Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Dental Racket

It's been a few weeks since my last post, mostly due to a throbbing abscessed tooth and sinus infection. Add in the holidays, the new job, and a breastfeeding baby and it leaves minimal time for writing.

I wanted to write a funny post for the holidays, but all I can think about is these two teeth, both of which need to be removed.  I've known for about 4 years that they needed to be removed, but since they didn't hurt, I kept putting it off, despite admonitions and disappointed looks from the dentist.  I realize I have no one to blame but myself for the painful state of said teeth now.  But as vain as it sounds, the idea of going at least two weeks without these two teeth, which are nearer to the front than the back, is devastating to me.  I come from a long line of toothless people, and I don't want to be one.

The dentist doesn't make it any easier.  After looking at the offending teeth, she brought me in for a full exam, sure that the other teeth would be in dire straights too.  But no, those are the only teeth I have really neglected, despite a hereditary bone disease.  After telling me I really just needed the two teeth pulled and some minor cleaning and scaling,  I was given a $6000 out of pocket expense sheet-- and I have insurance, and it's pretty good insurance, too. 

I nearly ran screaming, but then began to look at the work I was put in for. A "building up" of a tooth that I was then told might not crack for ten years, but it could crack tomorrow.  Umm, I'm going to take my chance and save myself $1000.  

Implants instead of a bridge, to the tune of $4500 per tooth.  No, again, I'll pay the $1500 for the bridge, thank you.  An implant for a missing tooth in the back, because there's nothing stopping the top tooth from coming down.  Since I had that tooth pulled when I was 22, and I'm now 41, again, I'll take my chances.  And a $129 electric tooth brush that I'll need to keep my teeth clean.  Ummmm.  I think I'll skip that, too. 

Basically, I need right now about $230 of out of pocket work, plus a $1500 bridge. That's a far cry from $6000. Since my daughter also needs braces this year, I'm going to go ahead and have those two teeth pulled, a bridge made, and my teeth cleaned and leave it at that.  Thanks for the heart attack,though.


  1. I have teeth that need to be pulled to BUT because I have no insurance, and because of social and sensory issues that make going to the dentist nearly impossible for me, I will probably ignore them forever. I did have to take antibiotics for them once because they got infected. Dentistry is so annoying!

  2. Angel, other than the insurance part--I FEEL YOUR PAIN. (Pun pun!)

  3. It's funny how rarely we feel allowed to question the medical profession. If I choose not to have blood drawn on my dog every year, i feel like a horrible person. I rarely think to ask if there are other options.

  4. @Only-Mama, I usually don't either...but my husband ALWAYS questions, questions, questions. I took a page from his handbook!