dentist
I’m the first to admit that I go to one of the priciest dentists in the city. Why? Because they do a really good job of making me feel comfortable. they specialize in patients with extreme dental phobia. As a result, they’re able to charge more. Because they’ve done better at calming me down than any other dentist I’ve ever had, I’m willing to pay more for that service.
I have gone to dentists in all kinds of budget ranges in the past. Some inexpensive dentists were great. Others were terrible. I once went to a dental school to save money. While I’m sure they are perfectly fine for regular people who aren’t completely terrified of the dentist, they were a terrible fit for me. I cried for hours and made it hard on both of us. So, I’m sticking with the expensive dentist where I feel the most comfortable.
2. I Pay More For Meds
I simply can’t go to the dentist without taking medication to calm my nerves. Despite years of therapy and self-care and meditation and all of that, natural methods of reducing my anxiety enough to attend a dentist appointment simply don’t work for me. Therefore, I pay for anti-anxiety meds that I take before I go. Moreover, I pay for the nitrous oxide to further reduce my anxiety once I’m there. It’s not cheap. Each cleaning costs way more than it would for the average person. And yet, I wouldn’t go without this option.
3. Often I Pay Interest on Dentist Appointments
The dentist is one of those things that you sometimes need to do whether or not you have the cash on hand. Maybe a tooth is in terrible pain and you need to get in to see someone ASAP. Believe me, in times I’ve needed a root canal, no debt in the world could have stopped me from going to alleviate that pain. However, even on regular checkups, I sometimes have to pay with a credit card. I haven’t been able to find quality dental insurance so I pay it all out of pocket. Then it takes me time to pay off that credit card. Therefore, I’m paying interest on an already pricy procedure.
4. They Often Convince Me To Buy Extras
I’m getting better about this one. However, historically, my dentists have often convinced me to buy things from them. For example, I love my manual toothbrush. I’ve tried electric toothbrushes many times over the years and I simply don’t like them. And yet, once every five years or so, a dentist convinces me that I’d be better off using whatever the latest version is of their electric toothbrush or water flosser or whatever. And because I’m there, and I’m vulnerable, and I want perfect teeth so I never have to come back to the dentist ever again, I go ahead and make the purchase. I rarely use it for long. It’s always a waste. Like I said, I am getting better about this one.
5. Postponing the Dentist Creates Costs
As aforementioned, I’ve postponed this cleaning for a couple of months. And because of my unique dental issues, I’m actually supposed to get cleanings every three months instead of every six (which is what most people recommend). Therefore, I’m way behind schedule. And, of course, the longer you postpone dental work, the higher the likelihood of complications. Which means that I have historically spent more on dental care because I let certain issues slide and build up into bigger problems. This is another area I’ve gotten better at over time.
Are you scared of the dentist?