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Old 02-27-12, 01:57 PM   #1
dcrowell
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Dental work

I hope this isn't too off-topic...

I went to the dentist today. It's the first time in 20 years. I was partially inspired to do this by Neil, who had to have "dental clearance" for his upcoming surgery. That caused me to remember a news article about poor dental hygiene being linked to heart disease. Apparently the bacteria that can take up residence in your mouth cause issues elsewhere too.

Anyway, I have periodontitis. I have no dental insurance, so this will cost me about $700. I also need a crown and a couple of fillings so I figure another $1500 later in the year.

I could buy a nice bike for the money I'm going to spend on my teeth.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:01 PM   #2
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I could buy a new car for what I spent on my teeth.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:05 PM   #3
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I pretty much gave up going to the dentist years ago. When I broke a tooth in 2003 I went to have it fixed, although with the benefit of hindsight what the dentist did merely set it up to break again a couple of years later. So I had it fixed again. When it broke again (early 2009) I just figured I'd leave it alone.

When I had it fixed in 2006 (for the second time) I also had a full checkup and found nothing much had changed in the 14 years since I'd last been to see the dentist. She said I needed a couple of small fillings, and the teeth she filled hadn't given me any grief at all until a week or so after she filled them.

So now I figure I'll keep my teeth in as good order as I can manage but I've become somewhat cynical about dentists.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:26 PM   #4
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get a second opinion. not all dentists are 100% honest.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:28 PM   #5
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I'm not cynical about dentists but I have a healthy dose of suspicions. By the way, WITH insurance, I had a crown installed and insrance paid about $130 out of teh $1400 that the onlay cost. Apparently the benefit only covers $300 and since my dentist is out of network (there are no in network dentists near me and I live in Los Angeles, what a racket) I only got 50% of that.

They seem to enjoy recommending services that i have no idea whether I need or not so i haven't gone in just over a year. Why should i spend all of my flexible spending account money on the dentist? Makes no sense.

medical billing in general gives me high blood pressure.
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Old 02-27-12, 02:55 PM   #6
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my teeth are worse after I go to the dentist and they clean off that protective layer

But seriously, I go every 6 months after I went the 1st time when I was 20 yrs old...no cavities then but 8 or so since then in the last 16 yrs. I take better care of my teeth now than I did then...
I get told I brush "too hard" and I don't floss enough.

They finally got me to pony up the money for a bite guard for sleeping because I grind my teeth - insurance covered half of that and I still had to put up $243 for a form-fitted mouth-guard
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Old 02-27-12, 03:04 PM   #7
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I didn't bother with dental insurance because they don't cover much anyway. My health insurance pays 100% once I meet my deductible. They pay nothing until I do. (HDHP). I wish I had something like that available for dental.

Anyway, I didn't mean this to be a conversation about insurance. It was more about overall health and the bacteria in your mouth.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:42 PM   #8
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I've put at least one of my dentist's kids through college...
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Old 02-27-12, 04:49 PM   #9
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Many people down here drive across the border to Mexico and get their dental work done. My neighbor's dentist went to school in the US and hung his shingle up in Progreso, Mexico. I also know some people who took a trip to India and got all their dental work done there during the trip. A cleaning was $4. Replaced filling was $11.
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Old 02-27-12, 05:05 PM   #10
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Im a "Britisher" living in the USA. Instead of USA dental work being done, its cheaper for me to fly to the UK, have all the work done, visit family and fly back to the USA. Something aint right!
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Old 02-27-12, 08:57 PM   #11
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Im a "Britisher" living in the USA. Instead of USA dental work being done, its cheaper for me to fly to the UK, have all the work done, visit family and fly back to the USA. Something aint right!
If that's the case, then I think it's the frequency with which you brush
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Old 02-27-12, 09:33 PM   #12
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I would get a second opinion on the deep dental cleaning. Especially if they didn't stick the little "pokers" into your gums and check how deep your pockets are. Learn how to floss properly and do it daily. It really is more important than brushing.

I'm a little skeptical of the claim that poor dental hygiene causes other health problems. I suspect it's more a case of correlation of those people also not getting checkups and/or less healthy lifestyle habits.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:43 PM   #13
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Don't get me started....two of my kids are getting braces in March......$7000 out of pocket. We actually shopped around. The first one wanted $10,500.
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Old 02-27-12, 11:22 PM   #14
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I would get a second opinion on the deep dental cleaning. Especially if they didn't stick the little "pokers" into your gums and check how deep your pockets are. Learn how to floss properly and do it daily. It really is more important than brushing.

I'm a little skeptical of the claim that poor dental hygiene causes other health problems. I suspect it's more a case of correlation of those people also not getting checkups and/or less healthy lifestyle habits.
Agreed.

Consider the average American diet. Then consider the average overweight American's diet. Sugar, sugar, sugar.... Add in the fact that on average American men don't see medical professionals on a regular basis, and that dentistry is notoriously associated with pain.
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Old 02-27-12, 11:40 PM   #15
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I hope this isn't too off-topic...

