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Dental Insurance...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, so hubby's teeth are...bad. He has quite a few cavities from years of drinking way too much pop and bad genetics. So he went in with a coupon to a dentist for a free exam, x-rays, etc., and an estimate on how much it would cost to fix his teeth... $11,000+ (<-- Smilie Understatement!)

So my coworker tells me that it's not terribly expensive to add him to my dental plan - about $85/month. Not bad considering it's over $900/month to add him to my medical insurance, which isn't good insurance to begin with. But she said the dental plan is pretty good. OK, so I'm looking into it, and it's looking promising - routine care covered 100%, most repair work (root canals, fillings, stuff like that) is covered 80%, big stuff (dentures, crowns, bridges) covered 50%. Not bad! Until I get to the part where it says that the maximum allowed benefit per calendar year is $1500. Huh? But...but....the premium is $1050/year. How is this saving me money? OK, yes, $500 is $500, but over the course of a year? And when he needs that much work done? It would take 10 years! I'm going to call them and verify that they will really only cover $500 more than I pay into it (to me, that's called a scam!).

Seriously - how are us working stiffs supposed to actually get decent dental care when there apparently are NO decent insurance options?!?!
post #2 of 20
$11000??!!! 3 zeros??

Dear Lord!! What the heck kind of dental work would that be?? Buying Brad Pitts teeth and having them implanted?
post #3 of 20
Oh boy, I have that same annual maximum $1500. It's a good hting you found out about that BEFORE you had the work done. A couple of years ago I had some dental work done at my regular dentist. He referred me to an oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth extracted... I was having problems with one of them. He said the others could wait years to be pulled as long as they didn't bother me. WELL, I went to the oral surgeon and he wanted to pull all 4 at one time. I was against that because I am petrified of the dentist. But he insisted. So I told him if insurance covered it, then let's do it. A few days later I got my predetermination back and insurance covered all but $350, the total was like $1100. So I had it done. Now this oral surgeon was well aware I had dental work done a few days prior because he had to take special care working around a filling that was still soft. Come to find out when they did the predetermination, my bill from my dentist hadn't hit yet. Well, it did and it reached my max for the year, so then insurance didn't cover the wisdom teeth and I had to pay out of pocket.
All this to say, I feel dental insurance can really be a rip off sometimes.

Heidi, you could check into finding out if there are any reputable dental colleges around your city. You can get dental work done for a very good price... I know someone who had their wisdom teeth pulled that way, and another person who got their braces that way. They didn't have any problems.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's 3 zeros. Now, you have to understand that he hasn't seen a dentist since 1992, and drank a lot of pop, and...yeah, it's bad.

Here's what they say he needs:

2, maybe 3 root canals
2, maybe 3 fillings
2 extractions
a bridge (that's what kills it right there - that's almost $6000!)
and extensive cleaning - 6 visits at $230 each.

Ouch, and not just for my checkbook!
post #5 of 20
Step 1: Give your husband lots of drugs and pay a homeless person $10 a tooth to rip them out of hubbies head.

Step 2: Dentures.

Total cost - I don't know but probably less than 11 Gs.
post #6 of 20
Yikes, that's a lot of dental work!
post #7 of 20
Is the yearly amount allowed by the insurance $1500 total, or per person? Orthodontists usually can set up payment plans... but $11,000?! Maybe your husband should get a second opinion.

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #8 of 20
Yeah, no kidding! Kind of expensive. Maybe get a second opinion!!!! I love my teeth and I hope that they will be with me when I'm cremated. If I was told that it would cost $11,000.00 to fix my teeth I'd tell them to pull them and give me dentures.
post #9 of 20
Six visits to clean his teeth!??????

OMG they saw you guys coming a mile away!!!! That's insane!

Any qualified dental hygienist can clean a person's teeth in a single 1 hour visit!!!! $230.00? My dentist only charges $110.00

Please! Get a second opinion!!!
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Six visits to clean his teeth!??????

OMG they saw you guys coming a mile away!!!! That's insane!

Any qualified dental hygienist can clean a person's teeth in a single 1 hour visit!!!! $230.00? My dentist only charges $110.00

Please! Get a second opinion!!!
That's not necessarily true. There are many different types of cleanings.....
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
OK, so hubby's teeth are...bad. He has quite a few cavities from years of drinking way too much pop and bad genetics. So he went in with a coupon to a dentist for a free exam, x-rays, etc., and an estimate on how much it would cost to fix his teeth... $11,000+ (<-- Smilie Understatement!)

