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Thread: oh, I forgot, I broke my tooth this week

  1. #1
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    oh, I forgot, I broke my tooth this week

    AND my DDH (Dumb) DH informed me that he didn't buy dental insurance this year bc we "never used it."

    50% is better than NO %, wouldn't you say?

    So to those of you who have crack/broke a tooth, how much did it cost to fix and HOW did they fix it? I have an appointment on Wed....I *think* it's the tooth that had a root canal done to it but I just got a filling put over it....I think......

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    AND my DDH (Dumb) DH informed me that he didn't buy dental insurance this year bc we "never used it."
    How can you not use dental coverage? Don't you have regular cleanings?

  3. #3
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    according to our dentist, we had the "worst dental insurance" she had ever seen....but still, anything is better than nothing!!!!

  4. #4
    This I can relate to unfortunately.

    My experience is that once this happens, a crown is necessary because there isn't enough of the tooth remaining for just a filling.

    Of course much depends on how much tooth is left. I had one basically just shear off the top.

    Crowns are expensive.

    Does private dental insurance actually make economic sense? WHere I am, I don't know anyone who has it - only those who get it through corporate plans because the coverage is so meager.

  5. #5
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    I would bet they have to put a crown on it - which is close to $1000. If it already had a root canal, that's good.

    My dentist says that most dental insurance isn't worth it - the premiums cover the cleanings and restorations are usually only covered 50% of some insurance company amount, which is much less than my dentist would charge. One insurance co only would let us go to a place that felt like McDonalds - a rotating cast of dentists that seemed to move around/be just out of dental school/not speak English.

    I pay full to go to the dentist I know and trust.
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  6. #6
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    realizing that I am talking out of my mouth - ba dum bump - it "feels" like it's still all there. There's a rough spot but it feels like I feel the whole tooth. However, when I stick my finger in there - something I haven't done in how long? - i can wiggle something which must be the filling and it's tender. Can't chew on that side at all....

  7. #7
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    darn. I was afraid that was going to be the majority consenus....sigh....I am going to ask for a cash discount and see what that is.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    How can you not use dental coverage? Don't you have regular cleanings?
    Because the cost of premiums is high and reimbursement rates are low. Often you are limited to a few dentists in the plan and outside the awful plan dentists, reimbursement is a percentage of "standard & customary" rates which are below what any reputable dentist charges.

    Most people self insure since dental insurance makes no sense. It's really the same way that most people with private health insurance self insure against everything but catastrophes. In a normal year, my premiums for medical are far more than what it would cost to see doctors but I wouldn't risk going without medical insurance.

  9. #9
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    yeah, I wouldn't risk going w/out medical. ONe bad accident or illness.....bankrupcty, credit rating...bye, bye.....but our dentist would take our insurance and we would pay the rest; hence, something better than nothing.

  10. #10
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    I guess we're lucky to have good coverage ... medical and dental.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    realizing that I am talking out of my mouth - ba dum bump - it "feels" like it's still all there. There's a rough spot but it feels like I feel the whole tooth. However, when I stick my finger in there - something I haven't done in how long? - i can wiggle something which must be the filling and it's tender. Can't chew on that side at all....
    Hard to diagose even with all my dental experience. Sounds like you have quite a bit of tooth left but if it hurts, it most likely didn't get a root canal.

    Speaking from experience, you don't ache when teeth with root canals crack or break because there are no nerves left.

    Often (again from experience) if you have a filling and the tooth starts to decay under the filling, the filling comes out or the tooth is compromised. It could be that scenario in which case you might just need a larger filling.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    yeah, I wouldn't risk going w/out medical. ONe bad accident or illness.....bankrupcty, credit rating...bye, bye.....but our dentist would take our insurance and we would pay the rest; hence, something better than nothing.
    Exactly, I can risk the cost of dental work since at best insurance would only be covering $1000 per year and anything else would be out of pocket so why bother.

    With health insurance, it's the opposite, high deductible but once you hit the deducatible you are covered against the high costs of a bad illness or accident.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by amarante View Post
    Hard to diagose even with all my dental experience. Sounds like you have quite a bit of tooth left but if it hurts, it most likely didn't get a root canal.

    Speaking from experience, you don't ache when teeth with root canals crack or break because there are no nerves left.

