A Dental PSA

My mouth is jacked up! Did I mention that I have a boat load of dental appointments coming up? You don't even want to know how much work I need to have done over the next year (gotta string it out to pay for it all). I have so much work that needs to be done, the dentist had her kid's private school send me the bill for this quarter. I asked her if one of the chairs in the waiting room could be my own personal chair. She said for what I'm paying I can have 3 chairs.

But I digress. The reason for today's post was because of a conversation I overheard while waiting to pay for getting molar 7, bicuspid 2 drilled and roots pulled (ok, perhaps that was not the tooth number, but it might have been). The lady in front of me had to have some major dental work done (more major than me - imagine that) and she had just found out that she had crap insurance.

No, I don't mean she had insurance that only paid 70% or 50% or even some wacky deductible. I mean she had been paying high insurance premiums only to find out that it only deducted 20% off of cleanings and 15% off of everything else. 15% off of a root canal is still like $8972, right?

She broke down right at the cashiers desk. I wanted to cry right along with her. That's some serious crapola. She cried about having to pay almost $200 a month only to discover that she could have just saved the money and paid for the procedures herself. She's right.

They offered to put her on a payment plan and once half of each procedure was paid, she could begin work. She agreed to that and then left the office. I asked Kimmy (no, I have no idea if that's her name but she looks like a Kimmy) how often she heard stories like that. She calmly said, at least once a day.

I dropped the cute little dentist pen (that I was planning on putting in my purse) on the floor.

ME: "Are you kiddin' me?"

KIMMY: "Nope."

ME: "Are you exaggerating?"

KIMMY: "Not even in the slightest."

Apparently tons of people pay into what they think is good dental insurance only to find out that they are actually part of a dental savings plan. And, Kimmy pointed out to me, while a few of the dental savings plans are pretty decent, most are crap.

KIMMY: "People don't know until they come in for something major that they have been paying into something that's not worth it."

ME: "But what about when they come in for cleanings and stuff?"

KIMMY: "People don't realize they are paying full price for a cleaning. I try to help them out but..."

Kimmy does seem to be a nice lady. She does try to help.

So what am I babbling on about? Well I'll tell you. I'm going to present a dental PSA. I hate when people try to get one over on other people. Read my words people and go tell the masses!

First step, find out what your insurance premium is. You can look on your pay stub and it will tell you what you pay for dental insurance. Or, if you pay for a dental savings plan, you can tally up what you pay into the plan each month/quarter.

Second step, call your dentist and find out what the cost of a regular cleaning is and the cost of a filling and a root canal. Cleanings aren't as expensive as you think. You may be paying big bucks into the system and not getting your money's worth out of it.

Final step, find out what the cost is with your insurance plan. The lovely folks at your dentist's office will let you know if you have great insurance, good insurance or shit insurance (sorry about letting one slip).

Sorry for the rant but I felt so bad for the lady in the dental office. I don't want you to be the lady in the dentists office. Know what you are paying for people!

PS - Kimmy said I could have then pen.

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