The Cost is almost as bad as the Fear!

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ScaredMama

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Aug 19, 2009
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97
Review of my issues that I KNOW about (god knows what I don't know about):
2 broken/rotted teeth
5 teeth that have crumbled to the gumline
4 cavities (that I can see)
Deep cleaning for bottom 4 teeth (behind you can see the hard plaque build up)

I've never had dental insurance, I have a severe anxiety disorder that keeps me from leaving home 90% of the time, I can't imagine sitting in a dental chair for 10 min!

But let's pretend I have no anxiety, I can't afford to pay out of pocket with 5 kids, I can't afford dental insurance, and I can't afford payments.....we already live paycheck-paycheck as it is! There is no free dental office anywhere close to me.

And I stilldon't get why our bones can heal themselves, but our teeth (which are also bones) can't! Grrrrrrrrr-I'm so frustrated and hopeless.
:confused:
 
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drummerswife

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Hi ScaredMama,
I noticed you live in the US. I have just a small suggestion. I live in Nebraska and here we have dental clinics that operate on a sliding scale which means the fees are based on you income. I know they take into account your other bills ie: rent/mrtgage, car, kids, etc. These clinics are open to low income families and/or those without insurance. Depemding on your financial situation, some people pay nothing. I'm not sure if they exist in other states but it may be worth checking out. When you are feeling brave enough to leave the house, it may be an option for you.
I have to tell you I totally idehtify with what you said about not sitting in the chair. That was the very first thing the amazing lady who is now my dentist and I had to work on because I literally wouldnt go near it nor would I let her near me either. I had been so traumatized that I was absolutely convinced that if I sat in that chair something really horrible was going to happen to me. And there was no way I was going to be comvinced otherwise.
So she let me sit in another chair and she just sat and talked to me making no attempt to come near me.
And thats where we started.
I know how you feel, believe me and my heart goes out to you that you will somehow get the help you need.:)
Blessings to you
 
k1ndz0n3

k1ndz0n3

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Feb 25, 2010
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Check out your local dental college, for less expensive treatment. I had seen a link to a group providing free dental clinics, around here somewhere, but can't find it now. They looked to be very compassionate,and have events scheduled across the country. I hope that you get the help that you need, soon. Best wishes, and much luck sent to you. I am on the west coast, but feel free to send me a private message if you want to.
<KZ>
 
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ScaredMama

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Drummerswife & kindz,
As far as I know, there no dental schools in my city and no dental care based on your income or free dental care. I've looked through the phone book and asked my local department of human resources, there is just no help in my city. :shame:
There is lots of dental offices that take payments and insurance though! :(
Thanks for the support :grouphug:
 
k1ndz0n3

k1ndz0n3

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Dentistry from the Heart have an event coming up in Alabama in May [out-of-date link removed]. Check into what they offer, to see if they may be able to help you. Please see what they can offer you. I do understand not being able to afford treatment. I am unemployed, and will have to find a way to get financed, to repair my teeth. I hope that this will help you, to get the treatment you seem to be in need of. I went back and found this for you, as I had seen they were going to be somewhere close to you. They are not going to have an event anywhere close to me, or I would be there, to see what they could do for me.
Best of Luck to you !
<KZ>
 
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drummerswife

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KINDZ,
How kind of you to post this for ScaredMama. I love the way the Internet can bring people in touch with each other.
 
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ScaredMama

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Kindz, Thank you so much for the links. Unfortuantely it is 6 hours away from me. I haven't left my city in years due to severe anxiety disorder and lack of funds. But I appreciate your kindness and trying to help..... (((hugs)))
 
k1ndz0n3

k1ndz0n3

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I am sorry it is not close enough to you, to be of use. At least it was in the right state for you to take a closer look. They aren't even coming to my state anytime soon. =o( I do hope that you find a way, to get the care you need, from a compassionate, and understanding dentist. I will be praying that I can get approved for a "health credit card". Excuse the hijack for a moment, but the U.S. seems to be way behind the U.K. in how they take care of their citizens with health needs. I will shut up about it, now.
{{HugzZz}}
<KZ>
:XXLhug:
 
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drummerswife

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KIndz,
I second that for sure! Its truly sad to me that in the Unites States of America, we have people like ScaredMama who dont have access to the health care they need due to the cost.
And for those of us who are blessed with insurance, when the insurance company refuses to pay for things for stupid reasons, we are stuck with the cost out of pocket which makes me wonder sometimes how much good they really are.
 
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Ultracain

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Feb 23, 2010
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I honestly wish there was some way we could bring the cost of treatments way down as providers. Half the time after my bills are paid and my dreaded malpractice premiums are paid I can't even afford some stuff.

Whats worse is that some in our field are deliberately jacking up the prices and most insurance programs, if you are lucky enough to have them, put a $1,500.00 USD cap on treatment per year. As most of you know that would not cover an RCT, post and crown on a molar.

What I do with patients personally is work out payment plans on good faith. Have I bene burned a few times from doing that? Yes I have, but I am not ging to leave people in pain.

I honestly wish more dentists and physicians would get back into practice and out of business.
 
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ScaredMama

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I honestly wish there was some way we could bring the cost of treatments way down as providers. Half the time after my bills are paid and my dreaded malpractice premiums are paid I can't even afford some stuff.

