Honest reply....


Hey guys....I started this thread in hopes of soliciting some honest feedback. I'm about to start 3rd semester of my program in August. One of the very first topics that we covered in the beginning of the program was professionalism and professional behavior.

Now, part of being a professional is looking professional, right? I certainly believe it is. So onto my main issue. I've got some serious dental problems. I currently do not have dental insurance and the kind of work that I need is super expensive (even with insurance). I've kinda just been putting it off and dealing with the toothaches. Until now. Today my front tooth broke. I'm pretty devastated. I'm also aware it needs to be fixed. I just dread it.

So.....is it acceptable to be a nurse with jacked up teeth? Should I just fix the broken one and hold out on fixing the rest until I'm working and (hopefully) better insured? Can my appearance damage my chances at building my career?

No one wants a nurse with broken, rotted teeth. Any comments or advice appreciated. Thanks for reading.


1,224 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience.

Having healthy teeth greatly impacts your overall health, and yes, having an intact smile will impact hiring. Go to a preferred but reasonably priced dentist and see if you qualify for credit/insurance such as programs like Care Credit that is an actual credit card that can be used towards getting dental work done. Good luck!

Red Kryptonite

2,212 Posts

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Have you looked into dental schools in your area? Often they run clinics where dental students get to learn, and you can get care for very reduced prices. I'm sorry you're going through this, that's gotta be really hard. :(

Also, I think some state Medicaid programs include dental coverage, so maybe look into that as well.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

Check into dental schools. Also check with dentists. Many offer payment plans and reduced rates for cash customers.

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.

Have you tried a home tooth whitening system? Sometimes a whiter smile can make for a healthier looking smile.

Red Kryptonite

2,212 Posts

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Lev, not if her teeth are very crooked and are breaking, as she described.


256 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Check around with different dental offices, some of them will allow payment plans. My boyfriend has similar problems and he didn't have insurance when I took him. They're financing almost 7k dollars worth of work, his payments are roughly 150 a month. Worth a shot.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.


Did you read the OP? A box of crest white strips won't straighten or fix broken teeth.


1,763 Posts

My aunt was in a similar position and went to a dental school. She was very pleased with the experience and recommends it to everyone without good dental insurance.


527 Posts

I highly recommend a dental school. I went to a dental school and got braces, it was nice and pleasant experience, plus my teeth look much better. I have additional dental work that needs to be done as well and it will be done by the same dental school . The work is done by a student and they monitored by a experienced and licensed dentist. You can also work out a monthly payment plan if you are not able to pay all at once.


88 Posts

Specializes in Ortho.

Thanks for the awesome replies. There's definitely some options in there that I hadn't considered so I appreciate the responses. And as someone mentioned above, white strips won't cut it! My teeth need some serious work. I guess I'll be calling around and finding out payment plans and checking into dental schools.

I've always known I would have to fix my teeth eventually. With the front one breaking, I just can't put it off any longer. Thanks again for the honest and helpful responses. You guys helped to confirm my suspicions that rotten teeth and nursing don't mix!

Specializes in ICU.

My school has a dental school in it. You can get a teeth cleaning for $10. It sounds like you need some extensive work done. I've been getting some extensive work done myself and I don't have dental insurance. My old dentist made me pay for everything up front. I now go to my boyfriend's dentist and he lets me make payments.

I was on an epilepsy med years ago that made my gums swell up. It was that way for almost 2 years. I switched mess and when I got off of it, the swelling had gone down. I was also on Coumadin which made my gums bleed when I brushed and it was painful. I had a line along the base of my gum line on both upper and lower gums where cavities had set in on every tooth. I'm scared to death of the dentist. Numbing me is a problem and the first time they still, I feel it every time. But I didn't smile a whole lot anymore because my front tooth had cracked and it had a giant cavity. My new dentist is wonderful. I just had my first crown done and all the cavities have been filled. I have always been anal about brushing and flossing. But now I've been introduced to the awesomeness of a waterpik. I pay my dentist $200-$300 a month. I owe about a grand right now, but still have lots of work to be done.

Your smile is important. Especially when you interview. And more than that, it can lead to serious heart problems if you don't take care of your teeth. I have always been told my smile is one of my best features but I had stopped for several months last year. Growing up, I spent years in braces and I had a severe trauma to my two front teeth. When my wisdom teeth came in, it messed up all of the work braces had done for me. After the main things are all finished with my teeth I will probably be back in braces.

I feel your pain. The cavities had infected part of my gums and my teeth and gums were so very painful. I can tell you, after getting it fixed, that pain is all gone. My gums feel normal again and my teeth don't hurt. I still haven't had to have a root canal. I really just needed a couple of crowns. It may not be as bad as you think.