Monday, September 17, 2007

Day..I dunno.. what day is it?

Ah, the dentist. Where do I even begin?

Well, a neighbor I've recently (like..3 days ago) become friendly with offered to watch the babies for me this morning (free!) while I went to my appointment instead of paying $21 to have the kids in daycare for a bit. She's getting paid in near-beer when she comes over tonight ( no heavy alky for her).

Lots of X-rays were done..and lemme just say.. when you haven't even stepped foot in a dentist's office in 6 see how far things have come along..technologically. My gosh. Anyway, x-rays.. a cleaning.. and a plan. The plan? Goes like this:

Visit 1: basically extracting 2 teeth
Visit 2: again.. basically "extracting" 3 teeth
Visit 3": "extracting" 1 tooth
Visit 4: 1 root canal 1 prefab. post and core
Visit 5: amalgam...(whatever that means) 3 teeth..or something
Visit 6: resin somethings..2 more amalgrams
Visit 7: another amalgram
Visit 8: another amalgram
visit 9: 8 crowns 5 pontic. porc. so..that's weird.

They seriously tried to offer me dentures. Seriously. I don't wanna talk about it because it just makes me want to cry too much.

Look at all of that..and try to tell me again that you don't think my mouth is that bad. Go on..try it. They'd like to get all of this done fairly quickly..and won't write a note to get O here to help me out with the babies while I'm in pain and recovering. I don't know how it's all going to happen especially since.. even AFTER insurance covers their portion.. I still have to pay $8, 868.72. Up front. Don't ask me where it's coming from..because I have *no* idea.

I just hate so much feeling so stuck and frustrated.. when really? I just want to smile. I want to be able to throw my head back and laugh as hard as I feel in my heart...and I just can't. I can't because they want near 9 grand to make it happen.


YogaNana said...

You'll get it done at whatever rate you can manage, whatever 'they' want, but you'll still get it done.

After all I've had done in recent years, I went for a similar overview last week because I'd lost a crown. It seems I have an a-symptomatic abcess that I can't get root-canaled til October 2 (due to having no sick time til then) and my insurance will be full-up for the rest of the year with that process. Then I need a post and crown again at $1300 out of pocket (different tooth), there's the one that lost the crown that has to come out, I have several cavities (not huge yet) and finally we come to dealing with the missing molars: all the lower ones. Partials for $2000 each side, or a minimum of four implants at $4000 each. Um, I'm thinking partials. Gods.

I know, I'm old and ought to expect to fall apart, and you're young and frisky. But you'll get it done and even if it takes awhile it will be worlds better than not at all, and you will feel SO much better that you WILL throw your head back and laugh.


Hannah said...

Is this the only dentist nearby? I ask becasue my total dental work was around $7,000 before insurance. It was like $700 after. They didn't ask for it all at once. I paid for what was done when it was done. Some visits I didn't owe anything (great insurance) othertimes I would owe like $100, Also my office offers a program that lets you just pay what you can. Kinda like a dental credit card I guess.

Maybe ask them if they offer anything like that.

Do the extractions include your wisdom teeth?

I really know how you must feel right now. But I also remember looking at my "gameplan" and feeling so much hope. I was so excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's going to be alright.

Abby said...

not the only dentist, no. And yes, I only pay what is due at each appointment. All but1 of them range from like $50-264..depending on what's being done. The last one is the one that's going to be close to 8 grand because I need so many bridges and what not. They're not pulling any wisdom teeth..because I only got 2 of them and on one side of my mouth that's all that's there to hang onto a they need it.

They do have a Care Credit card..ah but yes, of course I wasn't approved for that. Orion and I have it mostly figured out though. Like..when we get the new van when he comes home, we're just going to sell my car and use the 4 or 5 grand towards that instead of using it to get Orion his own car. He'll get a junker, he guesses..and then get a loan for the remainder from ACS here..and that gets paid back automatically through paychecks. Like..they take $100 out of each one or something along those lines. Depends on how much we borrow... but yeah.

