OT: Need someone to commiserate with me.

jennifer_in_vaAugust 15, 2006


Just got home from a dentist appt. with my teenage step-daughter. Went in for an overdue cleaning and came out with about $700 worth of work due over the next few months!

She's got gingevitis, gum infections, teeth that need to be shaved down/evened up, 5 cavities, 8 sealants due, and eventually a night guard and braces after all this other stuff is cleared up! She has a terrible overbite which with teeth grinding have taken off more than half the enamel on the back of her front teeth. Oh, and she's on an every 3 month cleaning schedule which isn't covered by the insurance !

This is not the first time that a dentist has told her to stop drinking the sodas...and I realize these problems are not only from the 2 years she's lived with us, but from many years before that of no regular appts. and all the bad habits she had from the other house, but SHEEESH!! $700!! for a 17 year old's mouth! And that's only the beginning! That does not include the guard or future braces! (The braces by the way were suggested over a year ago and she said No! didn't want them...she'd rather pay for them herself down the road. I'd like to say "fine, it's all yours", but undoubtedly, DH won't agree!)

And that wasn't the only bad news. My 5yo is scheduled for a 2nd opinion with this new dr. in a few weeks. I took them the printout I have of her xrays and they confirmed that 'yes, she does have 8 cavities!' and they should be taken care of soon since 4 of these molars are her adult molars, and the other 4 won't come out until she's 10-12 years old. The estimate on this from the old doctor was .... $1700 !! and insurance probably wouldn't cover the anestesia to put her out so they can do all 8 at the same time!

Boy, can't wait to get DH in finally and see what they have to say about hiM!! He's had a broken tooth for almost 2 years now, and a huge cavity on the front teeth! And who knows what else!!

When it rains it pours! Don'cha wish you were me??

grumbling, and want to disappear from all this!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Boy! All I can say is - hope your teeth are A-ok!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are so right. When it rains it pours. Nothing worse than having bad teeth. Dental insurance isn't much help since they pay so litte.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was a similar discussion about something like this on the discussion gallery of this fourm, and I have some similar experiences with my own daughter.

Do check with your medical (not dental) insurance to see if they'll cover the anesthesia or that entire procedure. My daughter had anesthesia for a procedure to remove a bunch of baby teeth that were not coming out, even though the adult teeth were coming in. This was considered surgery (rather than a dental procedure) and our medical insurance covered it.

My sympathies to you and to everyone's teeth!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You certainly have my sympathy! A few years ago DH finally decided to go to the dentist. He had very poor oral hygiene and an even poorer track record of cleanings. He ended up needing multiple fillings, root canals, crowns and a bridge for a missing tooth. It took several years to get it all done and I don't even know how much it cost. At least now he brushes & flosses every day!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OUCH!!! You have my sympathies! I went through a similar time with DH a few years ago when he had to have heart surgery. He is one of those unlucky people with really brittle teeth that break off very easily, and every time he got a filling or a root canal, the tooth broke off within a couple months. And, BTW, he has the tiniest teeth I have ever seen on a grown man LOL.
Of course, no dental insurance. I feel like I paid $50 a month to the dentist forever!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do feel your pain Jennifer, not with a child, but with my own dang mouth. First off, I have perodontal disease, that means a cleaning every three months and my dental insurance will only pay for two cleanings per year. The cleanings are $125.00 each. Recently I had to have a root canal on a tooth with a crown. The last time I needed one of those, my dentist sent me to an endodonist since the tooth has a crown, but this time, I guess he wanted the money himself, so he "attempted" to do the root canal. He could only find two of the roots and was afraid if he kept "digging" he'd end up perforating the tooth and I would lose it. This tooth plays a very important role in my mouth, it helps to hold a permanent 4 tooth bridge. He ended up sending me to the endodondist and that cost $950.00, plus the $125.00 my dentist charged for what little he did. That's almost $1100. for a root canal and that didn't include a crown. I have dental insurance, but it's not very good and just a little better than not having insurance at all.

When my girls were growing up, going to the dentist wasn't expensive at all, but now, it's like any other medical procedure and costs an arm and a leg.

Your SD really needs to get a handle on the gengivitis so that it doesn't turn in to perodontal disease when she's an adult.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel your pain. DH just had another crown put in yesterday , his 2nd this summer, and our insurance doesn't pay any of it. Both my kids had braces and insurance didn't pay any of that either. We had just finished paying for DD's braces when we had to start over with DS's. You will get through this!
Linda OH

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have my sympathy. I've had periodontal disease for years, and couldn't begin to tell you how much money I've spent on my teeth. Cleanings are every 3 months ($125) and insurance doesn't cover any of it. I've had several crowns, and last year I had two dental implants ($4700). Dental care is very expensive, but I'm determined to do whatever I can to avoid removable appliances.

