Arranging massive dental surgery in a hurry, while self-employed
June 9, 2007 1:47 PM Subscribe
How do I proceed with my unpleasant dental / periodontal situation? I have a 6-element frontal fixed bridge that was installed after an accident in 2002 that is in .. bad shape.
posted by jake to health & fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(I know there are many many dental-without-insurance questions here, and I've read every single one of them already, and they helped a lot. But this one involves a huge amount of work and I'm trying to reason out the best way to proceed)
I have utterly failed to jam floss threaders under my bridge every day, or even use a Water-Pik. I haven't been to a dentist in 5 years - I've only brushed and used Listerine a few times a day. It's bleeding nightly and I finally woke up with an abscess/blister behind my front teeth. Can't eat solid food.
The same neglect/infection scenario played out after my (bike) accident, leading to 2 extractions, 2 root canals and a permanent bridge. So I know the symptoms and roughly what to expect, though I obviously didn't learn my lesson.
1) Taking ibuprofen and swishing warm saltwater
2) Calling a dentist or clinic on Monday for an antibiotic script
3) Frantically investigating dental discount plans
4) Thinking about marrying my fiancee to get on her benefits
5) Looking for a nice dental surgeon here in Northern New Jersey who is flexible with payment plans
I'm terrified about going to a Dental School as most people suggest, because after my accident, I actually tried it (in Miami) - even in just the exam they were clumsy and rough in a noisy environment, and it was extremely uncomfortable. I'm a pretty tough guy, but this was pushing it. I'm hesitant to try again, but at this point I'm open to anything.
So I had ended up going to our family cosmetic/reconstructive dentist, who put me under nitrous and had a silken touch. To the extent that this sort of thing can possibly be "pleasant", it was. But it cost $9,000, and my grandfather helped, bless his soul.
This time around, I'm living with my fiancee. She is willing to get married in court now and have the ceremony later, just to have me under her benefits. I don't want to kiss ANYONE under these conditions, but it probably beats being widowed to sepsis.
From what I've seen, though, dental insurance sucks for large things like this - paying only $1500 or $2000 total, and giving a hard time over pre-existing conditions. There are tons of non-insurance discount plans out there, but it's hard to find neutral viewpoints since they tend to be hard-sells full of fine print. So if anyone has experience with them, that would help a lot.
Basically, I have a few ways to proceed here, and want to plan a smart route with as few compromises as possible. I have a decent income, but not so decent that I could just laugh off $10k on short notice.
Thanks for reading - I will be very grateful for advice.