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Old 08-29-2014, 03:29 PM   #21
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What you have is a known quantity so I recommend you stay with them through the implant, at least.

Kaiser in Portland has a very good dental rider but you can only choose it when you first enroll. I am on their Medicare Advantage+ insurance with dental. I notice that they have PPO dental programs in California. If Kaiser would work for you at some point drill down on their dental coverage (pun intended).
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:10 PM   #22
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Hmm, it's $42 a month for Dental.

It's $600 for medical, which is about $200 more than the Bronze plans. No deductibles and the co-pays are much less.

However, I don't plan to visit a doctor for about 6 months. So I may see if I can take the dental but not the medical.

I went in for a cleaning and I complained of some inflammation/irritation on my upper left jaw, especially after some meals. Then it would subside.

He took an X-ray and said the old root canal and post is weakening and suggested an implant.

So far it's not an extreme situation like people not being able to chew on an apple.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:34 PM   #23
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Hmm, it's $42 a month for Dental.

It's $600 for medical, which is about $200 more than the Bronze plans. No deductibles and the co-pays are much less.

However, I don't plan to visit a doctor for about 6 months. So I may see if I can take the dental but not the medical.

I went in for a cleaning and I complained of some inflammation/irritation on my upper left jaw, especially after some meals. Then it would subside.

He took an X-ray and said the old root canal and post is weakening and suggested an implant.

So far it's not an extreme situation like people not being able to chew on an apple.
What did the dentist mean by weakening? Is there an infection or a fracture? Does the tooth have a crown on it? More explanation is needed or a second opinion before I would have it extracted and an implant placed.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:45 PM   #24
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Yes there is a crown.

He's showing a bit of a thin line between the bone and the tooth and he's saying a gap is growing there so replacing the post/crown is not a good idea without strengthening the bone.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:55 PM   #25
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My DH had what ChrisC had - a failed first bone graft. It was well over 1 year until he got the crown.

DH has bad teeth (mine aren't so great either) and we have rarely had dental insurance. We usually use my FSA money for his dental work and pay the rest out of pocket. I would say we've spent well over $10,000 on his implants and procedures.

It's in the budget.


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Old 08-30-2014, 06:39 AM   #26
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Sitting here waiting until Tues when stiches are removed. I decided to have an implant done after a few years of waiting. The bone has receded a little and a third molar has tilted a little as a result. Fortunately enough is still there for the implant to work. Dental insurance would not cover implants when I was working. Now that I'm retired the cost, about $5k, is still mine since Medicare and Tricare does not cover it either.

The surgeon for the implant and the dentist for the crown are highly recommended so I hope everything works out without any problems. Chewing and discomfort were not an issue. I'm only having it done to prevent further resorption of bone on my lower jaw.

I was really anxious about having it done and the prospect of drilling into my jaw while awake but there was only a minor sting from the novocaine and a little ache later that night. No discomfort after that.

We'll see how the rest of the process works out.

Cheers!
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:05 AM   #27
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I signed up for dental but I'm not sure it's worth it, either. For one thing they cover nothing but cleaning the first year. Very annoying since I've had continuous dental coverage for decades- it's not like I've got a pile of problems just waiting for a policy to cover them. Most plans cover only 2 cleanings a year. I haven't checked mine. Like you, I have implants and need 4 per year. OTOH, I do have some crowns and a bridge that are always subject to failure, and the occasional cavity. If a tooth under my bridge fails, I'll probably do what I just did when it happened early this year- have the tooth removed and put implants in that space and the one covered by the bridge. In that case, I'll max out the $1,500 coverage and it will be worth it.

As for your question on HSAs- I still have a high deductible plan so will continue contributing to mine and leave what's already in there to accumulate. It's about the best deal you can get tax-wise since the money isn't taxed going in AND it's not taxed coming out as long as it's for covered reasons. Better than a 401(k)!
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:51 AM   #28
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I was really anxious about having it done and the prospect of drilling into my jaw while awake but there was only a minor sting from the novocaine and a little ache later that night. No discomfort after that.
Wow- yours was done under a local? My oral surgeon uses a general anaesthetic and I'm perfectly happy with that. In my case, though, both times, there were messed-up teeth that needed to be removed before the implants could be placed (decay under a crown of a tooth that had been root-canalled the first time, decay in a tooth holding up a bridge, also root-canalled, the second time). That may be why he used general.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:17 AM   #29
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I signed up for dental but I'm not sure it's worth it, either. For one thing they cover nothing but cleaning the first year. Very annoying since I've had continuous dental coverage for decades- it's not like I've got a pile of problems just waiting for a policy to cover them. Most plans cover only 2 cleanings a year. I haven't checked mine. Like you, I have implants and need 4 per year. OTOH, I do have some crowns and a bridge that are always subject to failure, and the occasional cavity. If a tooth under my bridge fails, I'll probably do what I just did when it happened early this year- have the tooth removed and put implants in that space and the one covered by the bridge. In that case, I'll max out the $1,500 coverage and it will be worth it.

As for your question on HSAs- I still have a high deductible plan so will continue contributing to mine and leave what's already in there to accumulate. It's about the best deal you can get tax-wise since the money isn't taxed going in AND it's not taxed coming out as long as it's for covered reasons. Better than a 401(k)!
Is that your post retirement plan?

Does the $1500 max include the cleanings or is it for things outside the normal preventive care?

Some of the ACA plans seem to allow HSA so I guess better late than never to contribute after FIRE.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:27 PM   #30
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Is that your post retirement plan?

Does the $1500 max include the cleanings or is it for things outside the normal preventive care?

Some of the ACA plans seem to allow HSA so I guess better late than never to contribute after FIRE.
Yes, that's post-retirement and it's $1,500 for everything (including cleaning), so the insurer's payments are capped no matter what.

My health plan wasn't bought through the exchanges but it's definitely HDHP ($6,300 deductible- ouch) so I can still contribute. It was a conscious decision to get that steep deductible. It's extremely unusual for me to have any claims other than the usual checkups, an immunization or two, and a trip to the Doc-in-a-Box for raging poison ivy.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:59 PM   #31
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Went two the dentist for two resin composite fillings yesterday. I have no dental insurance and the bill was $465. Gonna definitely use my HSA for this expense.

Fillings aren't like the past (with silver) as when finished I can't even see any trace of the filling
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:49 PM   #32
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....snip....
Fillings aren't like the past (with silver) as when finished I can't even see any trace of the filling
For two resons they look better and the silver amalgam was 50% mercury by weight. I guess they don't generally tell you to replace it just because of mercury. If replacement is needed or new work is done most use resin.

Here's a link to the fda's website about amalgam:

http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/pr.../ucm171094.htm

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