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So I went to my dentist on Wednesday, after going to Florida's first Moral Monday on Monday and then sleeping most of the day Tuesday in pain.  My dentist took an x-ray.  Then he told me that the roots of the molar that's bothering me are wrapped around the bone and since it's a broken tooth he can't extract it and I need an oral surgeon.  He referred me to two.

Then, the office staff told me that the charge for the visit was $68.  Oh, but THEN they realized that I don't have insurance so the REAL charge is $91.  So, if I had insurance, I'd pay $68 minus whatever my insurance covered.  But since I don't, the service is more expensive.  OK.

Today I tried to make an appointment with an oral surgeon to get this taken care of.  Despite the fact that I have an x-ray from YESTERDAY, they both want me to pay $90 for a new x-ray and $85 for an "exam" and then $300-$500 to yank the tooth.  If I had insurance, it would be WAY cheaper, even if the insurance paid nothing.

So, I'm fucked at the mo.  Trying to figure out options.  I'll never for the life of me understand why dental care isn't considered medical care.  I'm dreaming of sepsis while my state's "leaders" brag about how cool it is to turn down Medicaid expansion.

And dental probs?  Just go ahead and die, ok?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:07:41 AM PST

  •  I feel your pain nancy (5+ / 0-)

    I currently have six teeth that should be extracted... all in the lower set, because the nerves are all wrapped around nerves and/or bone. They all need an oral surgeon. I have no hope of paying for an oral surgeon, so I just treat any abscesses and hope for the best. This has been going on for years. I have what dentists refer to as "asthma teeth" meaning the asthma meds destroy the enamel and then the teeth just fall apart. But the root is still there. I have two currently falling apart and four that are just root at this point. Eventually they'll all fall out.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:16:54 AM PST

    •  How do you treat the pain? (4+ / 0-)

      I have asthma, too.  Maybe that's why my teeth suck.

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aleeve or Ibuprofen and ice. (4+ / 0-)

        Also ambesol or orajel. I try to keep the gums from swelling up with pressure and brushing when they start. If it gets too bad I get antibiotics from the sliding scale clinic. But the clinic dentist won't deal with the lower ones because of the root/nerve/bone thing. I can get the top pulled, but that's it. Right now I have two on top that have started going downhill, but not bad enough to have pulled yet.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:47:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  pack it in salt (5+ / 0-)

        I've got a molar that needs some attention, but until I make it to the clinic I've been using kosher salt on the tooth and the surrounding gums to alleviate the pain.

        I swear by it.  It usually buys a few hours of relief.

        Good luck.

        “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” ― Winston Churchill

        by paulitics on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:16:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks n/t (4+ / 0-)

          If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

          by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:19:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that works for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nancyjones

            all sorts of oral problems -- from cold sores to chapped lips -- in my experience. Popcorn salt stings on chapped skin but if you can stand to leave it in place for five minutes and then wash and dry with nubbly towels or a nylon-net scrubby, you'll have smooth skin (which you should then protect with chapstick, or at least a little vaseline) remaining.

            Cold sores dry up with salt.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:05:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I feel your pain (4+ / 0-)

    at 30 years old I am going through the denture then implant process already, and it has been a lifetime of pain and struggle. Dental insurance industry is a scam as are most pricing guides. Ive had all of my uppers pulled and posts planted for implants and have spend god knows how much money, and am now stuck waiting to be able to afford the bottoms. Dental insurance of course, will not cover 99.9% of this, though without it there is no telling what the state of my health would be.

    If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    by LieparDestin on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:22:52 AM PST

    •  I just don't understand (4+ / 0-)

      howcome the very same procedures for insured patients costs less than for people without insurance.  Isn't it cheaper for the service provider to process cash than to process a claim?

      My grandmother had all her teeth pulled in her 30's and wore dentures from then on.  I never knew that, I always thought she was beautiful, thanks for commenting Liepar!

