Friday, October 19, 2012

The Tooth Saga Continues...

Many of you have been inquiring on how the tooth saga turned out.

For those that have no clue what I'm talking about...
Bungee Cord Incident Part 1
Bungee Cord Incident Part 2

Sadly, the saga isn't over.

The last I left you, I was headed in to get a beautiful implant….a little procedure that would take approximately 1 hour and cost me over $4000. Okay, it wasn’t really going to be $4000 out of my pocket—they were willing to bill it to insurance under 2 different procedures in 2 different calendar years…so my out of pocket would be about $2000.

Still, that's craptastic amount of funds that I'd rather spend on a new handbag.  Or seven.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the implant not actually happening.

Without getting into too many details that will make you squirm in your seat, let’s just say after lots of “digging around “ in my tooth area, the dentist came to the realization that there was not enough bone in the correct area to place the implant. So, he “sewed” me back up (literally…I think I got about 7 stitches), put my poor little dead tooth back in, cemented it yet again and said we needed to move on to plan B.

Well, wait a second…plan A could possibly still work—if the bone graft he put in did what it needed to do in about 8-9 months’ time. Then *maybe* they could do the implant at that point. I was given about a 30% chance of that working.

Gee, doc. Those are some fantastic odds.

Plan B. Bridge. Grinding down the teeth on either side of trouble tooth and put a 3-tooth bridge in. It would look real, I could get it done in 2 visits and it would be cheaper than the implant.

Fine. Let’s just do that and get this damn thing over with. So, I scheduled the bridge for September 27th. Before I walked out of the dentists’ office, I asked the office chick (I can call her that because she’s kind of on my shit list) to e-mail me the procedure costs so I could make sure I knew what I was getting into.

No e-mail.  (perhaps she didn't understand me due to the copious amounts of Novocain still evident in my mouth)

I did, however, leave with a prescription for "Extra Strength" Vicodin.

Fast-forward to September 27th….the day of the implant. I’m on my way to the dentists’ office and I see I have a voicemail…from the “office chick”. The voicemail says they’re looking forward to seeing me (in 10 minutes) and oh, I have a balance due of $5300 (after insurance). I can either cut them a check or set up a payment plan.

Uh, negative ghost rider. Not happenin’.

So, I walk into the office and a way too-friendly woman asks me how my day is going. I sternly reply “well, it was lovely until I just listened to my voicemail. I need to speak to (the chick).”

The chick brings me back to her desk and explains the costs. She kept saying “I’m sorry” and “I know this is tough to take”.

Ya think?

Long story short (too late, Jesse) I walked out of the dentists’ office with tears in my eyes…without my pretty new bridge.

Even longer story short, I ended up getting a quick appointment with a dentist that my husband has done business with for years (he's a limo customer). He did a quick consult with me and I will now be moving forward with his office doing the bridge. The cost differential is significant and he’s going to do a very good chunk as a direct trade with Jesse…so basically, my husband’s limo is paying for a nice portion of my teeth.

(one of the perks of being married to someone that owns a business, who’s a big fan of barter)

As I was getting the consult with dentist #2, dentist #1 leaves me a voicemail and says the cost estimator they gave to me was incorrect. Said it was going to be $2000 cheaper than what they said.

Someone tell me how that mistake is made?? I have a good judge of people. Of business. Something’s not right here. You don’t just mess up on something like that. Oops?  Really?

Sorry dentist #1.  You effed up.  And lost my business.

For various reasons, I have to wait until after the calendar changes to get the bridge. Yikes. So, my poor little tooth that has been hanging on for dear life now has to be a total rockstar and hang on 3 more months. That’s all I need. 3 more months.

So, I’m right back to where I started. The tooth that was knocked out 11 years ago is back in, cemented to his buddies on either side. I’m out some significant funds because of the “extraction”, but alas, I have a positive outlook and know that everything will be fine.

In 3 more months.


  1. I am so sorry. Dentists are so shady, imo. When I was in college and dealing with insurance for the first time on my own, I needed 2 root canals. Which insurance covered. So they did the root canals. They failed to tell me that that used up all of my dental insurance for the year, so I would have to pay for the now necessary crowns out of my pocket. And that was my introduction to credit card debt. :-\

  2. I've been dealing with some much more minor dental stuff and, oh my goodness, that stuff adds up fast! I wonder if my dentist wants to trade any pediatric care from my husband... or if we should buy a limo?

  3. I had braces...twice. I was born missing a permanent tooth in the front of my mouth and I have had 3 retainers and 2 bridges over the years to fill in the empty space. Not counting the bridge, I have 6 crowned teeth, 3 of which required root canals. And countless fillings. When I was a tween, I had a very brutal frenectomy (removal of that little piece of skin connecting your gum to your lip between your top two teeth) and my parents didn't tell me about it in advance, so I was lying in the dentist's chair in intense pain and covered in lots and lots of blood when I thought I was just going in for a checkup. I have spent more on dental work than I currently hold in retirement accounts.

    Trauma. I now have a flagrant phobia of dental work. (Did I even need to say that?)

    So reading this triggered a minor cardiac event for me. And to you I say that this really sucks and I send you as much positivity as I possibly can under dental circumstances.

  4. Oy! That's all I can say is oy!

    I went to a dentist for a few years and then switched when my insurance changed and found out I needed 10 cavities filled and one had become a root canal. Dentists can suck sometimes.