I Need a Dentist in Chicago
July 19, 2007 1:19 AM   Subscribe

I don't have dental insurance but I have a dental emergency in Chicago.

So long story short, my wife was riding her bike, got hit by a car and knocked out her two top front teeth (no there were no witnesses, no license plate). We need a dentist STAT but we have no dental insurance. We have a credit card with a 5000 limit for emergencies, and this qualifies, so how do I go about finding a dentist who can do quality work on my beautiful wife's mouth for the most minimal amount of money possible. I had a similar bike accident and broke the same two teeth and got them repaired when I had insurance, I believe the cost was around 800 per tooth but is there anyway to find a dentist who will do it for less? Can I negotiate? Any suggestions would be helpful.

In case you need to know the top two front teeth are each broken roughly in half horizontally and she is in a lot of pain.
posted by danb1 to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You look in the phone book or on the internet for emergency dental care, preferably the internet I suppose because then you might be able to find a little corroborating data about how good it is – or call a friend for advice – and generally you'll be able to figure something out.

Don't go for the lowest bidder here, you want quality work, you need to find someone who is going to do something good, quickly, and not fuck around on the internet finding Dr Thrifty.

It's not going to be cheap no matter what. Front teeth means you need better care (i.e. more expensive stuff) since it's so visible. You're probably looking at 500+ each, but I'm not entirely sure. It's generally non-negotiable, they're going to have specific rates for specific items/tasks/problems, though you may get a little discount for paying directly (it's less of a hassle for them if you're not going through insurance, at least, and at least in my experience good dentists don't actually want to screw you over monentarily.)

I hope she's okay.
posted by blacklite at 2:40 AM on July 19, 2007

First things first, go to an ER right away. If she suffered this damage she may also be suffering symptom-less damage inside. An ER can also help her get in touch with a dentist or ortho who can help fix this. This is an emergency and you shouldn't be worried about cost right now. Besides, if you have info on the guy who hit her his insurance should pay for her medical bills in the long run.

Second, you say her teeth were "knocked out" but then you say they were broken in half. This makes a difference — often if teether and knocked clear out of the gums they can be pushed back into place in the socket and "re-rooted" and if her teeth were in fact knocked out you should try to do this as soon as possible. It will help her recovery in the long run.

Tooth knocked out, what to do.
Broken tooth what to do
posted by Brittanie at 2:46 AM on July 19, 2007

Sorry, should read "...often if teeth are knocked..."
posted by Brittanie at 2:50 AM on July 19, 2007

Don't know if you're still there, but:

24 hour dentist, Chicago
Chicago Emergency Dentistry

I think you want to go now if you want to save the teeth.

That being said, the ER is not a bad idea; that's quite a hit.
posted by effugas at 2:53 AM on July 19, 2007

Response by poster: Sorry for not being more clear, but the teeth were broken in half not knocked out. We did go to the ER and she is fine except for the teeth and some bad sprains to wrists and other parts.
posted by danb1 at 5:00 AM on July 19, 2007

these guys might be able to help you: u of i dental school
posted by lester's sock puppet at 5:49 AM on July 19, 2007

I swear by my former dentist. He's in Northfield but is worth the trip. He's fantastic. I actually looked forward to going to the dentist because of him. Dr. Edwin Schlesinger 1873 Shermer Rd
Northbrook, IL 60062 Ph: 847-498-5970.
posted by orangemiles at 6:40 AM on July 19, 2007

I second contacting a dental school. My experience receiving treatment at a number of dental schools has been very positive; at least for orthodontic treatment, the dental schools had more up-to-date techniques and equipment compared to regular dentists. Note that my positive experiences came from being treated by dental school faculty. Dental schools will usually have something called "Dental Faculty Practice" or some such where you can be treated by faculty, and not students.
posted by needled at 7:29 AM on July 19, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the tips. We've decided to use the only dentist in our part of town that has A) A good reputation and B) An available time slot today.


I'll let you know how it works out
posted by danb1 at 10:27 AM on July 19, 2007

I'd recommend Dr. Strobel at 25 E. Washington Blvd Suite 1917 in Chicago. they (it's a father and son team) do half of my office and they have been nothing but stellar even to the uninsured intern who had a very similar issue a while back.

good luck.
posted by krautland at 11:18 AM on July 19, 2007

Please, please let us know how it went :)
posted by effugas at 7:56 PM on July 19, 2007

Seconding UIC dental school -- they're fixing a close (insuranceless) friend's teeth (also broken in a bike accident) and doing a great job. The one caviat: it's not a quick solution. My friend waited a few months to even get started on the repairs.
posted by me3dia at 2:38 PM on July 23, 2007

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