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:42:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am much better off for it (5+ / 0-)

        though I do still have problems eating and a few other issues. Someday I will do a before/after diary as this is a subject very close to home. I suffered with terrible pain for years after not being able to afford work or even office visits/medication. If you find a decent dentist they should be willing to work out a deal based on cash, but nowadays finding a decent dentist is like trying to find a decent politician. Few and far between.

        If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

        by LieparDestin on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:45:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry to hear about your problems. I live in FL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancyjones, ladybug53

    too. When I needed a tooth pulled and had no money for these expensive dentists, and Medicaid/Medicare not covering it, went to UF Dental School. It was rather awful, at the time. But it got done for $148. (I call it the dental appointment in Hell because the tooth was worn away and it was tough to get it out, like 4 hours tough!)

    My problem is I have four total joint replacements so getting an infection that travels to one of these joints could be catastrophic for me as joints sometimes need to be removed until the infection is conquered which can be up to a year (in bed pretty much). But even with this situation M/M will not help and now I have a similar situation on other side of my mouth.

    I do wish I lived in a country that had dental care and a single payer system. This makes no sense at all as in the end it costs more. If I had to have joints out and was in care it would cost multiple hundreds of thousands as surgeries are so much anymore!

    Well, just wanted to stop by and say I hope you get some relief soon. Best wishes.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:45:55 PM PST

    •  Yo, Gorette (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Gorette

      that's what I'm sayin'.  I KNOW that taking care of my teeth matters for my overall health, but the system doesn't recognize that.  Thanks for the comment, peace.

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 01:21:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you have serious dental issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancyjones, ladybug53, BlackSheep1

    And can emotionally face a rather impersonal and clinical atmosphere, please do seek out an accredited dental school in your area. It is a way to get complicated work done for an unbeatable price, sort of like dental care really should be.

    I believe my state only has one dental school, however....hopefully your area is better served.

    •  That's what I'm doing now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Lady Libertine

      My dentist didn't want to write me a referral to the dental school yesterday because they "take so long."  But today he agreed to do so.

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 01:23:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Take so long"......... (4+ / 0-)

        That's a kinda dickish response.

        If he was so "concerned" for you, he'd have worked a deal with you already.

        I have 4 "professionals" controlling my life right now:  Lung Dr., Gen'l Practitioner, Mental Health Expert and an Attorney navigating the SSDI system.  My long awaited hearing is next week.

        Wouldn't you know it, I've had a screaming toothache since Tusday.

        And I don't need to tell you that tooth pain is the ABSOLUTE WORST!

        I actually drove myself to the Walgreens five miles away at 11 PM last night.  I rarely leave my house after 11 AM.......

        I am Joe's Steven......

        by Joes Steven on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 02:11:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely spot-on (5+ / 0-)

    that dental care should be considered part of medical care, at least when it gets beyond just polishing.

    Do not let this go untreated, as it can make you seriously sick. Dental school is an excellent idea; I have gotten good treatment at one. Otherwise ask everyone you know for a referral to a different oral surgeon, who will work with you on what you get charged and how you will pay it over time.

    Also argue (negotiate) with them. It doesn't seem unreasonable to demand that they charge you only what they would charge if you had Delta Dental.

    Finally call your health insurance people -- they may well pay for any prescription drugs (which you'll need -- antibiotics and painkillers), and possibly even for the anesthesia, even though it's a dental procedure. Worth a call anyway.

    •  Yep, and thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Lady Libertine

      am getting the same advice from my poor friends here.  I recognize this is a serious health problem and am very frustrated at the system that wants me to have a job and cash or a better mouth.  Am trying to find the former,  but having a bad mouth makes it difficult.

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 01:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Community health department? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, nancyjones

     Some states have community health services that are run by the state university.  You can get care and pay on a sliding scale. They usually include dental.

        Also, if you live in a state that has a university medical hospital and or dental clinic, you can get treated free or at a low fee if you allow yourself to be treated by students. The students are closely overseen by the best doctors and dentists in the nation. I used to do this when I  was a student and lived close to the teaching hospital. I got terrific care, but you had to be patient because the student is a bit on the slow side.

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