Things that shouldn’t be hard: Seeing a Dentist.

I have spent all day trying to get an appointment for an emergency root canal with a dentist I can actually get to, because my dentist is miles away and I don’t have a car. Heaven forbid any buses go near my dentist. Only rich people go to the dentist apparently.

They told me back in January at the free initial consultation that I needed a filling, and that if I didn’t get one I would need a root canal, but I couldn’t afford a filling at the time so they gave me the symptoms to look out for to tell if it’s gone worse. A filling is £90 to £200. It turns out a root canal is almost £1000. I did not know that. I still can’t afford a filling, but now I need a root canal.

Allegedly in the UK we’re all entitled to “free” (actually, it’s only subsidized, but any discount is better than nothing when you’re broke) dentistry but it’s impossible to get ANY dentist in York let alone a free one. There is one free dentist in York, with no appointments until the end of January. All the private dentists in York are either fully booked until the end of September or have a disgraceful consultation fee (I chose my current dentist based on the free initial consultation). That would be on top of the check-up where they actually looked at the tooth and the root canal itself.

I actually don’t mind paying for a service when it means I can access it when I need to, but one dental practice quoted a £150 initial consultation, a £60 fee for looking at the tooth (you can’t do that during a consultation apparently) and £1500 for the root canal… and they had no appointments until October. So they’re clearly trying to attract clientele with a lot more money and time than me (i.e. any money at all).

The whole point of paying for a service is supposed to be that you can actually use it when you need it. Why would I pay that much money to a dentist to then wait over a month for an emergency appointment?? It’s like I’m being financially penalized for the fact that I wasn’t fed properly as a child, because I look after my teeth better than anyone else I know. I’m obsessive about it. This root canal must have come from poor bone formation. Thanks, Dead Parents. Again.

I would just go to the emergency dentist but last time I went, they drilled the wrong tooth and told me afterwards that they’d only put a temporary filling on it, and that I should see my dentist to get it properly filled, and they charged me somewhere in the region of £45 for the privilege of wasting a day getting something done that I would have to get done again.

If I still lived in Bradford, I would just phone my dentist, tell them it was an emergency, get a same day appointment and sort it out on my payment plan. But I don’t, so I can’t.

My tooth hurts. I can’t wait months to get it fixed. It’s keeping me awake so bad that it’s waking me up from the Seroquel Zombie Sleep long after the background music in my brain has stopped playing (which seems to be Seroquel’s main effect).

In a last ditch attempt to get the tooth sorted this week, I phoned the dentist I saw in January and asked for an emergency appointment. They could fit me in on Friday.

So it is actually cheaper and easier for me to pay £40 for a taxi to my dentist and back to get this tooth fixed, even though my dentist is miles away, than to find a dentist actually in my city where I can get this sorted. If I had a car this wouldn’t have been as much of an issue, but I can’t afford a car, and a car costs less than a root canal.

I don’t have the money for this. I so don’t have the money for this. My credit card can’t cover this either; it’s just too much.

So the new plan is to take out a Career Development Loan alongside the Student Loan for my tuition fees, and pay the dentist with money that should be going on books and course costs. Except I’d have to wait at least 4 weeks to get the Career Development Loan because of processing times.


Have you ever had a root canal? Please can you tell me what it’s like as I’m a bit terrified!! Also can I take my bipolar meds and have local anaesthetic?? Anyone?


Author: MsAdventure

I am a twentysomething travel, photography and beauty blogger who occasionally writes about other topics. Within travel, I tend to write mostly about Europe because all the other travel bloggers seem to write about South East Asia. As a writer, I have written articles that are published in Offbeat Bride and on Buzzfeed, and as a photographer, I have taken photographs that are published in local and national news outlets in the UK. I have a blog at

2 thoughts on “Things that shouldn’t be hard: Seeing a Dentist.”

  1. Six root canals, most as a teenager. Sheer agony. I had one or two done while on anti depressants and Xanax, it did not interfere. Seroquel being in a different class, you should definitely make it clear to them that you take it. Listing all meds is standard practice here even for seeing a dentist, not sure about there.
    I wish you luck. Dental pain is worse than labor pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeouch, I guess they hurt more than fillings, then? And thank you, that at least reassures me a bit on the anaesthetic – it has a habit of metabolizing too fast and wearing off too soon on me, so sometimes in the middle of dental work (10 teeth out for orthodontic reasons as a teenager, 8 were molars) I’m like “ARRRGH” and they’re like “what??” I don’t want that as a general problem to get worse. They usually ask if you’re on anything here. If root canals are worse than labor pain, I’m going to have SO MUCH fun on Friday since it’s cramp week. I suppose it’s all my own fault for being bipolar and broke.


Comments are closed.