those without dental Ins~how/what do you do??

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by myprincessgirlisa, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. myprincessgirlisa

    myprincessgirlisa DFTW 12/4/97

    Jan 2, 2007
    my job WONT offer dental cause they say its too expensive & you dont get any coverage......

    but IMHO ANY help i can get is better than none even if it is just 2 cleanings a year!!!

    but since i dont have it I have to pay out of pocket & that has NOT been cheap
    I had a waverunner accidnet where i slammed my mouth on the handle bars & now i need extensive work done...ive already sunk $10k into them & they need more..its ridiculous & from what the dentist says, i NEED to get it done cause things will only get worse in time!!!!

    Ive tried those dental clubs...didnt think that saved me a dime
    I try to pay the balance off asap so i can get a discount & the dentist does offer financing, but i am trying to avoid MORE bills & dental work can be $2k a pop!

    so my question is....HOW do you afford dental work if you DONT have dental insurance??
    is there an insurance company out there i can get privately that wont cost an arm & a leg & exclude pre existing??
    Im not comfortable with a dental school..UNLESS someone has been to THE one in my area & has rave reviews....(chicago suburbs)
    ANY help, tips, advice would be appreciated!!
  2. kmvand1

    kmvand1 DIS Veteran

    Oct 24, 2006
    I don't know how people do it personally, and especially with children. I had a tooth removed last week in the very back, my co-pay alone was $177.00:eek: My daughter's first phase of her braces were $3200, after delta dental kicked in their $1000.00, which is the lifetime cap for her. I just don't know what people do with dental emergencies.
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  4. spima3

    spima3 DIS Veteran

    Jan 23, 2005
    Wow, sorry to hear about your dental issues, that's a tough one.

    We would have to pay $48 a month for dental insurance. On top of that, it has a yearly cap, $1500(?), and only covers 50% for major issues, such as caps, etc., and 80% on fillings.
    It really didn't pay to get it, and on another message boards, about finances, most people post that dental insurance is only good if it's free from the company, otherwise you're better off paying as you go. Doing our numbers, I came to the same conclusion.

    Now, in our case, I put money in a "dental" account. When there isn't enough, I put it on a credit card, or try to spread the work out as much as possible.
    I have a back tooth that is going to need to be capped. Just talked to dentist and he can still fix it, but knowing it's only a matter of time, I have started putting more money aside to cover it. I will let it go as long as possible.

    I feel badly for you. My DH's aunt spent about $15K on her teeth, and then ended up getting all of them pulled and getting false teeth. It was all out of pocket. They had the money, but still, it was a lot.
  5. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    If you have a dental school near you, check them out. They would have students do work under the eye of professionals and you pay only a small price. They particularly like to have people with unusual things to do. Sounds like you might be a good candidate.
  6. sbaldasare

    sbaldasare Mouseketeer

    Apr 18, 2005
    Check out your major medical coverage, if it was an accident. Our Anthem for instance states does provide coverage if an accident within certain criteria. We had a son who wrecked on a motorcycle and needed dental work done and Anthem covered it. Good luck.
  7. addicted2dizney

    addicted2dizney DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2007
    sorry to hear about your accident. they only thing I can tell you to make you feel better is that if you had dental insurance it would have only paid up to 2K max. And that is for a good plan. Some employers only have a max of 1 or 1.5K. Ask your dentist if they offer Carecredit. My husband does and it does help with the financing. You can even get part of it interest free depending on the length of time you need. As a hygienist I have so many people without insurance. It stinks but you have to just put it in a category of things that need to be paid for. just like a car or new appliances etc.. Being we are in the category of having our own business I pay thousands a month for medical insurance and still have to pay out a ton in copays.

    If you have any questions about treatment, please let me know! :)
    good luck to you! :)
  8. jakenjess

    jakenjess DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm in pretty much the same situation, it's not worth the premium for what you get. I use the flexible spending account to set aside pre-tax money and use it to pay dental expenses and medical co-pays. I don't know if this is an option for you, but you should check into it. Good luck!
  9. chicagodisneyfan

    chicagodisneyfan Peace

    Sep 25, 2000
    I would try University of Illinois Chicago - sounds like for extensive issues you get a dentist who wants to specialize

    Specialty Clinics
    Orthodontic, Endodontic, Periodontic, Prosthodontic and Oral Surgery treatment are available in our post-doctoral clinics. Treatment is provided by dentists and faculty who have chosen to specialize in one of the above areas. Patients may call the main number at (312) 996-7555 and listen for the appropriate prompt

    Good luck
  10. addicted2dizney

    addicted2dizney DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2007
  11. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

    Apr 30, 2001
    At DH's old job, we pretty much broke even with the dental insurance every year. The premiums cost was about what the regular 2x year cleanings would add up to if we paid out of pocket plus we had some coverage (can't remember the limits) if more work was needed.

    DH's new job the premiums are about 3x what the yearly cleanings would cost us and was very limited in what it covered. We decided that the insurance just wasn't worth it.