And I've worn a night guard for 30+ years--they are well worth the money if you grind your teeth.

Good luck......

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have spent well over $25,000 in the last 15 years on my mouth due to peridontal disease including many surgeries, bone grafts,tooth extractions, bridges, and implants and it will never be over until I die. And this all started with wearing braces for 7 years when I was a kid. What upsets me is that dental insurance doesn't recognize my problems as a health issue to cover more, but as cosmetic which is far from my concern. And they don't pay squat except for the two cleanings a year and x-rays. I have to go every 3 months. Dentures are not an option at this time as that doesn't solve a thing because the peridontal disease continues long after dentures are in place and eventually they don't fit. It's hell getting old! But I can certainly empathize with you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow. What a shock. My teeth have always been very healthy. I can't imagine what all of you are going through right now.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 5:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We need to have socialized medicine and dental care in this country. It's no wonder people put off going to the dentist! I feel your pain....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 6:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really feel your pain. I posted last week on the conversations board about our visit to a new dentist and my son's missing tooth, needs orthondontia, needs a tooth implant for the tooth that never grew in. I was in such shock sitting there in the waiting room...and we do not have dental insurance.
I wonder if your SD went to bed with a bottle of juice or milk when she was little...I've heard that can cause problems even in permanent teeth.
Good luck---you are not alone!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My son had a terrible overbite..did the grinding thing to the point he broke part of a tooth off several times. The good news (if there can be any) is the orthodontist covered the mouthguard (bite plate) in the cost of the braces. As the overbite was corrected he doesn't grind his teeth anymore. Most orthodontists take payments over the course of the proposed treatment. Our insurance covered $1000.00 towards the braces and I have to pay extra on the cleanings now because it takes longer with the braces and they bill it as an 'adult cleaning'. Crowns are a joke...I had to have one a couple of years ago and had to write a check on the home equity line. I keep telling my son be a dentist or a plumber...


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mishermishermishermisher. That's me commiserating with you.

Now, dental care in Mexico is C.H.E.A.P. I doubt if all that work on your stepdaughter would be more than $300 - $500 here with a highly qualified dentist. All the good ones here train in the US.

Good luck with all this.

Marti in Mexico

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i can definitally feel your pain. i have a fear of dentist, and had not had regular appointments in 2 years and that was all it took to require 6 fillings, a root canal and porcelin crown. grand total is $600, but we have awesome insurance. would have cost us almost $2000 with out the insurance. i got the root canal and crown and one filling over with, 5 more to go!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I'm sorry.

~ Kit

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jennifer you definately need to get a second opinion on your 5 year olds mouth. I no way should it ever cost $1700.00 for 8 fillings. Even if you don't have that great of coverage with your insurance it still shouldn't cost that much. I just took my 5 year old in and they said that he needed a filling in his back molar and my cost was going to be $53.00. That was the total charge for the filling.

And when my oldest was 4 he had 6 fillings, 4 root canals, 4 crowns, I porcelain veneer on his front tooth that was chipped, a tooth extracted, and a space maintainer put in, all at once, they used consious sedation and the total cost was just over $2000.00 at a pediatric dentist, I had to pay about $1200.00 out of my pocket.

So in no way should her 8 fillings cost that much even if you have no insurance.

And I just took my oldest in again for a cleaning and the dentist wants to do 6 more fillings and 4 extractions on teeth that are getting ready to fall out. Why the heck do I need to have teeth that are loose and the others aren't coming in yet pulled. I think they just want my money and I told her no.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Amy, thanks. You don't know how much that makes me feel better about little one's teeth. The quote I have was from the original dentist (who I am not seeing any more) and they had it down for $200 a tooth. That did not include insurance. I haven't yet talked to the pediadentist yet, so don't know their fees, or what insurance will cover, but I'm pretty certain it won't cover the anesthesia...don't know if medical ins. will yet.

