Monday, November 2, 2009

Dental care a luxury?

Another blogger suggested that dental care was a luxury. She proposed that by taking care of her teeth, it was unnecessary. I beg to differ.

My children have always had to brush their teeth. They were supervised at first, then as they got older, it was on them. I made it through 11 years of parenting before the first cavity came along.

Thing two grinds her teeth. In doing so, she has made her teeth more vulnerable to cavities. In January she was cavity free, and the grinding had just become evident. By September she had two cavities.

The cost to fill two cavities without dental insurance is $253. Today I paid my portion which came to $41.40. That is a bit of a difference. I don't know what ignoring cavities costs in the long run because I refuse to allow it, but I imagine it isn't pretty. Pretty much every state insurance has a dental program for children, so low income is no excuse for it either.

Now dental insurance itself is debatable as a need. Some feel it's cheaper in the long run to pay for visits out of pocket. I can respect that, if they actually make those visits happen. Still, a cleaning runs about $90 a person. Multiply that by 4 and again by 2 for the twice a year we go and that ends up being $720. Our dental insurance per year is about $384. The 100% covered cleanings alone make it worth it. That doesn't even begin to factor in the other dental work (and I will just say that my mouth is a mess that having insurance will allow me to take care of)

1 comment:

  1. We went without dental care for a few years as students (pre-kids). Not a problem for me once I went to the dentist again, but it was a very expensive problem for my husband. He still has an expensive mouth that can go from clear xray to root canal in 9 months (when he tried to skip the every 6 month exam). I can go every year or two without a problem. Different mouth flora the dentist claims. Luckily the kids seem to be more like me. They do annual exams and cleanings, with no cavities yet between them.