This is part story time and part ask the audience. Let me tell you about my teeth, internets. Between my heredity, TMJ, not having dental insurance for most of my adult life, and my love for Dr. Pepper, I have terrible teeth. Several years ago, my TMJ and a couple of bad teeth pushed my pain level to something I couldn’t stand and I went to an oral surgeon and had a ton of teeth removed. Now the only molars I have left on my bottom jaw are bad, and I’ve got to decide what to do. Crap.
Now, I have dental insurance that doesn’t cover much, but some is better than none. And I have some money saved. But to completely fix my teeth with root canals and implants as so many dentists insist on, I don’t have that kind of money. The local dental school has a 5 month waiting list and isn’t even putting people on the waiting list right now. And there is a local dental charity, but we make slightly too much money for it, and we have dental insurance. Rats.
So, with all that said, I gathered my resolve and headed to a local dentist today, determined to make it work- get the dental care I needed and not go into debt for it. The way I figure, I could get partial dentures on the bottom until I can eventually afford implants. You know, not get into debt, do it a piece at a time as I can afford it. That sounds fairly reasonable, right?
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I went in and was talking to the dentist and I explained my situation and told him, “I have some money saved plus what my insurance covers. But I cannot go into debt to repair my teeth.” And he looked at me like I had two heads. He went on to comment how Dave Ramsey would love me, and then said, “If you found out you had termites in your house and you only had $1000 saved, and it cost $5000 to fix, what would you do?”
Well, Home Eccers, if that happened to me, I’d see how much my homeowners insurance would cover, then I’d see how much of it I could DIY, and if I couldn’t DIY it, it would either have to wait until I saved the money or else I’d see if I could trade out work for the work I needed. So I told him that. And again, he looked at me like I had two heads.
To make a long story short (too late!), once again I’ve seen a dentist that I don’t think will work with me on keeping costs down and going with what I have to work with. I understand that implants are cheaper in the long run, but in the short term, I don’t have that kind of money to work with, and I’d like to be able to eat food that’s not soup or oatmeal.
This brings me to the ask the audience portion of today’s post. First, to anyone in the Nashville area- do you know a dentist who would be cool with pulling my 2 bad teeth and fitting me with partial dentures and won’t lecture me on the condition of my teeth and would work with me slowly on the rest of the work I need?
For everyone else: how do you find a dentist that will work with you and you can afford? I’ve tried calling places to ask how much specific things cost, and I get answered with “You’ll have to make an appointment and we’ll tell you how much everything will cost.” Ay yi yi. All I want is a fee schedule so I can determine who has the best price. Why is that so difficult?