    My job has free dental insurance now that covers all cleanings and 50% of most work up to a cap of $1500/family a year. This is by far the best coverage we have had, and as long as something big doesn't happen, I am pleased that we at least get this coverage.
  12. bookgirl

    bookgirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    I have been getting mine done at the local dental school. It's about half price but it is slow because even though the students are just short of being dentists they still have to be monitored and the professors have to check and sign off on every step.

    Now I have dental (paid by my employer) but I am going to let the school finish off my current plan of care before I make the move to a dental office.
  13. myprincessgirlisa

    myprincessgirlisa DFTW 12/4/97

    Jan 2, 2007
    are you satisified with what they did?

    do they do ANYTHING?? or is it limited??

    is there a waiting list??
  14. doxxie

    doxxie Mouseketeer

    May 8, 2008
    I agree that dental insurance isn't really worth it for what you get. And I've recently had a run in with a copay program where the dentist won't do a routine cleaning and wants to do extensive work because that's how they are going to get paid.

    BUT - I have heard of one copay plan that might be worth checking into. Assurant Dental. It looks like they do operate in Illinois (I think that's where you're at). However, even with them they are only going to do pay for certain procedures and you do have to go to a dentist on their list (then you get into the issue of do you trust the dentist).

    Good luck. That's a ton of money and it stinks to be in that position. I feel for you.
  15. mlynn

    mlynn DIS Veteran

    Apr 2, 2008
    I have used the dental school for tooth removal. He did a great job. I have dental insurance now but my daughter needed massive dental work last year adn I had to pay the 5200 up front and then they sent me back 2600 so even with dental insurance it still is alot of money.
  16. DisneyCowgirl

    DisneyCowgirl DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2004
    Have you checked to see if your medical plan covers dental related to accidents or illness? Mine does.
  17. problemchild718

    problemchild718 DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2004
    How about the dental clinic at one of the large hospitals near you-they offer basic care-no fancy cosmetic stuff. If your income allows, get on a finacing plan(sort of like a credit account)
    May be worth switching jobs to one with better insurance if it looks like a huge expense will be incurred.
  18. myprincessgirlisa

    myprincessgirlisa DFTW 12/4/97

    Jan 2, 2007
    the accident happened awhile ago & at the time i used my medical for the ER & ER dentist follow up was a 3year nightmare!!!! i have a 1inch thick folder from bills, collections, complaint letters, records.
    I doubt they would cover it policy has changed since then.
    It REALLY stinks cause in my teen years when i had dental thru my dad, i had perfect teeth..NOW i have nothing & all this work to be done from that DARN waverunner!!!!:mad:
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    That stuff wouldn't be covered by our dental insurance anyway, since there's a cap on the cost.

    I think we pay less on our premium, but the other stuff is right on.

    It's nice to get the appts covered, but assuming a normal dental year, we're paying MORE to insurance than we would be paying to the dentists... (I called the dentists to find out what the cash costs would be to compare)

    Try them anyway. They know where the problems started, and it was while you were covered. Since it was while you were covered, they should still be covering things from that time.

    This wasn't a long time ago, but it was an insurance plan ago (hubby changed jobs and therefore plans in October, then a few months after that the company changed their plans) and DS had an ER visit the day after we switched to the employer's plan. We've had continued issues with the ambulance company (Rural/Metro in WA is awful about billing and following through on promises!!!) and even though we aren't with the insurance company anymore, they have been absolutely brilliant at continuing to help me, and in fact reviewing their coverage and finding an error they made, and sending another check to us just in August.

    It's worth a try.

    But still, normal dental insurance woudln't be covering the things you're having done anyway, so perhaps you can take heart in that.
  20. rach2674

    rach2674 DIS Veteran

    Jun 4, 2005
    I go to the community college here and didn't realize they actually had a clinic until later in the year. I went there and they were great. I think they do more than cleanings, but I only got the cleaning. It did take a great deal of time, but it was the most thorough cleaning I've ever had.

    I would check into a place like that and not some off-beat "medical college". Some of those places scare me. But you should be ok with a state school, whether it's a big university or community college.

    I know there are plans that give discounts and even that may be worth it to you. Good luck and I hope you find something.

  21. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

    Feb 26, 2002
    I went to a friend when he was at U of I dental school in Chicago (just off the Eisenhower) but that was back in the late 80's early 90's. The dental work was GREAT but everything took a long time because it had to be checked by the instructors. The hours are not great either.

    My friend moved to Black River Falls, WI a few years ago so I had to find a new one. I just spent several hours at the dentist last night getting impression made for a bridge that he's making again (third time in the last 2 years). My old one was made at the dental school but needed to be replaced because I had a root canal on one of the teeth (long story). I still have a bridge right above this one that was also made at the dental school.

    I thought that the school closed a few years ago but I must be wrong.

    I do feel for you. Even though we have insurance, they only cover 1/2 of everything with a max of $1,000 per year. My bridge was $3,000 plus the root canal fee so I was left with close to $3,000 out of pocket. :scared1:

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