So my coworker tells me that it's not terribly expensive to add him to my dental plan - about $85/month. Not bad considering it's over $900/month to add him to my medical insurance, which isn't good insurance to begin with. But she said the dental plan is pretty good. OK, so I'm looking into it, and it's looking promising - routine care covered 100%, most repair work (root canals, fillings, stuff like that) is covered 80%, big stuff (dentures, crowns, bridges) covered 50%. Not bad! Until I get to the part where it says that the maximum allowed benefit per calendar year is $1500. Huh? But...but....the premium is $1050/year. How is this saving me money? OK, yes, $500 is $500, but over the course of a year? And when he needs that much work done? It would take 10 years! I'm going to call them and verify that they will really only cover $500 more than I pay into it (to me, that's called a scam!).

Seriously - how are us working stiffs supposed to actually get decent dental care when there apparently are NO decent insurance options?!?!
Can you see if you can get a dental HMO. That's what I have and it doesn't have coverage limits. Here's the deal with it though, you have a co pay per tooth, so it can be expensive if you have to have a lot of work done. For me, I paid $280.00 to have seven cavities filled and an extensive cleaning.

Also, you may want to check into a loan to get the work done. If you do read the terms and conditions very very carefully.
post #12 of 20
Wow, this seems to be a Dental-Insurance-Sucks day.

Anyway that is terrible! B hasn't been to the Dentist since 1996, he drinks smokes and drinks a hefty amount of soda per day.

I would get a second opinion on the cost...although I know root canals are pretty pricey (about a grand).

I would call though and find out about "special" situations like your husband.
post #13 of 20
Geez! I only pay $10 per month for dental insurance and as long as I use a dentist who's in the plan, I don't have any deductible OR co-pay. Routine exams, X-rays and cleanings are covered and don't go toward my annual cap.

Too bad, you don't live near Mexico - my ex had 8 extractions, cleaning and a partial plate for only $600, in Naco Sonora.
post #14 of 20
I know a few people without insurance who have had work done at the dental school here without any complaints.

Some of the companies that start at $1500 annual coverage increase their limit each year you stay with them. IMO even if it only benefits you $500-$1000 a year after the premium, it's still better than nothing. Plus, if he is making monthly payments he will be more likely to visit the dentist. I think one of the companies I checked into before I went onto DH's policy was called Advantage Dental. Their premium was more in the 500-600. range per year if I remember correctly.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, it isn't just cleaning, it's actually Perio Scaling and Root Planing, which according to some other dental websites runs around $200/quadrant, so that's not terribly outrageous. They list the root canals at $750 each, and the fillings at $239. It's really the bridge work that is so darned expensive at $6000. That's the one I just can't get past, although it is a permanent solution. The dentist doesn't want to do a denture because (my editorial: he's seeing $$$$$$) there are really only 2 teeth that need to be extracted and the rest can be saved.

I'm looking at other dental plans that are around $100/year, and while they just basically negotiate discount prices with the dentists, if they are anywhere near what the claim to be, that would be a much better option for us to pursue. Overall it will save us more money than going through my dental at work.
post #16 of 20
Heidi, have you both considered the option of having the necessary salvage work done and waiting/saving for the bridge? Of course the root canals are necessary, and the fillings and cleaning, but is the replacement of the two teeth that need extracted something that could wait until you'd prepared for the expense?
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Erica, that's my plan simply because there is no way I can fathom being able to afford the bridge work unless we win the lottery.
post #18 of 20
Well, I'm glad it's at least an option -- it depends a lot on which two teeth, but it seems he should be able to "live without" for a little while at least -- maybe until you can find him a more comprehensive dental plan! Sorry you're having to deal with this. . .

** goes to brush for 2 min + before bed **
post #19 of 20
I can't beilve that a bridge would cost that much. I have one that was done about 20 yrs about -yes long time but WOW!! Is part of the cost for crowns included in that bridge?-removable?? There was a dentist I went to for a few years that charged above the usual and customary cost that insurance covers. I switched to a more realistic charging one!!
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
There was a dentist I went to for a few years that charged above the usual and customary cost that insurance covers. I switched to a more realistic charging one!!

I had one like that too. His prices were about 25% more than most and dental insurance pays according to "standard", not according to the inflated prices that some dentists charge. So after each visit I was left with a balance owing after my insurance paid 100%.

I guess he justified his fees because of the TV he had embedded in the ceiling above each dental chair, and the "sand blasting" technique (with baking soda or something) that they used for cleaning your teeth. They literally draped you with a plastic sheet and gave you ski goggles for your cleaning because you got soaked!!!! *rolls eyes* If your makeup wasn't waterproof it was washed off

I love my current dentist. He's very good and his fees fall within the standard and he doesn't do work that isn't needed. For example last year I asked him about bleaching and he told me to buy the over counter stuff and save some money! It worked just fine. Even he was pleased with the results.
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