Whats worse is that some in our field are deliberately jacking up the prices and most insurance programs, if you are lucky enough to have them, put a $1,500.00 USD cap on treatment per year. As most of you know that would not cover an RCT, post and crown on a molar.

What I do with patients personally is work out payment plans on good faith. Have I bene burned a few times from doing that? Yes I have, but I am not ging to leave people in pain.

I honestly wish more dentists and physicians would get back into practice and out of business.
Too bad you are not in Alabama ;)
 
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drummerswife

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You sound like the kind of doctor we need more of in this country. I couldnt agree with you more!
Marrying my husband not only gave me a partner for life it also gave me dental insurance for the first time in my life. Its really kind of a mute point though because I was too terrified to go to the dentist even if I had had insurance.
The thing that angers me most is that insurance companies have stupid reasons for not paying for things that seem to defy common sense. My dentist, for example, took a panaramic x-ray of my mouth to allow her a wider view of a problem I was having. Using this image, she felt I needed to be seen by an oral surgeon which, as it turned out, was the right call, THe insurance refused payment because I had one panaramic done last year before my first oral surgery. They said the dentist could have used information already available in the first x-ray done last year. In other words, they expected my dentist to make a diagnosis of my current problem based on a year old x-ray. As I said, no common sense.
I find it a bit eye-opening to hear you say that once your expenses are covered, you dont have much left. While we all struggle with the costs of things, we dont often think about the issue from the providers experience. The thought occurs to me that insuramce reimbursements probably dont help much either because I know they never pay what is billed to them because there are certain allowances for certain procedures.
Our insurance doesnt pay for IV sedation at all and yet my dentist and the oral surgeon knew that because of my history of trauma, there was no other way to do what needed to be done. So my husband and I had to pay this cost ourselves which wasnt cheap but we made a deal with the good doctor.
So while we all try to do the best we can in this system we call healthcare,I thank god there are good people like you out there who, as you say, are unwilling to leave people in pain.
 
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Ultracain

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Some of the reasons your dentist, endodontist, periodontist, or OMS may be just as poor as many of you.

1. Malpractice insurance, around $220,000 a year becuase I opt for $6,000,000 in coverage due to the fact that there are some litigious people out there.

2. Overhead runs me about $28,000 a year

3. Taxes, I'm in that bracket that gets nailed. This year I paid $138,712 in taxes.

4. Work space in the office cost me about $33,000 per suite. Take a look around even at a conventional dentist office next tiem you go. All that equipment costs between $14-50,000 bucks.

These are nowhere near my total operating expenses, just a small sample for public viewing. Suffice to say I don;t drive a $100,000 jaguar or mercedes, but I like my Lancer EVO just fine.


On another note there are others ike me out there. They are really good about payment plans if need be and what is more I have been worked on by them in the past.
Bregmann and Dines Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in upstate NY
Dixie Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery (DOMIS) in Southern Utah and Southern Nevada
 
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drummerswife

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WOW! Now there's an eye opener! Lets hear it for the blessed gift of perspective. Thats some good info Doc. Thank you for sharing that bit of reality with us.
By the way, you wouldnt happen to know any good endo's in my neck of the woods?(Omaha, Nebraska) As bad as my tooth is hurting, I have a feelong I may be needing one.
Question if you know; Do endo's do sedation.? I can tell you if I end up needing one, I will have to be sedated.
 
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Ultracain

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Just read this and going to make some calls over the weekend. I think a buddy of mine who went the endo route is out there. We did 3 years in practice togather at Fort Drum.

Some endodontists do sedation, otehrs do not. I think my end of the dental spectrum is the only one to offer the full basket of sedation from locals to oral and GA. I know that there are 3 endodontists who offer sedation in my area of Arizona.
 
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drummerswife

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Thats good to know Dr. Vik. If you run across anyone that practices here, let me know.
Seeing my dentist on Tuesday for an eval on my tooth to see what we need to do.
 
Cielo

Cielo

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Dr. Vik, thank you for sharing your prospective with us. Drummers is right, what an eye opener! :o I've lost more than one good health care pro to the cost of malpractice insurance, now I know why. I hate how our society has come to that.

Thank you for caring for the human factor in your profession. My dentist does as well, and has been more than fair and understanding. In turn, I've brought my entire family to him for nearly 20 years and I've recommended him to countless other people as well.

Please stick around, you've got a wonderful opportunity to do some real good here.

I don't think our resident dentists get told enough how much their appreciated!
 
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drummerswife

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Well said Ceilo! I couldnt agree more. And along with all of our wonderful dentists who give so generously of their time and talent, I feel like an honorable mention needs to go out to Stress Doc, our friendly pychologist, who gives so much to us in nurturing our emotional well being.
What a community we have here!:)
 
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Ultracain

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Feb 23, 2010
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One thing I should mention on this subject since it has come up recently. I am eating my expenses left right and center for 2010 becuase I was activated from reserve status to do OMS work for the Arizona National Guard and Active Duty forces at Davis Monthom AFB, Fort Huachuca, and a few other installations.

So my "shop" as it were is pretty much closed up because we are al lreservists in the same unit and all getting hey youd by the department of defense. When you pay your equipment leasing fees in advance trust me, it hurts.
 
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