Dental surgury options for a toddler?
September 8, 2011 7:32 PM Subscribe
Our 2-year old has an injured tooth that is wearing away. Dentist would like to go in, and do baby-tooth root canal, or possible extraction if the tooth cannot be saved. Hospital wants outrageous sums of money, health insurance says it will not cover it. Are there any good options?
posted by fings to health & fitness (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Our son MB is just under 2 1/2. He apparently injured his tooth about a year ago, and combined with his night-nursing, led to tooth decay. We took him to the dentist early this year, and he has been monitoring the tooth. We were waiting for MB's the roots of teeth to finish growing.
MB's injured tooth (his "D" tooth according to the dental universal numbering system, one to the right of his top-front-right) is about half the visible length of his uninjured tooth on the other side, and is dark with visible decay. Fortunately, he has not (yet) had any pain from the injured tooth.
The dentist wants about $3000 for the surgery, where he will go in and either do the root canal, or if he finds the tooth too injured, extract it. However, as he is so young, this procedure would be done under general anesthesia [a whole other set of worries] in the local hospital. Today, my wife called our insurance company (health, we do not have dental insurance), and they said "No, we only cover if it was a bony tooth intrusion"). We asked the hospital for a ballpark figure, and they said it would be $10,000+ between the operating room, the recovery room, anesthesia, etc. This has us in a bit of sticker-shock. They did say we may be able to negotiate the fee down a bit, if it would not be covered by our insurance.
Still, we want to do what is best for our son. If our best option is to take the financial hit (the hospital does offer an 18-month payment plan), then we will do it. I do have medical flex spending (FSA), but only a few hundred dollars left for this year. I suppose we could try and gamble that MB would be ok until January, and load up the FSA for next year although I do not know what the max amount we could put into it.
Right now, we feel like dopes for not finding this our sooner. I guess we were just thinking insurance=hospital visit coverage. Can the hive-mind help us decide what to do, or what other options we have?