So yesterday I read Savings’s post about her incredibly traumatic experience (financially and otherwise) with the dentist, and I got really, really freaked out. This was the third horror story I’d heard in the past month in which a person who hadn’t been to the dentist in years decided to finally make an appointment and ended up with a whopping bill. So I bit the bullet, called around, and made an appointment for this afternoon.
I just got back. The verdict? I have five cavities, and two of my teeth really need to be sealed or they’ll have cavities within the next year.
The good news is, each of the cavities is pretty small, so it’s not an emergency to get them filled right away. In fact, the dentist admitted that two of them could actually wait several months without doing any major damage. That gives me some flexibility in terms of paying for the work.
So that’s where I’m at now: figuring out how to pay for everything. The total cost, without any insurance at all, would be about $1100. If I went back to the same dentist I went to today, I’d end up having to pay about half of that, so my total responsibility would be between $500 and $600.
However, the dentist I went to today is not an in-network provider with my insurance. The only reason I went to them today is because they were running a new patient special where I got a cleaning, an exam, and X-rays for $79, which was less than if I had gone to an in-network provider and received the same services.
Basically, now that I know what needs to be done, I need to figure out what my insurance will cover. I heard something different from the receptionist I spoke to at the office today than what I heard from the receptionist at the first place I called (which was in-network). So, I’m going to have to call my insurance company tomorrow and get the skinny on what my most cost-effective option is. Which will be a pleasure, I’m sure.
Moral of the story: no matter how much you hate it, go to the dentist and get preventative work done so that you don’t end up with a huge bill.