What’s worse than a trip to the dentist? Spending time with a financial adviser, according to respondents to a recent survey, 17 percent of whom said that given the choice, they’d rather spend the time in a dentist’s chair.   The poll results suggest that their finances need as much work, if not more, than their teeth. Nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they are barely making it from paycheck to pay check; 19 percent said they couldn’t afford to miss a single check and nearly one-quarter said they have less than $250 left in the bank when their paycheck arrives. “We know full well that with rising costs and unexpected expenses, consumers may have a tough time making ends meet,” said Dave Hogan, vice president of marketing and analytics at Springleaf Financial, which sponsored the study. “[But] we are concerned that so many Americans aren’t willing to take the time to learn the skills they need to make better financial decisions. The study serves as an eye-opener to just how critical financial education is among today’s adults — and how far we still have to go.”