• AbsentElemental

      Thanks very much. I’ve got seven appointments I can think of that I have left, though none of them are for a few months. We’ll see how it goes.

  1. Babe! Anything tooth related gives me the creeps (pictures, stories, metal) not because I’m scared, I just don’t like thinking about it/the sensation, but you poor thing!

    Because my granddad ran a butchers, he was mates with many shopkeepers, one of whom ran a sweet shop, meaning that my Mum could have her pick as and when she chose. Dental care also wasn’t really enforced either, so she basically has a head full of metal now, but by the time I came along she was incensed to make sure I made it through toddlerdom without fillings. Because of how regular I am with check ups and upkeep, she decided to go in to see what could be done – especially since the introduction of white resin fillings – and all she heard was ‘kerching!’ every time the dentist spoke. Good luck with the rest of the appointments!

    • AbsentElemental

      Oh, I can assure you that this whole process certainly hasn’t been cheap. Unlike medical insurance in America — which is already not all that great, but super useful — dental insurance is basically a maximum each year. So my insurance company pays a set amount a year per person (it’s not much…it covered half of one crown this year). Fortunately, I do get a discounted rate at my dentist for having insurance…but that doesn’t help much.

      That all said, I do love not having near constant mouth pain and not waking up to blood in my mouth some mornings. I have so many far worse stories I could have shared…but I didn’t want to freak people out too much.

      • Silver linings, I guess? There was a year where my friend and partner both had root canals done within about a month of each other (blegh) and while my partner’s was simple enough, jebus, my friend. He basically has no money. The NHS is a wondrous thing, but when it comes to things like fillings and crowns etc, it begins to cost – in order to prove that you can’t pay for it, or you require a discount, there’s this lovely wad of paperwork you have to work through, send back, and then wait for it all to process. It began with quite a large cavity, which became an emergency appointment, which then became a temporary filling awaiting a crown. Thing is, they didn’t tell him that, so another emergency appointment and a golf-ball sized abscess later, he had the choice of removal (£12) or a root canal (a lot more). Hands down, the rankest few months I had to witness, and I still hate them both for it.

        • AbsentElemental

          Wait. A removal was 12 pounds? That’s $15.30 (roughly here). For context, the most recent removal I had done was $140 (roughly 110 pounds) and it’s one of the cheapest dental things I’ve had done this entire time.

          • That’s privatised health for you, mon homme. Actually it may have been even cheaper if discounts were included because of his financial and education status at the time, but yes, way cheaper to remove than fill. (In Scotland, without discounts, you’re required to pay up to 80% of the cost through the NHS).

          • AbsentElemental

            The $140 cost was with discounts from the insurance company. I’m afraid to see what it’d be like without discounts. I think the insurance company I have pays between 20 and 50 percent of costs like those, depending on what the procedure is. One of the big problems of US healthcare/insurance is that those covered values differ strongly depending on your employer’s insurance offerings.

  2. Oh man… dentistry is expensive here too, but it typically has pretty decent coverage when you get insurance benefits from work. Unfortunately, a lot of workplaces still don’t give medical benefits, especially to non-fulltime employees.

    Most insurance companies will allow you to keep coverage under your parents plan until you are 21, as long as you are enrolled in school. After 21 you’re on your own. I think I made it to the dentist twice between the ages of 21 and 28–Scott hadn’t been at all. Although his teeth weren’t nearly in the condition yours were, he needed $6000 worth of cavities removed and fixed, but they were dire. That was after a discount for having no insurance. I’m grateful his parents covered that, but it was crazy.

    Because most full time jobs used to provide benefits, I grew up seeing the dentist every 8 months, and brushing our teeth was really forced on us. Although, back then they used to say it was required a minimum 3 times a day. Now experts are saying you don’t need it that often. Regardless, I’ve been obsessed with keeping my teeth clean for years. I have the problem of overbrushing, and I’ve eaten away at my gums because of it. It’s really hard not to do that now, but I’m working on it.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that–I think it gives a bit of a shocking perspective to me of the realities of health care in the states. Even though we don’t have dental covered in Canada under our healthcare, it seems like it’s probably more accessible in general. I don’t recall even some of the poorer families I knew having issues like this.

    To end on a happier note though, the work they’ve done looks amazing. 😀

    • AbsentElemental

      I would have loved if all of my services would have been just $6,000. I had a single appointment this year that was that and then some by itself. I do wish dental insurance was better in the US though…it’s stressful to have to spend so much money on my teeth.

      And thanks! I’m happy with how this has turned out so far.

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