Have to look into the conscious sedation...hadn't really thought about that. How exactly did that work for your son? They're awake, but out of it?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You sure have my sympathy! We don't have dental insurance, either. We have spent a small fortune on my teeth, too, and now the dentist has recommended me to see a periodontist (?) to do something to stabilize two implants I have side-by-side that are getting loose. I know that is probably going to cost plenty, but to add to the pain (and my anger), I got a form letter from him with a long form to fill out about my past medical history and the information that they "do a thorough periodontal check-up, take x-rays, and have a "consultation" with the patient to determine the best treatment. You can just bet that every one of those little items is going to mean a big separate chunk of money. Not, "I'm going to see ($250) what I can do for your implants,...ah, yes, come in next week for a bone graft ($1000? more?), and we'll check regularly to see how it is taking, at $300 a pop." I intend to put up resistance to that "thorough periodontal checkup," at least, because my dentist is on top of any problems in that line, and I certainly don't want a specialist at this point. But do you think I'll be successful? I can just hear the receptionist saying how it would be "irresponsible" of them, once they got me in their office, not to check everything. Har har.

$200 per filling certainly sounds excessive to me, too--not if it's a simple matter of drilling and filling. Is every cavity the size of the Grand Canyon? I'm sorry for both of your children, too. When I was a kid, the dentist's waiting room seemed like the ante-room to hell, but dentists are kinder these days, and getting it all done under anesthesia sounds really nice!

Sorry for ranting. This is a sensitive topic for a lot of us, I guess.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, Jennifer, I don't envy you right now -- most frustrating would be to see your step daughter bring this on herself and then have to fork over the bucks. I'm no Dr. but isn't gingivitis unusual in teens? I thought that was a grown up thing. ???

I'm overdue for the dentist myself -- I've been careless this last 20 years or so 'cause my teeth have always been so healthy, but the enamel is wearin away along the gumline on all of them from brushing -- don't know what they can do about that but I guess I'd better go find out before it's too late.

Marti -- my parents take care of all their dental work in Mexico and are thrilled with the lady they go to -- she did train in the US but can make more in Mexico (on the border). Not sure if the overhead is less or she doesn't need all the credentials or what, but it works well for all. It would probably be a far hall for Jennifer though!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think after your step-daughter goes through this painful routine, she will take better care of her teeth and gums. You can also have whats known as a deep sonic treatment where they get under the tooth and gum that does a better job and less painful in the long run than the pic torture tool and hygienist...your gums are sore for 6 weeks but worth it.

Don't forget that some of the university dental schools will see patients at a reduced rate.

I'm overdue for the dentist and this posting has been educational.

Gingivitis can also be caused by poor nutrition (just not sugary drinks) as well as neglecting your teeth by not brushing properly, flossing, and my favorite, not using a water pic that will flush out anything the brush and floss misses--I'm on my second unit in 25 years.

You can also inherit dental problems so sometimes there isn't a whole lot you can do beyond having them pulled with dentures or paying through the nose for decent looking teeth.

I grew up in a city that added fluoride to the water, which I know helps teeth, and have never had a fluoride treatment. My cousins that live in another city are poster children for not having fluoride in the water and have always had fluoride treatments...and the dental problems and bills to prove it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 6:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Stay calm. Stress is bad. Calm cool. Breathe!!! Stress makes for high blood pressure..high sugar count..stay calm! You don't want to have a flipping heart attack!!
"Be happy. It's the wise thing to do"

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For that much money, if it's really needed, I would consider going out of town. It almost sounds like he thinks he's the only game in town and you have to play by his rules. HA!

This goes way back. When I was in grade school and went to the dentist, he gave certificates for free ice cream at Main Street Pharmacy. I loved going to the dentist.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


the consious sedation was great. We went in for his appointment about 30 minutes early, they gave him this medicine mixed with a little tang to drink then in like 20 25 minutes they took him back. The dentist said that in children that age they most of the time fall asleep because they are so relaxed from the medicine. Then when he went back I believe they were able to give him the regular numbing shoots. I can't remember if they did both. I do know that when he was done that his mouth was numb and he was upset because he couldn't feel his lips, but that soon wore off. They gave him a popsicle to suck on to help with the pain for the drive home. He was sore for a few days but he had a tooth pulled and the root canals. I'm sure with just filling that it wouldn't be so bad. Our insurance covered a percentage of all of it, including the anestesia. Not alot but a small percentage. Hope that helps, and if you have anymore questions let me know and i will see what I can do to answer them. If I have to I can call a friend who is the office manager of a dental office and she can answer the questions for me.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:59AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Latest for my neighbor
Made this for my good neighbor who keeps our driveway...
Scouting out locations for our next retreat...
I was so excited to meet up with Linda (ToolGranny)...
Sewing Cabinet opening size
I have a new Babylock Crescendo sewing machine (equivalent...
Are you quilting this weekend? March 20-22
I hope to spend a lot of time in my sewing room this...
The Zelda Quilt-Along
We launched Zelda: The Quilt-Along on my blog yesterday....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™