    Often (again from experience) if you have a filling and the tooth starts to decay under the filling, the filling comes out or the tooth is compromised. It could be that scenario in which case you might just need a larger filling.
    Oh, that's right! Duh. Must be the other side. I hate to brag, but I only have 2 fillings! And not to be gross, but I am getting this taste....ugh. Can't wait until Wed. I just wanted to know what I was in for costwise and painwise LOL thanks!

  14. #14
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    Dh has had lots of tooth issues in the last 5 years....
    1 crack required a total dental implant (3K).
    The last 2 "issues" required crowns (1.5K each).
    No wonder I am not getting new kitchen cabinets
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  15. #15
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    I've never cracked or broken a tooth but I did have my first root canal/crown just over a year ago. It was the scenario amarante described: decay under an existing filling. It's astounding how costly both the root canal and crown are. I have dental insurance through my employer and I've been told consistently that it's standard coverage - maybe $1,500 max per year? That should be fine, but I had both the crown and gum grafts in short proximity, and I can tell you that that maxed out my coverage PDQ. But it doesn't cost me anything, so it's $1,500 I didn't have to spend. Still - ouch.

    I looked into private dental insurance when I was freelancing and paying my own medical insurance. My dentist assured me all private dental coverage is a bad deal and that I should calculate the cost and put it in my savings, as I would be getting better value.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  16. #16
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    sorry to hear! i have had 6 cracked teeth- large fillings from my childhood- 4 needed crowns and 2 were repairable with new fillings. dh has dental insurance but it covered nothing for the crowns and about $20 for the fillings- so really it's like not having any insurance- i used flex money to help cover the expense. the crowns were about $1000 each

    canice- dh had a root canal a few years ago- same senario you described- i haven't had one (knock wood)
    Cheryl

  17. #17
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    I was eating a fireball candy when I was in college and cracked a molar tooth, but it never hurt me - thankfully, since I didn't have dental insurance at that time! Once I graduated and got a better job, I did have dental insurance and when I went for a cleaning, the dentist told me I needed a crown where the broken tooth was. He even made me watch a scary movie on what would happen if I didn't have this done.

    I think in the end I had to pay around $600, with insurance, and I applied for and received an interest for one year free dental only credit card through Wells Fargo and made payments on that.

    Once I ended up working for the state, I determined our dental insurance wasn't worth it. Instead I took that same amount of premiums and put it in a Flex Spending Account and paid for my cleanings out of that. As long as I didn't need anything major I was fine, and actually had money left over for other non-dental medical expenses - i.e., I could pay for contact lenses.

    However, our dental insurance did improve a few years ago and I had a scare with possibly needing a root canal - ironically, where that crown is. At that time I learned how many issues crowns can present. Lucky for me, it turned out to be a wrong diagnoses and I didn't need the root canal after all, but the thought of having to come up with $1200 for one scared me enough that I purchased insurance again....now I'd only have to come up with $600 ((my dental insurance would pay 50%)).

    Anyhoo, to answer your question, I was quoted $800 for a crown a few years ago. In my case though, another wrong diagnoses - I had a filling fall out and the dentist told me I should get a crown. Same one who told me I needed a root canal. After the $2000 worth of work she was suggesting I had a second opinion and in the end only I only needed to have the filling repaired - for $160 the second opinion dentist refilled it. You should make sure the tooth is really broken rather than the filling being out.

  18. #18
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    I cracked a corner off of a tooth that did have a root canal in it and dentist was able to bond just the corner. Last week I also thought that i had chipped off a corner of a molar, but had lost part of the filling. He was able to remove old filling and replace. The only thing is that awful metallic taste from the new filling material. Guess it has been awhile since I had one done.. yuck! This was last Thursday and it is finally going away. Good luck,,, maybe just a 'repair'...

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by kaiter12 View Post
    My dentist says that most dental insurance isn't worth it - the premiums cover the cleanings and restorations are usually only covered 50% of some insurance company amount, which is much less than my dentist would charge.
    I think the differentiation is between corporate dental insurance which is generally free or inexpensive. Even though it doesn't cover everything, it generally provides for almost free dentistry if you have no issues and at least kicks in $1000 or so if you have major issues so it is still a "benefit" that helps employees.

    If you have to purchase dental insurance on the private market, it makes no sense because premiums are high and reimbursement rates are low - often you are limited to dental mills as well.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Shugness View Post
    I was eating a fireball candy when I was in college and cracked a molar tooth.
    OT, but I just broke my tooth this afternoon eating an atomic fireball!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryMorph View Post
    OT, but I just broke my tooth this afternoon eating an atomic fireball!
    I'll never eat another one!

