Please forgive the longness of my post. I've needed to vent all this for a long time.
I'm almost 25 years old, make very little money, have to live at home. Last June/July, I was informed that I would need to have all the teeth in my upper jaw extracted and replaced with a denture. Needless to say I was shocked, scared, and shamed. I've had emotional problems since I was in junior high, and part of this manifested in neglecting my personal needs, like dental care. I also have a very dry mouth from my antidepressants which expedited the decay. And then there was the eating disorder I went through that made my teeth even worse. You can see, all these things combined don't paint a pretty picture. Yet somehow even as my teeth chipped and cracked I reassured myself that these were just everyday problems that could be fixed with fillings.
Well I got a rude awakening when I was given the news. Suddenly all the problems I had earlier seemed very small. And the idea of having teeth removed... well I didn't know exactly what dentures were like, because no one in my family has used them. I imagined cartoonish clacking teeth that would need to be glued into my gums each day. I couldn't believe that there were people under the age of 60 who needed this done and I felt like a freak. I alternated between spending nights awake with shame and cursing myself, and trying to pretend nothing was wrong, that I would wake up one day and find my teeth in the condition they were in high school. (I even found myself wishing that I'd get non-fatally attacked by someone, or get in a non-fatal car accident, that my teeth would be knocked out and I'd have an excuse instead of facing my own problems. How messed up is that?) Finding this site and other sites that gave pictures and explanations were a huge relief. There are other people who are going through this at a younger age, and dentures are not the clacking fake teeth I thought they were. I now feel ready to confront this step in my life.
There's just one problem. Like I said, I have little money. My "work" is just enough to keep me out of unemployment, and no matter how many job applications I send out, I get nothing back. I am back on my parents insurance for the next year or so, but they have no dental coverage except for routine cleanings. My parents have no extra money and will not help me, which is understandable, because they are very disappointed and already allow me room and board. I want to go back to school to get a teaching degree, but that will take me several years, since I currently am ineligible for financial aid. (My hope is that once I get a professional job, I can start saving up for dental implants that will make the coming decades easier.) I actually attended several meetings with a doctor, but when the day came to have my back upper teeth removed, I couldn't scrape together the $2,000 to have it done. (Did I mention I need four wisdom teeth out too? Fortunately those can wait.)
Has anyone else been through this? Were you able to get a loan from the bank or somewhere else? I'm not sure how my credit is, because I did have some CC debt that I have just recently been able to pay off. I don't think I have any relatives who can afford to give me the money I need, and I'm too ashamed to ask for it. On the other hand, I am very scared of what will happen if I put off the procedure too long. I'm not feeling any pain, but I've read enough about people who couldn't afford dental surgeries and suffered awful consequences.
Oh, and one other problem. Less important, but bear with me. I have a friend I haven't seen in years, who moved out of state, and recently we have been talking through Facebook and grown very close. I haven't said anything about my dental problems to him. When is a good time to bring this up? I worry that the longer I wait, the more shocked he will be when I explain it. I'm not even worried about what other people will think, at least right now. But I am worried sick that he will think less of me. If anyone has gone through such a situation I could use advice on that too.