I’m not sure what to do. I work for a retail company which shut down during the COVID-19 quarantine. Because I’m considered part-time, I’ve been furloughed and haven’t received any pay. I also haven’t been able to get through to the unemployment office. I hear they’re backed up. What do I do if I have a tooth ache but no income?
I am very sorry you have been furloughed. There is a lot of that going around right now during this time of crisis with the Coronavirus pandemic. Adding a toothache in the mix has likely not only left you in pain but increased your stress level. I want you to know right off the bat that there are affordable dentists out there who are compassionate to your circumstances and will be willing to help you.
The first thing I want you to do is an internet search using just that term– affordable dentist. Usually, this means they not only work to keep their prices reasonable but they also will have some form of payment plan, instead of requiring the complete payment up front.
Sometimes they’ll have an in-house payment system. If not, they’ll work through a company called Care Credit. This is a medical payment service that will cover your bill and you’ll gradually pay them back. Depending on your credit, they have low and even no interest payment plans.
Once you have a list of dentists you think will be willing to work with you, see which one is open for urgent care. Under normal circumstances, only certain dentists would take non-established patients for dental emergencies. However, because most practices are only allowed to do urgent care, you’ll likely find almost every dentist willing.
Toothaches are Serious
I know the stress of being unemployed at the moment may tempt you to avoid going in, but I don’t want you to put this off. Toothaches are almost always a sign of infection. Dental infections require a dentist to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp.
This is typically done by either a root canal treatment or, if the tooth can’t be saved, by a tooth extraction. The goal should always be to save a tooth. Othewise, you have to deal with a tooth replacement. The best replacement, dental implants, are expensive. The less expensive replacement options aren’t as useful or comfortable.
If you don’t have the infection removed, it will continue to spread. Our jaws are quite close to our heart, brains, and lungs. If it reaches one of those while you wait for treatment, it can become life-threatening quickly. Believe it or not, even in the 21st century, people still die from tooth infections. It’s tragic because it is so preventable.
This blog is brought to you by the Akron Dentists of Angel Dental Care.