  22. #22
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    We got a dental plan (not insurance, but a discount plan) at dentalplans.com. We've had it for years, and found one that our preferred dentist takes. It is ~$175/year for the 2 of us, and has reduced our cost significantly! A crown that would have been $1500 was $750 -well worth the money. Some of them have a waiting period for crowns, which wouldn't help you, but some don't, so see if any would work for you. Most dentists say the dental insurance isn't worth it, but this is different. HTH!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by amarante View Post
    I think the differentiation is between corporate dental insurance which is generally free or inexpensive.
    I assumed this was implied in dental insurance being "not worth it". Mine is free to me and covers up to $1500 (I think). The last time I had to pay in it was something like $10/month. Even if I had to contribute I'm sure it would pay for itself with two cleanings covered at 100%. But if something big happens, $1500 seems paltry.

    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal View Post
    We got a dental plan (not insurance, but a discount plan) at dentalplans.com. We've had it for years, and found one that our preferred dentist takes. It is ~$175/year for the 2 of us, and has reduced our cost significantly! A crown that would have been $1500 was $750 -well worth the money. Some of them have a waiting period for crowns, which wouldn't help you, but some don't, so see if any would work for you. Most dentists say the dental insurance isn't worth it, but this is different. HTH!
    That's interesting! Never heard of it, but good info to have for future reference.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  24. #24
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    update

    Well, turns out it WAS the tooth with the root canal. Apparently root canals can "fail." I cracked the tooth below the bone and the pain I was feeling was a jagged piece of tooth hitting my bone every time I bit down. Also, food was getting in there if I accidentlly bit down bc I was opening the crack. When he was done, he asked me if I wanted to see it and he put it back together and explained exactly what happened and showed me the offending piece that was stabbing me.

    When i had my RC done 10, 15 years ago, I only had a filling placed in it, not a crown. If I had known that would have been a factor, I would have borrowed the money and had a crown put on!!!!!

    He couldn't save the tooth. Now I have this hole the size of the Grand Canyon. )-:

    He told me I had 3 options: Nothing. Bridge. Implant. Option 2 and 3 are $3k + depending.....

  25. #25
    Oh definitely root canals can fail when there is no longer enough tooth to support even a crown. That's what happened to me. I think the extraction is probably easier since there are no real roots.

    Is this a molar in back?

    I don't think you would want to go for a bridge unless an implant is completely unaffordable.

    If you can do without the tooth at all for awhile, you are much better off saving and going for the implant. I have a few implants and they look and feel just like natural teeth.

    I think the bridge might also compromise the teeth surrounding it to which it is attached. It's been awhile but as I recall, my dentist was explaining that as one of the benefits of an implant. He didn't do the implant so he had no vested interest in my opting for an implant.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    He told me I had 3 options: Nothing. Bridge. Implant. Option 2 and 3 are $3k + depending.....
    Go with option 2.

    A bridge will necessitate grinding down two perfectly good teeth on each side of the missing tooth. A bridge presents the problem of food getting underneath it and being difficult to remove. Flossing is also more difficult.

  27. #27
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    Hmmm, good dentist didn't say that....I don't want to grind down any teeth! he also said I could live without it, my teeth won't shift that much - however, I am a clencher....and TG that you can't see it when I smile! That would have truly sucked!

    I think he did say you have to cut bone or something for the implant- I was still on sticker shock so I am not sure I am remembering that correctly.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    Hmmm, good dentist didn't say that....I don't want to grind down any teeth!
    This:


  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2cook View Post
    Hmmm, good dentist didn't say that....I don't want to grind down any teeth! he also said I could live without it, my teeth won't shift that much - however, I am a clencher....and TG that you can't see it when I smile! That would have truly sucked!

    I think he did say you have to cut bone or something for the implant- I was still on sticker shock so I am not sure I am remembering that correctly.
    No you don't have to cut bone for an implant. Sometimes you need to graft bone is the quality of the bone is poor but mine wasn't. Obviously you need to drill into the bone to "plant" the titanium "root". Over the course of months, it grows into the bone and thus provides the "support" for the crown.

    If you can hold out, then you are much better off saving up for the crown - assuming that you don't want to make the outlay at once.

    ETA - I think gumbeaux posted a permanent bridge. My implant just involves the one tooth. They drilled - put the implant in - waited for it to become embedded and then put a crown on it. Nothing was done to the good teeth that surrounded it.

  30. #30
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    ahhh. I c. I am going to wait and see right now.

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