Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Question About Going to the Dentist

I have had a toothache for almost a week. I’m sure it has nothing to do with sucking on all those Jolly Ranchers that were left over from the baby shower I planned for my friend a few weeks ago. Anyhow, my tooth hurts to the point where I can’t even chew on that side of my mouth, so I’m thinking I need to get to a dentist. I want to get a regular cleaning and have the dentist look at the tooth that is bothering me.

The last time I went to a dentist was before I got married, I was still on my parents’ dental plan, and I was going to same office I’d gone to my whole life. So I don’t know anything about finding or paying a dentist. Do I just look up a dentist in the phone book, say, “Hi, I need to get my teeth cleaned,” and make an appointment? I do not have dental insurance and thus will be paying out-of-pocket. Anyone know approximately how much a cleaning costs? Thanks for any input.


prayzgod said...

I don't have dental insurance either.

Several months back I had a nasty cavity. I tried to keep it very clean, but alas, the tooth abcessed. An abcessed tooth can kill you, so I knew I had to go in.

Yes, you can just choose a dentist from the phone book. Just let the receptionist know that you don't have dental insurance, and that you'll need to pay the bill in payment installments. Many (if not most) dental offices will work with you - no problem.

I'm still paying for my abcessed tooth. Don't go for a cleaning, just go for having your tooth fixed - you'll save a bit of money. I didn't get the cleaning, or work done on any of my other teeth. I just got a root canal on my abcessed tooth. First, I had to have a week's worth of antibiotics to kill the infection. You can get many prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart for 2 dollars. :-)

To take care of my tooth cost almost a thousand dollars - maybe even more. We are down to paying the last 400 dollars of it.

Meanwhile, I'm a big fan of remineralizing teeth at home, instead of getting them filled. However, when pain is involved, seeing a dentist is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

You are looking at 80 to 150 for a cleaning. I do n't know if you use credit, but my hubby applied to the citihealth card and we payed off his molars removed for 450 in 2months with no interest. They have different plans that you could use to lengthen out to payments without adding interest.

Flower said...

You may want to look into going to dental schools or dental hygiene schools. They are usually extremely discounted and the quality of service is closely regulated.

You may also want to call different offices to see if they have a sliding scale payment arrangement. Some offices do free work on certain days of the week for people without insurance and/or low income.

I hope this helps and I hope your tooth feels better.


Kate said...

I worked in a dental office for a year. GO GET YOUR TOOTH TAKEN CARE OF! Catch it early as you can. If you wait to long it will end up costing you more.
Check with friend and family to see who they recommend or DON'T recommend. Then it is perfectly acceptable to look them up and set up an appointment.
For those who did'nt have insurance our office worked with them to figure it out the payment. Most offices are real good about it!

Best wishes!

Rebecca said...

My midwife once told me that you can expect to average one cavity per pregnancy if you do a good job of taking your prenatals and eating well. If you're lax in nutrition, probably more than one. Ah, the things we do for our kids! However, I've had six pregnancies and only two cavities (that I know of!) so, obviously it's not a hard-and-fast rule.

My suggestion is to check with your local health department to see if there is a "Dental Clinic" or as mentioned before, a dental hygenist school.

Dental care is (IMO) ridiculously priced in the States. If you need to have any serious work done, you might consider a vacation to Mexico. Dh got a root canal done last spring for just under $200 US. For the cost of the same procedure in the States, you could travel down, stay in a nice hotel for a week, and eat out 3 times a day! Just a thought! :^)

Meanwhile, rinse your mouth with warm salt water frequently to keep away infection. If you have access to it, put a pinch of goldenseal powder (yucky tasting, but very antiseptic) in the water. And don't forget to floss!!!