Help, no dental insurance in chicago.
February 3, 2010 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of any Chicago dentists that are part of the Delta Dental network and accept Care Credit? I have not been to the dentist in a long time. My teeth have been hurting for a week and I know I need to see a dentist (probably have an abcessed tooth). I have medical insurance but no dental. My fiancee an I are in the process of buying a condo; this couldn't have come at a worse time (still, my fault, i know).

We are getting married in November. She works for Chicago public schools and I could enroll for coverage then (that's when open enrollment is anyway). I can't wait this long to see a dentist though. I've come up with a strategy and would like any suggestions or comments. For now, I could apply for a Care Credit Card to help pay for treatment, which is sure to be in thousands. I could only receive enough treatment to "hold me over" until I can enroll in CPS' dental plan, which is Delta Dental. I think it would be best if I could do both with the same dentist (start with care credit then switch to Delta). Please, any suggestions welcome.
posted by blairsyprofane to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I currently use Delta Dental (CPS's plan, even), and I have used Care Credit in the past for dental work.

Here's the problem with your plan: if you have tooth pain, possibly an abscessed tooth, there is no treatment in existence that is going to "hold you over" for almost a year until you can enroll in Delta. You are going to be in pain - for ten months. For your wedding. Think about that.

Taking out a line of credit right now is likely going to hurt your financial position when you buy a condo. Your mortgage company is checking all those things like a hawk, and opening even one line of credit could flush the whole thing down the toilet just when you've made progress. It's recommended that potential homeowners not take out new loans or lines of credit when they're in the process of getting a mortgage.

Some other options you may want to consider:
Does your tooth pain also relate to mouth or jaw pain? See your primary care doctor to refer you out to a specialist who is covered by your plan. See what he or she can do.

UIC dental school does free/cheap teeth cleanings, and might be able to refer you to a cheap or sliding scale dentist for any more severe problems.

My tooth pain is actually caused by periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal care is not covered by Delta's HMO at all anyway. I paid hundreds and hundreds out of pocket for planing and scaling, and then, all subsequent cleanings are coded in the insurance system as "perio care" and are again uncovered. If you can get a checkup before enrolling, do so, and make sure you're not dealing with gum disease - because if you are, the Delta HMO can't help you anyway.

This is probably a terrible idea, but is it possible to go down to the courthouse and get married quietly now, and wait until November for the big wedding? It may kill some romance, but your teeth might kill you first.

Here is a list of free and sliding scale dentists that may help you:
posted by juniperesque at 8:27 AM on February 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you for the suggestions. I didn't think of going to UIC. I will check out the link you provided. Again, thank you very much.
posted by blairsyprofane at 8:37 AM on February 3, 2010

This previous question might help you. I used to go to the same dentist as the asker of that question and loved them - they don't take Care Credit, but they do take Delta.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2010

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