If you have expensive dental work, be sure to do this

The least expensive route to taking care of your teeth is routine care.  If you keep your teeth clean, floss regularly, and don’t let a lot of sugar (or any!) stay on them for any length of time, decay won’t get the chance to take hold of your teeth.

As I’ve written about before, I didn’t do this.  At times in my life I didn’t take care of my teeth, and now I’m paying the price.  I will for the rest of my life.  The problems just get more expensive, and the solutions are never as good as the teeth that God gave you.

Dental work is a luxury

This past week I finally got a new crown to replace one I broke two and a half months ago.  Getting the crown replaced was expensive, both in time and money:

  • A visit to my primary dentist (a 40-minute drive one way) who referred me to an endodontist because the x-rays of the area were concerning.
  • A visits to an endodontist (a 75-minute drive one way), to retreat the root canal on that tooth.  (My dentist’s concerns were valid.)  This involved checking the tooth and putting in a paste that got rid of the infection.
  • A second visit to the endodontist to complete the retreatment.  This appointment and the other ate up about 10 hours, nearly a tank of gas, and $600 after insurance.
  • Another visit to my primary dentist to prepare the tooth again for another crown.  Since the mill they had might not get this tooth right, they put a temporary crown on and sent the impressions away to another service that would make the crown.
  • A third visit to my primary dentist — five appointments total! — to fit and install the crown.  Another 6 hours between these two appointments, and another $300 after insurance.

And after that last appointment, my dentist said this:

“Enjoy your new crown!”

That was the first time I’ve had a dentist tell me to enjoy my dental work.  But that got me thinking about all of this work I’ve had.  Yes, it’s my fault for getting to this point, but getting the dental work to fix up my mistakes is a luxury.  I’m sure that there are many people that do not have the means to get this kind of work done.

So, having sophisticated dental work done isn’t fun, quick, or cheap, but once it’s done, it’s something to be thankful for.  Enjoy it.

(And, of course, do what you can to minimize future work.)

John Wedding

Husband. Father. Web publisher. Musician. John has blogged at Mighty Bargain Hunter since 2005, helping people to recognize life's good deals.

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Comments

  1. I pay a premium on my dental coverage plan because I know that my dental work that needs to be done is really expensive. A great dental plan is definitely needed if you are a person that has a ton of dental issues.

  2. Dental insurance will not begin to cover dental problems. They can do a pretty good job of covering preventative care but when you need work done there is usually a deductible and then they cover half of what they deem reasonable. That being said, health/dental care are a top priority in our family so we pay for first rate care (as well as insurance). If you have a flexible spending account for health care that can be used for dental services (the voice of insurance).

  3. My dentist loves me because I likely put one of his kids through college with all of my dental expensese over the years. I just had a dentist appointment this morning and for the first time in a long time didn’t have any fillings or cavities to speak of. I’m just hoping my son doesn’t have as many problems as I have had once he starts going – those dental bills add up quick!

  4. Whoa John that is a ton of time and money for one crown. What was the total cost for all the work charged to the insurance company?

    My friend had braces and tons of work done in his middle school/high school years…he said it cost close to $20,000 for everything. Pretty ridiculous.

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