I went to the dentist today. It's the first time in 20 years. I was partially inspired to do this by Neil, who had to have "dental clearance" for his upcoming surgery. That caused me to remember a news article about poor dental hygiene being linked to heart disease. Apparently the bacteria that can take up residence in your mouth cause issues elsewhere too.

Anyway, I have periodontitis. I have no dental insurance, so this will cost me about $700. I also need a crown and a couple of fillings so I figure another $1500 later in the year.

I could buy a nice bike for the money I'm going to spend on my teeth.
I'm sorry you are going through all that. However, keep in mind the hypothetical average American man has lost a dozen teeth by the time he is 50. Don't be that guy! Or one of the quarter of all Americans who has dentures by age 50 (Statistic courtesy the AARP.)

In my case, the reason for the "dental clearance" was as follows:

- knee replacement is major surgery, and any infection is reason to postpone.

- knee replacement involves cutting and sanding bone, and they don't want any bacteria from infected teeth getting into the joints. (This is why for the rest of my life I'll need to take antibiotics before dental work.)

- in case I need to be entubed during surgery they don't want to have broken or loose teeth to worry about.

BTW, lets face it, on average men don't like seeing their doctor, or dentist. Until my weight loss I went years between doctor visits. And ditto for the dentist. Why would I care about my health? Like most of the super-obese I hated myself. I was 400 pounds and my life was a living death. Once I began to live every day I started to take better care.

As for the cost of dental work, most dental insurance bites. And when an employer chooses multiple plans, everyone chooses the cheapest.
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Old 02-27-12, 11:44 PM   #16
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Im a "Britisher" living in the USA. Instead of USA dental work being done, its cheaper for me to fly to the UK, have all the work done, visit family and fly back to the USA. Something aint right!
Cue the Spike Milligan song:

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.
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Old 02-28-12, 01:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
Cue the Spike Milligan song:

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.
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Old 02-28-12, 01:52 PM   #18
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I would get a second opinion on the deep dental cleaning. Especially if they didn't stick the little "pokers" into your gums and check how deep your pockets are. Learn how to floss properly and do it daily. It really is more important than brushing.

I'm a little skeptical of the claim that poor dental hygiene causes other health problems. I suspect it's more a case of correlation of those people also not getting checkups and/or less healthy lifestyle habits.
Oh, they used the pokers. There were some painful spots and a little bleeding.
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Old 02-28-12, 01:53 PM   #19
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I'm sorry you are going through all that. However, keep in mind the hypothetical average American man has lost a dozen teeth by the time he is 50. Don't be that guy! Or one of the quarter of all Americans who has dentures by age 50 (Statistic courtesy the AARP.)

In my case, the reason for the "dental clearance" was as follows:

- knee replacement is major surgery, and any infection is reason to postpone.

- knee replacement involves cutting and sanding bone, and they don't want any bacteria from infected teeth getting into the joints. (This is why for the rest of my life I'll need to take antibiotics before dental work.)

- in case I need to be entubed during surgery they don't want to have broken or loose teeth to worry about.

BTW, lets face it, on average men don't like seeing their doctor, or dentist. Until my weight loss I went years between doctor visits. And ditto for the dentist. Why would I care about my health? Like most of the super-obese I hated myself. I was 400 pounds and my life was a living death. Once I began to live every day I started to take better care.

As for the cost of dental work, most dental insurance bites. And when an employer chooses multiple plans, everyone chooses the cheapest.
Okay, I was a bit unclear on the dental clearance.

Oh, and I still have all my teeth, even if I do live in Kentucky.
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Old 02-28-12, 02:26 PM   #20
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Does your job have a health savings account benefit?
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Old 02-28-12, 04:26 PM   #21
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Does your job have a health savings account benefit?
Yes, and I just confirmed today that I can use my HSA funds for this... but... (there's always a but)

I need the HSA money for other health expenses, especially if I end up with neck surgery this year.
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Old 02-28-12, 06:10 PM   #22
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I could buy a new car for what I spent on my teeth.
What the H? 0.o

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Does your job have a health savings account benefit?
I had Aflac and some other one with the new job. My wife and I dumped the other one as soon as we were able to, the process to get my money was so bloody convoluted.
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Old 02-28-12, 06:28 PM   #23
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Okay, I was a bit unclear on the dental clearance.

Oh, and I still have all my teeth, even if I do live in Kentucky.
In a jar by your bed?
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Old 02-28-12, 10:28 PM   #24
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Oh, they used the pokers. There were some painful spots and a little bleeding.
For $700 I would still get a second opinion. One time I went 3 1/2 years between dental visits. First dentist said I needed a deep dental cleaning. Got a second opinion from a highly rated guy on yelp and he said I didn't need it.
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Old 02-28-12, 10:37 PM   #25
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Yes, and I just confirmed today that I can use my HSA funds for this... but... (there's always a but)

I need the HSA money for other health expenses, especially if I end up with neck surgery this year.
Check with your surgeon if you need a clean bill of health for your teeth first.
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