So..yeah. I mean.. I'm totally excited to get all of this work done.. I'm glad there's a game plan..but also, I promise you my teeth are way worse than yours were..which is why mine's more expensive. Like.. they were going to do implants..but the bone isn't any good anymore. Nice.

Hannah said...

I see. I do doubt very very highly that they'll be able to do 8 crowns in one visit. Partly because crowns (if I'm remembering correctly since I got 2 of them) are a 3 step process in themselves. One being the root canal , 2 is the temporary crown, and finally about 2 weeks later is puttin on the permanent crown.

Of course either way you split it up, $9,000 is still $9,000.

Also, does your dentist offer resin compound filling (the white kind that matches your teeth) over the amalgam? Amalgam has been linked to mercury poisoning plus as far as I can tell, it's the silver kind of filling which if you're having a lot of fillings done, your mouth will look like it's made of metal.

Jenna said...

Sweetie! I know that feeling of crying after the dentist too! I had to have oral surgery, an extraction, a bridge, and bone grafting in my jaw because of bad teeth two years ago (plus countless other problems in the past) and that cost me $5000 up front. I had to put it on a credit card, but I know that's not an option. It does feel so good to have it taken care of. Now, I haven't been since then and think I have a few cavities left over that I couldn't afford at the time. But yes, I agree with Hannah, DON'T get the silver fillings! Get the white ones! Better for you, better looking! Love you! It WILL get done!

Hilary said...

Don't be embarrassed about your teeth. I know that's easier said than done, but *everyone* has some sort of dental issue going on. Some just have it worse than others.

My mom never took me to a dentist until I was 11. I didn't have any fillings at the time. I then decided that there was no point in brushing my teeth anymore, and I destroyed them! I finally went to a dentist when I was 17, and I had 11 cavities, 7 of which they said I was going to need root canals on. I guess I got lucky, because they never did the root canals, but I think that my molars consist of 20% tooth and 80% filling.

I agree with everyone else - don't go for the silver fillings! I have a mouth full of them, and although they were less expensive than the white ones, i'm paying for it now. Over time, silver fillings expand. And if you're going to get large fillings, the expanding filling will cause your teeth to crack. And then you can get an infection underneath the filling, and then you'll have to get a root canal, followed by a crown. It's a major pain in the ass, and it has happened to 4 of my teeth so far. I wish I would have gotten the white fillings to begin with. I would have saved more $ in the long run!

Abby said...

Everything's being broken up into 9 visits. They said I could get it all done in 2 if they put me under..butof course, that would mean I'd need all of the money up front for those 2 visits. I don't have that. Obviously. The teeth they're pulling..aren't really teeth. I have about 6 of them that have been crumbling over time (mmm soft teeth..mmm) and I literally only have very small shards that stick out of my gums in ALL of my main molars. Ya know..the ones you tend to chew with (mmm soft foods). So the extractions..are all going to be removing the rest of the shards. I have one root canal that was started 6 years ago..and never finished..and so they're going to finish and fix that. Surprisingly..that's my only root canal. I'm not going to have silver teeth. I'm getting white crowns over anything that may or may not be silver..but I will ask about the white stuff anyway. Amazingly, all of my front teeth are in fantastic shape (which is probably why no one realizes how bad the back is). They asked me what my main goal was..and I said "I want to be able to eat carrots again without crying..and I want to be able to smile as big as I want and not feel ashamed". As I've already said.. I wanted implants..but the bone isn't good anymore..and my only other options are..partial dentures (NO! "hang on, Orion..let me take out my teeth..")..or bridges. I'm going with the bridges..obviously, because then I'd at least have "teeth". I'd be able to eat carrots and smile as big as I wanted and no one would ever know. Well, except for you guys.

After all of that..we're talking about Invisalign (not that they're hardcore crooked.. I have one that's a bit crooked..and then ya know, I sucked my thumb till I was it'll get rid of my overbite) and then maybe..just maybe.. I'll do zoom whitening so my actual teeth and my stand ins are equally white and beautiful.

So this.. is the plan.