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Old 04-07-2011, 07:04 PM   #21
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I'm a dentist- and I'd have to say that, yes, the costs keep going up because the field is constantly changing, technology is rapidly changing, and the standard of care is changing.

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I have been with my dentist for 25+ years. I do not have dental insurance, but he grants me a 10% senior discount which I appreciate. When I turned 65 last year and noticed the discount on the statement (I was unaware of the policy) I made it a point next time that I had an appointment to thank him and his front office folks for the discount. I was advised that I was the first person in a long time that even acknowledged the discount or thanked him for it.

My doc has a bad back. He says that it's not unusual for dentists to have a bad back. I guess I can see how that would be a problem over 30-40 years. Is this an industry-wide problem novaman?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #22
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My doc has a bad back. He says that it's not unusual for dentists to have a bad back.
My last dentist appointment had to be delayed because my dentist's back went out.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:14 PM   #23
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My last dentist appointment had to be delayed because my dentist's back went out.
I believe back problems are the #1 cause of disability claims for dentists
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:44 PM   #24
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I moved to Phoenix with an abcessed tooth of all things. I knew what it was right away, and went to the dental school here upon arrival. When I saw that they assigned me this nice young man--who had the nerves of Don Knotts--I said no way.
Left there and went to the grocery store after that appointment, and, because I'm like this, turned to the Asst. Manager of the grocery who was talking to some kid's dad and asked if they knew a Dentist that did implants?
This led me to a Dentist who graduated from the #1 dental school in the country who took his boards and came in #1--and who doesn't advertise but charges 20% less because of it.
Could I get that lucky again? Probably not.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #25
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I moved to Phoenix with an abcessed tooth of all things. I knew what it was right away, and went to the dental school here upon arrival. When I saw that they assigned me this nice young man--who had the nerves of Don Knotts--I said no way.
Left there and went to the grocery store after that appointment, and, because I'm like this, turned to the Asst. Manager of the grocery who was talking to some kid's dad and asked if they knew a Dentist that did implants?
This led me to a Dentist who graduated from the #1 dental school in the country who took his boards and came in #1--and who doesn't advertise but charges 20% less because of it.
Could I get that lucky again? Probably not.
The nerves of Don Knotts as a dentist .

One thing I've noticed about my dentist. He has very steady hands. Wouldn't want someone to be all fidgety and shaky working there.

Did you go ahead with the dental implant? How did it go? Was it a breeze or a challenge? I'm just at the very start of going to get an implant so do have some butterflies.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:11 PM   #26
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Wouldn't want someone to be all fidgety and shaky working there.

Don't forget terrified cause he looked terrified on his face. You can understand why I took a pass there now.

The good Dentist sent me to two specialists: one to see if we could save the tooth (no) and another to see about an implant. The implant costs $4K here. I had the good Dentist do a 3 tooth bridge for $2,500. Fits great and I am happy. I just thought $4K for one tooth....well, I could live with a bridge cause the tooth was a molar; however, if it were a tooth people could see and in front, I'm vain enough to have the implant done (vanity, thy name is woman).
Implants are no big deal now. I had a girlfriend who was in a car accident and lost all her front teeth (she's 4'10" and went thru a windshield). She's had tons of implants done to maybe 12 teeth. Said it was well worth it when her husband's Exxon dental insurance kicked in. In fact, she was so mean to him I wouldn't doubt she didn't marry him to have kids and her teeth done (now divorced).
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #27
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I had a molar implant done last year after the tooth cracked the year before. It was around $2500 for the implant procedure by the implant specialist, and then $1200 for the crown that my dentist put in place (in February of this year). It really wasn't uncomfortable at all except for paying for it . I went to the specialist my long-time dentist recommended; if I'd thought more about it I should have looked at one or two of the specialty implant places that are popping up, too, just for grins.

I went with the implant because I was advised that the implant, which goes into the jawbone and is forever, is a good thing to have in place for using as a bridge anchor if the molars on either side need to be replaced.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #28
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Tommorrow, 7 am I'm gonna have what's left (mostly just roots) of my one bad tooth pulled, then the dentist is gonna work on bone grafting for the future implant. The totally cost when all said and done including the extracting he said would be about $4500. I've had this trouble tooth for almost 40 years...crown after new crown, til last year..toothache from h*ell. Will be good to finally get that fixed up in about a year. Will be nice to not have to favor that one teeth when eating as I've been doing for all these years.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
I moved to Phoenix with an abcessed tooth of all things. I knew what it was right away, and went to the dental school here upon arrival. When I saw that they assigned me this nice young man--who had the nerves of Don Knotts--I said no way.
Left there and went to the grocery store after that appointment, and, because I'm like this, turned to the Asst. Manager of the grocery who was talking to some kid's dad and asked if they knew a Dentist that did implants?
This led me to a Dentist who graduated from the #1 dental school in the country who took his boards and came in #1--and who doesn't advertise but charges 20% less because of it.
Could I get that lucky again? Probably not.
I am a dentist and I have no idea what the "#1 school" is. If you asked someone who graduated from MN. they would say MN., if you asked someone from UCLA, they might say UCLA. There are no rankings that I'm aware of. As far as the boards are concerned, when I took mine,30 years ago, all you received was if you passed or not. The boards are not a competition.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #30
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Got a line on a less expensive dentistry option today. Thoughts?

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Old 07-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #31
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I had a crazy front tooth left over from orthodontics done 40+ years ago. My dentist did an extraction and a Maryland bridge for $800 insurance paid only a little. It really looks great, it is just a chore flossing there now.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:10 PM   #32
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My wife had a lot of work done when she was a grad student at university dental schools by (closely supervised) students. She paid very little and the work has held up well for many decades. I'm just about to have a root canal and crown next week which will cost me $700 or so out of pocket, with insurance paying half ($700). The insurance, Hawaii Dental Services, is supplied by my retirement system at no extra cost to me.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:52 PM   #33
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I've started using student services at a nearby dental school about 6 months ago.

So far I love it. She only has a handful of patients so she's able to give me her personal email address and cell phone number for making appointments and for if I have any questions. I have my pick of appointment times so long as she's not busy with a class or a personal obligation. The appointments take a lot longer than usual though. But I get two or three sets of eyes looking at and discussing my teeth rather than just one guy. First the student takes a look, then often a second student is there observing, then the supervising dentist comes and takes another look to make sure he agrees with her diagnosis/checks her work. During this time I hear all the discussions and am better able to understand the issues and judgment calls they have to make and can make better decisions myself about what I want them to do.

Plus it's about 30% the cost of a typical dental practice.

The practice is well-run and there's dozens of competent students around. I imagine if I had any problem with the student they initially set me up with it wouldn't be a problem to assign me to another.
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